SpiderBot Delta 3D Printer

Printing with clear PLA blocks nozzle

posted in Tips and tricks
Sunday, May 25 2014, 12:39 PM
Hi guys,

I am printing with some new clear PLA filament. I have a problem only with this particular filament, (so no problem with ABS or other PLA filaments)

The problem is the filament seems to balloon at the nozzle causing a blockage at the nozzle, or rather just before the nozzle, this becomes evident when I retract the filament out because it retracts fine until it gets to the small tapered hole of the feeder at the top of the machine. I then have to remove the top plate at the extruder cut the ballooned piece off to get it out. if I put new good filament in then it works fine again. it seems like the filament gets too soft too quickly before it gets to the actual extruder.

Am I printing too warm? or is this just crap filament?
    Responses (2)
    • Accepted Answer

      Tuesday, May 27 2014, 12:45 AM - #permalink
      Well on first impression reading your story I think indeed that you are printing with too high a temperature. (hypothese 1)

      So to start a proces of elimination:
      1. Translucent PLA is not very common and I can imagine it will operate in a slightly different temperature range. Check producers given charasterics...
      2. Did you check the diameter of the filament? If it is too small e.g. 1 mm. it will most likely work not fine. (hypothese 2)
      3. In your story you mention that when you cut off the ballooned plastic and use it again it will work fine.
      Is this so in every case?
      So the steps this case are:
      print object 1: use clean filament -> print object -> stop printing -> yay succes! printing object -> stop warming filament...
      print object 2 : heat up cooled filament -> print second object -> nay succes! obstruction of nozzle?
      hypothese 3: In the last case it could also be that the filament only can be warmed up ones due to the chemical composition of the filament. After warming it changes...
      4. You might have a bad batch of PLA. There are stories about the bad quality of PLA even on the same reel...

      I am curious what you find out :-)

      Kind regards

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    • Accepted Answer

      Tuesday, May 27 2014, 08:12 AM - #permalink
      Hi Onno

      I think I am leaning towards you hypotheses 3.
      I tried a number of temperature ranges from 100 - 260 degrees. It almost prints better at higher temperatures but the prints fail after a few layers possibly because of a pause in extrusion allowing it to change properties.
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