Monday, 7 March 2011

PLA - Not a easy thing

I receive my first little spool of PLA from Ultimachine. Wow ! They also sent me 2 samples of PLA in Black and Green. Thanks Guys ! I will use them to try to  print for the first time with PLA.

First : As I wanted to remove my ABS from my MK5, I heated it to 210. I removed the ABS and Set to 180 for the first test. I think this was a little to hot . The PLA was too soft even in the Tube that go to the head. Result : the PLA cannot be push without deformation. I even had problem to remove it from the MK5 :-(
I turn it off to cool it down for 15 minutes to be sure all parts are cooler. Now I set that to 150C and I can push PLA by hand to the extruder. Test extrusion also works well at that temperature.

Second : The HBP (Hot Build Platform) need some changes. PLA doesn't look to stick well on Kapton. I tested with some blue tape and it look to stick BUT not so much.... I think I have temperature problem. Don't know if it's on the HBP (set at 50C) or the Extrusion (150C) but each layer doesn't look to stick well on the previous one. Now I think to try with Glass but that mean some modification to my plate.
I'm currently using an HBP V1 from Makergear, so I don't have any bolt on top (this is cool when printing) to screw other thing on top.
I will try to add a metal layer between my HBP and the Glass to help heat exchange. I think I will just test by taping the Glass to the plate.

So, a slow start but at least the basics work. Now I need to make it working as if it was ABS.
My first goal is to print Prusa Bushing in PLA.

Side note : PLA Smell good ;-)


  1. My settings are for printing on Bluetape at 200C, and no platform heating. I have not had success with green or black, just "natural" clear, though I have tried green. I'm using the same PLA from Ultimachine. Is your thermistor nice and calibrated?

  2. Realy don't know if it's fully calibrated, what I know is it print well with ABS ;-)
    Maybe I could try with no heated bed....