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Upgrading from LW-PLA

 to LW-PLA-HT.

What you need to know when upgrading from LW-PLA to LW-PLA-HT. Below you'll find all the information you need for a smooth transition to the all new more heat resistant LW-PLA-HT.

Calibrate your settings. 

You only need 11 grams of filament and 50 minutes printing time.

LW-PLA-HT contains a foaming agent which activates around 220C printing temperature (depending on the other settings used). In order to calibrate your 3D printer settings we developed a simple but effective 4 step proces:

  1. 3D print our calibration cubes.
  2. Measure the wall thickness of the cubes.
  3. Enter the values in our Excel file
  4. Test print to confirm calculate values. Adjust flow setting untill the part has strength you need.

Step 1.

You can download the files over at Printables click here. Beware that our premade calibration file is for printing at 0.2mm layerheight using 0.4mm nozzle and 40 mm/s print speed. You can change these values to reflect your preferred settings.

Step 2.

After printing the calibration cubes, before removing them label each cube with the printing temperature as refelcted in your file settings. You need to measure the thickness of the perimeter line at each side of the cube, use our excel file to process the data.

Step 3.

Insert the values into the excel file included in our files (click here) and have a graph plotted of the average values per cube, for each printing temperature.

We also plotted a secondary graph which shows you the relation beteen Material Flow [percentage] as a function of the printing temperature. In this graph you can easily see which percentage of flow you would need at a minimum to achieve the expected perimeter wall thickness. For this graph we used the following calculation: New Material flow = (100% Flow / (max perimeter width / perimeter widht at 210C))

Step 4.

Now you can select a part to test the calculated values you found for your set-up.

Usualy the calculated flow value is lower then you would actually use for a sufficiently strong part. You might need to increase the flow rate with 5-10%. For RC planes we found 230C - 0.2mm layerheight - 50/60% flow to result in sufficiently strong prints on our Prusa MK3s

Keep in mind if the pre-made files you bought have a very different printspeed or layerheight values then what you’ve tested with our calibration file, the value for the flow percentage will deviate. It would be best to repeat the calibration file with the key settings such as speed and layerheight exactly the same as set in the files you bought.

 

Curious which values we found? Below you can find the values we found for the LW-PLA-HT colors.

LW-PLA-HT             
  210 220 230 240 250 260
LW-PLA-HT Black            
Average 0.455 0.535 0.8475 1.0325 1.035 0.9675
LW-PLA-HT Olive green            
Average 0.46 0.535 0.8625 1.0175 1.0275 0.9475
LW-PLA-HT White            
Average 0.46 0.545 0.88 1.0275 1.0325 0.94
LW-PLA-HT Dark grey            
Average 0.465 0.5475 0.875 1.0375 1.055 1.0425

 

LW-PLA-HT wall thickness vs temperature

LW-PLA-HT various colors - wall thickness vs print temperature. Sliced at 0.2mm layerheight / 40 mm/s / 0.4mm nozzle.

Calculating the theoretical material flow percentage needed for a an extrusion width similar to the width when printed without foaming at 210c:

New Material flow = (100% Flow / (max perimeter width / perimeter widht at 210C))

* usualy the calculated flow value is lower then you would actually use for a sufficiently strong part. You might need to increase the flow rate with 5-10%. For RC planes we found 230C - 0.2mm layerheight - 50/60% flow to result in sufficiently strong prints on our Prusa MK3s

Keep in mind if the pre-made files you bought have a very different printspeed or layerheight values then what you’ve tested with our calibration file, the value for the flow percentage will deviate. It would be best to repeat the calibration file with the key settings such as speed and layerheight exactly the same as set in the files you bought.

Incase you bought pre-made gcodes / factory files.

If you don't want to go through the process of calibrating your printer, because you bought pre-made Factory files or Gcodes you can use the following tips&tricks to get a smooth transition to our LW-PLA-HT.

3MF / Factory file

If the RC plane you bought includes premade 3MF / Factory files then you have the possibility to adjust all relevant settings. We suggest adjusting the following settings:

  LW-PLA LW-PLA-HT
1st layer temp Same as other layers 200-210C
1st layer flow Same as other layers 100% flow
1st layer perimeter Same as other layers 2 perimeters
layerheight Sometimes sliced at 0.3mm Maximum 0.2mm (for 0.4mm nozzle)
temperature 230-240C 230-240C
Flowrate 40-45% 50-60%
Heated bed 50C 60C
Bed Adhesion - Brim for large parts
Adhesion promoter - 3DLac

 

First layer partially stuck on the plate. To prevent these issues we recommend the following settings.

  • 1st layer print temp – 200/210C
  • 1st layer flow – 100% flow (we’re not activating the foaming agent at these temperatures)
  • 1st layer perimeter – 2 perimeters for additional strength.

Perfect flat part and easy to remove. 

Gcode Only

If the plane you bought includes premade gcodes only then you’ll have to adjust the flowrate manually using your 3D printer control panel. By how much you need to increase the flowrate depends on the flowrate which has been set in the file. It’s expected that you need to increase anywhere between 10-20% increased flowrate. Try printing a small part and measure the thickness of the extruded perimeter to see if this matches what it should be.

If we missed essential information in this article, please let us know at support@colorfabb.com

PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING.

This video shows the difference in heat resistance between the original LW-PLA and our new and improved LW-PLA-HT.

- team colorFabb

Available LW-PLA-HT colors.

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