Several factors impact to optimize the choice of temperature and print speed of your 3D printer. There may be the type of filament used, the desired quality, the time allowed, the nozzle and the printer on which you print.
The filament used
The printer melts the filament to extrude and print, it’s additive manufacturing. It is necessary that the printer heats the filament to the good temperature for the material to melt.
Here are the general tips for choosing your temperature according to your filament. These are to be adapted according to your printer and your printing requirements, do not hesitate test to find the best temperature for your needs.
- PLA (and derivative): between 180 ° C and 230 ° C, the ideal seems to be 210 ° C and a plateau temperature between 20 ° C and 60 ° C (the heating plate is not required)
- ABS (and derivative): between 210 ° C and 250 ° C with a heating plate between 80 ° C and 110 ° C
- PETG: between 220 ° C and 250 ° C and a plateau temperature between 50 ° C and 75 ° C
This list contains only three materials because they are the most used. For other materials I advise you to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and make your own tests to find their ideal temperature according to your printer.
- if you overheat your filament, it will be too liquid and you risk getting “stringing”, that is to say cord between the different walls of your prints
- if your nozzle is too hot, as it passes over the layers already formed, it causes the plastic to be melted, which causes blisters
- if the temperature is too low, you risk under-extrusion (especially if you increase the speed), or poor adhesion of the layers of filaments between them
Tips: you can print two small close-ups with a print temperature that increases step by step (you can manage this parameter with your slicing software). You will be able to observe the sub-extrusion, the rope and the blisters and decide on the temperature that best suits your needs according to your material.
The desired quality and time
To have a fast production but of quality, you have to find the balance between the speed and the quality. When we increase the speed of printing, the quality will remain the same until a certain step from which it will degrade exponentially and the printing will certainly be unusable. So I advise you to set the speed of your print beforehand so that you save time rather than lose.
You can do the test to find the speed you can print without difficulty. Make a square tower, with your slicing software, change the speed step by step starting with 80% then print. Normally the printing should be well for a while, then the deposit will not be done continuously (the walls of your tower will be open), and, little by little, the filament will be deposited only at the angles. By observing your tower, using the steps you have defined, you can choose the correct printing speed.
To increase the printing speed, the filament must heat up faster inside the nozzle, however, it has limits: it was designed to melt the filament according to a certain pattern. Depending on the nozzle, this diagram allows a more or less rapid expansion of your filament, and therefore a variable speed of extrusion.
If your nozzle makes it possible to heat your filament faster and more efficiently, for example with the 3D solex system – which consists of splitting the filament to heat twice the surface – you can, without any problem, increase the speed of your impression because the nozzle will follow this increase by extruding faster.
On the other hand, with low quality nozzles, it is better to stay on a normal or even lower speed, in order to keep pace with your nozzle..
Here is a small example of what you can do with a high quality nozzle.
Of course, depending on the quality of your printer, you may or may not be able to increase the speed of your print without impacting the quality. As for the nozzle, to increase the speed it is necessary that the equipment can follow this increase.
No tool can aspire to perfection, that’s why it’s important to keep in mind the advantages and limitations of what you use to do it optimally. With low quality material, you will be able to obtain good quality parts if you make the best use of its capabilities.
You are warned about a small number of elements to take into account to print quality parts. Feel free to tell me about your experiences or questions, and see you soon.