How are you printing with PLA?

I’d like to print in PLA, I really would.  No warping?  No rafts?  Smells like syrup?  Makes kittens and rainbows?  Sign me up!

Rick from MakerGear has the following suggestions for printing in PLA:

  • Have a 150-160 C degree temperature for the entry of the barrel
  • He notes that the nozzle temperature is roughly 190 C degrees
  • However, later he suggests printing at 220-235 was possible
  • He suggests not to worry overmuch about PLA in the threads – its just one of those things

Nick McCoy offered several pieces of wisdom:

  • He found that 10W-30 oil added lightly to the PLA as it entered the extruder, by adding oil to a piece of cotton wrapped around the filament, helped it print without jamming
  • He noticed that pausing the extruder for more than a few seconds would jam the barrel
  • He found he could print at 180-210 degrees (I assume he’s measuring the nozzle temperature as you would with an ABS setup)

Nick’s results suggesting a nozzle temperature of 180-210 seem to match up with Rick’s findings of 190 or so.  I think I’ll give Polly another shot and see if I can extrude at those temperatures.

3 Responses to “How are you printing with PLA?”

  1. Spacexula says:

    Don’t do it! I have printed non stop for the last 4 days since going back to ABS. Enjoy the making! Print a Mendel, which we know does well with PLA, and let her play with him. Poly likes Biologists, not Robots.

  2. MakerBlock says:

    :( Other people are able to print with PLA! I think I’m (slowly) learning it is all about getting the temperatures right. Admittedly, I’ve been printing like a freaking maniac in ABS since I removed the clog from the extruder. But, those larger Mendel pieces are absolutely going to warp in ABS, no?

  3. beak90 says:

    I had PLA working for a while. I got 5 and a half prints done then it stopped working. It was the biggest print so far (a big darth vader) and half way through the extruder just stopped extruding. I noticed that about 5 layers before failure, the extruded filament started wobbling so the last layers are sortof rough. This wobbling makes me think its a temperature problem, but I don’t think it is anymore. Now when I try to extrude by hand it clogs up badly.

    I’m going to try the oil idea. It sounds really promising. After over a month of trying to get PLA working, I’m not about to give up. You shouldn’t either!