Igus is in the 3D printer world specially known for their linear gliders. In this review, I will be talking about their filament, what is completely new for me. They have a nice website https://www.igus.com/. On the top right, you can change the country/language to your needs.
After some back and forward writing with my contact, the aggreed to send me some filament to review. Very friendly peopleto talk to. There was 1 hing that disappointed me, the question : how much filament do your tests use normally? I’ve expalined that i usually need around 100 meters, without taking in account failures and testing/reasearching some settings. They’ve sended me 300 grams (that’s around 100 meters) in the end. For a company of such proportions, I find this a little “cutting the edges”.
Sealed airtight, but no little bag of silicate to prevent sucking up possible moisture from the filament. I didn’t experience the filament absorbing any moisture at all. But this is mainly because the room where I test, is very warm and dry and also because I’ve used the filament in about 3 days. That way there was no possibility that the filament would get “wet”. What was very nice? The filament was very nicely wounded on the spool and they used a zip-tie to prevent the windings to get loose during transport. What I didn’t like at all? There were multiple black particles on the filament! What if these particles don’t easaly melt and are the cause of a clog in the extruder? Or what if these particles leave black spots behind in this white print? I have no clue why or how these particles came on the spool.
On the website, I found some information about this material:The Tribo-filament that is easiest to process
- The Tribo-filament that is easiest to process
- igus® adhesive film is required for a non-heated print bed
- Very good wear values up to a p*v value of 0.2 N*m/s
- Good mechanical properties
- This filament should be 50 times more wear-resistant then conventional filaments. Extremely usable for gliders and bearings thus.
- Can used longterm on 65°C, for a short period on 75°C.
- nozzletemp: 240 – 250°C
- bedtemp: 20 – 60°C
- cooling: is not necessary, but can be used
The first thing we always do? Yes, measuring the average diameter for later use in the slicer. Fact 1: The material doens’t feel “smooth” like PLA or PETG. It is a little rough, but not to much, but still, you feel the difference. fact 2: I assume caused by the 1st fact, the average diameter is not to consistent.
The tests will be done a little different then we usually do. There are 2 main reasons for this: 1/ limited material available for testing, 2/ The temperature window is very small (240 – 250°C).
Therefor, I started directly with my own calibration cube. This test should show pretty easaly weak and strong points for whatever filament you print. The material is printed on 0.2 mm layers, 250°C nozzle and 40°C bed. Further I’ve started from my standard PETG profile, since this looked to be a good starting point. So I have pushed the “start” button, and after watching if the first layer sticks, I always disappear until the print is finished.
Ppppfffffff…… was I dissapointed. What a stringing. I’ve never experienced so much stringing on my Prusa machines. And I can say I’ve tested and printed already with many different materials.
Time to start tweaking. Stringing you normally try fixing by lowering the print temperature and changing your retraction settings. Only change one at a time! If you change multiple settings at once, what is the cause for the solution or fix then?
While fixing one problem, I discovered a new one: Warping! Damn! There is still some significant work to get a decent result here.
To make a long story short….. I dropped the temperature to the minimum Igus prescribed, 240°C on the extruder. Retraction speed needed to be raised on my Prusa. Retraction distance was raised from 0.8 mm (I normally run this on every profile) to 6 mm. To fight the warping I needed to use or a brim, or 3D-Lac. Raising the bed temperature to the max prescribed 60°C was not sufficient.
Due to the many testing, at a certain point I’ve noticed that there was residu left on the place where my purgeline comes when starting a print. The normal method with IPA didn’t work to remove it. I had to use the more aggresive Aceton to wipe the PEI completely clean.
At the end of testing, I managed to get decent prints and an empty spool.
These were custom parts for a project I’m working on and that where I thought this filament could be the right one. The parts need to be separated often. Since Igus says the material is wear resistant, this would be ideal. To test the wear resistance, I’ve used some sanding paper (grain 90) on it. The material is way more difficult to sand then regular PETG or PLA. So yes, Igus is right, it is more wear resistant.
- Packaging is ok, but without silicate inside. The filament can not unwind itself. No cardboard box.
- Black particles between the windings on the spool.
- A very short temperature window to work with. But it seems to work in the end.
- Can be printed on a cold bed (according to Igus) if you use a special film.
- I experienced severe warping, but fixed it with a brim or 3D-Lac.
- This product loves to “string”.
- Definitely wear resistant!
- Needs much tuning, but it is worthed in the end.
Igus writes on the site: “material suitable for beginner”. I don’t completely agree with this. You need to have some experience in tuning your printer/filament already. If this would have been one of the first products I’ve used in 3D printing, I assume I would have searched myself another hobby. I still have a sample of I180 from Igus, and I’m already wondering what the results will be.
1 day before I finished the review,I wrote to Igus to get some help from them, concerning my poor results in the beginning. 5 days later, I got an email back from them. In the meantime, I had managed to get much better results due to my own experience and testing.
First of all, if a Filament shows signs of stringing and other quality imperfections like brown spots, it might be a sign that the filament needs to be dried. All Filaments take up moisture to some degree and it will show in the quality of the print. Some more, some less. There are special filament drying machines (re-labeled food dehydrators) that can be used, alternatively an old oven (that’s not being used for food preparation anymore!) The material should be dried at around 70 °C for at least 3-4 hours. Moreover, the customer may try to lower the extrusion factor a bit (as far as about 97%) and lower temperature some more (235 °C still works fine in most cases). Temperature settings often also differ from machine to machine, e.g. a setting on a Prusa printer might lead to a different effective heat in the nozzle than on an Ultimaker.
Filament needs to be dried? Weird! It was used in only 3 days total time. It was coming out of their closed bag. And no silicate inside the bag. Sorry Igus, you can’t blaim me for that. Lowering the extrusion multiplier was indeed part of the solution. At least Igus was polite enough to answer my questions, which some other companies even don’t.