3D-Fuel is a company that produces filament in the U.S. and Ireland. I’ve tested before some of their material and was pretty impressed then. A little time ago, they provided me again with some different types of filament. This review is about their Workday PLA.
On their website you can find some interesting info:
- available in 1.75, but also 2.85 mm diameter.
- after being printed, this can be annealed to improve strenght and better heat resistance, wich should give better results then ABS does.
- Recommended print temperature: 185 – 215°C.
- Recommended bed temperature: 0-60°C.
- Recommended print speed: 40-100 mm/sec.
- Reels contain 1 kg of filament.
Colorfull…… I kind of like that. Does it add something to the endresult? No, but it looks much better then a boring, brown box. On the side there’s a sticker containing info about deviation/tolerence of the filement.
Nicely packed in a vacuum, sealed, plastic bag. There is some silicate inside the packaging, to avoid moisture being picked up by the filament (the little white stripe on the right in the first pic). On the spool, there is a batchnumber, in case support needs to look for more info if needed. As usual, the windings look ok (not to bad, not to good).
Time to start printing. As always, I start with a temperatue tower, to find the sweet spot on my machine. 220°C was looking to be the best result.
Test 2: a calibration cube: 0.2 mm layers, no supports and 5% infill. AND I GOT CRAZY!!!!
Overextruding, underextruding, changing speeds, changing retractions, adapting new multipliers,…. all without any decent results. How could this be? I was using the suggested settings on my testmachine, the one I always use for reviews: a stock Prusa MK3s with E3D extruder (which always produced decent results).
Things got so bad, I was starting to think that I got an issue with my printer. So, get the spool of this printer and put another spool from a different brand on it and start printing (manual interrupted) the same, resliced, cube with the new filament’s settings. Also putted the 3D-Fuel reel on another printer, using the recommended settings from their site and the problem on the 2nd printer was still as bad as on the 1st printer.
It was obvious, the problem was not my test printer, the Prusa. Where did I need to go search?
More searching the web for information, I’ve found a brochure (click to download), that clarified some things (I guessed).
Workday PLA™ prints well at 190-230°C (varies by printer).
Your bed may be 0-60°C. Bed surface recommendations are (1) bare acrylic, (2) blue painters tape + hairspray, (3) glass + hairspray,
(4) BuildTak or similar bed surface, or (5) PEI with heated bed @ 45-60°C.
Printing speed should be 30-60 mm/s.
Set infill to at least 30%.
Set layer height to .10mm.
Include rafts and supports in your settings for curved prints.
Print in an area with superb ventilation or a cooling fan that targets airflow directly on the print.
Here I got some concerns. In their brochure, they speak immediatly printing up to 230°C on the nozzle. That’s 15°C MORE then on the webpage. Dito for printing speed. The brochure prints a lot slower then the webpage.
In a fact, I was deviated so far from my normal testing for reviews, that I didn’t think about the normal procedures I normally follow anymore. So, no owl……. the bird had flown 🙂
I needed a storage-box for parts and found a concept I liked. With thisone I worked further. But a bit larger then the original, 200%. (The red was printed with different filament/brand).
- Packinging is simply good: colorfull box, wich contains a well packed reel, including silicate.
- What I miss: Markings on the side to estimate the leftover. This is getting standard more and more people of 3D-Fuel.
- Nozzle temperature: I ended up printing 230° with this produt.BUT AFTER much frustrations and bad results, provided thank to poor (faulty?) information on your website. 3D-Fuel, if you read this, please make sure to provide correct info on BOTH website and brochure. This will save people from getting frustrated and leaving your brand.
- Stringing: None, not even on 230°C.
- Warping: None
- this comment was added afterwards, without pics: the printed parts do look and feel stronger then normal PLA. But I didn’t do a real test about this. This is my personal “feeling” when having the result in my hands.
Would I recommend this product? I have a double feeling about it. Yes, the endresult can be real decent after multiple testing/tweaking. The result feels strong, but that compensates the not perfect “look” . This is definatly no filament for the first time printer operator.