Wednesday, 24 August 2011


I've recently been trying to print PLA. A hard, transparent plastic that nophead has used to print parts for me in the past to diffuse light from LEDs.

When I started with ABS, to save time, I bought a pre built wade extruder from Wolfgang and this has served me well. However, I've heard on the grapevine that this design needs to be thoroughly cleaned with acetone before it can be used for PLA if it has previously printed ABS.

Being lazy I simply ordered a second extruder. Wolfgang's parts are top notch. I have a lathe and could make extruder parts myself but for the price he charges I can't be bothered.

I initially tried printing a 10x10x10mm cube. This came out OK but sagged in the middle. The reason for this was that I had created the gcode previously for a 0.4mm layer height, and my new extruder has a 0.35mm nozzle.

I re-skeinforged(?) the STL with a layer height of 0.25 (~=0.35 * 0.8) and printed some LED diffusers that I had designed. They all warped at the corners:

The temperature I used for this print were:
Extruder = 220C
Bed = 55C

My PLA is 4043D and has a lower melting point so I reduced these to
Extruder = 200C
Bed = 50C

My wife makes greetings cards as a hobby. She has previously bought kits where a pre-cut card is supplied with paper to layer behind the card. They look quite nice:

She asked me if I could print a template to allow her to cut the card herself. To do this, I photographed the card, then used GIMP to convert the wine glass shape to be pure black.

I then imported this image into AlgoLab Photo Vector and converted the image to a DXF file.

I then imported this to CreoElements and from this I was able to scale the design to match her requirements and print a template she can use for cutting:

No comments: