Issues with ColorFabb XT

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Issues with ColorFabb XT

Postby Armatus » 2015-Nov-Sat-17-Nov

I bought a sample of ColorFabb XT in white a couple months back that I got to print ok, so last month I ordered a full spool in black. For the life of me, I can't get it to print right. My biggest problem is corner layer warpage, but warpage in general is an issue. I'm using Slic3r and have experimented with many different heat settings and bed temperature settings as well as speed, layer height, infill, etc to not much avail. My simple metal is using a Ubis 13 all metal hot end, and it prints perfectly in PLA, so I'm pretty sure it's not an extruder issue. Cura doesn't seem to do any better then Slic3r with this filament either. Any ideas as to what's going wrong? Can someone share their Slic3r settings with me for this filament? Thanks.

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Issues with ColorFabb XT

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Re: Issues with ColorFabb XT

Postby Armatus » 2015-Nov-Sat-02-Nov

No one has any suggestions?
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Re: Issues with ColorFabb XT

Postby Mooselake » 2015-Dec-Thu-11-Dec

Are you using a heated bed? Perhaps too high a fan speed?

Curling is caused by the plastic contracting as it cools; slow down the rate (bed heat and/or slower fan) to help minimize this. I've had good luck in the past by manually adjusting the extrusion width and making it larger. Smaller widths need to be pulled (it's called stretch) to make them small enough, which puts tension on the plastic which cooling (or too fast a cooling rate) and pulls it off the bed. Making the extruded width wider means less stretch, so less pull on the corners.

There's a zillion filament companies out there, I'm not familiar with or intend to disparage ColorFabb, but black is often the garbage color. Some vendors have a reputation of using it as a place to dump scrap (keeps the costs and thereby price down), and there's rumors of even added floor sweepings (admittedly could be the competition slamming other vendors...). Even if that's not the case different colors have different dyes and fillers that will change their properties.

A while back I enlarged and sliced a single wall object, and then manually edited the gcode to change the temperature every couple mm (use the wait for temp gcode command), following an older post I found in another forum. It's a handy way to step through a lot of temps to see what's right for your batch of filament. I use slic3r, and added some comments to the layer change gcode to make it easy to find the layer start, then a text editor search on the exact value of layer thickness (likely nothing convenient, like 2.0000) - the first mention should be close to the beginning of a layer. A bit tedious, but after the first few values it was a simple search/paste/edit ad went pretty quick. Start high (for better bed stick), then work the temperature down. Iirc I used 5 degree increments. Alas, the actual file (wrong size/speed/etc for your bot anyway) was lost when my 17" Everex notebook went to the computer afterlife. I think I posted some pics and discussion about it a couple years ago.

As always, if you experiment only change one thing at a time, or you'll never know what change is affecting the results.

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Re: Issues with ColorFabb XT

Postby WinterEC » 2015-Dec-Tue-14-Dec

I just got some XT and have done a fair amount of research on it before I printed with some success yesterday.

A couple of things:
1. ColorFabb is definitely a premium filament manufacturer. Their stuff is very high quality.
2. Check out colorfabb's learn site "how to print with XT" Apparently there was an initial batch of XT that printed at lower temp settings, but the newer stuff likes higher settings. I'm printing mine at 250-255c depending on the color.
3. You don't seem to be having problems with this, but I've started printing using the setting in Simplify3D "start printing at .1mm" Trying to print at a normal PLA-like close layer just didn't seem to work for me in XT. I'm still fine-tuning this
4. XT HATES PLA. I printed XT directly after PLA and got all these horrible artifacts in my first few calibration cubes. The main thing is that it disrupted the smooth flow of the material. I extruded XT until it quit happening and things got much better.

Specific to your pics, it looks like the layers in the corner aren't adhering well. I'd go up on the temp by 5 degree increments to see if it helps.
Moose's fan suggestion is worth considering. I'm only using 20% fan speed.
There's no retraction occuring at that corner, is there? Consider your retraction settings. I had to adjust mine quite a bit to keep gaps from showing.

Is the left-most attempt the coolest hotend temp? Right-most hottest? The right-most one looks like it's getting close.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Issues with ColorFabb XT

Postby Marktrav44 » 2015-Dec-Sun-10-Dec

I have been using a black XT roll for the past few weeks with my simple and a mass portal pharaoh. On the printrbot you need to print really slow, I found that you need to print all perimeters at max 30 mm/s.I could never really get mine to print rectilinear infill well, honeycomb at 30-40% seemed to work the best. Also need to print really hot, 250 C min 260 max. Bed temp needs to be hot as well, anywhere between 80-100 C worked well for me. Extruder fan should only turn on for small features and even then no more than 60%. The material is very sensitive to the extruder fan.
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