This article has been provided by Vincent Bjorge, CSWA - Mechanical Design 3D Printer Technician, Octave Systems Inc.
Concerning the garolite plate, the garolite plates are what have been recommended for the best adhesion by Taulman 3d. Quoted from their website, "For perfect adhesion, please use garolite (LE) ...".
This along with some other useful info about the 618 nylon features and properties can be found at the Taulman 618 Features page.
Below are some tips that will hopefully help in getting that nylon to bond to the plate. Be sure that regardless of the tip, you clean the surface with some rubbing alcohol to get rid of any finger prints and oils on the plate.
- Tip 1.
We have found that sanding the surface you will print onto has helped. By sanding the surface with 250 or 300 grit sand paper, you create a roughened texture to which the nylon can "grab onto". This could make removal of the part a little more difficult if sanded too much, so experiment by sanding a little bit and work your way up to more, (more meaning more sanding with the same grit). You could even set your plate up similar to how we have ours, which is to sand one side to a moderate amount, and then the other side sanded more aggressively. We do this so that we can have a choice of how strong of an adhesion we want as some larger parts, depending on how much surface area is in contact with the plate, benefits from either having more grip power or less to ease removal. *(Or after reading Tip 4, you may want to sand only one side, and leave the other side smooth for glue).
- Tip 2
When printing with Taulman 618 nylon, try to print with a raft that will give you more surface area to grab the plate. When printing the raft, (or even if you are not printing with a raft as in the case of large parts with lots of surface area contact), the first few layers should be printed with the fan vent closed, and once past those first few layers, open the fan vent back up. This will allow the nylon to be at its hottest as it gets extruded onto the plate, increasing the grip. If you are using an UP! 3D Printer, you may need to find an STL on Thingiverse that gives you the ability to open and close the fan vent as the earlier models of UP! did not have that function.
- Tip 3
According to Taulman 3D, the best temperature to extrude at is around 245°C. On the Afinia 3D printers, we have found that setting the temperature at 236°C works better as less stringing occurs. Having a fan duct that can control airflow onto the printed part, such as those on the Afinia 3D printers, can help by allowing you to push the temperature a little more, especially if it is a larger part. Smaller parts will need to use the lower temperature as the nylon won't have enough time to cool before the next layer gets extruded. But the hotter you can run it, the better the chances of adhesion to the plate will be. So if your part doesn't have areas where stringing will occur, then you can use the hotter temperatures to get better plate adhesion as well as overall increased part strength. Just remember, that the hotter you run the filament, the more difficult it will be to remove the raft and support, but again a fan blowing onto the part will help with this issue.
- Tip 4
This tip comes from a user who has bought a variety of different filaments from Octave Systems, including the Taulman line of filaments. In the past, he has mentioned that using the Elmer's purple glue stick has worked for all his adhesion issues for all filaments. The glue is water soluble, and can be cleaned off with a wet towel rag. We have started using this product on glass when printing with ABS, PLA, and Taulman T-glase (a polyester resin based filament). We have not been using it for the nylons however, as our results have been mixed. Sometimes it worked, usually better on smaller prints, but on longer or larger prints we usually had some lift. So you could try the purple glue on glass or perhaps on the garolite, but you will have to experiment as our results were not consistent enough to make the switch.
- Tip 5
This tip comes from another user who tends to print with mostly PLA and nylon filaments. He mentioned to us before that since these machines use all metal hot ends, they really need to have increased cooling. His simple trick to gain better prints and less extruder skips was to simply remove the extruder cover. We can't officially recommend that as it exposes many of the hot areas, and opens the door to many burned hands and fingers. But for a smart and responsible user, this can sometimes make all the difference if you don't mind the bare look of the extruder. We will be posting an STL file on our website for UP mini users which gives them a minimal extruder cover to mount the temp switch to. This cover uses the same mount points as the regular UP! and Afinia 3D printers which means it will mount on all 3 printers in the same way. So it may be worth a try for increasing airflow to the regular UP! and Afinia 3D printers if you have continued problems and do not want to leave the extruder bare.
We hope this helps solve the issue of filament not sticking to the plate. Most info about using these specialty filaments with the UP! and Afinia 3D printers can be found at the PP3DP forum. There are many experienced users there who we have found very valuable in the community as they post much of their findings and results about using these new filaments. We often use the forum as one of our research hubs for finding answers to printing issues.
This article was published on Monday 01 September, 2014.