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Maker Geek's Raptor PLA

Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 7:53 pm
by Harblar
Has nobody else used this yet?!?!

Ok, first off, I'll admit that I haven't done a ton of printing and (in all honesty) have really only dealt with ABS. In fact Maker Geeks Raptor series PLA is the only PLA I've ever printed, but all I can say is WOW!!! :o

I've been stuggling through trying to get my printer calibrated the last couple of weeks. I'm currently running the SeeMeCNC Accellerometer mounted atop an E3d V6 hotend (with the new thermistor and silicon boot. BTW I am in LOVE with the boot! Why doesn't every hotend come with these?!) I got one of the Maker Geeks Mystery packs, since I really wanted to try PETG (since I thought it would be a better fit for the stuff I printed, mostly mechanical parts and what not) and I selected a roll of PLA and Raptor PLA as the other two.

Anyway, I've been printing for almost a week solid with some old Hatchbox Red ABS while I've been attempting to perfectly calibrate my printer. As of last night I can say I've pretty much got it there (and in the process really nailed the print settings for this particular ABS, Btw). A 50mm and 100mm test box both come out within less than a tenth of a mm of the correct dimensions... for awhile anyway. I measured the parts, was happy, came back a few hours later and measured again (on a lark), and completely face palmed myself when I remembered Abs Has a pretty significant shrink factor. On the second measure I was out to about .15-.2mm short on my measurements. That's when I decided to load up the Raptor PLA (in Vivid Green) since PLA has minimal shrink and the Raptor PLA is a fairly high temp filament that's suppose to be much stronger/more thermally resistant than normal PLA.

First things first, I cut off about a meter of filament and then cut off a second meter, which I then measured in 11 different spots with a digital caliper. My average came out to 1.751. Pretty dang good. Definitely check, though since I've read elsewhere (though not too recently) of some ovoid filament getting shipped. Next I ran the filament into the printer and heated the nozzle to 205. I then tried to extrude 10mm, yet all it did was click the extruder. I kept bumping in 5 degree increments until it finally extruded at around 220 degrees. Maker Geeks recommended 245 degrees, so I split the difference and decided to try it at 230. They also say to heat the bed anywhere from 0-60. I left the bed off and laid down some masking tape. I finally tweaked the filament profile in Matter Control to run the PLA. Other than temps, I pretty much left the retract settings the same as my ABS. 1.5mm at about 40mm/s and the extrution multipler at .95.

I think I hit the sweet spot off the bat! I quick sliced a 50mm test box with the built in slicer at .2mm layer height and printed. It came out to be almost dead on at 50mm square give or take .05mm. The print wasn't completely perfect interms of top layer or details, but I blame that on matter slice. I then threw a part for a BB-8 droid (that I plan to print this summer) into Cura 2.5. After adding the filament profile and tweaking a few settings. I set layer height to .1mm and printed. Here is what I got: (note this is the second ever print I have done with this PLA, Or any PLA, for that matter!)

There are still a few spots for improvement, but when you consider the size of the part details, printing with a .4mm nozzle, and the very limited amount of setup I've done with this filament I'm flat astounded!! Oh... and I don't even have a layer fan hooked up atm! ;-) There were some very minor zits and very light stringing, but overall very clean! can't wait to dial this in and run a few more prints through. When I do, I'll report back with a full list of the settings I've found to work best.

For the TL:DR crowd... This stuff is AWESOME. Give it a try! :D

Re: Maker Geek's Raptor PLA

Posted: Sat May 20, 2017 2:39 pm
by Glacian22
Your pictures aren't showing up for me, which is a shame because I'm really curious about Maker Geeks Raptor PLA...

Re: Maker Geek's Raptor PLA

Posted: Mon May 22, 2017 11:54 am
by Harblar
Weird. They show up on mine... Oh well, changed the pics to direct links that should work.

Let me know if you still have trouble seeing them and I'll try something else. :)

Re: Maker Geek's Raptor PLA

Posted: Mon May 22, 2017 4:23 pm
by Glacian22
Now they're good, and yeah looks nice! :)

Re: Maker Geek's Raptor PLA

Posted: Fri May 26, 2017 12:23 pm
by Harblar
Well, I'm still dialing it in, but so far I'm through an almost entire roll and still really impressed! I get a bit of light stringing here or there, but it entirely goes away with a light brush of the hand. It's also really tough stuff! Even with 120 grit sandpaper on a 5 inch orbital sander it takes a bit to get rid of the layer lines. I've taken it down to 400 grit hand sanded finish and it is just silky smooth. It bonds great with Gorilla Glue Superglue gel and even plastic welds nice!

I've been working on printing out a 1:1 scale BB-8 dome (3 main pieces) this last week. I'm currently a 1/3rd of the way through my second attempt.

The first piece I had a setting get screwed up in Cura where it was printing inner perimeters at 100mm/s. Outer perimiters were only at 15mm/s. It came out ok and after a lot of sanding and panel line zit clean up it looks ok, but some of the details aren't as sharp as I would like.

The Second piece I slowed the inner perimeters down to 40mm/s and things came out much smoother, though, I also decided to heat the bed to 55. This cause the bottom to warp a bit and created a gap or two I wasn't happy about.

Learning from the first two, I made a few more tweaks to the third piece (NO BED HEAT! lol) and it was coming out the best of all so far... then the cord to the hotend/accelerometer jarred loose about midway through the print. Grrr....

I reprinted the third piece and it came out nice, so now I'm reprinting the other two match. I'll just use the first three as test beds for my print clean up and assembly techniques.

The Raptor PLA is also annealable which will make it much stronger and more heat resistant. Once I finish sanding and cleaning up my first three prints I'm going to give it a try and see if it ends up warping in the oven ( a possibility on larger parts).

If it does, Maker Geeks had a guy suggest annealing it in boiling water. Maintains a nice consistent temperature throughout and the piece floats in the water reducing the amount of stress on the part during the process. I'll likely end up trying both and I'll report back my findings on each. :-)

On a side note: I placed an order yesterday for another 4 rolls of the Raptor PLA, via there grab bag promotion. Worked out to $30 a roll for the Raptor PLA, which is a savings of around $8/roll! I don't get to pick the colors, but since I tend to do a lot of print cleanup and painting, that's not a big deal! Also bought a mystery filament pack and their Monthly Geekbox was 50% off! It got spendy before I was done, but it should get me quite a ways down the road on my droid build! :-)

Re: Maker Geek's Raptor PLA

Posted: Fri May 26, 2017 5:45 pm
by Glacian22
I just picked up a roll of Boots Industries' PLA, which is apparently made with the same 3D850 resin that MG Raptor is made with. Boots is out of stock of most of their color, so I just went with white, but it's SUPER cheap; $15 with free shipping for a .75KG roll, which works out to $20/KG. Haven't had the chance to print with it yet, but I am crazy excited!

Re: Maker Geek's Raptor PLA

Posted: Tue May 30, 2017 7:15 pm
by WiscoMudder
I have been having issues of my EZR Sturders jamming up and I used the stock settings on the roll. I think I had my retraction speed at 80mms and a retraction of 1.8mm. Overall after about a quarter of an inch high I would get a failure and I think its the retraction speed.
I will let you know how your settings work on my Max V3 because I have 5 rolls I want to use on various things.

Re: Maker Geek's Raptor PLA

Posted: Tue May 30, 2017 11:10 pm
by WiscoMudder
Works decent but still a pretty stringy on my machine. What speeds are you running?

Re: Maker Geek's Raptor PLA

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 7:42 am
by geneb
Dial the retraction speed back to about 40mm/sec and add in a 4mm z-lift. You also want your non-printing speed to be around 250mm/sec.


Re: Maker Geek's Raptor PLA

Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:25 pm
by Harblar
I'm using 10-15 mm/sec on the retract at 1.7-1.8mm. Also set the priming in cura to 25mm/sec. I just printed a large 15 hour print with several large holes in it and the stringing was super minimal. Some very fine cobwebs, but I could brush them off by hand very easily with no issues. Even better, wave a lighter at it and watch the cobwebs vaporize! :-)

I haven't taken the time to do a lot of playing with it, but a slightly faster retract speed may decrease it. Getting z lift working correctly and adding a wipe along the top seems to have helped a lot for me as well.

I'm absolutely loving Maker Geeks stuff so far! I've printed 3 reels of it so far and I'm getting some great stuff. I've had a few failures on some large prints, but almost always do to a slicer or printer muck up. I had one part that kept getting a massive layer shift at around a 120mm height (give or take a 10mm). I did a LOT of testing and hardware checking. Test print towers of 150mm never had an issue, Yet this one particular stl always did. Finally figured out was going on. It had a large hole (perpendicular to the build plate). I had z lift activated (or so I thought), but it was apparently only set to lift when not traveling over a printed area. I changed it to always lift on a retracts and printed again. I happened to be around when it got to the trouble spot and noticed that at the overhang on the circle as it kept getting thinner towards the top it was curling, just a bit. Must've been enough to knock the nozzle out of whack when it wasn't lifting. Other than that, it's been working great. Unbelievable how tough this stuff is! I tried breaking a couple of the failed prints (curved surfaces around 5-6mm thick, solid infill). I couldn't by hand. I had to stand on one to break it and even then it really didn't want to. It broke apart along walls as opposed to layer lines. I haven't annealed it yet, but I'm interested to see how much better it gets!

Full disclosure, I did have one roll of Blue Raptor PLA that wasn't printing very well. Brittle prints, delamination, etc... when using similar settings to the roll of Red I'd just printed. Hey, bad rolls happen from time to time, I don't care who makes the filament. What matters is that the Manufacturer steps up to make it right. Maker Geeks has some of the best customer service I've dealt with (from any company), period! I sent them an email expressing my concerns about the roll with a few pictures and my print settings. They emailed me back in less than 5 minutes and told me they were sending out a new roll asap! WOW, Outstanding! The new roll arrived quickly and printed extremely well. I really couldn't be happier with MakerGeeks.

I've also got a roll of their PETG I'm going to try tomorrow. Can't wait to see how it comes out! :-)