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  1. #1

    Best filament for durability as bushings

    We use 3D printing for small scale mass production of over 20 models and have been printing more than a quarter million parts per year for the past several years using two Makergear M2 printers. We print batches of parts which are used for a variety of purposes in the production of our doors & windows in Belize, Central America. We have looked into importation for these parts, and the price is much higher, R&D takes much longer, and we do not have the demand for most suppliers to provide us with the small QTYs we need. So, we are VERY HAPPY to use 3D printing technology for our needs in this capacity.

    We have done a bit of testing with PLA and PETG, but turned to ABS as the filament of choice for its strength & durability for producing parts like bushings which must stand up to a lot of friction over the course of many years. The problem with ABS is that we have always struggled to get good adhesion on the first layer...and also the problem of warping for larger parts. Since most of our parts are quite small, the bigger issue is adhesion. When I am printing a batch of 40-100pcs of a part, and one piece looses adhesion, then it usually ruins many of the parts, and I must start the print over, wasting valuable time, filament, and setting back production.

    We have used extruder temps from 220-250F and bed temperatures from 100-125F...we have best results at the higher end of those numbers on the first layer...we usually print at 250F head, and 115F bed. We cover our bed with Kapton tape with no other treatment...and we tested with blue tape...and also spraying the surface with hairspray, glue, and other treatments....we have also tried cleaning between prints with various cleaners....but our best results is just Kapton tape with zero treatment or cleaning.

    So, we are VERY INTERESTED in acquiring a 3D belt printer, like the "Blackbelt" or the "White Knight" printer...but we do not need such a large build I am keeping my eye on the development of the belt printer market.

    My question right now there a filament I should try, which would be better for our purposes than ABS. Something with similar strength & durability, but with improved printing characteristics? TIA
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    I have an m2 as well, you need to put your printer in an enclosure and heat it to 100F if you are not already doing so. You also MUST have a level bed and shim the gantry if it is warped. Search airscapes in the Makergear forum for how to do this as I just did it. Also consider using a brim with 6 outlines and a part offset of .04mm this will help hold your part to the bed and will come off rather clean. Make sure you set your starting height for your layer height. There is what seems to be a complicated method to this, but once you understand how to do it, it does not take long. Having your starting height withing .02- .03 on the tight side of perfect (i.e. 3mm tall sqare is 2.97 -2.98 ) is critical for abs.

    Other material to try is PETG but it is not as stiff or slippery as ABS. I have tried nylyon but has similar issues as ABS

  3. #3
    Thanks airscapes...I forgot to mention that we also print with larger nozzles...0.50mm and 0.70mm. The 0.50mm gives us much less trouble, but our larger parts do not need high resolution, so the 0.70mm nozzle is very fast....and works for when the prints come out good.

  4. #4
    Where did you get a .7 for the M2?? I want one!

    Added a picture of my enclosure.. plexi glass and pine.. base is 3/4 MDF and 4x4 post for legs. both front and side doors have lift off hinges top lid does not. I added a thermostatic controlled personal heater to help get the temp up to 100F but the heated bed will do the it without the added heat if it is a long print job.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Sorry, it's 0.75mm -

    Nice enclosure :-)

  6. #6
    Ah, maybe I figured I would never need that last time I bought nozzles and never stored that data in my brain.. or I am just getting old.. I will have to buy another hotend and the .75.. I change the hot ends rather than nozzle.. faster and less tools.. :-)

    You may want to lower your temp.. I use Esun and MakerGrear abs and always print at 235 with very few issues. Do a Pid calibration on your hoted if you have never done one
    On the terminal with the hot end cold and off send M303 wait till done. wire down the ouptut as the printer may disconnect do to time out during the test as it takes a few minutes. Reconnect if need be and Enter the values last reported which you wrote down like below (your numbers will be different) Then send a 500 to save.

    When I switch nozzles I switch hot ends. I have run Pid cal on each hot end and saved the values in a spread sheet. When I change a nozzle size and hotend set my starting height and set the Pid for the particular hotend I have installed

    .25 M301 P17.49 I1.16 D65.95
    .35 M301 P19.97 I1.39 D71.56
    0.5 M301 P18.64 I1.24 D71.83
    Last edited by airscapes; 08-23-2019 at 03:16 PM.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    number of options, basically most things are better than bog-standard abs.

    It does depend how much you are prepared to pay for your filament.

    Also - have you tried magigoo on your print bed ?
    Easily the best and longest lasting 3rd party printing adhesive I know of.

    Filament wise, one of the best things on the market is ninjatek's Armadillo. It's a rigid polyurethane, stronger, lighter, more durable and better temperature stats than abs - and really easy to print. Well I used some, mistaking it for pla - and it printed perfectly.

    Pla plus is also an option as well as hi-temp pla.
    Another option is a different abs.
    Many companys now produce abs plus, the main benefit is claimed low to zero warping.
    it still stinks and won't print particularly fast, but it's the built in shrinkage of normal abs that causes all the hassle.

    Innofil do a thing called: abs fusion.
    They were giving 200 gram rolls away at tct a couple years ago - between us I think my mate and I collected 5 rolls :-).
    I did try it, and it still stinks - but otherwise printed really well. But as it still stinks - I'm not going to use it anytime in the forseeable future.

    I'll happily post you a 200gm roll to test - you'll pay postage, but obviously the filament is free :-)
    Sent things all round the world, but never sent anything to belize :-)

    The belt machines are extremely good. And due to the weird angle they print at you get much better strength along both the horizontal and vertical axis, as well as really long bridging - you can even print straight out horizontally without supports !
    The small black belt would probably be perfect for you.
    Not cheap, but a lot of that is down to the material they make the belt out of. I had quite a long chat with the black belt guys at the tct show, in birmingham last year. The belts are made from a mixture of woven carbon fibre and some other things they wouldn't divulge - it is patent pending after all.
    Very friendly and helpful people - well they're dutch, what do you expect :-)

    OR - and it's a pretty significant 'OR'
    you could make your own :-)
    Now that's interesting, he's using kapton tape to coat the belt. I'd be inclined to coat the kapton with magigoo anyway. Never had much luck with kapton.

    Given that you can make one for - probably - a few hundred dollars, certainly well under a thousand - versus $11,000 to buy one.
    Sounds like you should have all the tools necessary in your factory, as well as engineers to make the parts.
    Got to be worth a try, right :-)

    Make a belt machine, use abs fusion - job's a good one !
    The materials section of the 3d printing market has pretty much outstripped everything else in terms of new materials and properties - but most people still use bog standard pla, abs and pet-g. And they are cheap in comparisoon to some of the newer materials. But if it's a commercial application, definitely worth investing in better materials.
    I do like to try as many different materials as possible.
    I'm going to have another go with that fusion, just for the hell of it. hot today so all doors and window in my workshop are open :-)

    Oh yeah - you both keep typing temperatures in fahrenheit - when you actually mean centigrade.
    Small thing but really annoying to those of us sensible enough to not use a temperature scale, based on the temperature of a man's wife's armpit (look it up :-)
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 08-24-2019 at 06:33 AM.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    here's the pics of the part I got from blackbelt last year.
    This is how it came off the belt. No supports were used and it hasn't had any post processing.
    They were also printing pretty quick, so this is a 'rough' print.
    Attachment 13432
    Attachment 13433

    Attachment 13435

    Attachment 13436
    The above pic (last) is the orientation it was printed at. That long horizontal section was printed without support.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    Oh yeah - you both keep typing temperatures in fahrenheit - when you actually mean centigrade.
    Small thing but really annoying to those of us sensible enough to not use a temperature scale, based on the temperature of a man's wife's armpit (look it up :-)
    I think the only pace I use F was when referring to the enclosure temp which Is how we Yanks refer to air temperature here in the US. Today is going to be a glorious day with a high of 80F and a dew points in the 50sF :-) And no hair in the pits!

  10. #10
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    so you actually reckon 37.77 (recurring)c - is hot enough for your enclosure ?
    Seems like nearer 70 woul;d work better - at the glass point of the material shopuld stop most shrinkage.
    At 37c you'll most likely still get some shrinkage, I would have thought.

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