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  1. #1

    Strongest / Highest temp filament printable with stock Ender 3 Pro?

    Hi all I'm excited to learn more about my Ender 3 Pro which I'll use for both aesthetic mockups (for a design business) and functional parts (for restoration work on old cars). With regard to the later - the common PLA and PETG have a melting point right around where underhood temps often lurk and I'm looking for the stronges / highest temp resistant materials the printer can handle out of the box. Down the line I may upgrade the hot end but for now I'm curious what you all have printed with.

    A few options I think will work but aren't radically stronger would be:
    https://www.matterhackers.com/store/...kg/sk/MC2YDS13
    https://www.matterhackers.com/store/...tg/sk/MGTE765N

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Most budget printers tend to state that 240 or 250c is the maximum printing temp.

    So things like polycarbonate are realistically out of reach.

    what you can use is hi temperature pla.
    The really expensive stuff will take up to 90-100c temps.
    The proto pasta stuff claims 88c.
    this stuff claims it's good for up to 155c after post processing !
    https://globalfsd.com/htpla-composit...sta-4886-p.asp

    The standard hi-temp pla needs to be 'annealed/cured' in a an oven at low temp. This changes the crystallisation of the plastic and produces a stronger and higher temperature resistant plastic.

    https://3dinsider.com/high-temperature-pla/

    these guys sell samples so you can try it out before investing in a full spool.
    https://globalfsd.com/index.asp?function=search

  3. #3
    Much appreciated! I have been reading about the common upgrades to the Ender3Pro such as the all metal hot end and same + direct drive extruder. These are alluring and not horribly complex or expensive, but am I correct that several of the additional filaments these put in reach are also difficult to print, require a new print bed or enclosure, tweaking of settings and so forth?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    yes.
    the main one would probably be polycarbonate.

    That prints best at around 275c
    I've got a couple of spools of polymaker pc plus.
    They come with a special sheet to print it on.
    I managed to get one print - and wherever it is in the landfill site - the pc print is still permamently attached to the sheet :-)

    If you were to have a heated print enclosure - you could probbaly get away with using something a bit more reliabkle to print it on.
    theoretically you can print PC on pei or printbite.

    But basically most of the really hi-end filaments do need really hot temps for everything from the printhead to the enclosure to the bed.

  5. #5
    Thanks this is very helpful first hand knowledge.

    So if I were to upgrade to a more durable nozzle. all metal hot end and maybe direct drive I would be able to print all the 'exotic' PLA and PETGs but without special print beds and enclosures (and trouble) - the other chemestries are a heavier lift? I enjoy tweaking and learning but realistically, go long periods between printing when I get busy with work and don't want to feel daunted by needing to test and fail on many prints when I get back to the Ender.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    you can print all the pla and petg now.
    pet-g tends to go 235-250
    I've never printed pla hotter than 215.
    And the hi-temp stuff prints at normal temps.

    If you decide to go for any filament with carbon included then a hardened nozzle would be a good diea. But for the cost of one stainless steel nozzle you can probably buy 20 or 30 brass ones.
    Kinda swings and roundabouts :-)

    As far as print beds go - maybe try some magigoo - there is a special mix for all the exotics.
    The good thing with a decent 3d printing adhesive, is that you can apply it to any existing surface.
    I'm currently printing directly on the aluminium plate on my sapphire pro - till my sheet of pei arrives.

    So if and when you get round to trying some of the higher spec filaments - just get the right adhesive and use the existing bed.
    https://magigoo.com/

    I actually prefer dimafix - but I'm not sure it's still being made and the 50ml I got about 4 years ago is still going strong :-)
    You don't need much and it's really only uif you have issues.

    Actually you can still get it : https://dimafix.com/es/
    basically I got acouple of 25mm samples in the tubes about 4 years ago. And I've still got about half left.
    It lasts for a long time and stuff sticks to it when hot and not when cool. So unless you get impatient - like I often am - and remove the print while the bed is still hot , one application lasts for months.

    As far as the ender goes.
    Does the pro have dual z-axis screws ? (quick look - doesn't seem to)
    If not, that's the first thing I'd add.
    Until you do, you don't want to add any extra weight to the extruder carriage.
    And an extruder and a stepper motor is a fair bit of weight.

    Also you only really need direct drive for printing with flexible filaments. The stiffer filaments work fine through a bowden. Or the delta would never have taken off - and I love my deltas :-)
    Without the second z-screw all a direct drive extruder would do is cause to to have to print alow slower.
    Pushing a long gantry up at just one end - was never a good idea and the more moving weight you put on it the worse it will get.
    What people don't realise is that the difference between a good print and a bad one can often be measured in a few hundredths of a millimetre.
    So the unless both sides of the gantry are pusched up at the same time - there is always going to be an offset between the end being pushed and the end coasting along on some cheapo wheels.

    I would imagine you can get a kit that consists of: stepper motor, threaded rod, and the various brackets and connectors. (yes you can - but probably cheaper to make your own)
    You don't even have to have a second z-axis stepper socket on the motherboard as the z-axis motors don't need much power you can just splice the two together into the one socket. It's actually how most cheap boards handle it anyway. Two sockets linked to just the one driver.


    But that - for me - is the biggest issue with the ender design.
    here ya go: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Creality-En...Cclp%3A2334524

  7. #7
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Ha that's neat that kit uses the existing single stepper and links the two lift screws with a belt. I'd prefer two steppers - but that should work pretty well too :-)

    here's the other way to do it: https://www.ebay.com/itm/1Set-Creali....c100010.m2109

    KIt wpould be interesting to see a comparison of the two methods.
    Pretty sure there has to be a youtube video out there with one.

  8. #8
    I buy and fix a lot of stuff / tools etc and I'm impressed with the prices and availability of mods for these printers. That second link you send it a nice looking kit!

    I've bough a bunch of filament to test out, the highest-temp of them being PETG which calls for 250±10°C https://www.matterhackers.com/store/...tg/sk/MGTE765N

    Is this doable with the machine as-is or would an all metal hot end or upgraded ptfe be needed?

  9. #9
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    should work - the limit is set in the firmware.
    Most basic hotends will do 270c for short-ish periods.
    But often the firmware limits them to 240-250c to extend the life of the hotend.

    I've printed up to 265 on my delta and i noticed that the configuration file for the sapphire pro 2 - had the mas temp listed as 285c.
    As the only thing I'm likely to want to print at that temp is polycarbonate - I doubt I'll go that high - also not totally convinced the ptfe tube would take it for long print runs.
    But it is different ptfe to my usual stuff - so you never know.
    The official two trees config file actually lists max temp as 290c. But the custom firmware I'm using has it set at 285.

    Yeah a second stepper motor would be my preferred choice. I just thought the 1 into 2 conversion was a neat compromise :-)
    But for the extra weight of a direct drive - then a second stepper would be my choice.

    YOu can - of course - also make your own - fair few options on thingiverse - here's one for the two screws one stepper solution: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4245954

    what mother board is your machine using ?

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