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  1. #1

    PLA doesn't print well on Ender 3 Pro, using Cura

    Hi everyone,

    I have a new Ender 3 Pro printer, and am using Cura as my slicer of choice (set to PLA / ABS according to the material I'm printing with).

    ABS prints come out very well, but the PLA prints are lousy: very low resolution for some reason, and lots and lots of 'spills' and thin strands of material that gets dragged behind the extruder as it moves.

    What do you think might be the cause? Would appreciate any advice!

    You can see pictures here -




    Last edited by dup; 10-19-2020 at 06:11 AM.

  2. #2
    Staff Engineer Roberts_Clif's Avatar
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    Please Post Images.

    Probable Cause -filament adsorbed moisture.

    Solution - Using a dehydrator

    Type Temperature Glass Transition Duration
    PLA 122° F 140-150° F 8 Hours
    PETG 140° F 165-175° F 4 Hours
    ABS 158° F 220-230° F 4 Hours

  3. #3
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    try using prusa slicer (does anyone really use cura through choice ?)- and it's most likely not moisture - never had any issues with that and pla.
    I guess you'd need to have the filament somewhere really humid for some time, for that to be an issue.

    Did you change the printing temperature between abs and pla ?
    Printing pla at abs temps would cause the described problem.

    Basically give us as much information as possible.

    Just saying: 'this did not work - tell me why'.
    Without supplying any details, does not help :-)

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Roberts_Clif View Post
    Please Post Images.Probable Cause -filament adsorbed moisture.Solution - Using a dehydrator
    Type Temperature Glass Transition Duration
    PLA 122° F 140-150° F 8 Hours
    PETG 140° F 165-175° F 4 Hours
    ABS 158° F 220-230° F 4 Hours
    I don't think it's moisture. I've been using a brand new CR-PLA filament, which I opened from its wrap just a week or so ago (and immediately faced said issues).

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    try using prusa slicer (does anyone really use cura through choice ?)- and it's most likely not moisture - never had any issues with that and pla. I guess you'd need to have the filament somewhere really humid for some time, for that to be an issue. Did you change the printing temperature between abs and pla ? Printing pla at abs temps would cause the described problem. Basically give us as much information as possible. Just saying: 'this did not work - tell me why'. Without supplying any details, does not help :-)
    Ah, sorry. I'm not used to asking for help on these issues So - The printer is a new one, basically two weeks old. Creality Ender 3 Pro. It managed to print some intricate creations in ABS, but since I'm printing inside the house and with no good ventilation, I prefer working with PLA.The issue started with the CR-PLA filament (freshly opened). Lots of stringing, as you can see in the pictures. I only tried printing two things, though: the Spiderman body and the Print in Place Engine Benchmark. Both came out in pretty bad shape, with the engine being so messed up that it couldn't work properly.I'm using Cura 4.7, with a setting specifically for Creality Ender-3 Pro. Layer height = 0.2 mmInfill % = 20%With supportPrint speed = 50 mm/sPrinting temperature = 200 CBuild plate temperature = 60 CPrint Cooling is enabledFan speed = 100%Retraction is enabled, and I tried using a "retraction minimum travel" of 1.5 mm (default), 1 mm and 0.7 mm (lowest setting). The stringing was still apparent in all of these settings.The other retraction settings can be seen in this link - https://photos.app.goo.gl/HC4wfcj3kzNCK4YY9Finally, it's also possible that I have a missing layer problem, as can be seen in the following image (which was printed with a retraction minimum travel of 0.7 mm.https://photos.app.goo.gl/upeCHNWww8AV9R1n9I think that's all the information I have right now, but would love to provide you with more if you direct me.Thank you for your time and attention!
    Last edited by dup; 10-19-2020 at 02:58 PM.

  6. #6
    Staff Engineer Roberts_Clif's Avatar
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    You were printing with ABS an then switched to PLA.

    Did you Purge the ABS from the hot-end by running PLA to the ABS temp and Pushing Extra ABS from the Hot-End.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Roberts_Clif View Post
    You were printing with ABS an then switched to PLA.Did you Purge the ABS from the hot-end by running PLA to the ABS temp and Pushing Extra ABS from the Hot-End.
    I'm pretty sure I did - heated it up to 240 C, removed the ABS filament, then pushed the PLA filament through the extruder so that it (should've) caught all the remaining ABS.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    okay well at least part of the problem are your retraction settings.
    you have a bowden printer - so anything under 3mm is just not going to work well - period.

    Try setting retraction 4mm and 65mm/s retraction speed.

    secondly - never use built in standard type profiles. always best to learn how to use a slicer - but cura sucks, get prusaslicer.

    and change the retraction settings :-)
    Then get back to us.

    Creality filament is usually pretty decent stuff. so it's not likely that.
    your temps are fine.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    okay well at least part of the problem are your retraction settings. you have a bowden printer - so anything under 3mm is just not going to work well - period. Try setting retraction 4mm and 65mm/s retraction speed. secondly - never use built in standard type profiles. always best to learn how to use a slicer - but cura sucks, get prusaslicer. and change the retraction settings :-)Then get back to us. Creality filament is usually pretty decent stuff. so it's not likely that. your temps are fine.
    Thanks again for the help. I tried printing again via Cura with the new settings you recommended. I then tried to print the same thing via Prusaslicer (with the temperatures set to 210 C for the extruder, and 40 C for bed). Both prints came out with stringing, though the Prusaslicer one was a little cleaner... but still very messy.

    See image of the two side-by-side (Prusaslicer to the left, Cura to the right) - https://photos.app.goo.gl/Hx9YNXqT5gsErnLB7 So it doesn't look like it's working

    What do you think?
    Last edited by dup; 10-20-2020 at 04:08 PM.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    ewww - that's not stringing - that's either a partially blocked nozzle or a partially blocked nozzle :-)
    Or dodgy filament that's blocking the nozzle.

    have you got any other pla to try - that might be a duff roll.
    I haven't had many bad rolls, but that's pretty much exactly what happens when you get one.

    You might also need to change the nozzle. Yeah you can try and clean it up - but at about 50p a nozzle - it's usually easier just sticking a new one in.
    And if you clean it with any kind of metal tool - it usually buggers it up anyway.

    Bed temp 40c - is kinda low. bit if it sticks it sticks :-)

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