Wednesday, April 16, 2014

3D Printing : Filaments Filaments Filaments!

So today I wanted to share the latest round of filaments I've purchased over the last couple of months that I have printed a "sample chip" for.  This quick and dirty "test" is one I use to see how difficult it is to print with a filament, or even if its possible, and then gives me something to show off to anyone who wants something printed in a specific color or material.  Here is the sample chip I use which is taken directly from thingiverse:

So here are a few of the filaments that I've gathered in pic form below(you can click on all of the pics for the larger size):

showing off the tglase, qubd filaments, and transparent colors

Heat sensitive filament

goes from dark grey to a clear

Ultra Glow Filament

trying to show the ultra glow but phone camera is crap.

So as you can see I've been getting a lot of new samples lately.  Some of my initial observations are that the EcoFlexPLA and the 3d2 print (as seen in the video above) seem to be about the same in flexibility, that is to say they are more rigid than the NinjaFlex.  One flexible filament I haven't had a chance to test, as I have yet to order any, is the filaflex filaments from RECREUS.com.

One thing to notice in the last pic are the 5 sample chips with some writing on them in sharpie, those are all the same filament!  The 3d2prints clear rubber made those chips using varying temps and z resolutions.  Saddly I couldn't remember or reproduce the very clear one, top row middle, but that chip actually is about only 3 layers deep and didn't finish, so that could be the reason why its so clear.  The higher the temp it seems the more clear, but that could be also because I increased from 100 to 200 microns.  I should try out a 300 micron layer as I would expect even more clarity.

Now Ninjaflex is completely flexible, more akin to a silicone in my opinion, also comes basic colors as can be seen, but they just added new colors Sun(yellow), flamingo(hot pink), lava(orange), and water(a clearish rubber).

Also in the last pic you can  the very last two semi clear/white chips, those are UV sensitive materials which is why they have a redish/pinkish hue going across their middles.  I took my blue laser light and zapped em for a few seconds.  One is from maker geeks which supply for around $20 .25kg of the material where as if you go to zen toolworks on amazon, you get 1kg for 49.99. which I think is the better deal if you want a full spool.  

The last chip I want to talk about is the black one on the bottom row sitting all by itself.  Its also from zentoolworks and its black conductive filament!  Its rated at 10,000 ohms per cm and I haven't seen alot on this filament, one youtuber came up with a niffty wiper using copper tape and a design he made that changes the resistance and thus the readout on a 1 digit readout.

One thing I do want to say about the conductive filament is that holy crap is that stuff is a pain to clear our of your nozzle!  I imagine its because of the material they use as the chip feels like a graphite like material and seems a bit more brittle than normal ABS, but I ran some clear then red filament scraps about 5 m worth through the nozzle and there were still bits and pieces coming out, as can been seen in the first uv filament chip (which I printed right after I "thought" the nozzle was clean).  My suggestion is to use a seperate head if you plan on using the conductive material alot!

Hope you enjoyed this post and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 14, 2014

3D Printing : Colorizing your filaments!

I came across a blog from Rich @ richrap.com, who by using nylon and some rit fabric dyes was able to make some very useful vases and object with his 3d printer.  I also came across this object on thingiverse which allows you to color white or clear (or really any filament) using sharpie markers:

So I ended up picking up some sharpie markers from amazon and decide to have a go a colorizing my filaments.  Here is the video below: (bonus stay to the end and see the polymakr filaments as well as a test of the uv sensitive filaments with a blue laser! :D) 

I saw this little project on thingiverse today and figured I should include the object, its for testing out nylon and rit dyes vs how many hours you leave the samples in the dye.  Very useful to have samples for what can be done and what effects you're capable of when planning new projects or objects!

Hope you enjoyed this post and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

3D Printing : New Filament From Polymakr.com And MORE!

So yesterday I received two packages in the mail, both contained 3d filaments!  The first was from a company I hadn't heard of before prior to ordering from them called polymakr.com.  They offer the standard normal colors in PLA but also some interesting translucent colors as can be seen on the right. They claim their PolyPlus PLA is a more robust and printer friendly PLA. The polyplus PLA is a bit more in price, .75kg for $35-40 bucks, where as other providers charge the same price for 1kg of filament. I'm not sure if they're including or excluding spool weight but i'm not sure the if other manufacturers are either so it could be the same weight of actual filament.

Polymkr also has a kickstarter going on 11 days to go as of this article, for three of their newest filaments!  PolyMAX which is PLA but with ABS strength, Poly Flex (which they did give me a sample to try out!), and Polywood which is a wood "like" filaments, which is to say looks like wood, feels like wood, but isn't actually wood like some of the other companies offerings, e.g., lay-wood.

Check out the video or read the paragraph below:

A few nice things are included with the polymakr filament that other filament providers should take note of and adopt for themselves to keep their customers happy.  The first item is the inclusion of descant with all their rolls.  All of their rolls are also vacuum sealed.  In addition these same bags are re-sealable so you can store your filament in the very same bag.  Lastly the inclusion of a filament clip to stop the unraveling of the filament from the spools!  Its not much, but its those little things that will make me purchase from these guys again.  Oh and I almost forgot they also include a nice product/faq sheet with everything you need to know to get printing with their filament, temps for extruders, temps for heated beds, etc.  They also had very nice box which all the spools I ordered were stacked in with proper support.  I would much rather get this service vs some other manufacturers who might not take as much care when shipping and where you end up with items like this:

This took a massive hit to crack/crumble
the spool itself! Filament seems ok.

This filament had to be "cut away" from the remaining filament.
As you can see, the shrink wrap material is fused with the filament!
Someone in shipping was a little to eager when running the hot air gun.

Not vacuum sealed paper wrapping ripped,
containing non spool filament (it was the pricey kind too
Granted all of companies that I have dealt have indicated they are more than happy to refund or shipout new filament if I ever have any real issues, but when you see polymakr doing it the "right way" straight out of the gate, its hard not to throw them more business!

The second shipment I received contained some new (cheaper) wood filament $80 for 1 kg vs $80 for .25kg, and filaflex filament in some new and vibrant colors!  I don't have any pics of yet from those but will be printing out some sample chips to add to my collection shortly.  

I'll likely do a separate blog post to show off all of the new filaments I've printed out, at the very least in sample chip format, from the past couple of months. 

Hope you enjoyed this post and thanks for stopping by!