PLA temperature on MakerBot printers

June 11, 2014 - Comments - 0 comments

We have received a number of customer inquiries recently about the use of our PLA on MakerBot Replicators.  Our PLA works great on the original Replicator (which we have in the shop), Replicator 2, and the new 5th-Generation Replicators.  

The key to successfully using our PLA is to lower the printing temperature.  MakerBot's software uses 230ºC as the default temperature for both ABS and PLA plastic -- and it appears that MakerBot's PLA works at that higher temperature.   However, our PLA (like most other brands of PLA) works best at a much lower temperature.  We have found that in most cases, our customers get terrific prints at around 210ºC.   At 230, our PLA gets too soft and develops feeding problems or is too stringy.

Of course, the specifics of your printer, the printing environment, and the particular spool that you have will affect the best temperature.  For best results, we suggest you try different temperatures in 10-degree steps between 190 and 220, and then fine-tune the result in 5-degree steps.

Note that we left out the Replicator 2X from the list.  We've actually gotten some great prints off a 2X -- the trick seems to be to blow plenty of cool air into the printer during PLA printing -- but there are also many reports of the 2X not doing well with PLA, regardless of brand.  It seems the 2X is better suited to printing with ABS and HIPS.  (As a bonus, since the 2X has dual extruders, printing with ABS using HIPS as supports works really well!)
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