Choosing the filament for Creality Ender 3d printer

Choosing the filament for Creality Ender 3d printer

HOW TO CHOOSE FILAMENT FOR ENDER 3

Creality Ender-3 is a representative of balanced and accessible 3D printers. The model is made in an open case and is delivered, like most printers, unassembled.  It takes approximately one hour to assemble, after which the equipment needs to be stabilized and it is ready to print. Crealty Ender-3 is based on FDM technologies and supports work with many materials, including ABS, HIPS, and PLA.

The best filament for Ender 3 Pro is PLA and PETG. However, their varieties are huge, thanks to the use of admixtures of wood, nylon, metal, carbon, and many additional components, they can demonstrate different performance characteristics, for example, they can glow in the dark and serve as conductors of electricity.

Standard features

The printer is very easy to set up. The only feature is the adjustment of the slot carriage. This is important because the bottom part is only assembled, not adjusted.

It is quite easy to adjust, but it is important to pay attention to the x-axis. After all, the table has only 2 rollers of adjustment, and for the X-axis you should:

  1. Сatch its length;
  2. Set the angle of the profile relative to the left carriage;
  3. Align vertical guides in the same plane;
  4. Catch the angle of the right carriage relative to the profile;
  5. Adjust the rollers of the left and right carriage.

The choice and characteristics of filament for 3D printing

We’ll tell you how to pick the best filament for Ender 3, and what properties they may have. When choosing which one is best to use, keep in mind the purpose of the finished product.

Standard materials for 3D printing

In addition to detailed information about all types of materials, our section offers a look at how they differ from each other. This will help you better understand the cases in which they are used.

PLA: Advantages and applications

The most in-demand for home printing is PLA. Many people compare it to PETG, which also leads the way in 3D technology. However, when comparing competitive advantages, PLA wins in many ways. First and foremost, it is much easier to print because its temperature rating is noticeably lower than its counterparts. PLA comes off the base, which eliminates the acute need for a heated table. It also has no unpleasant odor during the process. This Ender 3 Pro filament is the most environmentally friendly type.

Important characteristics of PLA for 3D printing:

  • Ease of use;
  • Good strength;
  • Minimal deformation;
  • Printing – 180 to 230 C.

Given the properties of PLA for 3D technology, experts recommend not to use them for objects that will be exposed to high temperatures, because PLA loses its original characteristics at 55-60C and above.

What to do if the 3D device does not stick to the table?

First of all, you need to set the gap again and reheat or engage the reverse-pull, and when you move the retract will pull the filament to the adjusted length.

PETG

These filaments for 3D printing are familiar to every consumer because it is used for making bottles and containers. Consumers more often use PETG, as it is more practical.

The printing temperature range is 220°C to 250°C. The Ender 3 v2 filament size of PETG can change because it shrinks during the printing process. The advantage of PETG is its durability and high strength. Good rigidity makes it possible to make machine and mechanical parts, protective objects, and enclosures from PETG. An important feature is that PETG scratches to a greater extent than ABS, but at the same time exhibits greater strength.

TPE, TPU, TPC

A special group of filaments is those that demonstrate a high level of moisture resistance. The types of plastics presented in this section are capable of withstanding heavy loads. Manufactured products are used in both domestic and industrial applications. This filament for Ender 3 is ideal for medical devices, cases, shoes, toys, or clothing.

However, mentioned Ender 3 v2 filament types have one characteristic feature – it is difficult to extrude through an extruder because Ender 3 has a bowden rather than direct drive extruder setup

PVA

A specific feature of PVA is water solubility, so particularly stringent requirements for storage. If the product is damaged due to moisture, drying the plastic for a 3D printer in the oven (40-45 °C) or dehydrator (fruit dryer) will help. It is mostly used for the support in a dual extruder printer setup. Not commonly used as a single print material. As with the previous type of filament, PVA plastics are not suitable for Ender 3 or any other open-frame printers – they need an enclosure plus the hotends cannot go high in temperature.

PLA CF

This advanced thermoplastic is based on the standard PLA but has up to 10% carbon fiber in its composition. As a result, its strength and hardness are notably increased – up to 1.3 – 1.5 times in comparison with standard PLA. The increased mechanical properties mean the material is still lightweight and has a very smooth print surface that requires very little post-processing.

PLA CF plastic is used to create various casings and covers, impellers, and other engineering elements which must withstand higher mechanical loads. At the same time, the material remains environmentally friendly and does not emit any harmful fumes during printing, and the printing temperature is 200-230 °C

PETG-CF

PETG CF plastic is a strong engineering material based on PETG with the addition of carbon fiber. It has increased resistance to mechanical stress and high temperature so it can be effectively used in functional prototyping.

It is made of high-quality raw materials and reinforced with 10% carbon fiber. The reinforcement makes the material more resistant to bending and tensile stress and improves impact resistance. It’s also less sensitive to heat than standard PETG.

Carbon fiber gives another pleasant effect – when printed, the products immediately get a smooth, glossy surface and look aesthetically pleasing.

Glowing-in-the-dark

Want to create an original object that stands out in the dark? Then take a closer look at the Glow in the Dark printing method. This technology uses phosphorescent elements in combination with PLA/ABS. You can try this filament but consider using hardened steel nozzles rather than brass it twice before doing it. Since these materials can wear out brass nozzles due to their abrasive nature.

Now, let’s look at what filament for Ender 3 Pro you better not use (for a reason). The main reason is the material shrinkage that is a lot higher than PLA and PETG and thus demand enclosure to be able to print easily.

HIPS

HIPS is comfortable, it combines flexibility with excellent shape retention. This allows it to be used in the manufacture of various types of packaging. It has a higher degree of hardness than ABS and PLA, shrinkage is less than ABS, it is well machinable and adheres well, and absorbs paint well. In terms of physical properties, it is something in between the best PLA filament for ender 3 and ABS. It can also produce toxic fumes when printed. Finally, for good HIPS filament 3D printing, you should think about an enclosure or at least insulated corners that are draught-free.

ABS

If the choice of Creality Ender 3 v2 filament for working with a 3D device is made, then very often consumers buy ABS. This decision is partly justified: even though the process is more labor-intensive, it is successfully used in the production of LEGO and motorcycle equipment.

The main advantages of ABS plastic are durability and resistance to high temperatures. to work with a printing 3D device temperature: 210 ° C – 250 ° C. It is the best choice for creating phone covers and structural elements for electrical devices. It has an advantage over other Ender 3 v2 filament types because it is the strongest plastic, which makes it a universal solution.

How do I clean the 3D printer table from the plastic?

It is recommended to heat the table to 100-110°C, prepare some warm water and scrub the plastic with a cloth.

PP

Not the most comfortable filament, with a low coefficient of layer adhesion and high shrinkage. The advantages of PP filament also include lightness, flexibility, environmental friendliness, as well as resistance to chemicals.

Also susceptible to possible recycling into an upgraded specimen.

PC ABS

The printing process is difficult, but the level of rigidity is quite high, which is why PC ABS is so popular. It is used in the automotive and electronics industries. Unfortunately, this type of filament is not suitable for the Ender-3 printer since its extruder operating temperature is a maximum of 255 ℃, and PC ABS printing requires 260°C.

Nylon

Relative to other printed samples, nylon has the most optimal parameters of stiffness, durability, and flexibility. Shrinkage is low. 

According to the advantages of nylon, it is in demand in the manufacture of bearings, and other components. For quality printing, it is not recommended to use nylon with impurities, as this will contribute to increased wear.

The temperature range is 240°C to 260°C (table – 70°C to 100°C) and we remember our maximum of 255 ℃, so it’s not our choice.

We considered the main types of filament for 3D printers, as well as several not so common, and not recommended uses with Ender-3. Of course, there are many more types of Ender 3 v2 filaments, but they are not used as often, and in most cases, for more professional 3d printing.

Now let’s give some tips and talk about one of the main parts of 3D printing.

Quality table surface

The Ender 3 comes with a heated table by default. This is important for 3D printing ABS plastics. The heated table promotes good adhesion of the first layer and maintains a higher temperature in the 3D printing area, which greatly reduces the chance of deformation when printing ABS laminate parts.

Standard Ender 3 has a surface similar to Buildtak. Thanks to this coating, the first layers of ABS can easily be removed at the end of 3D printing, even without the use of an additional layer of glue or hairspray. You can also look at using PEI-coated sheets, which have also proven themselves in terms of good adhesion to the surface.

Like the Ender 3 Pro, the default table surface is a flexible magnetic surface. Such a great option for PLA plastics, but note that these coatings lose their magnetic properties at temperatures above 80 C. Glass is recommended for greater safety.

If you’ve tried everything but still can’t get the first layer to adhere well, you may have a damaged table. But that’s nothing to worry about. Consider changing to Creality Glass or some other glass surface. Moreover, consider updating the table’s adjustment springs. One can also consider automatically correcting the extruder position, but that’s a more complicated route.

We hope that the above-mentioned features of 3D printing on Ender 3 will help you. Good luck in the world of 3D printing and DIY adventure!