It has been a while since I’ve printed anything with Makerbot replicator 5th generation. Now I came back to it to get a couple of these cute fellas. I used the same filament that I used to print them a few months back with exactly the same settings, because they were already loaded to my USB.

So a couple of months back these came out perfectly, but now - this is what happened. And this is after some cleaning of the print as well. My only conclusion is that it’s because of the filament getting older, right?

The settings were:

  • Temp: 215
  • Material : very girly PLA
  • Layer height: 0.15
  • Color: no comment…

How should I go about it: increase the printing temperature? anything else I can do?

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If you use PLA or nylon, you should dry it in a baking oven for a few hours (3h should be fine). Both materials take up water (PLA up to 5% and nylon up to 25%!!), intaken water, for example moisture, weakens the print and makes the filament difficult to print). Select 40-50C for PLA and 60-70 for nylon. Keep both materials in a dry, air tight box when storing for longer time, in the best case you have some of those silica gel bags from packages, put them in the box to minimize moisture. Otherwise check, if your hardware has shown changes, is the fan working fine? There are strings on the print which might mean, that the cooling fan is running slower or maybe doesn’t even run at all during the print. In the worst case a cable has broken, but that’s unlikely. Lubricate all rods and give it another try with dry filament. You should dry the material every week or so, depending on your storage and exposure time to moisture etc. also the printer area plays a huge role, if the spool isn’t sealed while printing. If you print in a wet basement or garage, you will have to dry the filament more frequently. Cheers, Marius Breuer

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Interesting… We have a 5th gen and experienced some similar problems as well especially for the strictly horizontal layers (you dont have any such in this picture).

The smartextruder was very old and taken apart some 5 times so we ordered a new one (latest version), now it prints extremely good again, but… the thing is we used new plastics as well… :wink:

Agree with Marius… when I’m not using a spool for a long time, I put it in a sealed plastic storage box with a dessicant. If the filament has absorbed moisture, the water will turn to vapor when the filament is heated and increase pressure at the nozzle. Baking is fine to accelerate the drying but do be careful - ovens can have hot spots and PLA softens well below 215c. You’ll end up with a “solid” spool of PLA…

As for a dessicant, I use a “rechargable” one like this: