Most of my time to date has been spent calibrating and re-calibrating my hardware. Now I have fairly accurate results I am now looking at the materials side of things. I have been using Sunlu PLA and notice a marked difference in the “feel” of some and also the results. I get that the wood PLA has suspended solids and expect it to be rough (prints very well and the texture is great). However when I compare my blue and yellow filaments the blue is rougher than the yellow and sticks to the bed with no need for a brim. The yellow however is as smooth as my ABS and is hard to get it to stick. It also is prone to de-laminate on the same model and settings as my blue which works fine… Surely it cannot be the colour? Different batch maybe?

Print in enclosure, bed 50degC, extruder 210degC.

Thanks in advance for the education.

Color can definitely contribute to issues. Red can behave much different than black.
You will probably need to treat each color and brand uniquely.
210 is getting up there on temps for PLA unless it is a specialty one where the manufacturer has stated a higher than normal range.
You’d really need to provide more info such as printer, slicer, speeds etc.
What is the bed and what do you use for adhesion assistance?

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Thanks whirlybird

Nothing special about the PLA (other than the wood one).
Printer is AnetA8
Slicer is Cura (version that is embedded in Repetier Host)
Temperatures used are from the range stated on the back of the Sunlu box
Bog standard glue stick on glass over bed Anet aluminium heated bed for adhesion

I know that I need to do spool specific “tuning” and will do so I just wondered if colour was a factor before going down the wrong path.

As an aside is there a good order to the materials testing to save testing/materials/waste or is it simply print test object and alter the settings based on what is observed.

Is there a set order you use that works for you. I only ask as the calibration advice for the “hardware” starts either from extruder then do axes or the other way round depending on which site you read. The end result is the same so I presume it’s down to personal preference.

Main thing I have seen color affect is stringing. I had two PLA’s of a particular brand and the red was very stringing but the purple at the same settings didn’t string.

Main thing on testing is to make sure to have settings at basic defaults or settings known to work well such as 0.2 layer height. Not too fast on print speed, 40mm/s is pretty good but maybe lower on smaller parts. Retraction settings at recommended for the machine/material.

First is to make sure the extruder steps are calibrated or the extrusion multiplier is calibrated. It is a bit different on every machine/slicer so a little Google will help.

The next big thing on testing is to make small changes and one thing at a time. Make the change for a reason and with a result already expected and then see what you get. ex. stringing - what is the most common cause? Temp to high then maybe speed and retraction. Lower temps 5 degrees at a time and study the result.
Sometimes you may not be able to completely fix an issue but you can reduce it to a minimum.

Basically, don’t just throw stuff at it and hope something works. Define the problem, google if needed and plan a remedy. Most issues have simple, straight forward solutions.

Agreed. One at a time and little steps. Big steps don’t always give the direction of travel (anybody who doesn’t believe that has never tried to calibrate a colour monitor which has more than the number of variables a 3d printer has).

Fine tuning (or calibration) is becoming a bit like Live, Die, Repeat for me. That said it does get easier with practice and is almost (albeit a pain) part of my start up for every session. Couple of cheeky add ons, one simple curiosity and one back to the topic in hand…almost;

I have seen it reported that X & Y steps should be the same so getting the answer for one gives the other. This is right in my head but not in my experience. Is this advice correct or simply a truncated version of “it’s a good start/rough guide”?

Coding is not my forte yet (still learning the language). In the Repetier embedded version of Cura I need to code/script temperature changes per height manually. There is a brutal way to force it by pausing and restarting the print with new values but if somebody had the code already done…hint hint…I would love to read, copy use it…run into dark room whispering to my preciousssss.

The only step calibration to really worry about is for the extruder but don’t over think it all!
On main stream produced/unaltered machines the e-step values are known and shouldn’t need to be changed.