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Melting PLA under scope cover


AbsolutelyN
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Just wondering if anyone has any recommendations to prevent PLA distorting/melting? I build this really basic thing to hold my zwo eaf for use with a timer belt. It was built with eSun PLA from Amazon. It worked really well but then it clouded over and I covered the scope for a few days. When I uncovered it I found this has completely distorted - presumably from the heat of being under the scope cover.  I guess the obvious answer is to not leave it under the cover but I was quite surprised is was hot enough to do this at all - at least it made me laugh when I saw it. 

IMG_1413.jpg

Edited by AbsolutelyN
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22 minutes ago, Dr_Ju_ju said:

For me, for prints that I want to ensure remain in 'shape', I don't use PLA, except for Prusa's Prusament PLA, or better still PETG/ASA/ABS filaments.... 

have a look at FIlaprint (https://shop.3dfilaprint.com/) I find are reasonably priced & fast shipping etc... 

Brill thanks ... new to this so didn't even consider my printer could print any of those other filaments, will look into it. 

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lol - I did a test print of a stepper mount in PLA and then ended up using it. I was very happy.

Then I left it out under the cover on one of those really scorching days recently (there was clear sky the night before and clear sky the following night...).

oops;

 

2131508010_notameltedsteppermount.thumb.jpg.bead9a5acdefd67b2295e16f2b18677a.jpg

 

Lesson learned. PETG for important stuff, and better protection from the heat if I do leave it out...

Ady

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13 minutes ago, AbsolutelyN said:

Brill thanks ... new to this so didn't even consider my printer could print any of those other filaments, will look into it. 

A word of warning - some exotic materials have very specific requirements (such as a heated enclosure for ABS) so do your homework before ordering...

Ady

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3 minutes ago, adyj1 said:

A word of warning - some exotic materials have very specific requirements (such as a heated enclosure for ABS) so do your homework before ordering...

Ady

Yes I never thought my Ender 3 would print ABS but I do wonder if PETG might be an option. 

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Dr_Ju_ju said:

Also what Slicer are you using ??  & the in-fill you used on the print ?

Creality Slicer. Default infill is about 20% I think but pretty sure I increased this one to about 50% to try to make it stronger. 

Edited by AbsolutelyN
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I haven't tried the Prusia slicer, but get on well with Cura - which is what the Creality slicer is based on (a very, very old version of Cura as I understand it).

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The colour of the PLA may have some effect as well.  I printed a mounting bracket for my weather station in white PLA which has been fine outdoors for a couple of years now.  It is somewhat heftier than the brackets above, but still only 30% or perhaps even 50% infill (I can't recall which).

aag-weather-station.jpg

Of course, under a cover it probably gets warmer than out in the open which won't help.

James

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9 minutes ago, JamesF said:

The colour of the PLA may have some effect as well.  I printed a mounting bracket for my weather station in white PLA which has been fine outdoors for a couple of years now.  It is somewhat heftier than the brackets above, but still only 30% or perhaps even 50% infill (I can't recall which).

aag-weather-station.jpg

Of course, under a cover it probably gets warmer than out in the open which won't help.

James

That's a good point too, black will absorb the heat but I think here its specific to being under a cover as it happened not exposed to the elements... it wasn't even sunny when it became distorted ... its is kept under 3 black covers and if wet I have a little heated element going too so it probably gets pretty toasty under there. I have a black solar filter (20% infill) which can be in full sun all day when doing solar and not had any issues with that at all. 

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47 minutes ago, JamesF said:

Of course, under a cover it probably gets warmer than out in the open which won't help.

I basically built an oven. 

Stop sniggering at the back...

Ady

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On 13/08/2021 at 13:41, AbsolutelyN said:

When I uncovered it I found this has completely distorted - presumably from the heat of being under the scope cover. 

You got me rather worried about that. So I took my prototype "flip-side" rain detector for a test in the Andalucian sun.
I'm glad to say that although it was printed with PLA, it survived the 48° afternoon peak. 🥳flip-side-rain-detector.png.71deb18456b798969ffd69a5cfd971ac.png

 

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My homemade PLA dust cover distorted after I left it in a hot car on a sunny day so I now always print observing equipment in PETG. It’s higher temperature tolerance means I no longer worry about the heat - and it’s easily printed on my CR10. 

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Worth looking at PLA+ (it's like a mix of PLA and PTEG) but prints as easy as PLA material colour certainly has an effect as does the loading on the final print (all the deformations in this thread appear to be due to the pulling load of the belt tension). I've had PLA lose tolerance overtime by shrinking (car phone holder so was always in teh sun and heat) - I guess it's just another consideration we need to put into our 3d printing designs :)

I find PTEG tricky to be consistent on printing however I don't have the same issue with ABS which is supposed to be more tricky to get consistent! 

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  • 4 weeks later...

As JamesF already said, under a cover it gets rather hot. But in the open and backing sun white PLA will do the job.
I have lost of stuff printed in white PLA, and for many years now there's no degradation at all. And no, these parts are not in the shade at all. most of them are even all day long in the backing sun...!

Once more I'll post a few pictures of a test I performed years ago.
Tested PLA, ABS, nGen. Put it even during a heatwave all year long in the sun with a load of one kg.

Started in March (if I'm not mistaken)

These 6" rings are hollow. The perimeters are just 0.8(!)mm thick.

image.png.f97d5aeb83ecde84a2359f12b2443313.png

Started with 0.5kg

image.png.edfe57f43dcd2fb3a140d4fcbfdfa2df.png

a few weeks later I filled the bottles so now 1kg.

midsummer

image.png.9a0ffd0f3ca05ab95384dccfac0650c8.png

...and a few months later...

image.png.afff4e67fae952df25353f901aef0e6b.png

And the winner is white PLA. As you can see it is also a bit deformed. But after it was released from its load it (almost) got back to its original shape.
The others did not. Needles to say, what if I had used white ABS or nGen...? Who would have won.....??
Point is I wanted to test white PLA in the sun.

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On 13/08/2021 at 13:44, AbsolutelyN said:

Yes I never thought my Ender 3 would print ABS but I do wonder if PETG might be an option. 

I would stay clear of ABS, that often warps on the bed as you print it, PETG is pretty easy to print with and sticks really well to print surface so you should be okay.
I am not sure what temperature PETG will start to warp at though, the melting point is higher than PLA but not by much but that is not necessarily indictive of when it will start to warp.
All in all PETG is a much better, and stronger, material to be printing anything for outdoors.

I use a lot of THIS it is a good price, next day delivery and I find it prints very well.
I have bought a load of this lately as there was 30% off a couple of weeks ago on Amazon so was under £13 for 1Kg.
Just checked now and theres 40% discount so around £11 now, an absolute bargain.
image.thumb.png.f925b7dc3d63ca27c367e03c3ed0b131.png

image.png.2517cf98fb06c931b375e2d731b1acbb.png

 

Personally I never leave my scope itself out on hot days under cover. I often cover the mount (although probably not necessary, but have my whole setup so I can remove one power cable and one USB cable and then slide the whole lot off on the dovetail.

Steve

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On 20/08/2021 at 11:49, jiberjaber said:

I find PTEG tricky to be consistent on printing however I don't have the same issue with ABS which is supposed to be more tricky to get consistent! 

I have just the opposite, I can print PETG easier if anything than PLA but my ABS prints always warp from the print surface, probably some glue or similar would cure that but as I can Print PETG easily I see no reason for ABS.
Maybe some printers work better with ABS than others ?

I think with both PETG and ABS the print parameters really have a big influence over the finished print, I find PLA very forgiving and so long as the nozzle temperature is within a decent range of the melting point then most other parameters can have a pretty wide range of settings and still prints okay.
With ABS and PETG the cooling settings certainly have a huge affect, also other parameters a small change can change the finish quality quite a lot.
Sounds like you have the ABS settings tuned in just right 🙂 

Steve

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14 hours ago, teoria_del_big_bang said:

I would stay clear of ABS, that often warps on the bed as you print it, PETG is pretty easy to print with and sticks really well to print surface so you should be okay.
I am not sure what temperature PETG will start to warp at though, the melting point is higher than PLA but not by much but that is not necessarily indictive of when it will start to warp.
All in all PETG is a much better, and stronger, material to be printing anything for outdoors.

I use a lot of THIS it is a good price, next day delivery and I find it prints very well.
I have bought a load of this lately as there was 30% off a couple of weeks ago on Amazon so was under £13 for 1Kg.
Just checked now and theres 40% discount so around £11 now, an absolute bargain.
image.thumb.png.f925b7dc3d63ca27c367e03c3ed0b131.png

image.png.2517cf98fb06c931b375e2d731b1acbb.png

 

Personally I never leave my scope itself out on hot days under cover. I often cover the mount (although probably not necessary, but have my whole setup so I can remove one power cable and one USB cable and then slide the whole lot off on the dovetail.

Steve

Thanks - I've ordered some of that to try. 

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44 minutes ago, AbsolutelyN said:

Thanks - I've ordered some of that to try. 

Great, It sometimes takes a bit of tweaking in to get parameters just right, but main thing I find is getting the cooling settings right so you do not get bad stringing or blobs forming.
Blobs are the worst as any blob on the print means it is raised above the current print height and then the print head catches it and either moves the print or moves the printhead.
Any issues add to this thread and I will try to help and I am sure others will help but generally I have found it prints pretty easily.

Steve

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16 hours ago, teoria_del_big_bang said:

Just checked now and theres 40% discount so around £11 now, an absolute bargain.

'absolute bargain doesn't do it justice! Lots of colours to choose from. Just ordered a couple of rolls  (including white, of course 😉

Here's an Amazon Link directly to the offer - I don't expect the 40% voucher will be there for long.

Ady

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