Materials Guide

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The next guide material is taken from the website

We are pleased to present this guide to all the materials we've tested to date with Z-Temp™. General Notes:
  • We print mechanical parts with some of these materials every day and know them quite well. Due to time constraints, however, we are not able to test every material extensively. Those we are not highly familiar with are noted in the Remarks column, and "5-star" ratings have been reserved for the materials we know best.
  • The Zortrax™ v2 hot end should be used for all materials except those that are ABS-based.
  • The shim supplied with your Z-Temp™ should be used with most PLA materials (PolyMax being an exception). If you don't use the shim, you may experience feed stepper clicking on the first layer due to back-pressure, and/or the layers will not be where the z-code expects them to be (vertically speaking), resulting in problems.
  • We use the Z-ABS™ slicing profile almost exclusively. It provides more layer thickness options than other profiles, and we have not seen significant differences in printing speed, retraction etc. - not there aren't any, but we haven't noticed. Also, the nominal extrusion temperature of Z-ABS has remained more constant at 275ºC than other profiles, which seem to change from Z-Suite version to version. This is why most of the temperatures listed end in "5", since Z-Temp can only step in increments of 10º. If you really need a temperature multiple of 10 degrees you can use a profile, like Z-HIPS, whose nominal temp is 260º under Z-Suite 1.3.x.
  • We print with dual fans blowing on the print (printable dual fan mount here), and typically use a 80-100% manual fan setting for PLA. Be aware, however, that when the fans first start at the end of raft printing, the extruder temperature can drop as much as 10ºC and can take as long as five minutes to recover to the set temperature. When using materials with a narrow usable temperature range this can cause extrusion failure. The "Auto" fan setting in Z-Suite actually results in higher airflow levels than 100% manual fan, and should generally not be used for PLA.
  • We use layer thicknesses of 190 and 290µ in our testing.
  • Material color can have a surprisingly large effect on results; we hypothesize that it may be related to differences in absorption of IR (heat) radiation inside the extruder. An example is Octave PLA, where we've found that gray and black are consistently wonderful and green works fine, but we had trouble getting white to adhere to itself. Others are EasyWood™, where "Ebony" requires a higher temperature than "Coconut", and Protopasta "Magnetic Iron" prints fine at 205-225º, whereas their Stainless Steel seems to require 235º.
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