What to do with overheating filament?

A stable printing process

The right temperature remains the code word when making good 3D prints. After all, it remains a plastic process, where temperature is an essential component. With a higher ambient temperature, a number of things will be important to keep the printing process stable. What components these are and what you can do about them you can read here.






It’s all about temperature 

The basic principle of 3D printing is that a plastic (filament) is heated to liquefy, so that the filament can be passed through the print head. The point of temperature at which the filament begins to melt is called the glass temperature. This temperature varies from filament to filament. You can imagine that the glass temperature must therefore be reached in order to lay down good print layers. The most ideal situation is when the filament is laid down and cools immediately so that it becomes solid and cannot deform. The next layer can then be printed immediately. Finding the right balance between temperature and cooling so that the filament can flow freely through the nozzle, but also solidify in time to maintain the exact dimensions of your 3D printed part, is the trick. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Occasionally, we have to deal with overheating. This is when the temperature of the filament stays too hot for too long, resulting in it melting away and distorting your print model. We cover the most common causes of overheating, as well as the solutions here.

Not enough cooling

A common cause of overheating is that the filament is not cooled fast enough when it is poured. The filament coming out of the extruder head can be as high as 250°C, depending on the filament being printed. For many types of filament, it is good to cool the layers immediately after depositing, this prevents deformation of the layers. The dddrop printers are equipped with multiple fans on the extruder head and in the back of the extruder head, so they can cool the product directly.  Two fans in the back of the cabinet are designed to control the temperature during the cabinet printing process. Watch out for too much cooling. There are plastics such as ABS, PA-12 & PC that cannot withstand temperature fluctuations. It causes shrinkage and makes the plastic warp.

To high extruder temperature

If fan cooling is not working (enough) you can try lowering the temperature of the extruder head to print at a lower temperature. Start with a reduction of up to 10 degrees Celsius. Note: do not lower the temperature too much, you then run the risk that the filament does not run through the extruder head because it is not liquid enough. At that point you will have to deal with a clogged nozzle.

To be (too) fast

If the layers are printed in too quick succession, there may not be enough time in between to allow the previous layer to cool sufficiently. This usually occurs when printing very small models, as the layers here are deposited in a few seconds. Again, even with a cooling fan, the layers may not be cooled down fast enough. You can choose to adjust the print speed manually in Simplify3D. You can set the software to adjust the print speed for layers that take less than 15 seconds to print. The print speed for these small layers is then automatically slowed down.

Tip: Perhaps not the most obvious option, but when printing small models you may choose to have multiple models on the board at once. The RAPID ONE has a large volume, which creates a lot of print space on the print bed. By printing multiple models at once, you create more time between depositing the different layers. The extruder head goes to the other models first before the next layer is deposited. This can give just enough time for the layers to cool sufficiently.

The advantage of the dddrop is that all filaments come with ready-made FFF profiles. These are settings that come with the filament. All cooling values are focused on the filament and calculated at room temperature. If the ambient temperature does increase, you can adjust these values at any time with, if necessary, support from our dddrop helpdesk.