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Thread: Filament Review

  1. #151
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    Amazon... here ... but I doubt this will solve your issue.
    I'm thinking that the 3D Solutech filament is more sensitive to the feed system then the 3DS filament.
    Remember my complaining about my Neon Orange ABS as part of an original setup? It always printed "weak" prints... meaning poor layer to layer adhesion.
    When I moved it to the B2B setup, I was getting perfect prints even after a year of sitting idle.

    I really do understand your frustration, MM.

    What would it cost to send me a length of your filament?
    I'm in Oregon at zip 97124.

    If it's the filament, 3D Solutech will replace it. I can add voice to your claim.

    And I am in full agreement that there are incompatible PLA filaments.
    They all have the same characteristic; they are hard and often have a grainy texture to them.
    These filament will not work in Cube3's due to lack of temperature range. Temp modifiers would probably solve that.
    I've had one very hard filament with a smooth texture that required a driver hack (the physical gear thingy; not F/W).
    This silver PLA sat around in my office for nearly a year. When I picked it up for the DIY mods, I heard the driver mech straining to feed, but it would melt fine.
    Put a groove in the driver, and no more strain. I ran the entire remaining Kg with that special driver. This was WYZ filament or something like that.

    If you have the patience to get there from here, I will help as I can. If the bottom line is to send you a rescue kit, I will.
    Last edited by TommyDee; 08-09-2018 at 01:46 AM.

  2. #152
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    hey TD, I appreciate your reply. I am not going to bother with it anymore. The filament I got from Polymaker is working great for me. I am litterally just going to toss the 3D solutech into the recycling bin. I already sent them an e-mail, and I didn't get the response I was looking for, and don't want to bother putting up a fight. I also have a feeling that the nozzel is messed up some how, so I ordered a new cartridge.

    No need to send me anything TD, or vice versa.

  3. #153
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    Fair enough.
    I was thinking to do a wholesale replacement of the entire chain to see if that solved the issue.
    Again, I know all about the hunt for reliable filament.
    I am sorry this one didn't perform for you.

    The nozzle offer stands if you change your mind.

    BTW: Did you see "Michael Garza" on facebook is working on a commercial tip offer (in brass) for the Cube 3?

  4. #154
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    What?? NICE!!! That's awesome! I just applied to be a member for the page.

  5. #155
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    This is interesting...

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Great, now I need to get some nylon filament

    We should be able to thermal cycle the cube 3 with "pause/resume" cycles.
    Right now, I am reserving PLA and ABS nozzles as dedicated nozzles.
    This process should work better than my current "reverse push" process... as in more complete.
    From what I've seen come out of my tips, this kind of maintenance should be expected.
    If for no other reason, the dust that we drag into the tip.
    Last edited by TommyDee; 08-15-2018 at 10:44 PM.

  6. #156
    Administrator bolsoncerrado's Avatar
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    Yeah cold pulls are as ancient as 3d printing itself hehe

  7. #157
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    And now we can do this with the Cube 3

    - - - - - - - - - -

    I am still working on obtaining review filament from MakeShaper.

    Today I got the message from MakeShaper that they shipped the sample filament.
    I requested a variety of standard PLA (not wanting to test what a Cube3 can't handle without Herculean efforts) and a minimal sample of ABS (just to see if it is like 3DS). Remember, these guys are offering Cube, Cube 2, CubeX and Cube|Pro cartridges in PLA and ABS (and likely others).
    I do like the stock 3DS filament! And considering all the ABS failures I've had for non-3DS ABS filaments, I really want to know if their ABS is the same or even equivalent.

    As you know, my go-to for PLA today (since PrintRBot tanked) is 3D Solutech. However, their ABS is luck of the draw. And other reports of PLA filament problems along with some evidence that their "Made in America" stamp is in this case likely deceptive. That -does- matter to me and I need to get to the bottom of this report.
    So, is MakeShaper a new reliable lead into Cube 3 filaments? Stay tuned.

    As for my ABS harvesting from 3DS CubeX cartridges test, I might caution you as to keeping the filament in the neighborhood of 4 years old max. My 2013 ABS Red is a little less reliable. Not by much, but layer adhesion appears to be affected in the first series of courses. Just an update to make sure we understand the limitations. There seems to be a lot of old stock out there. There is nothing cost-effective in the harvest process. There just isn't much filament in 3DS cartridges. As a quick calculation, Cube 2 carts appear to hold right at 10 oz of filament which is less than 1/3 Kg. CubeX seems to hold around a pound or possibly 1/2Kg at best. This means that with the current asking prices with shipping is around $50/Kg for 3DS branded ABS from old stock. Consider this when you find a reasonable auction offer.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    I received generous sampling of the MakeShaper filament.


    A couple of interesting first observations...


    Pro: MakeShaper appears to use Pantone color codes to control their color. This is a huge plus for those of us that need specific color control.
    Considering the ABS is "Natural", no color is assigned. However, I will say that I always considered "natural" the same as "clear translucent". Now I am seeing the error of my ways. But I have to tell you, this "natural" color of ABS is to die for! This is the ivory/bone/cream/off-white I've been looking for.

    Did you know ABS and PLA weigh up differently?
    If you look closely on the label you can see the length of the filament in feet and meters. They don't match! I find that interesting but of little use.

    There is some kind of lot code or serialization going on with a discrete label. personally, I want to see the date the filament was run and the day it was spooled up. So this I will post as a con.

    Is it me or is the temperature range on the ABS a little low for the MakeShaper ABS filament? It will be difficult to write a good review on the ABS considering the Cube 3 puts out 260*C.

    I will need to check with MakeShaper to confirm this filament is the same as they put in their CubePro and Cube2 cartridge.
    As we all know, 3D Systems made the ABS temperature 260*C in the Cube3 which far exceeds this ABS filament's upper limit.
    Also, in going through the manuals of the Cube 2 and CubePro, they too seem to provide no means to modify the filament temperature.

    I will try to investigate this line of thinking further with MakeShaper.

    I opted to start my sampling with the ABS. Again, I LOVE this color! My tests will be with my Stash Puzzles since I have a huge amount of recent experience with these, both in ABS and PLA and several configurations.


    The output is faithful to the original. No hiccups on the print whatsoever. One of the tests is obviously build plate adhesion, and in that regard, I am using Cube Glue on LokBuild. Adhesion was on par with the 3D Systems and Inland ABS filament. These puzzle pieces have a custom sidewalk that I added. Removing the sidewalk from the prints was unremarkable. The print remained flat throughout the initial 2 hours print and subsequent 1.5 hr prints.

    Also remember that I am using the universal B2B cartridge solution. This allows me to change filaments mid-print for additional testing.


    - - - - - - - - - -

    I will need to hold further comment until such time that I can play with the G-code on a different printer to remain within the recommended temperature range.
    I can tell you at this point that this filament is not "the same" as the 3D Systems ABS filament. This is easily noted with "turn-back voids" at the seams.

    I cannot comment on opaqueness of the MakeShaper ABS material compared to 3D Systems ABS as this is the natural color and I don't have that from 3D Systems.
    But I will say that this filament does exhibit decent print definition. There is nothing not to like about how this filament presents itself.
    However, and sadly, there are artifacts in the MakeShaper ABS prints that I've seen with other ABS filaments that are quite detrimental to more delicate prints.

    I can say with certainty that 3D Systems ABS filament is the only solid performer in the Cube 3 by leaps and bounds comparing the narrow sampling of 5 manufacturers.
    I am certain that this is not the fault of the filaments I've tested to date but rather a 3D Systems secret ingredient in the filament and/or code manipulation with regard to temperature. This could well be part of 3D Systems maintaining control over their customer base.
    Glad this is not so prevalent with PLA!

    Speaking of PLA... printing parts with the MakeShaper Red PLA as I type.
    Good news for the first report; The MakeShaper Red PLA readily adhered to the LokBuild without aide.
    Also looking hopeful for their opaqueness quotient. I don't have 3D Systems Red PLA but I do have their red ABS to compare.
    Last edited by TommyDee; 08-20-2018 at 09:42 PM.

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  9. #158
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    Nice! Thanks for the info

  10. #159
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    Welcome to the forum, Gabriel!

    Continuing the PLA review, I can tell you that the color of this filament is very nice. Although the picture does it no justice, this is 3D Systems ABS with the MakeShaper PLA. The 3D Systems filament is a bit darker (as in the antique matte red) compared to the MakeShaper candy apple red. What I don't see is that glassy translucency that you often see with cheaper filaments. Great definition in this case.


    I did find some anomalies in the print. I am printing a new set now to see if it was a maintenance issue.

    Just to be clear about my setup for the PLA test, it is another printer. A workhorse that is my "original" printer. Original in quotes only due to the fact that it was replaced twice under warranty. I've been printing all kinds of PLA with this ABS B2B nozzle without any concern or notable failures. Many puzzle pieces too. I know what to expect from this printer. Or at least I thought I did.

    I decided to do the due diligence and perform the routine maintenance that I have yet to assign a schedule to. Washed the LokBuild, of course... which helped. Also did the tip maintenance that I hadn't done for a month or so. Odd thing... it has been oozing a very sticky pitch! (?) I know we've seen this in fresh cartridge builds out of the factory. I also know that I religiously remove this stuff from every tip before building it into the B2B nozzle. Is this stuff oozing out of filaments? I don't know, but I find it odd.

    Anyway, I cleaned the tip and the only thing that came out of it was nice clean red PLA filament. Now I am printing two more puzzle pieces to see how they come out.

    Here is the view from the LokBuild side:


    - - - - - - - - - -

    At some point I will do the "re-spooling test". I don't see that this filament will be any problem with regard to spool transfer. They are both quite supple.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    The cleaning seemed to have helped. I did go back and confirm that the goo is acetone soluble. I'll have to start soaking my B2B conversion nozzles in acetone and see if this stuff comes back. If it does, it is an ingredient in PLA filament. Somehow I doubt that though.

    Okay, the test is quite successful. The print came out as expected with the little quirks I knew would be there but that has nothing to do with the filament.

    Notice that the 2 parts remained perfectly flat during the 1.5 hr print. One has the custom sidewalk and one has no sidewalk. Adhesion to LokBuild was strong, on par with what I've experienced with 3D Systems' PLA.


    I'll be spooling this into a Cube3 cartridge later and see if it lasts. Again, this should be for semantics only as I see no reason this would fail the filament.
    As a reminder, I have been told by manufacturers not to re-spool their filaments... so even if it does fail, it is not necessarily an issue manufacturers wish to deal with.

    Here is a glamour shot of the two filaments I was testing. And as a side note, the ABS version of these puzzles are a lot more satisfying to hold and play with.


    The MakeShaper PLA has a rating of 190-215*C. The Cube 3 runs PLA at 210*C during the print but the 1st layer is set to 235*C. I didn't see any ill effects from this. As a matter of fact, the sidewalk came away from the print beautifully. If you got control of elephant foot with your prints, you should experience the very same.


    As to stringing, this filament did very well. I saw a little fuzz in one corner but for the most part, cleaner than other filaments I've been running on this printer.
    And as a reminder to all... I don't do temperature changes to my .cube3 files. I do these tests based solely on what the stock printer will do with the only modifications that mean anything is having a more straight forward filament delivery system dubbed "Back to Basics" or B2B. If your system is performing optimally, MakeShaper's standard PLA should work nicely in your machine too. But I will say that the material is not quite the same as 3D Systems PLA. I do like the opaqueness of this filament, I do like the fact that they are willing to assign Pantone colors to the filament. It is not printed on the spool, but it is printed on the box and is noted on their product web site. I think the only other manufacturer that I've seen this on is Hatchbox. I also find that MakeShaper's prices are well in line with other decent filaments.

    I'm going to keep running this red and will provide an update on the long term (more variety) viability. For now, I'll give the PLA a thumbs up.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Got the stock cartridge reloaded with the MakeShaper PLA and went and printed this...


    ...and it assembled right on the build plate without any extra effort


    That speaks both to the dimensional accuracy and the tac on the LokBuild.

    Bravo on both counts.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    This is Soooooooooo interesting that everyone should give this a little more than a glance.

    I just found the one destructive "issue" with the "proprietariness" of the Cube3 slicer...

    First of all, the MakeShaper ABS is excellent! It is just not "the same" as 3DS ABS.
    How do I know this?

    I found the problem I was having on what i am calling "turnbacks"...
    It is in fact the start of a new layer that fails to extrude.

    This "issue" causes really poor prints. Where the 3DS filament leaves blobs, the MakeShaper filament leaves voids.

    These "voids" are not new to me. I've been seeing this in many ABS prints using 3rd party ABS filaments.
    3D Solutech was one that didn't do this, but their ABS is highly suspect in other areas, such as consistency in manufacturing.

    The problem seems to be, and I've tested and confirmed the result, that the with every new layer, the FW does a stop extrusion function. Not only that, it also does a retract function. The stop extrusion is not an issue, but the retraction is!

    How did I prove this? Simple, I ran a bowden tube full of filament -not- attached to the spool. Meaning, the spool's filament pushed, but did not retract.
    Sure enough, problem solved!


    left: Cooling tower built for 3 hour print... no intervention
    mid: Just this part w/ no intervention
    right: Up to half way was fed with unconnected filament (push, no pull)
    1/2-3/4 way up... default push and pull..
    3/4-top unconnected again.

    If you look carefully, you can see where the split allowed a little air to enter.

    If you think about this a little, and you bring back some of the things seen when you've pulled a hot filament...
    you will see that this is a thermal issue. Not just the temperature range of the filament, but the thermal mass at the nozzle.

    Normally you would not go there if you have a functional filament (3D Systems ABS) making all other material suspect.
    In fact, it is a fluke. And one that takes a little concentration to grasp.

    Back story;
    When I pull filament from the Cube3, I get a very strange 'pull'. It is normally a 1/4-5/16" long smooth 'bulb'; a little neck-down zone; followed by the tractor-ed filament.

    What this tells me is that when the filament retracts, it doesn't clear the melt in the tip; it simple stretches a segment above the melt.
    This means nothing affects the plastic that is read to extrude.

    In comes a different formulation of ABS. It doesn't become soft say 3/8" above the aperture. A retract pulls back -all- the melt; draws in air; and when the next extrude command comes along, the melt has now -drawn in air -requires movement to get back tot he aperture -and has to melt again... all as the nozzle is already moving across the part. Evidence Inland... pushes plosive into the print regardless of dehumidifying status; MakeShaper causes voids after retractions.

    This is the routine that the system goes through to go to the next layer:
    ...G1 X-9.394 Y-1.731 Z0.7975 F900.0
    G1 X-9.358 Y-2.661 Z0.7975 F900.0
    ^LayerTime: 0.7975 5.308 34.640
    M106 P100
    #QuickLayer P25.05 O50.00 D1
    M104 S260 P1
    M228 P0 S400
    M227 P400 S400 G750 F1000
    #Vector T22
    G1 X-9.956 Y-2.744 Z0.9900 F8000.0
    M108 S10.5
    G1 X-9.986 Y-2.246 Z0.9900 F900.0
    G1 X-9.996 Y-1.749 Z0.9900 F900.0

    That is:
    move to while extruding (G1)
    turn off extruders (M103)
    turn fan off (M107)
    turn fan on (M106) to value "100"
    Quicklayer undefined!
    Set extruder temperature to 260 degrees bu the P1 option is puzzling (M104)
    Disable reverse and prime (M228) Not sure what the P and S modifiers are about
    Enable reverse and prime (M227) THIS IS WHERE THE PROBLEM LIES
    Fan off again (M107)
    Whatever "vector" does... thermal sensing of the second extruder (?)
    Move to position (G1)
    Set extruder speed (M108)
    Turn extruder on and undo retract (M101)
    Move to position... etc... etc... (G1)

    I know we've all complained fussed over "Blobs" before.
    And I know I've asked several times where there is a pause in the print file that could cause this problem.
    Since I can now look at these files, I can clearly see how all that housekeeping was simply monkeying around by 3DS to get their little printer to work.

    So as I see it, either we strike gold on a particular manufacturer of ABS or we find a way to easily recompile these BFB files.
    This entire routine can be replaced with a simple "extrude nothing-move to location-resume extrude".
    At this point I am willing to bet almost any ABS would function nicely after making this change.

    As for manually loading filaments the length of the bowden tube, I dread that!
    But it works and will work well for small prints.
    The pause/resume will be a risk in this method as "any" trapped air will come out in the print.

    So what did 3DS do differently in their formulation? I suspect they have better heat transfer in the material.

    A historical note:
    I've purchased a 1/2 dozen old 3DS ABS cartridges. Not one has a problem with this retraction.
    3D Solutech's fun pack with 12 colors; also worked well when the filament was a quality filament. About 1/2 the pack. Poor quality control at the factory.
    Inland always shows "plosives"... loud pops during printing and holes in the shell of the part.
    MakeShaper leaves voids; does not recover quick enough at every layer. Proven solution is to remove the ability to retract the filament.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    ...and the more I think about this, the more things become obvious...

    If (and I am quite confident that this is true) the melt bulb remains in tact and the filament above the melt simply stretches, this also speak volumes of why we get blobs!
    It is the air that is now trapped above the melt that is expanding from heat... DUH!

    I know this will require some kind of graphic explanation, but I get it now. Technically, we need a larger heat reservoir. This is what keeps me from understanding of the Cube2, CubeX, or Cube|Pro exhibit this issue or if this weird slicer configuration is just for the Cube3.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Here is the hotend core without any cooling tower. This is ABS right on the glue w/ no sidewalk. This is the result with extraction disabled. I guess this is also a destringing technique? Maybe we can disable that in Cube3?


    I am going to bet that these settings are different in 3D Builder considering it too makes pretty good ABS prints.

    Not good enough, however. I did test this option with this filament. Still had turn_back voids.
    Now I am getting a good seam if not ever so slightly over-extruded.
    I also need to back off my gap another 30 microns. Somehow it flows generously when starting.
    That could well be due to the out of range temperature.
    Last edited by TommyDee; 09-02-2018 at 06:15 PM.

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  12. #160
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    @TommyDee: Great review! Lots of good info.

    I offer a couple of comments and a question (I've used >> << to enclose the statement I refer to):

    >>As we all know, 3D Systems made the ABS temperature 260*C in the Cube3 which far exceeds this ABS filament's upper limit.<<

    I've been using MakeShaper ABS (black) for a while, with good results - I like it. I usually modify the temperature to 245 for the first layer then 240 for the remainder. I have printed some parts using the Ekocycle slicer without modifying temps, which prints at 250, also with good results. It appears this filament is pretty forgiving about the higher temps.

    >>Where the 3DS filament leaves blobs, the MakeShaper filament leaves voids.<<

    So far, I have not seen this void problem with my MakeShaper ABS. I generally use either
    a)CubePrint Cube3 slicer with ABS (and change temperature); or
    b)CubePrint Ekocycle slicer and convert the file to ABS. (I use Notepad++ to change the printer type and material code lines in the bfb file.)

    >>How did I prove this? Simple, I ran a bowden tube full of filament -not- attached to the spool. Meaning, the spool's filament pushed, but did not retract.<<

    I don't grasp what you have done here. How was the 'not attached' filament fed to the printhead? Did it not go thru the gripper gear, in which case wouldn't it have performed the normal retract/extract movements? How would 'not attached to the spool' make any difference to the motion of the drive gear?

    >>M104 S260 P1<<
    >> Set extruder temperature to 260 degrees bu the P1 option is puzzling (M104)<<

    I believe the P1 tells the firmware to continue without waiting for the temperature to reach the specified value. In this case, you will always find an M104 Sxxx (without P1) with an equal or higher temp somewhere before this. The firmware waits there until the temp reaches the xxx value. I arrived at this by timing the motions during the initialization procedure, and with some test files.

    >>Whatever "vector" does... thermal sensing of the second extruder (?)<<

    I'm convinced all the lines beginning with # are simply comments, for documentation purposes. I've added comments this way with no effect on the printing.

    Again, thanks for sharing your work and knowhow!



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