3D steps in How to make a new Ball..

Artur5

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Maybe you need to shine much more light on your printer, why not try a lamp standard..:lol:
If some day (a very far off day.) I try to print something as huge as your lampost Mark IV ( or it's Mark V already ? :p), it will be fun to make it from rubbery filament. No storm could break it. It would just bounce back and forth.
 
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The Hat

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it will be fun to make it from rubbery filament. No storm could break it. It would just bounce back and forth.
Jasus, now why didn’t I think of that.. I could have even added fairy lights for special occasions..:lol:
 

Artur5

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Yes, but sometimes you don't know beforehand which is the good one.
Why you folks haven't been more adventurous with exotic filaments, so I could learn from your mistakes ?. :D

Small update:
This morning I tried again that naughty FLEX. I started with nozzle temp. reduced from 235 to 220ºC. Bed at 50ºC.
Printing fine for one hour and a half, then I start to see smalls gaps in the extrusion.
Printing paused, filament removed, Just a bit twisted at the end but not deformed. Wait 5 minutes; reload filament. Nozzle temp. set now to 215ºC. Print resumed and it went fine for another hour, then I had to leave and not wanting to leave it unattended, I stopped the machine.
Somehow I see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe next time I'll try 210ºC nozzle and 40ºC bed.
Update :
Somebody switched off the lights and the tunnel became dark again. Giving up on that Flex filament.

Another update :
After reading very good reviews on Amazon (yes, I know..) I purchased a spool of eSun TPU-95.
First try wasn't a total success, but not a shameful failure either. I guess it was my fault, for starting with a model quite chalenging for flexible filament: A spinning top with very small footprint, steep overhangs narrow walls, little infill and no supports at all. One fragment of the wall started to warp and drop after a while. I paused the print, cut the dropping part with fingernail scissors and resumed the print. The model finished quite well. The upper side rounded and smooth. Not a trace of the 'sponge syndrom' that plagued all my fiascos with the first brand of filament. For the record, that brand is Smartfil Flex. If you're tempted to try Flex, think twice before buying it.
 
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The Hat

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If you're tempted to try Flex, think twice before buying it.
OK, @Arthur5 what if I lose the plot altogether and decide to get a roll of this flexi filament, what sort of problems did you face when you were using it.

Which Nozzle Temp worked best that didn’t clog up and restrict the flow, and how well did it stick to the hot bed, and which temp did you settle on. Plus how dry was the roll before starting out..

All the experts tell you this way and that way, but when an non expert gets it to work, now you should listen, Arthur5 has no axe to grind and is not afraid to say he Fecked up a couple of times before getting a satisfactory print from the Flexi filament, so his advice is sound to me..

P.S. first off I’ll have to find a place to get a roll of filament.. If I decide to take the plunge, plus it will give @stratman a change for some useful in depth comments..
 

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All the experts tell you this way and that way, but when an non expert gets it to work, now you should listen,
Sometimes a majority only means that all the fools are in the same room..:p
 

Artur5

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No wonder you lost the plot. You started this thread to show us how to make a nice PLA ball and afterwards I entangled it with flexible filament of assorted brands..:D

I’ll try to stick to the point,. ( meaning : Beware ! long dull post ahead ).

That Smart Flex TPU that I purchased first has been mission impossible for me and my printer. No matter what settings I used ,temperature of nozzle, bed, retractions, cooling idler tensions, etc,
All the prints started normally, but after a while began to underextrude heavily and solid wall became crumbling sponges. I ‘baked’ the spool in the filament drier prior to using it and afterwards it was kept always in a sealed bag with desiccants. I don’t think that humidity was a factor here, because the prints started always OK.

Now, my first try with the eSun TPU-95 was quite good, in the sense that if I had used supports for the bottom probably I wouldn’t have had any issues, Even without supports, the model finished reasonably well and I couldn’t detect the slightest symptom of underextrusion,
So, the never ending problems with the first brand of flexible filament wasn’t a clogged nozzle, filament entangled in the idler gears or wrong temperatures (I tried a wide range ). No, the problem was that specific brand of filament which, for some reason seems to be incompatible with my Prusa printer and it’s not a Bowden system but a direct extruder with double gears.
That doesn’t means that this brand is total crap. Maybe with other printers, like your Enders, it will be OK, although I have serious doubts.

If you want to know my current settings for the eSun TPU-95:
Nozzle: 210ºC, bed: 50ºC. Layer fan disabled for the first 3 layers and set to 90% from the layer 4. Retraction: 0.8mm. retract/detraction speed: 25mm/s
Maximal volumetric speed : 2.5 mm3/s ( for a 0.4mm nozzle that’s 20mm/s max speed )

I read on Amazon people using much higher or lower temperatures (190 to 240ºC) with success and I expect that a hot bed isn’t really necessary with this filament.

For the record, the bed of my Prusa has a removable steel sheet coated with a layer of PEI. Printing with flex filament I apply glue stick to the sheet, not to improve adhesion but as a separation layer to avoid damage to the PEI coating when removing the print. Adhesion to the bed hasn’t been an issue neither with the ‘bad’ filament nor with the eSun.
 

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Thanks @Arthur5, it sounds like I should give Flexi filament a miss then, if it’s that much trouble to get a good print, I don’t mind when it’s a bad design, (I can fix that) but its frustrating when the printer does it continuously and I’m unable to fix it..

I was never happy using ABS, yes I got some good prints from it, but the high failure rate was very off putting so I stopped using it, and I had much the same issues using PETG, the failure rate was too high and a waste of time..

PLA is your only man, it works 99 times out of a hundred, it’s not as hard wearing as some of the other filaments but I can get by using it, the lamp standard is a good example, it failed because of design and construction methods, not because of its quality..

So the taughts of a bendy lamp post will have to wait for another day, and Ted can Pee in peace..
P.S. I won’t give up the idea of Flexi filament totally..
 

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Yes, flex filament has uses for things that need to be .. flexible :rolleyes: but it doesn’t pays the hassle most of the time. This stuff doesn’t likes overhangs, bridges, thin walls or a small footprint on the bed. If you wanted to print with flex the ball that started this thread, the base would need to have supports all around almost as high as the radius of the ball, otherwise the print would start wobbling when the nozzle passes over it, as soon as the Z axis reaches a certain height. In top of that, supports are difficult to remove afterwards.

On the other part, I’m using with success PETg from Geeetech. The finish is rougher than PLA and steep overhangs are difficult too but, while solid enough, it’s flexible up to a point, way more resilient to breaking and it stands the heat better than PLA.
I’m passing on ABS. Apart from the nasty fumes, it seems to warp easily.

What about the ‘tough boys’ ( nylon or polycarbonate) ?. Have you ever tried them or intended to ?. Very expensive, very sensitive to humidity, demanding high printing temperatures, difficult adhesion to the bed. Hmm, maybe we’ll let these to @stratman when he enters 3D world (the day will come ..:D ).
 
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