Project: Experiments in Watermelon Filament

It takes a while to get to know all the quirks of your 3D printer and filament well. We thought we’d add to the knowledge base and share what we’ve learned about using theĀ eSun 1.75mm PLA filament in Glass Watermelon Red on our Kossel Pro delta style 3D printer.

After much experimentation we’ve come to the conclusion that eSun PLA Glass filament is a challenging material when printing conventional 3D objects. Frequent retraction during print moves or when changing layers seems to cause this material to jam inside the print head which can lead to plastic starvation. The result can leave your print looking washed out with voids in the 3D object where no material was successfully extruded.

Where this filament shines is when printing in single walled vase mode! We managed to get some stunning prints (shown below) that highlight what this filament can look like when you give it a constant and continuous extruding profile. We used Simplify3D to slice and create our GCode, but Slic3r is also a good choice due to continuously raising the Z height as it prints in vase mode. This gives you the best results as no weird retraction/move glitches appear in your printed model.

 

In the pictures above and below we can see just how nice the glass filament looks. The odd striations and glitches in our print are primarily due to an issue we have with the linear rails that the print head slides on. These issues may not occur on your own prints.

The vase below was created with the single layer vase mode enabled, but the model produces each fin with a stroke out to the edge of the fin and then a stroke back to the center. This gives the print a deeper pink color which we found quite nice.

The rocket ship below was also printed in single layer vase mode, but our printer botched the print a bit with significant vibration issues.

Like stated in the beginning, our printer is a delta style printer that uses a bowden tube to feed the PLA into the print head. This issue may not occur as much or at all on any printer that feeds the material directly into the print head. Regardless, the next time you are thinking of picking up a roll of our eSun PLA glass filament keep in mind what type of printing you want to do!

If you’ve successfully printed with our glass PLA and would like to prove us wrong feel free to send a photo of your print to sales@solarbotics.com and we will feature it in a future blog post. Don’t miss the opportunity to make us eat our words!