In our effort to continually improve our products, even our older products, we want to make sure we update everyone when we learn new information.
We’ve recently discovered that our Filabot Original, and Filabot EX2, inconsistently extrude 2.85mm PLA filament. The systems can make 2.85mm but the tolerance is not the +/- 0.05mm, it is coming in at about +/-0.09mm tolerance. We believe that the issue is due to the higher melt flow and low viscosity of PLA. Plastic grades with higher viscosity, such as ABS or PC can be extruded at 2.85mm with the current Filabot Original and Filabot EX2. In fact, both ABS and PC extrude great with those extruders.
While we have extensive internal testing at Filabot, we do not have any 3D printers that use 2.85mm filament, so we never had the need to make 2.85mm for printing. You might imagine that we don’t extrude what we can’t use, as we are, after all, a company founded to reduce waste – not create more.
We do offer 2.85mm filament for sale and for customer testing, but we do that exclusively on the Filabot EX6 system. The Filabot EX6 is drastically more powerful, therefore can create much more pressure and extrudes at a faster rate. When we make filament for our store we use the EX6. No one had asked about 2.85mm PLA prior to the release of the EX6 system.
It was only through a recent customer test that we discovered this, and we wanted to be open about the discovery. We're now updating our onboarding process for new plastics. Our test will now consist of making 1.75mm and 2.85mm filament from the new material on each of our extruder systems.
We’re also deep into testing and developing new nozzles for the Filabot Original and Filabot EX2. We believe that our new nozzle design will allow for 2.85mm PLA filament to be made without any issues. We will provide these nozzles to customers who are making 2.85mm filament at little to no cost.
After having said all of this it also raises another important question. Are other brand filament extruders being honest about being able to make 2.85mm filament in tolerance?
Here is a chart of the grades of PLA grades and what systems can extrude into 2.85mm.
|Extruder Version||4043D - PLA||3D850 - PLA||3D870 - PLA|
|Filabot Original||1.75mm Only||Not Extrudable**||Not Extrudable**|
|Filabot EX2||1.75mm and 2.85mm*||1.75mm and 2.85mm*||1.75mm and 2.85mm*|
|Filabot EX6||1.75mm and 2.85mm||1.75mm and 2.85mm||1.75mm and 2.85mm|
|* larger variance in tolerance +/- 0.08mm, not standard +/-0.05mm|
|** "Not Extrudable" means that plastic does not stay in filament from as it comes out of the nozzle, the system can melt and push the plastic out of the nozzle but will puddle. The melt flow of the polymer is too high.|