Filament consistency issue. Thoughts please

I have a question about filament consistency & quality which maybe the more seasoned printers can address:

I’ve only purchased 3 rolls of filament and used starter spools which were included with my V3 KE so I don’t have any experience or expectations.

Below is an image of a lithophane test I was printing which I had to swap filament because it ran out. I made no interim adjustments. I just pushed “pause” and replaced with the same exact type or at least I thought so. Both spools were Creality Hyper PLA branded. The spool that eventually ran out came in a two pack (black/white) and the new spool was a “single”.

Upon completion I was confused as to the huge discrepancy between the spools. The bottom portion printed with much greater definition and density while the new one lacked detail and density.

I know why it cracked at the spool change and I’m aware of other the other printing issues which are exclusive to my Litho prints but what’s with the huge difference in the filament? Does the consistency of filaments vary that great within one brand or is this a mislabeled spool or what? Also, what’s the “best” (most consistent) PLA (white) you’ve all used that is reasonably priced?
Thanks :grinning:

Maybe it’s batch related like paint or wallpaper? Dunno about the best filament but in general I have stuck with Sunlu for PLA/PETG and Overture for TPU. I have some Flashforge but that is troublesome with being brittle and bed adhesion so wouldn’t recommend that.

Most likely as you said.

The latest print just figuratively and literally came off the bed even with a generous brim. I’ve not had that happen with any of my prints since my replacement arrived. The actual (printed) filament feels different too. More “delicate” than the other spool. I think I may have a “defective” spool (?)

The frustrating this is if it finished it would have been the smoothest Litho I printed. :face_with_diagonal_mouth:

I think I will try Sunlu next time. Trial & error… :roll_eyes:

Thanks for the feedback.

If you get on with Sunlu filament they sometimes have a bulk buy sale. I went halves with a friend, 5 x 1KG rolls each for £90. Almost half price rolls, think it was limited colours though.

I paid $19 (£15) for a 1kg spool of Hyper PLA which seems like a good price. I’m sure the prices are higher in the UK though.I liked the idea of the Hyper PLA because it’s rated for up to 600mm/s.

I’m re printing the failed print but with a larger outer brim plus inner brim for added adhesion. It’s a 2.5 hour print at a speed of 300mm/s which I gather is fast.

Yes it is more expensive on the UK Creality site, but I could buy it on Amazon US for cheaper and get free delivery, I’ve done that before for a particular colour that was out of stock here. Sneaky :grin:

Hi @Lensman
Just curious… Do you dry any of your filaments.? Even from the factory or warehouse you never know how long they have been stored or the conditions.

Good point, well made. As a tip get a filament dryer that you can use whilst the printer is running. All 4 of my printers have a filament dryer that they spool directly from. Throw in some dessicant bags in there too, they won’t burn but help keep things dry when the heating is off. I have 2 Sunlu S1 dryers and 2 Fixdry N2 dryers, the Fixdry I had to modify for a top outlet hole something the Sunlu already has.

Yes, I just bought a Comgrow 2 spool with feeds on the top and store them there. I actually have forced air heating and my residence humidity is extremely low. I store my two spools in there (living large with the variety of filaments as you can see). I haven’t set up the direct feed yet as I need to design and print something that will fit into/onto the spool holder and clean feed into the filament sensor.

Good tip about the desiccant bags. I have plenty of those lying around. I actually finished my second print a few minutes ago. While it stuck throughout the printing I did notice spots where it pulled up which was clearly the problem with the first try. I checked with my infrared thermometer and sure enough there were some cool spots. I hope I don’t have that issue again like I did with my original.

Coincidentally the Litho was the smoothest yet however the top got messed up due to shaking. Any experience with printing Lithophanes?

I have these on both my SE and KE.

But need to redesign it for the filament sensor, disconnected on the KE for now. Currently running it with Capricorn tube but I am going to use a bigger bore tube as it is a little tight, the tube is only for guiding anyway.

That looks like a workable design to mod for the KE. I’ll have to play around with it. Thank you! BTW what are the benefits of using a tube vs none for the filament? Rubbing up against the frame or feeder I guess?

I just looked up the Sunlu here in the States and it’s slightly cheaper than Creality at $18. A good reason for me to give it a go. Saving my pennies :wink:

Just guides the filament, I have the dryer on the desk. I have some 6mm tube that I will be using next design. Just to give less resistance, but it prints just fine with normal Capricorn tube.

I have a dehumidifier that keeps the whole room that I work in at a low humidity.
Also have a dehydrator that’s normally used for food and use it for rolls that just got delivered.

I’m wondering if a room dehumidifier would work as well as a single dryer…??? :thinking:
It’s a 600sq ft room…

Might work but also might get uncomfortable (itchy skin) if it’s too low in the room.

I live about a mile from the sea, my printers are in wooden shed at the bottom of the garden by a woodland, the humidity is kinda high. Not had problems with wet filament now I have the dryers. Think a room dehumidifier might be a bit overkill unless you live in one of those hot humid states in the deep south.

Just checked my drier and it is indicating that my shed/workshop/crafting house is a soggy 83% humidity. Mostly good prints and minimal stringing which is the normal problem with wet filament.

Greasy finger prints perhaps? i give my print beds a regular wipe of isopropyl and every so often a wash with soap and water then another wipe with isopropyl. Gotta be a clean print surface for best adhesion.

Yes, I always wipe my bed with IPA (for the most part) and I never touch the bed with bare hands when I can help it.

I believe I have discovered it was due to a new air purifier placed too close to the printer. I just moved the purifier and the problem seems to have been minimized. While there is still very slight lifting it nowhere near what it was. Unfortunately there’s nowhere in my printing room that doesn’t have constant air circulation so I may have to look into building an enclosure of some sort to keep the “breeze” off of it.