This is a summary of the 3 main factors you should keep in mind when trying to achieve satisfying extrusion results with the Filament Maker.
Foreword: defining "Successful extrusion"
In this article, it is assumed that your goal is to extrude printable filament:
- Homogeneous composition (especially when processing composites or colorants)
- Round cross-section
- Thickness deviation within an acceptable range, depending on your 3D printer: typically +/- 50 to 150 micrometers
In addition to this, extrusion should be stable over time (without any major change/incident after 30min or more). This includes repeatability from one session to the next.
Key 1: Equipment cleanliness and good condition
We compiled several regular and exceptional operations in our Maintenance Guide. There is nothing worse than struggling to improve your filament quality for two weeks, only to realize all the results are unreliable because a maintenance step was skipped.
Key 2: Material selection
Some materials can be extruded easily. Others might require weeks of finetuning. And certain grades are impossible to turn into good quality filament. While extrusion-testing is the best way to assess that, we wrote a Material Selection guide, hoping to save you time and trouble in the lab.
Key 3: Right settings
It is impossible to predict exactly which settings you will need to choose for your own special grade of material. Each grade is unique. Even two PLAs might behave quite differently. The easiest way to find the best settings for your material is to follow a step-by-step methodology as explained in chapter 6.