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3D Printing With Color Changing PLA Filament




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MakerGeeks Description

Our Thermochrome Grey EcoPLA™ filament is a revolutionary new colour-changing 1.75mm PLA filament. This Thermochrome Grey EcoPLA™ filament has an opaque anthracite grey colour when the temperature of the material is below 29° C. However, when the material reaches a temperature of 29° C, or above, it will change into a transparent colour….!
This amazing Thermochrome Grey EcoPLA™ filament is part of our EcoPLA™ 3D printer filament range and is produced and extruded in the Netherlands. The complete process from sourcing the chemical recipe to the actual extruding of the Thermochrome EcoPLA™ filament is being done in the Netherlands. This reduces the “travel distance” of this material significantly, meaning that less fossil fuels are being used to get this material into our warehouse.
Thermochrome EcoPLA™, like normal PLA (Poly-Lactic Acid in full), is a thermoplastic which is extruded from the starch of plants, such as corn, cassava, sugarcane, cereals, or sugar beet. By being derived from biological resources this type of thermoplastic can be biodegradable under the right conditions (such as an active compost heap, with enough presence of oxygen) and therefore has a much lesser environmental impact than thermoplastics derived from fossil fuels.
Main differences between PLA and Thermochrome EcoPLA™ filament
Our Thermochrome EcoPLA™ prints just like normal PLA. The only difference is that an additive has been added to our EcoPLA™, which enables this colour-changing feature. You will find that printing with our Thermochrome EcoPLA™ will go just as smoothly as printing with our “normal” EcoPLA™.
Product Specifications
Thermochrome Grey EcoPLA™ filament has a great roundness and very tight diameter and ovalidity tolerances. This grey-to-transparent colour-changing Thermochrome EcoPLA™ 3D printer filament is spool-wrapped on a polystyrene plastic spool with 500 grams of filament.
  • Filament Net Weight: 0.5 Kg ± 2%
  • Spool Size (D x h): 200 mm x 55 mm
  • Spool Hub Diameter: 52 mm
  • Carton Box Size (L x W x H): 220 mm x 220 mm x 70 mm
  • Packaged weight 1 Kg
General Tips & Tricks for printing with PLA filaments
The printing temperature guideline for printing with our Thermochrome EcoPLA™ filament is approximately 210°C. As each desktop 3D printer has its own unique characteristics, you might need to tweak around with your temperature settings a bit to get the best results. To obtain optimal results for your prints you need to take into account variables like your 3D printer’s nozzle diameter, your printing speed settings, and layer height.
PLA has much less tendency to warp compared to ABS. Therefore it can be printed both with and without a heated print bed. However, if your desktop 3D printer does have a heated print bed it is recommended to set your print bed temperature to approximately 40° to 50° C.
A good first layer adhesion is of the utmost importance in obtaining the best results for your prints. There are several tricks to get the first layer of your PLA print to stick better to the print bed of your 3D printer.
  1. Blue Masking Tape. PLA prints usually stick really well to blue masking tape. When preparing the print bed it is better to have tiny gaps between your strokes of masking tape, rather than having overlaps. Overlaps of smaller pieces of tape may cause difficulties later on during the print process.
  2. We have tested a wide variety of masking tapes and found that the best results can be obtained with Eurocel Blue Masking Tape.
  3. Coat your print bed with hairspray. Like ABS, PLA has a tendency to stick really well to extra strong hairsprays.
  4. Blue masking tape is unlikely to leave a residue on your print bed. A hairspray coating however will leave a residue on your print bed.

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