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Review: Makergeek's Raptor PLA

The 3D Printing Experience : Review: Makergeek's Raptor PLA:



PLA is the main material used in our home based FDM printers. It's
reasonably cheap, easy to get, and requires the least amount of fiddling
to get to work. It's actually one of the strongest also. But, it's also
the lowest temperature melting point and though it's stronger, it's
brittle making it less than ideal to use for structural parts in things
like our printers themselves and other products like remote control
vehicles and other high impact applications which we generally default
to using ABS for.  The problem with ABS is it requires a good bit more
care to be taken getting the printer adjusted and it also requires a
heated bed to prevent warping during print, and even then it can fail to
hold and you end up with corners pulling up or outright failed print.
Other materials have popped up with the promise of ease of use with
better strength but are usually a mixed bag and often fall short of the
claim.



Enter Makergeeks' Raptor PLA. This is a high temperature,  premium PLA
made in the USA and sold directly from the factory. It has an added
advantage that if you put it in the oven at 212ºf (100ºc) and bake it
for around 10 minutes that it will change it's structure and become
stronger and more heat resistant. But, does it really? Well, I haven't
tried any heat test to see if it resists higher temperatures but I have
tried it's strength and I can honestly say, YES, it does increase it's
strength, it's as strong as ABS if not a tad stronger and is WAY more
flexible than standard PLA,... after you cook it.  If you take the part
off the printer with out heat treating it's rather weak.



"Ugg, that means I have to put it in the oven have have my kitchen all stinking of plastic." Well,
no. Honestly I didn't notice even the slightest oder from it being in
the oven. And, it's odorless during printing so that is a BIG advantage
over ABS!



"Bet it doesn't really print as easy as regular PLA!"  Well,
actually it does, and maybe even easier. In my tests I didn't get a
single print fail, not one.  It just always stuck to the bed, printed
easy and rather nicely. I even had one I deliberately set the nozzle a
scooch high to see what would happen and it actually held. This is all
on blue painters tape, no bed heat. I do always wipe the tape with
rubbing alcohol to remove the release coating on the face of the tape
the factory puts on so the tape doesn't stick to its self, but I do that
with anything I print no matter what. Really the only difference
between this and regular PLA for printing is the increase to 230º-ish
nozzle temperature. That's it.



"But it's expensive". Well ya, it costs s few bucks more to
purchase, but, it very well may be cheaper in the long run over things
like ABS and PETG. How? Well it you take the percentage of failures you
get working with ABS compared to original cost. Think about how much you
end up throwing away in test prints and set up, then the actual prints
that fail hours later because the thing popped a corner or shifted
during a print because of it warped. Unless you have a dedicated printer
for ABS you'll likely waste a good portion of the material in setup and
failures. With the Raptor, it's less likely and even if it does happen
it'll be much less and less often. Not only will it be saving you money,
or at least breaking even cost wise, but also saving a mess of
headaches. And with the price coming down a good bit lately it becomes
even less of an issue. (Latest pricing was $33 a roll which  includes shipping in the US) 



To sum it up... would I recommend this? Whole heartedly, yes! You do
need to cook it after to get strength but I'll probably use up the ABS I
have, and for future purchases I'll mostly be getting Raptor PLA for
anything I want to be use in impact or stress related areas.  Still will
get standard PLA for the "shelf dust collecting" items though.



http://www.makergeeks.com



Here's a little video I did testing the strengths of each.




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