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Sep 17, 2021, 12:26 PM
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Marcelo Blumm's Avatar

ePLA-LW Ender upgrades


I want to start in 3d printing with this ePLA-LW. Aliexpress is the only feasible vendor for this kind of material to Brazil.
My friendīs setup is a Ender 3 with some upgrades and I want to get a Ender 3 Pro or V2 for myself.
There are any recommended upgrades for better working with this material for these Ender 3 printers?

Thanks
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Sep 18, 2021, 02:31 AM
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ssatoru's Avatar
Not specific to eSun but also applies to ColorFabb, LW PLA will foam better (expand) with longer Volcano type of nozzle, I believe.
LW PLA requires time to expand and need to print slow. I have 2 printers with almost identical Mellow direct extruder, the one with Volcano nozzle gives much better result than normal one.
Why Ender 3? while it is popular, some user upgrade to direct drive later to print TPU better. If budget and space allows, large bed sized printer can print more parts together. I am recommending my friends Artillery Sidewinder or smaller Genius, direct drive with Volcano nozzle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcelo Blumm
I want to start in 3d printing with this ePLA-LW. Aliexpress is the only feasible vendor for this kind of material to Brazil.
My friendīs setup is a Ender 3 with some upgrades and I want to get a Ender 3 Pro or V2 for myself.
There are any recommended upgrades for better working with this material for these Ender 3 printers?

Thanks
Sep 18, 2021, 05:52 AM
Registered User
Thoemse's Avatar
Anyone compared heat distortion? Does it get soft at the same temp when exposed to the sun?
Sep 19, 2021, 11:46 PM
Registered User
I use an Ender 3 V2. It takes a bit of patience however I get good results printing at 230 C and 60% flow (230 C is kinder on the PTFE tube).

Settings :Thin wall P3 surface (PlanePrint (https://www.planeprint.com/print) and Troy McMillan (Youtube) guidance).

Biggest issue I have is with the brown goo that forms on the nozzle tip. This gets really runny and sets like glass when it breaks off and cools. Ok if it falls to the side (image below) but not ok if lands in the track and waits for the next pass of the nozzle.

Filming in slow motion you can clearly see build-up (brown goo and PLA) occurring on the exterior of the nozzle as the track expands behind the tip.
eSun PLA-LW nozzle build-up in slow motion (1 min 18 sec)
The answer for me was to use the manufacturers settings and run at 40mm/second travel speed (I was running 30 to 15 in the video). This way the tip gets ahead of the expansion and greatly reduces the problem. Only issue is tall slim prints are hard to keep steady at this speed when they near their maximum height. Even at 40mm/sec you still get some brown goo build-up which eventually blocks the outside of the nozzle (complete blockage! see image below). You can heat up the nozzle in manual control and use a needle to clear it but watch out as it sprays hot under pressure (wear glasses). I definitely recommend wiping the goo off the nozzle while hot between print jobs (don't burn yourself). Expect to change nozzles occasionally. I like the idea of the volcano nozzle mentioned above. I'll have to look out for one of those.

My Conclusion
I wonít claim to be the most experienced 3D printer around, however, my experience with the eSun PLA-LW is that it works fine and does the job. I think the Polyfabb product may be a bit better (based on comments of others and watching reviews) and I suspect it is formulated slightly differently and more tolerant of higher temperatures (does not brown). I would be keen to compare the strength and brittleness so if I get some in the future Iíll update here. I have been told that the eSun product is more spongey (less brittle) but not as strong
For the moment I think the eSun product is fine and does the job at a much lower price.

If everything were easy it wouldn't be as much fun!
Sep 21, 2021, 11:38 AM
Registered User
Marcelo Blumm's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssatoru
Not specific to eSun but also applies to ColorFabb, LW PLA will foam better (expand) with longer Volcano type of nozzle, I believe.
LW PLA requires time to expand and need to print slow. I have 2 printers with almost identical Mellow direct extruder, the one with Volcano nozzle gives much better result than normal one.
Why Ender 3? while it is popular, some user upgrade to direct drive later to print TPU better. If budget and space allows, large bed sized printer can print more parts together. I am recommending my friends Artillery Sidewinder or smaller Genius, direct drive with Volcano nozzle.
Ender 3 seens the most affordable option to buy in a Brazil store/warehouse, but with the upgrades needed, as direct drive, double Z axis etc, the price goes to the same as a Genius. Other option here is a Biqu B1.
The Genius need any upgrade to print LW-PLA, like all metal hotend or something like this?
Sep 21, 2021, 11:51 AM
Youtube channel : solentlifeuk
solentlife's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcelo Blumm
Ender 3 seens the most affordable option to buy in a Brazil store/warehouse, but with the upgrades needed, as direct drive, double Z axis etc, the price goes to the same as a Genius. Other option here is a Biqu B1.
The Genius need any upgrade to print LW-PLA, like all metal hotend or something like this?
The Ender 3 is a very good machine and out of box will perform well. I have the 3 Pro and I only added Dual Z as I had sag in my arm after a lot of use. But even with the sag - it was still performing well.

Direct drive extruder - I have Ender with Bowden and a Colida with direct feed .......... is there any difference ? Only if you have a lot of retraction in your process ... otherwise I think its an over-rated item.

The Ender 3 Pro I have will print LW-PLA all day long on its stock hot end etc ... my Colida will same ....

The only real item to consider is if you have filament that needs temperature over 255 - 260C ..... then the Teflon Tube in the extruder is at its limits .... but given a length of tube can be bought for peanuts and is easy to change ...... I don't see that as a problem really. My Colida - I change that tube about every 100hrs print anyway ... the Ender - I haven't changed yet after extensive use ....
Latest blog entry: Creality Dual Z kit
Sep 22, 2021, 03:44 AM
Registered User
ssatoru's Avatar
Hi, sorry if I confused you. LW PLA is rather easy material to print. It can be easier than regular PLA as its bed adhesin is a bit better if not the same. No upgrade is needed.
What I described is that LW PLA needs to be printed slow. Check ColorFabb LW PLA thread, what speed people are printing at. 30-40 mm/s for best foaming result.

All metal heat break will help to go higher temp, but it is said may increase chance of clogging.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcelo Blumm
Ender 3 seens the most affordable option to buy in a Brazil store/warehouse, but with the upgrades needed, as direct drive, double Z axis etc, the price goes to the same as a Genius. Other option here is a Biqu B1.
The Genius need any upgrade to print LW-PLA, like all metal hotend or something like this?
Sep 22, 2021, 03:47 AM
Youtube channel : solentlifeuk
solentlife's Avatar
I am printing a Ki-84-Hayate Jap fighter on my Colida with LW-PLA .... all running fine ....

40% feed
250C Extruder
0C Bed ... not needed
Latest blog entry: Creality Dual Z kit
Sep 23, 2021, 03:07 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcamel
I use an Ender 3 V2. It takes a bit of patience however I get good results printing at 230 C and 60% flow (230 C is kinder on the PTFE tube).

Settings :Thin wall P3 surface (PlanePrint (https://www.planeprint.com/print) and Troy McMillan (Youtube) guidance).

Biggest issue I have is with the brown goo that forms on the nozzle tip. This gets really runny and sets like glass when it breaks off and cools. Ok if it falls to the side (image below) but not ok if lands in the track and waits for the next pass of the nozzle.

Filming in slow motion you can clearly see build-up (brown goo and PLA) occurring on the exterior of the nozzle as the track expands behind the tip. https://youtu.be/JlxtCLgj9-c The answer for me was to use the manufacturers settings and run at 40mm/second travel speed (I was running 30 to 15 in the video). This way the tip gets ahead of the expansion and greatly reduces the problem. Only issue is tall slim prints are hard to keep steady at this speed when they near their maximum height. Even at 40mm/sec you still get some brown goo build-up which eventually blocks the outside of the nozzle (complete blockage! see image below). You can heat up the nozzle in manual control and use a needle to clear it but watch out as it sprays hot under pressure (wear glasses). I definitely recommend wiping the goo off the nozzle while hot between print jobs (don't burn yourself). Expect to change nozzles occasionally. I like the idea of the volcano nozzle mentioned above. I'll have to look out for one of those.

My Conclusion
I wonít claim to be the most experienced 3D printer around, however, my experience with the eSun PLA-LW is that it works fine and does the job. I think the Polyfabb product may be a bit better (based on comments of others and watching reviews) and I suspect it is formulated slightly differently and more tolerant of higher temperatures (does not brown). I would be keen to compare the strength and brittleness so if I get some in the future Iíll update here. I have been told that the eSun product is more spongey (less brittle) but not as strong
For the moment I think the eSun product is fine and does the job at a much lower price.

If everything were easy it wouldn't be as much fun!
Look at the hole in the nozzle through a magnifying glass. If there is a chamfer around the hole, it can create an accumulation of plastic. I polish the tips of the nozzles so that there are no chamfers and I do not encounter problems with brown pieces as you describe
Sep 24, 2021, 05:54 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by klf48
Look at the hole in the nozzle through a magnifying glass. If there is a chamfer around the hole, it can create an accumulation of plastic. I polish the tips of the nozzles so that there are no chamfers and I do not encounter problems with brown pieces as you describe
That sounds like a good idea. I'll try that for sure. It might explain some of the erratic nozzle issues where they work ok with regular PLA and not with LW.
Sep 25, 2021, 04:21 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcamel
That sounds like a good idea. I'll try that for sure. It might explain some of the erratic nozzle issues where they work ok with regular PLA and not with LW.
This is result of my print with cheap nozzle from aliexpress with polished tip. No issues, clean print. Different color of plastic is caused by different nozzle temperature. Good plastic for reasonable money.


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