Thursday 14 December 2017

Christmas Advent 3D Printing #Days 12 & 13 Advice using Proto-Pasta Matte Fiber HTPLA Cinnamon Pine and Glitterflake

December advent calendar - modular Christmas tree
3D Printing advice #Days 12 & 13

For the background and introduction - Day #1 Post click here

Last time - Day #11 Post (Potjie - cooking pot) was printed in Proto-Pasta Magnetic Iron and also Conductive Graphite HTPLA. It's still rusting nicely.

Christmas Advent 2017 Download on Thingiverse here - designed by Tom Van den Bon  With some help for each day by the South African Makers team.

It's time for Days #12 & 13.

Day 12 gift is designed by Gerhardt Breedt -  It's a Christmas Raptor complete with Santa hat! 

Day 13 gift is designed by Andries Smuts -  It's a crate of Christmas Beer.

I'm going on my second advent double day(te) with Proto-Pasta for both the day 12 and 13 gifts.

I'm catching up with this post and including two gifts that use a number of amazing Proto-Pasta filaments.

Lets start with Day 12 - Raptor...

As a child, I often woke up to plastic dinosaurs on Christmas morning, I had many of them. Ah, the memories, Mr Stegosaurus, T-Rex and Bronty were simply amazing to a ~7 year old.

I also have the most perfect 'dinosaur' filament. It's Proto-Pasta Matte fiber  HTPLA Green

Matte fiber is also very strong and rigid. The natural plant fibers add both strength and the rough matte finish.

I'm also using matte fiber Red for the dinosaur's hat.

I would have made it out of the new Proto-Pasta Candy Apple Red, but it's nowhere to be found in the UK and an exclusive colour batch (do take a look at the link, it's jaw dropping).

The surface finish is perfect for a dinosaur.

Day 12 - Done.

Now onto Day 13 - Crate of Christmas beer - 

First the beer crate. I could make it out of yet another wood filament, but that's a little obvious, so how about pine?

I still have a small amount of 2016 vintage Aromatic Pine to use for Day 13. It releases a wonderful smell of pine as it prints - really getting you in the mood for the holidays. (also do read the story at the end on how Proto-Pasta make it).

It's simple to use, just normal PLA settings and it's done.

Now the beer...

Beer filament is actually available (Buzzed from 3DFuel), but I don't have any, so the bottles for Day 13 are going to be non-alcoholic 'Cinnamon flavoured'.

Cinnamon HTPLA is another material that's all about enjoying the 3D Printing process. It smells like cinnamon as you print. The smell does not last after printing, but it's a really nice experience.
I have made the wooden crate out of Proto-Pasta High temperature PLA - (HTPLA) Aromatic Pine

The six pack of bottles have a black PLA base, it's not seen and will help save on exotic filament. And cinnamon PLA for the body. At the top I'm using some Proto-Pasta Glitterflake to look like bubbles. Finally they have red caps in matte fiber HTPLA.

Glitter flake is the most glittery packed filament I have found. It contains more glitter per inch than any other and the results look spectacular.

'Beer' Cinnamon bottles printed with a frosty top and red matte fiber bottle caps.

Day 13 tree is printed in Polyalchemy Elixir Emerald City Green

Print advice - (Proto-Pasta matte fiber HTPLA)

What settings did you use? - Matte fiber HTPLA's are really easy to use. You can start with normal PLA settings, but back off the temperature a little. 195 Degrees C is perfect. 
It's a good idea to increase extruder retraction distance by +20% this will help reduce angel-hair on the finished print.

The filament, it's not very brittle, and it produces surprisingly strong finished parts. I would say overall a lot stronger than normal PLA, and layer bonding is excellent.

Why use it? - It has a unique look after printing, like a slightly rough even sanded finish (almost sand-blast) in appearance. You can control the finish a little with layer heights and temperature, but it's never going to be silky smooth, that's not the point of this filament.

Is it strong? - It's surprisingly strong as a finished part, but small features are a little brittle. If you have ever used Carbon fiber materials, it's a little like that, but feels 'softer' to the touch.

Is it easy to use/print - Yes, super easy. Don't go too high in temperature (210 max) and use z-hop so you don't get any nozzle marks on the final top layers.

Do you have to dry it before/after use? - No - it's good as it is.

Do i need a 'special' nozzle? - No it's not abrasive at all. You also do not require a special nozzle to print, it does not wear nozzles.

You can think of matte-fiber like coloured wood filament, but it's even stronger than current wood-filled materials available.
Does it smell when printing? - No, not at all (matte fiber HTPLA). - Obviously the pine and cinnamon smell lovely. I'm still looking out for a good vanilla scented filament... maybe next year.

Does it come on a eco friendly spool? - Yes! :-) The Proto-Pasta spools are about the best cardboard spools you can get at the moment. They look great, and feed material well, and are 100% paper / card.

Conclusion for Proto-Pasta Matte fiber HTPLA - I really love this filament range, the colours are strong, the parts feel nice to the touch and layer lines vanish in the sand-blasted effect. Always have some on hand, as it's the only matte material with a non-smooth finish available.

Days 1 to 13 of the Advent Christmas Tree.

Day #12 and 13 are completed. I have also just about caught up, and i'm also ahead with tree sections for the next few days.

I think the story here needs to be about the special Aromatic Pine filament Proto-Pasta make every year. This is now a tradition for the Proto-Pasta family team - Every year Proto-Pasta uses last year's Christmas tree to make one very special and seasonal batch of 3D printing filament. It's a bonkers process or stripping pine needles, drying and pulverising them into a powder. This is added to their HTPLA to produce a very special and exclusive batch of Aromatic Pine filament to enjoy.

They do this for the fun, not the money, and they have just made this year's batch here.

Images by Proto-Pasta - source - website

Join me next time for Day #14 - (maybe a bit late to post, I have a Christmas party to attend...)

Thanks for reading.


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