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Topics - Julia Truchsess

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RaftAway / v1.1.3a Released
« on: March 02, 2017, 09:34:55 PM »
Adds speed increase as well as decrease, some fixes for Z-Suite™ 1.8.x compatibility.

RaftAway / Raftaway 1.1.0 Released, Adds Speed Multiplier
« on: February 10, 2017, 06:39:30 PM »
Now available from the usual place

You can set speed scaling anywhere from 50 to 100%. So far the results have been spectacular: 10 different types of TPA, TPE, and TPU that we were previously unable to print with, all printed great when speed was reduced by 50% from Z-Suite "Normal" quality speed.

Actually, they all printed pretty well at full speed now that RaftAway can remove the raft - it was the high extrusion rates called for during raft printing that caused failures in the past. But with reduced speed, even the "fast" features like support and infill print with no underextrusion. So far we've only tried 50%, but I think 70% or even 80% should work.

Here's a list of flexibles tested successfully today:

TreeD Flex Mark 7 TPU
Treed Flex Mark 9 TPU
TreeD UltraFlexx TPE
TreeD UltraFlexx+ TPE
TreeD FlexAbility TPA
TreeD Flexability+ TPA
eSun eLastic TPE

TreeD's catalog says that of all their filaments, Flex Mark 7 is "the most flexible, but it requires a perfect calibration of the printer". Well, I didn't do anything special at all - I was printing PLA production parts on the machine, whacked in the flexible stuff without changing anything except temperature, and just started printing. That gives you an idea how well well this combo can perform!

RaftAway / Raftaway 1.0.8 Released, Adds Extrusion Multiplier
« on: January 19, 2017, 04:09:06 PM »
Raftaway now lets you, in addition to removing raft and adjusting retraction, set the extrusion multiplier for the first part layer to any value 100 - 400% when printing raftless. This improves adhesion and part-bottom smoothness, while also making bed level-ness and initial layer height setting less critical. 200% has been working well for us with PLA and 190µ layers.

Download it here:

We are pleased to announce the availability of "RaftAway", a Java application that allows true raftless printing and also lets you add  retraction in zcode files. It can be downloaded here:

We've seen dramatic reductions in stringing by simply adding 500 - 1000 microns of retraction.

You need to have Java installed on the host machine. After launching the jar file, first set the options - raft removal or not, and amount of additional retraction - then drag a z-code file onto its window. The modified file will be written to the source file's directory, and its filename will indicate what was done to it.

Note that in the photo below showing raftless printing, I'm printing on a sheet of glass clipped on top of the perfboard, not directly on the perfboard. For raftless printing on surfaces other than the Zortrax perfboard, you will of course need Z-Sense for bed height sensing.

News and Announcements / M300 Compatibility
« on: November 14, 2016, 11:12:37 AM »
Based on testing by our resellers (not us, as we don’t have access to an M300 at present):

  • The Z-Temp extrusion temperature control is fully compatible with the M300.
  • The bed heat control is compatible with the M300, but requires a small adapter cable (or simply the swapping of any two connector pins) in order to work. If you specify M300 compatibility in the order options on our web store, an adapter cable will be included. NOTE: The Z-Temp Bed Heat Control can only decrease the bed temperature, not increase it. Since the M300 bed temperature does not currently exceed 60ºC for any Z-Suite profiles, this may present difficulties in printing materials that require high bed temperature.
  • The ZT-HE hot end is fully compatible with the M300.
  • Z-Mon is fully compatible with the M300.
  • Z-Sense is not currently compatible with the M300 due to mechanical mismatches.

Materials Compatibility / colorFabb nGen Flex
« on: October 20, 2016, 11:10:00 AM »
I always try to test new flexible filaments, since there is such a strong interest in them. So far, I've been unsuccessful with nGen Flex - it fails not due to wrapping around the feed gear like some flex filaments do, but due to slipping in the feeder, like most of the TreeD flexible materials. I used temperatures of 240 - 250º and both 0.4mm and 0.5mm nozzles. Maybe adding heat shrink tubing to the outside of the feed bearing as suggested by "gabuzome" here would give the feeder enough grip.

Another problem with nGen is that it wants to curl and lift up, and glue stick does not seem to work in holding it to the perfboard.

News and Announcements / New Z-Mon Filament Monitor
« on: September 21, 2016, 09:21:44 AM »

News and Announcements / Z-Sense Now Shipping!
« on: August 17, 2016, 09:57:21 PM »
We started shipping the Z-Sense bed height control today, woohoo!

Installation and use instructions have been posted at

News and Announcements / Save Your Ribbon Cable!
« on: July 19, 2016, 09:23:01 PM »
This strain relief snaps securely onto the Z-Temp housing and prevents damaging flexion near the connector:

Materials Compatibility / Algix "Dura"
« on: July 05, 2016, 07:37:55 PM »
I'm not sure what this stuff is, but so far it's pretty awesome. More flexible than PLA or ABS, it feels a bit like PP or PE. The manufacturer recommends printing at 175-195º, but claims that after printing, it's heat-resistant to 120º without any post-annealing!

It does have a bit of shrinkage, so it likes glue stick and some bed heat, but there seems to be no need to use the Z-Temp shim - let it smoosh into the holes. Extrudes beautifully. Raft was a little reluctant to come off (I printed at 195º), but once I got under it it came off cleanly.

This could be a very attractive alternative to Polymax, whose downfall is heat.

Algix seems to be a very "together" company - their packaging is gorgeous.

Materials Compatibility / Nanodax Glass-Wool-Filled-Polypropylene
« on: June 24, 2016, 08:19:09 PM »
I posted here previously about this material :

It's not commercially available yet but Nanodax has been kind enough to send me a sample for testing, and I can report some results. I can't post photos of my prints because the project I'm using it for is confidential, and I can't print non-confidential stuff right now because my supply is limited and I'm hoarding it :)

Coming out of the extruder, this material is extremely weak - it takes nothing to break it apart. But once printed, it's incredibly strong - it just cannot be torn. Even single- or double-walled structures are very very strong. Nonetheless, raft and support removal are not difficult at all. It is indeed liquid-tight, as shown in the Nanodax demo video. It's also temperature-resistant up to 120-130ºC continuous, so you could print yourself a coffee mug, although it'd probably get pretty badly stained. In thin flat layers it's pretty flexible so you can make living hinges, but more complex shapes get rigid quickly even with just two shells and no infill.

For my first print I used glue stick and shim, as is my wont, and it lifted off the bed horribly. "Uh-oh", I said - this stuff isn't going to work. At Nanodax's urging, however, I thoroughly washed all the glue stick from the bed, scuffed it with scotchbrite, gave it an acetone wipe to help soften any ABS that might be in the holes, and printed without the shim, using bed heat setting 2. Since then, every print has stuck down perfectly, even to the point of being a bit difficult to scrape off the bed.

I've tried extrusion temps from 230-250º and have settled at 240º. Fan speed doesn't seem critical; I'm using 100% or auto, but I did a couple of prints with no fan and they came out OK too.

I initially had a number of "air print" failures. At first I thought they were due to particulate clogs, so I switched to a 0.5mm nozzle. This seemed to help at first, but then the air prints returned. After further mucking about with extrusion temp to no avail, I measured the filament and found it to be slightly undersized, so I installed a printed PCTPE 8x3x3 roller in place of the stock 7x3x3 bearing. Again an improvement but still not 100% reliable. I then redesigned my part to print without support - bingo! - no more air prints. So it would seem this material doesn't like a lot of retractions. You can get away with some support, especially on small parts, but tall prints with 360º support may be problematic.

I've since gone back to a 0.4mm nozzle and it's printing fine, with better surface finish. Nanodax is aware of the filament diameter issue and will correct it; for the time being I'm leaving in my PCTPE pressure bearing.

All in all, this material is a unique and powerful addition to the filament collection - in some applications (like the one I'm working on now) there's nothing else I'm aware of that can do the job. Hopefully Nanodax will bring it to the general market soon.

Materials Compatibility / Form Futura HDglass PETG
« on: June 14, 2016, 11:08:52 AM »
I'm not a big fan of PETG, but I have to test as many materials as possible. This was also my first experience using the Z-PETG profile in Z-Suite, with some interesting results. I ran two test prints, with everything identical except the slicer profile - one with PETG profile and one with Z-ABS profile, using 190µ layers, fast speed, normal seam, Auto fan, 0 offset for PETG profile (255º) and -20º for Z-ABS profile.

The material extrudes fine. I had one or two clicks while loading but I think that's probably because I had used Up ABS in the nozzle just before or maybe because the load cycle starts at only 240º. Form Futura says 215º - 250º but I haven't experimented with lower temperatures.

- The nominal temperature of the Z-PETG profile is 255º.
- The PETG profile uses little or no bed heat, but it only offers 140 and 190µ layer settings, so don't throw away your bed heat switch yet :)
- Surface finish is about the same.
- Stringing seems a little worse with the PETG profile, somewhat surprisingly.
- Raft removal was much easier with the PETG profile. I think the fans may run faster (using Auto) with the PETG profile.
- Precision of tall thin structures and pointy structures is better with ABS.
- One really big difference is the spacing of zig-zag support. With the Z-ABS profile the support is spaced 3.8mm apart, but with the PETG profile it's only 1.8mm - interesting!

In limited testing, I definitely like this PETG better than MakerGeeks' PETG, it looks better and has easier raft/support removal.

News and Announcements / Welcome to the new Z-Temp Forum!
« on: May 30, 2016, 01:31:08 PM »
We hope all our users will participate and benefit from this new forum. Welcome!

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