When buying a printer, many people wonder, “Do all 3D printers come with filament?” On the one hand, in some cases and when printing certain objects and shapes, you can do without filament. This applies to cosplay helmets, swords and other accessories, for example. But if you need a small, detailed object, you can’t do without filament. That’s what this article is about.
Do all 3D printers come with filament, and how do you check?
The answer to this question is not difficult – the main thing is to understand how all 3D printers work. The bottom line is that when you insert the filament into the extruder, you have to pick up different filaments. It is assumed that the filament should be 1.75 mm. There are also exceptions when the filament is 3 mm in diameter.
For this reason, manufacturers cannot predict what type of filament you will need and often do not supply the printer with filament.
In some cases, you can discuss with the seller the supply of rare filament, such as carbon fiber. Usually, such a deal is beneficial to both you and the seller because you pay less.
The principle of filament printers
This type of printer creates a 3D print by repeatedly applying thin layers of filament to the printing bed, from which the final 3D object is created. The nozzle rotates the print head in the desired direction, and the hot plastic flows out of the head and creates the required 3D model. Completing layer by layer, which may be several thousand, creates our familiar Lego figure or a toy for the game of Monopoly.
Filament printers are also referred to as FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) or, less commonly, FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication). These are identical terms.
Choosing the right thread is the key for successful prints
After choosing a 3D printer, the next step is to choose a filament for printing. There are dozens of different types of filaments, but the main ones are polylactide yarn, alcohol-based polyvinyl filament, carbon fiber, and various thermoplastic filaments. They all have many acronyms depending on their physical and chemical characteristics.
ABS – one of the main traits of a quality print
The best known and most widely used filament types are ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene). Most mid-priced printers are designed for this type of material only. Their appeal is based on their price – only $20 per kg of yarn. ABS has a fairly high melting point from 210° to 250° C or from 410° to 482° F, and the products obtained by this type of printing are strong and durable.
The second choice of 3D printing users is PLA
PLA (polylactic acid) is not as heat-resistant as ABS and melts at 180° to 230° C or 356° to 446° F usually.
This is a definite plus, so the power of the 3D printer is not used as much.
In addition, the melting products of 3D filament do not evaporate as much into the atmosphere. It is harder, unlike ABS, and is not susceptible to deformation and less susceptible to environmental conditions.
History of nylon as a 3D print
Nylon is a reliable, versatile synthetic material developed at the turn of the 1930s. It has found its application everywhere from parachute fabrics to toothbrush floss. Nylon is also used for 3D printers. At its core, nylon is a polymer that has all the necessary qualities for a 3D printer. It is flexible, strong, durable, and one of the cheapest materials for prints.
HIPS is a secondary soluble support material while printing
3D printer filament with the complex acronym HIPS actually stands for high impact polystyrene. HIPS is in the medium price range, and is easy to sand, glue, and apply acrylic paints when working with. HIPS is very similar to ABS, the difference being that polystyrene is soluble in limonene and not as toxic as ABS because it has a lower melting point.
PVA is capable of ensuring the print of the future
Another unbeatable material is PVA (polyvinyl alcohol), which is easily soluble in water. Its vapors are non-toxic, it decomposes quickly and without consequences in the environment. The disadvantages are that PVA often damages the extruder nozzle due to its low melting point. It is often used as a support element rather than the main element.
Some of the best PVA and HIPS models
One of the PVA-based models is the Ultimaker 3. It is capable of working with basic filaments such as ABS and PLA. The finished figures are necessarily exposed to solvent at the end of the process. Some printers print very well with polystyrene only. For example, the Luzbot Mini, which is often a winner in various categories.
Why composite filaments are needed in printing
Often, composite filaments have a base of PLA or other thermoplastic, to which various powders or mixtures of other materials are added. These can be mixtures of wood, sandstone, limestone, or even metals. In this way, the filaments acquire the properties of the substance that has been added to them. Carbon fiber is also a composite element; objects printed with it are particularly strong and unaffected by the environment.
What you need to know to make your 3D printer work longer for you
FDM printers work in the direction of three axes. This means that over time, parts of the system will need to be replaced or tightened. The extruder is most exposed because it pushes the filament with the hot end and spreads it before it is applied to the part.
The internal components of the hot end will wear out over time when exposed to high temperatures.
You may want to replace the extruder belt, as it often tears before the extruder itself breaks. However, replacing both parts of the printer ensures that the printer will not break again after a while.
DLP – advanced 3D printing technology
DLP (digital light processing) is a modern 3D printing technology based on the principle of micro-mirror projections. It can be used as an alternative to current, expensive printing models. In terms of quality and accuracy of produced parts, it can already be compared to laser stereolithography.
The advantage of DLP is that it is much more profitable and is already used by amateurs for the production of excellent 3D prints.
What is included in the delivery with the Creality Ender 3 printer
The Ender Pro 3 manufacturer provides working pliers, an extra nozzle, an 8 GB memory card, thread loading tube fittings, a cable tie, hex keys for installation and removal, a tip to remove dirt and dust from the nozzle, an adjustable wrench, a screwdriver, a thread spool hanger, Teflon tubing to guide the thread to the hot print tip. Delivery is in one package with the Ender Pro 3 printer.
What is the magnetic bed for the Creality Ender 3 printers
With the magnetic bed, you can easily remove unnecessary prints. You can simply raise the bed a little higher instead of sticking it on the figure. The bed makes life a lot easier, as you no longer have to sit and scrape the figure for hours.
Aligning the bed is also easy, just place a sheet of print paper between the bed and the nozzle so that the bed slightly presses the paper.
How to install a filament on a Creality Ender 3 device
Loading filament is easy: go to “Settings” and select “Prepare” from the screen menu. Then press the “Preheat PLA” or “ABS button”. Save current settings. You should hold the extruder level and then insert a 1.75 mm yarn. Continue until the link starts to come out of the nozzle. Usually, it doesn’t take long. Be careful with the tip and printing bed. Sometimes they can be very hot.
Is it possible to print online on the Creality Ender 3 appliance
The official printer manufacturer does not support online printing. However, you can use third-party services such as OctoPrint using your Raspberry Pi. Please note that the manufacturer is not responsible for any problems with the printers when using an unofficial service. Also, the company’s support team will not be able to help you with any situation.
Conclusion: how not to fall for a fake when buying filament for the printers
To summarize the above information, we would like to note that FFF is not a process with a complex technology of making this or that thread. Many retail manufacturers conduct production on small premises, using inexpensive and sometimes low-quality raw materials. Always pay attention to the official barcode on the package by scanning it in advance. It is not recommended to purchase outside of licensed marketplaces or offline stores.