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Temperature effect on extruded quality

Posted by jobzombi 
Temperature effect on extruded quality
June 19, 2014 08:56AM
Been trying to grasp some things in my process of learning more about printing. I wanted to verify the nozzle size of my hotend by extruding at the lowest temperature possible. Higher temperatures will pull on the extruded length as it comes out and thin it, so I picked the lowest temperature my extruder motor could handle: 136C. Now up to around 200-210C, the extruded PLA comes out with a nice sheen and comes out nicely smooth and cylindrical. Higher than 200C it starts to exhibit color changes and irregularities as it is extruded. It looks more white and comes out clumpy, but threadlike nonetheless. Now I remember reading that one of the reasons PLA is not to be left on an "ON" hotend is that crystallization will occur. Would this change in extruded quality be also crystallization? If so, what effect does this have on the quality, appearance and strength, of the printed object. I tried finding some info on this here, but I could not find anything with the searches I tried and Google gave me more humorous search results. My concern stems mostly in that I've been having issues with setting a good temperature for my prints, I've read of people printing 165, 185, my PLA provider recommend 195, and even 210. I think a good approach to balancing print speed and quality would be knowing my lower limit, 136, and a higher limit, if said crystallization has an impact on print quality. I know once it gets too hot the plastic kinda pours out otherwise it should ooze out (so I have read) so If crystallization of extruded PLA is not a problem then the temperature at which it pours out will be the upper limit. At that point I can change temp and speeds based on my the appearance quality I need for a print.
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