Use of 1.75mm materials on the Utilmaker 2+

I would like to start a conversation on how to use the 1.75mm filament on this printer, as there is some confusiom.

Why should I use 1.75mm filament?

1.75mm filament it’s more readily avaiable and usually cheaper, due to the thickness of the filament it flows better and it generate less mechanical stress on the machine.

Why Shoundn’t I use a 1.75mm filament?

Mostly becuse the machine is designed for 2.80mm, so you might run in under extrusion or nozzle/PTFE tube blogs.

I found this video from adafruit:

I think we should broaden the conversation a bit. @Conrad is looking into getting the dual extruder Flashforge Dreamer up and running again for members. There’s different options for slicing but he’s working on getting Cura going which would help our existing userbase making most quickly.

I think its worth exploring if we could use the same size filament on both printers to reduce our inventory needs. Also, I am hoping we could look at doing risk assessments for more materials:
TPU (use in direct drive Flashforge)
PVA (water soluble supports for Flashforge)

I’m happy to help where I can. What are your thoughts @3dtechs? Also tagging folks that I know are using the printers regularly @james-c @Julia

Thanks for starting the discussion @emuboy, and thanks for including me @Kyle.

I also wanted to add that the currently the only filament we have available for the Flashforge Dreamer is ABS. Which I’m aware we rightly don’t want to use in the space due to the hazardous fumes, and the less important fact that ABS is steadily becoming harder to purchase.

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I’d be well excited about water soluble filaments! I have bad memories of breaking off PLA supports…

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Re inventory all filaments are donated by members as far as I am aware. I am happy to chip in if there’s a pledge drive!

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I am also looking forward to make some stuff with the 3d printers…

I am trying to figure out why the Ultimaker has the z axis is reversed when the connected to the mac. I didn’t spend much time checking it but I will give it another go next week.

Also, I will see how hard is to have cura/octoprint set up to control both printers from the mac.

Btw, @Julia told me that we are only allowed to print PLA as it’s non toxic.
I believe that, TPU and other PLA flavours (PLA+, PLA CF, …) are also non-toxic, so it’d be good to know if I could give them a try next week as well


@3dtechs , I’d be curious about testing new materials…

If it’s ok, I can take my TPU spool there to test :slight_smile:
It’s not the most flexible filament, but it’s fine to print without a direct drive. Also, it doesn’t clog as much as my PLA CF :sweat_smile:


Our current risk assessment only covers PLA so we would need to have a look at the risks involved with those filaments to see if we can use them in the space. Maybe it would be good to have a look at some safety data sheets for the filaments we want to try out then we can see if it is ok to use in the space. Then we can get the risk assessment updated and approved by the directors.


It makes sense
Is there an example of data sheets used for PLA?
So I can try to find or build one for other types

Regarding TPU and direct drives. Also discovered that the Flashforge Dreamer IS direct drive. So you should totally be able to use TPU with it! :smiley:

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You can run some TPUs on bowden cable. My ender3 has uses a bowden (good quality one though) and I can get TPU working there.
Ultimaker won’t have any problem on running in it :slight_smile:

Also, as flashforge is direct drive and dual extructer, it might be fantastic to print PLA+TPU in a single print!

But it needs to be approved first. It’s fine as I still need to learn how to use the FlashForge

You people should first test dual colour, really, the dreamer it’s very feedly to calibrate for dual extruder operations.

But it does TPU and ABS without problems, I tried.

Going dual colour only for now is currently my main goal with what I was doing in the space on Thursday. Regarding getting filament for the Dreamer, how can we go about requesting this?

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I still haven’t played with any dual extruder, I imagine it must be double trouble :joy:
But I want to give it a go as it’s an interesting thing to learn, and once we can have other types of filaments printed, it will be very handy

I also have plans of TPU+PLA prints hehe

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As mentioned we don’t keep stock of filament for members (that can be looked at in future, as it might be a good idea)

If materials are needed for experimentation just let @directors know rough costs and if you’re happy to buy them and claim costs here’s the process

When we get an operational 3dtechs team going we’ll sort out a pre-paid debit card if needed

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It was a bit non-scientific when we originally did it. The research on ABS was vague but worrying, so we decided to be safe and not allow it, and stick to PLA…and this has never been reviewed

Any materials used will need to be assessed for both health and safety and environmental impact (we have a public commitment to be environmentally responsible to a high level)

There’s always the option to bring in fume as a mitigation extraction if necessary

One further consideration is simplicity of use at SLMS: using only PLA makes it new-user friendly

Thanks @Dermot! I’ll bring in some of my own next time I’m in :blush:

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As a principle (being able to spontaneously make stuff) having some filament for members to use fits perfectly with our ethos…so far it’s worked by members just donating