Pierre Kotze

Filament … What can I say that has not been said before?

Dear diary … I have done my first blog today.

I think I will just share about my own experience and what temperatures and printing speeds work for me.

When I got into 3D printing, I believed that all plastics were created nearly equal. Then the friend that introduced me to 3D printing taught me otherwise. In fact, that cannot be farther from the truth. And then again, every form of filament with some fancy name is based heavily on another existing filament. For instance, TITANX is 65% ABS, with some other “magical” things blended in.   


So, let’s start with PLA, like you do when you start printing.

When I started 3D printing PLA was supposed to be biodegradable. It could be possible, but these days there are polymers added to it to create a tough version of PLA, that reduces the degradability.

Back when I started, the virgin PLA in any way only degraded when some or other enzyme (let me Google this real quick…  Actinomadura keratinilytica strain T16-1 ) and from my own experience, sunlight liquid, were added. Other than that, it just sticks around like all other plastics, and one day earth could be renamed to “The Earth Plastic Plus”.

We all want to be good to the environment, and not create landfill, but PLA prints fail in a short time, and then we just create landfill by printing in PLA.

Unfortunately, printing with PLA is the easiest way to learn your way up in 3D printing.


This is PLA, was never introduced to any forces, broke while standing on a shelve.

Temperature, adhesion and printing speed

You can print on a 60-degree bed and adhesion can be the Pritt you found in your kid’s school pencil case, but it’s not a long-lasting plastic at all.

Speed? You can push it a bit. You will be throwing it away in any way. Stick to around 60mm/s, but you might want to set the nozzle temperature up to around 220 degrees at that speed.


Love it or hate it, its … well, its rubbish. This stuff warps, you must prevent air flow over the print, or it will separate layers mid print as you might have good adhesion. This forces you to print inside an enclosure, but the bed temperature needed to print ABS is high enough to cause an air flow over the print in the enclosure, that again causes warpage, and failed prints.

Temperature, adhesion and printing speed

For adhesion, I use a sand blasted glass, and I smear ABS juice on it for adhesion. The ABS juice is a smelly concoction of failed ABS prints dissolved in some acetone. This is then printed in an enclosure, where even then I get failed prints every now and then. Ah the smell of failure is a real thing.

I have found that printing ABS on a 70-degrees bed, instead of 80+ reduces warpage by a huge amount.

Take it slow, but not too slow, because you really want to reduce the printing time, to reduce the possibility of warpage. Around 30-40mm/s, at 245-degrees.

Rather print smaller parts and stick it together afterwards, than large single items. Once you manage to print ABS successfully, you will be able to print long lasting parts.


Here I am going to start with adhesion. The internet will have you believe you have to print FLEX on a cold bed. You will not have a lot of success. FLEX warps even on small parts - worse than ABS. What you want to do is to run the bed at 30-degrees and use hairspray moderately.

Also, print your first layer at least 120%-layer height. If you don’t do that you will end up with flex peeling out from the side of your extruder like worms from a dog. Not pretty.

Printing speed will be best around 20mm/s, even on direct extrusion, and 200-degrees on the nozzle. Good luck. The learning curve is steeper than ABS.

All rubber returns to the oil it is based on, eventually. 


No. You are on your own. Just the handling, and drying, and all the issues that you have even before you just feed it into the printer is enough for me to say, I will not.


I hated this stuff.  I could not get one successful print from it, no matter what I tried. Then I realised that PETG has extremely long polymer chains. That causes the filament to pull out while moving over gaps, leaving a string of stuff that is supposed to be part of the print on the other end of the gap, and then there is no filament loaded and ready when you start to extrude again, leaving a gap in the print, and a weak point.


It is, even with those gaps, much stronger than PLA.

This got me to realise that I really need to slow my prints down, and then I had to dial in retraction, as you must have enough speed to break the polymer chain during retraction, but you also don’t want to retract melted plastic into the heat break, because it will freeze there, and block your hot end.

Temperature, adhesion and printing speed

I found that printing around 25mm/second, at 245-degrees, with a retraction, as well as de-retraction rate of 400mm/s, but only 2.5mm retraction distance works best. This retraction speed and distance is now a standard for all the filament I print with.


With regards to adhesion, PETG will stick to your bed like it is a part of the glass, and separating PETG from a glass bed will easily leave you with bits of glass missing from your print bed.

For PETG you need an interface that will allow you to separate your prints from the bed.

In the case of PETG I use hair spray, not as an adhesion, I use it as a releasing agent. I print at 75-degreesn but with the enclosure doors open or closed, as it warps very little, to none, and you have prints that are extremely strong and long lasting.

Is it food grade? Probably not after the glycol modification. I have not checked. But of all the filament, even though this is probably the least degradable of all the plastics here, it creates the least amount of land fill, because it creates the strongest, longest lasting prints.

Filaments with fibre

This type of filament includes fibres such as carbon, wood, or glow in the dark.

These are all still normally a PLA. So, everything PLA applies, accept, keep a bag of spare nozzles nearby, as these filaments are very abrasive.

Not all my prints are successful…

In conclusion

I almost exclusively print with PETG only, I try to find the colour nearest to the required colour and print. If the print does require painting, I will print ABS, but not willingly…

Check out EcoRobotic's full rage of filaments available here.

For any questions feel free to contact us:

Pierre Kotze (Professional Hobbyist)

081 488 2647

1 comment



How about asa, almost like abs but with less of the problems. The little bit that I have printed with it. Not sure why almost no one stocks it in namibia. Petg I have some of the best print. Just keep it dry, as soon as I have issues with petg it is due to moisturizer. Funny thing about nylon if anyone want to try, get some weed wakker wire, it is nylon just dry it for a long time as the manufacturer tens to let it absorb water to make it a bit more stronger so it does not snap so fast.

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