How to print PETG on any 3D printer.

Posted: May 3, 2020, 10:31 p.m.

By: mynameismike

Type: Article Category: Tech
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How to print PETG on any 3D printer.

I have been using PLA like most people when they start 3D printing on my Ender 3. I didnt even attempt PETG thinking it is too difficult and requires very high temperatures that may even harm my 3D printer components faster. I had a lot of issued on my Ender 3, mostly because it was a clone with cheap parts instead of a proper one. But now that i have replaced all the parts with 24V parts and made sure everything is calibrated i ws ready to try PETG.

What is interesting to me about PETG is the stability. It is relatively inert, so it doesnt react with other chemicals and since i plan to do chemistry and biology experiments that is a must. It is stronger that PLA although not that much and you cannot use annealing to strengthen it. 

I print at 240 degrees with the bed at 80. I have tried 60 degrees on the bed and it does work without any issues for me. I recently tried a few prints with 245 degrees on the hot-end and it seems to help with layer adhesion a bit. I would say 245 to 250 is good enough for PETG. 

When printing it is very important to use a glue stick and apply a good amount on the surface of your heated bed. I have a glass heated bed and the glue helps with the initial layer adhesion and the smooth removal of the print. Using methylated spirit worked for me to clean the glue and some scraping helped speed things up. I only clean it though once a month or once every 15 prints. Because i apply a new layer evey time it makes the surface relatively evenly coated and i dont worry too much abut any imperfections.

Retraction should be higher that PLA and speed lower. I only print at 60mm/s and leave the retraction to the recomended PETG cura settings at 5mm and 35mm/s. Stringing is more compared to PLA but i havent had any issues with the things i am printing. 

Overall i think that PETG is an excelent option for beginners who want to try 3D printing with materials other than PLA. It is easier than ABS and it is cheap. For 10£ i got a 1KG spool and it is still fine after two months of sitting on top of my printer. No moisture issues so far. Layer adhesion is the one thing i need to investigate because i have problems with the layers separating especially at the top of the print but since i am not printing any structural parts for now i would recomend this material to everyone. Try my settings, maybe a higher temperature and maybe even let me know how you print in the comments. 

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