Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Christmas Advent 3D Printing #Day 11 Advice using Proto-Pasta Magnetic Iron PLA and Conductive Graphite

December advent calendar - modular Christmas tree
3D Printing advice #Day 11

For the background and introduction - Day #1 Post click here

Christmas Advent 2017 Download on Thingiverse here - designed by Tom Van den Bon  With some help for each day by the South African Makers team.


It's time for Day #10, and today the gift is designed by Megesh Govender -  It's a Potjie (cooking pot)

Potjie - cooking pot - printed in three parts, and because it's Christmas, filled with sweets!

There is a material for every project. Today we have a Potjie (cooking pot) and that's usually going to be made of metal. Iron maybe. Perfect! Let's use Proto-Pasta Magnetic Iron PLA.


This 3D Printing filament if one of the most fun to use that's in existence today. I have had a lot of joy using this for all sorts of objects and art / sculptural projects. It's probably the material people ask me most questions about - usually after seeing the finished models.


The reason why this material often catches the eye, it that you can make it rust. It actually does not shine up like other metal filaments (you can get a little shine if you almost kill yourself polishing it).

It's also magnetic, I have found some geeky uses for that, but mostly it's all about the rusting.

I'm not going to be able to show you the rusting straight away (it takes a little while), but I will make it rust and show you when it's looking great.

If you want to know more about my adventures with Proto-Pasta Magnetic Iron printing, do take a look at this blog post and video here.

Do take a look at my previous blog post on Proto-Pasta Magnetic Iron for lots of info and prints.

The above blog and video link also explains more about the rusting process - (it's really easy).
Also it may help to read the blog if you are finding it tricky to use with a bowden setup, I had to tweak some of the retraction and flow rate settings to get perfect results.


Base of the Potjie is printed in conductive Graphite PLA

Because I don't have all that much Magnetic Iron PLA remaining, I'm going to slightly modify the model, and also make the bottom section from Proto-Pasta electrically conductive Graphite PLA.

Graphite PLA has a really nice shine-shimmer. It'll actually look more like an old blackened cooking pot than the Iron will after it's rusted.

To print with Graphite PLA, just use normal PLA settings, I get great  results from the material. It seems to produce tighter and more defined print features than many other PLA's on the market.

All printed (it really looks like an iron pot) - they will be rusting as you read this...

Print advice - (Proto-Pasta Magnetic IRON PLA)

What settings did you use? - You can use normal PLA temperatures , I use 190 Degrees C for Magnetic Iron. It conducts heat, so the hotter you go, the more likely you will have a runny flow, oozing and stringing / blobs.

You should not need to go over 210 Degrees C. If you start to see a blob forming on the end of your nozzle, then you are printing too hot and the flow rate may be slightly too high. Lower flow by 5% and try to use a 190 / 195 Degrees C temp range.

Apart from that, it's really easy to use.

Be gentle with the filament, it's not very brittle, but more fragile in filament form than normal PLA.

Why use it? - Because it's Iron, and you can rust it. Seriously if you don't want to use some immediately after reading this and looking at my previous blog post about it, I don't know what else to tell you.

Is it strong? - It's heavy, really surprisingly heavy. And yes it is reasonably strong in printed form. I would not recommend dropping the printed parts, they may crack.

Doing any rusting process will also weaken the parts. Not greatly, but they do get weaker and are more likely to de-laminate if dropped, knocked etc.

Is it easy to use/print - Yes, just watch out for dribble collection on the nozzle (you are too high temp).

You will also need to adjust your extruder feed rate by around. Do experiment, depending on the feeder type, grip and pressure I have founf anything from -5% to +15%

Use Z-hop it makes your nozzle last a bit longer!

Do you have to dry it before/after use? - No - it's good as it is.

Do i need a 'special' nozzle? - Yes! - it's abrasive. Use a 0.4mm or bigger nozzle. It will work fine with Stainless, Hardened steel, or as I'm using here a Olsson Ruby.

You can use a brass/copper nozzles, but they will wear out (and down). Quite quickly if you use more than about 500g of it.

Does it smell when printing? - No,  none at all.

Does it come on a eco friendly spool? - Yes! :-) The Proto-Pasta spools are about the best cardboard spools you can get at the moment. They look great, and feed well, and are 100% compressed paper.

Conclusion for Proto-Pasta Magnetic Iron PLA - I would happily spend much more of my spare 3D printing time using Proto-Pasta Magnetic Iron for further experimentation. It produces such interesting finished results after rusting. I'm sure there are neat and interesting ways to age parts with different rusting formulations. I will be doing more experimentation next year with this material.

For me it's just more fun than Proto-Pasta Stainless steel, but that's really cool too.

Day #11 Is Completed. With a bit of model adjustment, and good judgement on filament usage, I just managed to do another rusted Iron 3D Print.

Today's story, for people who ask is going to be about the Potjie - "In South Africa, a potjiekos, is a dish prepared outdoors. It is traditionally cooked in a round, cast iron, three-legged pot, the potjie, " - Tom Van Den Bon - via Twitter.

I also very much expect to be talking about why it's so heavy and if it's supposed to be rusting...

I'm really delighted with the Potjie printed in Magnetic Iron.

Join me next time for Day #12 - I'm slipping slightly further behind schedule every day, so I'm going to try and catch up.

Thanks for reading.

Rich.

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