PLA Temperature & 3D Printing Speed: How To Set Optimal Values

In 3D printing, one needs to know the perfect temperature and printing speed values of the filament being printed. Without knowing these, best results cannot be achieved. Same applies when you are printing with PLA filament. You may be wondering what are the perfect values, how to find them.etc. Keep reading to know the temperature and printing speed details of PLA.

What are the ideal temperature and printing speed values for PLA?

The printing speed and temperature values totally depend on your PLA filament type and 3D printer type you are using. In general, the recommended 

Nozzle Temperature = 210 DegC, 

Printing speed = 60 Millimeter/Second

Print Bed Temperature = 60 DegC

These values vary for different brands and hence every manufacturer mentions the recommended print speed and temperature values on their PLA filament roll. 

To achieve best results with PLA, there are a lot more tips to learn that can save you from common mistakes. So, keep reading and learn to optimize the settings. 

Impact of Printing Speed & Temperature on PLA Object Quality 

In general, the higher the printing speed, the lesser the object print quality. Whereas the temperature will not have any impact on print quality instead, it avoids the problems such as Stringing, Blobbing, Warping.etc

There are multiple factors that affect the print quality, while print speed and temperature have a big impact. Thus optimizing these values is important. 

These values are dependent on the environment and any changes in printer location can change these values. If you have two different homes/garages for 3D printing, then each place will have its own temperature, airflow, humidity.etc.  

Best Print Speed For PLA 

The best PLA printing speed is dependent on the 3D printer configuration and the kind of upgrades made for it. Without any upgrades, the print speed should be between 40-70mm/s with 60mm/s as the recommended value. 

There are many heater cartridges and additional hardware that are available to enable high speed printing. However, many experiments are going on to boost the printing speed among expert 3D users, so the print speed will be increased in future. 

Let’s go through some of the methods to determine the optimal temperature and print speed values. 

Best Nozzle / Printing Temperature for PLA

Generally, the Nozzle / Printing temperature should be in the range of 190-220 DegC with 210 DegC as the recommended value. This value changes with different manufacturers and their specifications. 

PLA is available in different colors, brands and different methods are used in manufacturing. These factors will make a difference in operating temperature. 

Many issues may come up if you want to increase the temperature beyond the recommended values. These issues need to be addressed. 

Sometimes, the thermistor will show inaccurate temperature values and the Nozzle may not be as hot as it says. So, ensure no loose connections and proper seating of the thermistor to get the accurate readings. 

Another issue could be the missing of insulation on the hotend, which is usually covered originally by Yellow Tape or Silicone sock. 

Sometimes, the Bowden tube on its hotend side is not cut flat and pushed upwards against the Nozzle. 

On the other hand, filament flow will not be even if extrusion temperatures are kept low. So, it’s important to arrive at the right value, not too hot, nor too low. If you wont set this right, then gaps between layers will be formed due to improper extrusion. 

Best Print Bed Temperature For PLA

Most of the time, PLA interestingly doesn’t need a heated bed, but for a few filament brands it is needed.

Among most of the PLA filament brands, the commonly recommended print bed temperature range will be between 50 – 80 Deg C, with an average temperature of 60 DegC

But, if you want to print in a cool climate, then the print bed temperature should be maintained high. PLA produces best results in warm and non-humid environments.

The problem of first layer adhesion and warping in PLA can be solved using a heated print bed.

Impact of Ambient Temperature On PLA 3D Printing 

It’s important to understand the environmental impact on PLA printing. The printer location and its environment play a major role in the quality of the prints. Ensure that the environment shouldn’t be too windy nor cool. 

That’s why many 3D users use 3D printer Enclosures to minimize the external environmental impact on the print quality. 

Particularly when printing with ABS the absence of 3D printer enclosure produces cracking and warping in the print. Hence, to get the perfect 3D print quality, the environmental conditions need to be controlled. 

Comgrow Creality has the best enclosure on Amazon that fits Ender 3 easily without any hassle installation. It has many features as mentioned below:

  • Maintains a consistent internal printing temperature 
  • Stabilizes overall printing.
  • This enclosure is very strong
  • It is Dust-proof and reduces the noise.
  • It is made of flame resistant material.

PLA Types, Brands and Differences in Them

There are many PLA filament brands with different printing parameters, value requirements and demands. Thus a fixed value cannot work for all PLA filaments brands. 

Darker PLA filaments with different colors need higher Nozzle temperature because of color additives. These additives modify the PLA properties based on the manufacturing process.

One user said that while printing sensitive filament on Prusa with Brass Nozzle, he had to decrease the print speed by 50% for a good print. 

Similarly, there are several filament types such as Glow in the Dark, PLA+, ABS, PETG and many others. Thus, ready-to-eat print settings are not available for any PLA or other filaments. Settings has to be made individually for each filament and printer type.

When it comes to the Nozzle temperature, some PLA’s need more and some less. Print the first layer and ensure that it comes out good, then start experimenting with stringing and retraction values. 

How To Find The Perfect Values For PLA Temperature & Printing Speed

To find the perfect printing speed and temperature values, start with the recommended values and change each parameter in a fixed small increments. While doing this observe its effect on printing quality. 

  • Before starting your printing, keep your printing parameters to 60 mm/s(Print Speed), 210 DegC (Nozzle Temp), 60 DegC (Bed Temp) 
  • Select the first parameter as bed temperature and increase it by 5 DegC at a time. 
  • Keep increasing / decreasing print bed temperature and print speed parameters until you see the best results. 

Do your testing based on your PLA brand and printer model. See what values produces best results. 

Generic guidelines are always available that can be followed to get best results. However, it can be fine tuned for better results. 

To determine the Nozzle temperature, print a sample Temperature Tower available on Thingiverse. It is a model that is printed to understand the print performance with different temperature values.

PLA Printing Speed & Temperature: Is There a Relationship Between Them?

When you understand the analogy of FDM 3D printing, it works by softening the material using Nozzle at high temperatures and depositing it on the print bed. While this is happening, the cooling fans inside the extruder cools already extruded plastic and makes it ready for the next layer. 

If printing speed is higher, then the cooling fans have less time to sufficiently cool the previously extruded layer. This leads to irregular layers and print failure. 

Thus a careful balancing of Nozzle Temperature and Printing speed is essential for proper extrusion and flow rates.

On the other hand, if the printing speed is too low, cooling fans will solidify the filament quickly and clog the nozzle as material is moving slowly. 

In conclusion, there is a direct relationship between temperature and printing speed and it needs a proper balancing for best results. 

How To Print PLA at Higher Temperature and Printing Speed

Most of the extrusion related issues can be sorted by upgrading vital parts like Nozzle, Hotend or Extruder. These parts play a big role in getting good prints. 

The printing speed can be greatly improved by using Genuine E3D V6 All-Metal Hotend which falls in the top-tier category. This hotend can withstand temperatures up to 400 DegC without any meltdown failures.

Forget the risk of damage caused by overheating, this is because the PTFE tube is isolated from high temperatures. 

Some of the advantages offered by Genuine E3D V6 All-Metal Hotend are 

This hotend has a sharp thermal break feature that offers control on filament output. Due to this, retractions will be effective and reduce oozing, stringing and blobbing. 

  • You can print wide range of filament types
  • Excellent temperature stability and performance. 
  • User friendly 
  • Assists in high quality printing.

If you need quality 3D prints, then you may like AMX3d Pro Grade 3D Printer Tool Kit which has all 3D printing tools that are needed to Remove, Clean and Finish the 3D parts. 

  • Clean 3D prints easily: It contains 25 pieces along with 3 handles,13 knife blades, glue stick, nose pliers and long tweezers
  • Remove 3D prints easily: It contains specialized removal tools that help to easily remove your 3D prints without damaging them.  
  • Get a Good Finish to 3D objects: use a 3-piece and 6-tool knife/scraper/blade to clean small crevices and make the object appear great finish.
  • Helps you to become 3D printing Expert

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