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Getting the Best Results: Optimal 3D Printing Temperatures for PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, Nylon

Aug 31,2023 | 3D4Create

I. Introduction

One of the most important settings for 3D print success is having your nozzle and bed temperatures tuned properly for each specific filament. Every material has an optimal temperature range to extrude smoothly and stick to the bed effectively throughout the print. Dialing in the right temps prevents issues like clogging, warping, layer splitting, and poor inter-layer adhesion.

This guide will provide temperature recommendations for major filament types including PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, and Nylon. With the right thermal settings, you will produce stronger printed parts with minimal defects.


II. PLA Print Temperature Guide

As the most widely used filament by beginners and advanced users alike, getting your PLA temps right is essential. Here are tips for extruder and bed temps when printing with PLA.

1. Optimal Nozzle Temperature Range for PLA

Print PLA using a nozzle temperature between 190°C and 220°C for the best flow properties and thermal stability. A good starting point is around 200°C, which can then be fine-tuned up or down as needed based on factors like filament brand and printing speed. 

2. Heated Bed Temperature Tips for PLA

While a heated print bed is not required when printing PLA, using one set at 40°C-60°C can help with first layer adhesion and prevent warping by keeping the base material warm. Bed temps up to 70°C are typically fine for PLA but anything above this may cause issues like part curling. If you do not have a heated bed, blue painter's tape works very well for adhering PLA to the print surface.

3. How to Calibrate Nozzle Temp for Your PLA Filament

To identify the optimal nozzle extrusion temperature for your specific PLA filament, it is recommended to print temperature towers and calibration cubes while incrementally adjusting the nozzle temp by 5°C-10°C each time. Observe the print quality and measure the cube dimensions to determine the best temperature for minimal stringing, optimal bridging, and accurate print dimensions. There are more settings to optimize PLA prints.

eSUN 3D Printer Filament PLA+ 1.75mm 1KG

eSUN 3D Printer Filament PLA+ 1.75mm 1KG

 

II. Tuning ABS Print Temperatures

Compared to the ease of printing PLA, ABS requires more carefully tuned temperature settings to achieve good print quality free of defects. In fact, PLA and ABS have more differences. Here are tips for dialing in your ABS temps.

1. Optimizing Your ABS Extruder Temperature

Print ABS using a nozzle temperature between 220°C and 250°C. Most ABS prints well starting around 235°C-245°C, providing enough thermal energy to fully melt the material before extrusion. For your specific ABS, you may need to adjust the temp up or down within this range to prevent under-extrusion or excess stringing.

2. Heated Bed Recommendations for ABS 

A heated print bed is strongly recommended when printing with ABS in order to minimize warping and shrinkage of the part as it cools after extrusion. For ABS, aim to keep the print bed at 90°C-110°C throughout the print. An enclosure will also help by allowing your ABS print to cool down slowly and evenly.

3. How to Dial in Your Optimal ABS Temperature

Finding your ideal ABS nozzle temp is best done by printing temperature towers in 5°C degree increments, observing how the extrusion quality changes, and noting the temp that produces the least stringing while still extruding cleanly. Slowly tweak the nozzle temp with several ABS test prints until you find the sweet spot.

eSUN ABS+ Filament for 3D Printer 1.75mm 1KG

eSUN ABS+ Filament for 3D Printer 1.75mm 1KG

 

III. PETG Print Temperature Guide

With benefits of both PLA and ABS, PETG is quickly growing in popularity. Use these temperature recommendations for great PETG prints.

1. Recommended Nozzle Temperature Range for PETG  

Print PETG using a nozzle temperature between 220°C and 250°C for optimal extrusion flow and layer bonding. A starting point of 235°C works for most PETG. You can potentially print PETG at lower temps like 215°C but may experience more stringing.

2. Heated Bed Temperature Tips for PETG

While a heated print bed is not strictly required when printing PETG, using one set to 50°C-80°C can significantly improve first layer adhesion and prevent warping of larger PETG prints. An adhesive like blue painter's tape or glue stick is also recommended for the print surface.

3. How to Calibrate PETG Printing Temperatures

Dial in your optimal PETG nozzle temp by doing temperature towers in 5°C increments, observing extrusion quality and stringing at each temp range. PETG tends to stick well between layers so lower temps down to reduce stringing. Slower cooling fans around 50% speed will also help.

 

IV. Nylon Print Temperature Recommendations 

Nylon filament requires very high nozzle temperatures and proper moisture control to print successfully. Follow these nylon temp tips.

1. Ideal Nozzle Temperature for Printing Nylon

Nylon needs nozzle temps of 240°C-290°C to print cleanly. Ensure your printer has an all-metal hotend capable of reaching these elevated temperatures consistently. Start at 265°C for the average nylon filament and adjust from there.

2. Heated Bed Requirements for Nylon 3D Printing

Use a heated print bed temp of 60°C-80°C when printing with nylon filament. Garolite print surfaces work very well for nylon bed adhesion. Adding a thin glue layer also improves first layer stick.

3. How to Optimize Print Temps for Nylon Filament  

Nylon easily absorbs ambient moisture which can ruin prints. Dry your nylon filament for 4-8 hours before printing to prevent this. Avoid cooling fans and allow nylon prints to cool down slowly to prevent shrinkage and cracking. Therefore, filament storage is very important and can help you improve print.


V. Printing Flexible TPU Filament

TPU and other flexible filaments require calibrated temps to print cleanly. Follow these TPU temperature tips.

1. Ideal Extruder Temp Range for TPU

Print TPU in the 210°C-230°C nozzle temp range for optimal bed adhesion and extrusion. Higher temps prevent clogging in the nozzle. 

2. Heated Bed Recommendations for TPU 

Use a heated print bed temp of 30°C-60°C when printing flexible TPU. The warmth helps keep the TPU adhered while printing.

3. TPU Print Temperature Troubleshooting

Print TPU slowly at 40-60mm/s speed to prevent buckling. Direct drive extruders greatly help flexible filament feeding.


VI. Additional Temperature Considerations

Other factors beyond just the filament type can influence optimal 3D print temperatures. Here are some additional considerations.

1. Ambient Temperature Effects on Print Temps

Room temperatures exceeding 25°C can require increased nozzle and bed temperatures compared to printing in a cooler room environment. Adjust temps to account for ambient heat.

2. Role of Cooling Fans on Optimal Print Temps

Increasing cooling fan speeds allows lower nozzle temps in some cases by quickly setting extruded layers. However, too much cooling can increase stringing, layer splits, and print warping.

3. How Print Speed Impacts Necessary Print Temperatures

Faster print speeds often demand higher nozzle and bed temperatures to maintain proper extrusion flow rates and part adhesion throughout the print.


VII. Key Takeaways for Dialing in Better Print Temps

Follow these core strategies to really dial in your print temperatures:

  • Each material requires an optimized nozzle and bed temp range 
  • Start with recommended temps and refine for your specific printer
  • Print temperature towers to identify optimal temps for clean prints
  • Carefully balance cooling - cool PLA quickly, slow ABS cooling  
  • Make small 5°C-10°C adjustments when fine tuning temps
Material Optimal Printing Temperature (℃) Bed Temperature (℃)
PLA 190-220 40-60
ABS 220-250 90-110
PETG 220-250 50-80
TPU 210-230 30-60
Nylon 240-290 60-80

Getting your 3D print temperature settings tuned in properly is essential for minimizing failed prints and achieving the best quality final parts. Use this temperature guide and focus on proper cooling to start printing like a pro.

 

FAQS:

Q1: What is the optimal nozzle temperature range for printing PLA?

A1: The recommended nozzle temperature range for PLA is 190°C to 220°C. Many PLA filaments print best around 200°C.

Q2: Does ABS require a heated print bed?

A2: Yes, printing ABS with a heated bed around 100°C-110°C is strongly recommended to prevent warping and shrinkage. An enclosure also helps ABS prints.

Q3: What adhesion methods work best for PETG 3D printing?

A3: Using a heated print bed from 60°C-80°C and/or an adhesive like blue painter's tape or glue stick is recommended to help PETG adhere while printing.

Q4: How can I find the optimal nozzle temperature for my specific PLA filament?

A4: Printing temperature towers in 5°C increments and testing calibration cubes is recommended to identify the best nozzle temp for your PLA with minimal stringing and good dimensions.

 

See Also:

PLA, ABS, Nylon & PETG Shrinkage & Compensation: Essential Facts

How Do Filament Color Influence 3D Print Strength?

ESUN Matte PLA Filament Review: Does the Matte Finish Live Up to the Hype?

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