More PLA quality issues

Getting good prints from PLA (Polylactic Acid based filament) is usually pretty easy – as long as you have a well calibrated extruder and good quality filament.

I once ran into quality issues with filament on the SAME filament reel. On the first limited test run of my Pencase, I started with a pale blue Matterhackers spool that went well, but then turned into total garbage by the end of the reel.

Since it was a new reel, or at least a newly ordered reel, I thought it was a material issue given the printer itself was also freshly calibrated, cleaned and maintained.

Hey, it happens. But the relative youth of a consumer or even pro-sumer 3d printing marketplace is going to have these kinds of hickups.

It’s one of the reasons I have always enjoyed using Protopasta filaments – the consistency of a material throughout it’s usage and lifetime in your shop is really important. And it’s clear from a sampling of materials that pricing might not reflect quality, but when there is consistent correlation between price and quality – you build some loyalty.

This sounds like more of a marketing blog than a 3d printing rant, but it cn be really tiresome trying to salvage a bad roll of remaining filament with different settings to compensate for brittleness, adhesion, clogging or other difficulties that come wwith inconsistent filament properties.

For instance, I actually sat next to my printer once with my finger on the temperature dial adjusting the filament temperature AS it was printing. If I saw or heard strain in the extruder I would adjust pressure slightly, or if I saw under extrusion I would briefly increase temperature, or even adjust speed. JUST to save on buying new filament.

I’m likely not going to do that again. It’s beside the point of having a robot in your living room, right?

Switching off and on

I had a bunch of web hosting stupidity happen over the last few weeks. Going to switch web hosting soon and I don’t think it will interrupt anything, but I realized how long I have had a website when it’s just not as cool or common a thing any more. I don’t want to give up my url ever and was considering it in the light of how easy it is to not have one any more.

Host my demo reel? Just go to online video free services.

Host my artwork? Choose a platform?

One stop for all your content? Yeah, that’s still a harder proposition but hey, hyperlinks still connect everything so why keep my own url?

I’m damned stubborn, but the I have become kind of fond of the wordpress platform and less impressed with other web platforms. I’m still a feature guy, and things like twitter and Instagram are dumbed down they kind of make me anrgy by default at how little they offer in terms of features and control.

Thankfully, platforms like wordpress seem to be holding strong and other blogging and CMS platforms still have something to offer.