Why Does 3D Filament Quality Matter?
Not all filament quality is the same but in order to understand this better we need to understand a few different things like what is filament diameter, ovality, and in-line measurement. These are things that will help you identify how tight the tolerances were when the filament was being produced. There are a lot of different variables that have to work in harmony in order for you to have an excellent print. These vary from having a 3D printer that is tuned properly, bed is level, right temp for that specific filament, ambient room temp, no drafts, proper cooling speeds, print speeds, and so on. The filament you use should be consistent enough that you shouldn’t have to check e-steps or recalculate between every roll. Having tighter tolerances will give you the best printing experience and less chances your print will fail or maybe even damage your machine. You also waste less time and money on tinkering with problems and more time printing.
The way your printer prints accurately is by being able to extrude the right amount of plastic at the right time. If the filaments diameter is too far off from what the printer believes it should be then you will either over extrude or under extrude filament. The greater the tolerance range the worst this problem will be. For example the industry tolerance standard is +/-0.05mm so your filament can be anywhere between 1.8mm and 1.7mm. Many filaments will also deviate from this as well and the worst I have seen is +/-0.12mm. If you are looking for dimensionally accurate filament than have a look at our 3D Fuel filament. They have a tolerance of +/-0.02mm with the production information printed on the box for that spool.
This is the measurement of how oval your filament is. To check for this just measure your filament with some good calipers and turn the filament 90 degrees and measure again. If your filaments measurement is different then your filament is oval and not round. If the filament is oval you could be either over or under extruding filament and this could also jam or damage your printer.
In-line measurement has to do with the way the filament is produced and is the most important part in the production line. Many factories run a lower inferior single axis measuring system and does less samples in a period of time. The 3D Filaments we carry at 3D Lab Tech are all produced on a machines that run on a multi axis system. This will ensure the filament is round and not oval by taking measurements of the filament from at least 2 different angles.