Ugh, another PLA Filaween epsiode. Well, most PLAs are at least decent these days, but there are still differences.
This the E3D “spoolWorks” PLA in the “Royal” Blue42 color. And I’ve got to say, E3D does manage to get some of the deepest colors into filaments that I’ve seen so far. It comes on 750g spools and the price works out to 40€ per kilogram, so not cheap, but also not outlandishly expensive. The calibration prints indicate a 105% extrusion multiplier on the Prusa MK2, and temperature-wise, what’s interesting is that below about 195°C, the prints come out to a matte finish, but have quite a glossy finish when printed hotter.
I settled for 205°C, since spoolWorks PLA wasn’t super stringy at that temperature yet. Bed adhesion, as is expected with PLA, was quite strong. And while I clean up this buckle that I printed with spoolWorks PLA, let me tell you about the new official sponsor for Filaween 2, Magigoo. It’s a print bed adhesive that’s specifically geared towards 3D printing – you brush it on with the integrated applicator and it’s a no-smell and no-mess solution. It’s actually meant to improve adhesion on glass or bare aluminum printbeds, and for that it works great, but I actually find myself using it quite often as a release agent with the MK2’s PEI bed as well, when materials like PETG or flexibles would stick too well without it. And if you want to go back to a clean bed, you can just wash Magigoo off with warm water.
So one thing I’m noticing with E3D spoolWorks PLA is that it feels a bit softer than other PLAs, and that means you can more easily carve off things like the brim on a print. Actually, I’d have a hard time telling this from ABS by just feeling it without doing any real tests.
But of course, that’s exactly what Filaween is for, so let’s jump into those results. Print quality is great, and the tiny bit of stringing and overhang curling we’re seeing can be easily resolved by slightly lowering the print temperature. Strength was excellent, both when it comes to layer adhesion and the material strength itself. Impact resistance was quite low, but still in line with what is to be expected from a PLA. Which does line up with this next bit, which, I don’t know why I’m even still testing it for PLA, but the E3D spoolWorks PLA, just like every other PLA out there that hasn’t been heat-treated, does not stand up to boiling water well.
So all things considered, the E3D spoolWorks PLA is an excellent material. It’s incredibly close to a flaming 5-star rating in both the quality and the strength departments, so for the overall rating, it does still work out to a flaming five-star. As far as I can tell, E3D has some excellent PLA filament that well deserves its grandmaster rank.
Hey, and check out Magigoo! I really like the goo they make and use it a lot myself, which is why I’m letting them sponsor Filaween in the first place. That’s some sticky, gooey love right there.