What is the Best Printing Temperatures and How to Tune for Your Filament?
Printing temperatures, including nozzle temperature and hot bed temperature, are important settings that affect print quality greatly when print with either PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU or nylon filament. Different materials of filament have different qualities, hence different printing temperature settings are required. In this article, we'll begin the topic at recommended printing temperatures for PLA, ABS, and etc., and go deeper with practical methods to tune out the best printing temperatures for your specific filament.
Recommended printing temperatures for different filament:
1. PLA printing temperatures
As the most available material with the least print limitations, PLA is unarguably the most popular filament among 3D printer users.
Commonly, the recommended print temperature (nozzle temperature) for PLA can be within between 180℃ and 230℃; meanwhile, hot bed temperature can be advised a variation of 20℃ to 60℃.
In addition, a heated bed is not that necessary for PLA printing. That's why you can see some 3D printers without a heated printer bed, though they're quite rare.
2. ABS printing temperatures
ABS is another popular filament in 3D printer but with more limitations.
ABS is much tougher than PLA but tends to deform. That's why ABS filament needs higher printing temperatures and usually, an experienced 3D printing maker will put the printer inside an enclosure to prevent fast cooling caused deformation of the print.
Recommended printing temperatures for ABS:
Nozzle temperature 210℃ - 250℃
Hot bed temperature 80℃ - 110℃
3. PETG printing temperatures
PETG filament is relatively a new material in 3D printing and less used when compared with PLA and ABS. With combined features of PLA and ABS, PETG needs higher nozzle temperature as ABS and hot bed temperature as PLA. Also, when printing with PETG, a heated bed is not that necessary too.
Recommended printing temperatures for PETG:
Nozzle temperature 230℃ - 250℃
Hot bed temperature 55℃ - 75℃ (for not taped printer bed)
4. TPU printing temperature
TPU, as a flexible filament, is popular for printing cell phone cases and other models with good flexibility. TPU is useful but also an challenging option for 3D printing makers especially beginners.
Recommended printing temperatures for TPU:
Nozzle temperature 220℃ - 250℃
Hot bed temperature 30℃ - 60℃
5. Nylon printing temperature
Nylon filament is known for its toughness and flexibility. Printing nylon needs both higher nozzle and hot bed temperatures, and put your printer inside an enclosure to isolate from lower ambient temperature.
Recommended printing temperatures for nylon:
Nozzle temperature 230℃ - 265℃
Hot bed temperature 70℃ - 90℃
What if printing at too low or too high nozzle temperature?
When printing at too low nozzle temperature, the nozzle will have less extrusion or even won't extruder at all; when the nozzle temperature is too high, the filament becomes too liquid and come out with not that clean and even looks, and they'll finally create a messy melted blob on the printer bed.
What if printing with too low or too high hot bed temperature?
If you're printing at too low hot bed temperature, the bottom layer of your print have poor adhesion to the bed, and 3D print warping happens; on the opposite, too high hot bed temperature can make the bottom layer melt much, and 3D printing elephant foot happens, and even the bottom layer sticks to hot bed too tight and leads to possible damages to your print when you remove it from the bed.
How to tune out the best printing temperatures for your filament?
When we get a new spool of filament, either it's PLA, ABS, TPU, PETG or nylon, there is a tag on the spool that gives both hot bed temperature range and nozzle temperature range recommendation.
To tune out the best printing temperatures for a material never used on your 3D printer, you can do test prints starting at the middle of the recommended printing temperature ranges. And tune the value 5 ℃ higher or lower per time according to the printing result until you find the best printing temperatures for both nozzle and hot bed.
In addition, filaments of same material from different suppliers may have slight differences in qualities. This will need a change for printing temperatures.
For example, you often print PLA filament at 195℃ for nozzle and 60℃ for hot bed, but find these values don't work on new PLA filament from another supplier, or sometimes even different colored PLA filament from the same supplier. At these circumstances, a slight tune of printing temperatures is needed.
Another common thing we do to fine tune the printing temperature for PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU or nylon, is to print a temperature tower, which indicates nozzle temperature affection on your print clearly with increasing temperature values like a tower.