Proto Pasta Matte Fibre HTPLA

A matter Fibre version of the Proto-Pasta HTPLA made using plant fibres.

Manufacturer's Recommended Settings - Personal Preferred Settings Nozzle Temperature 190 - 230°C 240°C Bed Temperature Not Required 50°C Speed (mm/s) ?mm/s 50mm/s Cooling Fan Speed ?% 50% Retraction ?mm @ ?mm/s 4.5mm @ 30mm/s Other Specifications - - Density 1.07g/cm3 - Diameter and Tolerance / 2.78 - 2.96 Bed Adhesive None Required Hair Spray

1cm3 test piece, 10.28x10.20x9.92 (mm) (XYZ), weight 1.11g. Density = 1.07g/cm3.

Temperature: Printing through the range of 230-210°C, stringing was obvious at all temperatures with the default settings, although they were easy to remove, bridging and definition was better at 210°C.

Speed: Not enough sample was provided for a full set of tests, but it printed well at 45-50mm/s with a 0.4mm nozzle and 0.1mm layers.

Preferred settings: This ran at the same settings as a good quality PLA, 210°C nozzle temperature and 50°C bed temperature, with a print speed of 50mm/s at 100um layers, with fans between 50-100%. The manufacturer recommends the 1st layer is printed at 230°C but it was fine at 215°C with hairspray as the bed adhesive

Ultimaker Robot: This printed well with good all-round definition of the various features

3DBenchy: Another nice model of this test piece, with no problems on the hull building the overhangs nicely, a good flat top surface to the deck and although stringing is visible about the wheelhouse doors and windows I is easily removed, a little drooping on the front window bridging but good finish to the chimney.

Shrinkage - Length % Width % Height* % Dimension 60mm - 31mm - 32.5mm - Measurement and % Difference 59.9mm 0.17% 30.98mm 0.06% 32.52mm 0.06%

*As the vertical height can be effected by the distance of the bed-levelling to the nozzle the height of the “Top of the Chimney to the top of the box” should be more accurate for the comparisons

Conclusion: The material is described as Matte Fibre HTPLA, and from their website ‘it is made with plant fibres which gives a finish reminiscent of Ceramic, Marble or Limestone’.

The Finish is not smooth as the fibres produce a slight roughness to the surface and I would say like is akin to limestone, but it is very difficult to actually see the layers, at 100um I needed to use an eye glass to actually see the print layers.

Being a HTPLA this should also be more suitable for use in areas where normal PLA may sag slightly from the temperature exceeding the Glass Temperature but no data sheets are posted on the side with material specifications to verify without further testing. It was also good at stability and exhibited very little shrinkage, although Proto-Pasta do mention that the material does absorb moisture and dry filament is recommended for best results, so I would make sure it is stored in a Ziploc bag with desiccant bags.

I didn’t have enough sample length to run the full temperature range or to print some other test pieces, but other than the stringing at the test settings this was a nice material, no warping from the bed, and any architectural models will have a nice light limestone type finish, and it is reportedly good with taking paints to the surfaces so good for small painted models.

The two pictures above of 3DBenchy show a tale of two halves, the photo on the left of the starboard side is as printed and the stringing and odd blob are visible, the port side photo is after a slight post print clean-up to the port half to remove the stringing etc. These were simply removed with a shaft scalpel blade and a small file, the front aspect window still has the stringing on the starboard half, you can also see the print-layers in the photograph, but they are not as obvious as most other materials.

The material is also stiff, I could find no markings from the feeder on the filament after it had passed through it, and if your filament feeder is weak or struggles with the stiff filament at the end of a roll you may experience a little difficulty with this filament, if in doubt try a sample length before purchasing a whole reel. My Bondtech feeder didn’t have any problems pushing this through a Bowden tube on my UM2 and printing.

This filament is well worth a try if you are wanting a different finish to your models and white would be great for any architect models.

Colours available; there are only a few basic colours in the range, Black, Blue, Grey, Green, Red, Yellow and White.

Testing performed on an Ultimaker2, With a BondTec Feeder, an Olsson Block running a 35W heater and using a 0.4mm nozzle.

(December 2016)

(December 2016) Printer Spec added.


(December 2016)

(December 2016) Printer Spec added.

Ian Hiscocks

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