After surviving a bit of a crazy week working on a few graphic design projects at once, I finally finished dealing with all of the clients. I’ve been waiting for a while now to try out the ColorFabb’s XT filament and that was one more reason why I was in such a rush. I had only a couple of chances to try it out this week since my schedule was so busy, but I’m starting to like it more and more. It has become my favourite filament in terms of properties – this PETG is a sort of a crossover between PLA and ABS. Unlike the PLA, it’s strong and flexible and much easier to work with than ABS since it barely shrinks. So here’s what I found out after spending some time experimenting with it.
The thing I really like about the xt filament is its transparency. You can’t really make your prints completely transparent, but you can get very nice effects if you adjust the size of your walls. Depending on how thick you make your model, the opacity will be equally affected, so the thicker the walls of the model, the murkier it will look. But it is great for thin designs, and with a good polish it can appear almost see-through. Also, another thing I noticed was whenever I used more curves and corners in my models, transparency was harder to attain, however, whenever I used straight angles, I was able to achieve the see-through effect.
A great tip if you get blobs or threads on the walls of your model is to make sure you turn off combing. What’s more, when using the xt filament, I noticed I can completely remove the blobs. Another good tip to keep in mind, if you want to maintain transparency, is to control the speed of your printer from layer to layer. If you notice that your model starts to lose its transparency as you start printing, then you should slow down the process.
If you want to get full transparency on your models, you have to combine the previously mentioned tips and also switch off your fan. I noticed that whenever I used the XT filament with the fan on, the model cooled off too quickly and I ended up getting more of a murky look. However, with the fan off, I didn’t have this problem and my prints were perfect, so take your time when going for a transparent look and make sure to turn the fan off to make sure the entire piece cools off equally. Regarding standard models, it worked great and i didn’t have any problems. The most noticeable difference for me was that there was no shrinkage when the model was cooling down, which is great and allows for much more flexibility than ABS.