Oil helps PLA? Yes!

PLA is a material that we sell that is made of corn. It’s in the experimental stage, meaning that we did a bunch of tests and found it to be the best, but we haven’t found the best settings for it yet. One problem folks have been having is keeping it flowing!

Nick McCoy has solved one problem by coating the PLA with oil as it goes into the extruder. He’s put a piece of cotton and soaked it with oil so that it coats it as the filament goes into the extruder. Cool! We haven’t tried this out at the Botcave yet, but it’s refreshing to hear a cool solution! Learn more about PLA on the MakerBot wiki.

I am using engine oil, 10W-30, I believe. I bought the wrong stuff for my car once and so I have a quart of it lying around. I thought about using vegtable oil, but I think it would smoke at my working temperatures and I don’t need my reprap smelling more like waffles than it does just running PLA.

via A little oil makes PLA move. « Code Errors.

Tagged with 5 comments

5 Comments so far

  • Tim Schmidt
    February 7, 2010 at 2:04 am

    I’ve been using extra virgin olive oil with my 4042D PLA successfully.

  • John
    February 10, 2010 at 1:02 am

    Would it be possible to mount a laser and some mirrors to this to enable it to etch plastic and metal?

  • MBC
    February 17, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Wow! it really works. I saw this on the gGroup thread but didn’t try it until now. I had been having some trouble with my 4042D PLA but I printed 5 hours of it last night with ZERO problems. When I backed the filament out the end was pretty oily. I didn’t put much on but I guess it is all stripped off when it melts and it kind of collects and lubricates the sticky partially-melted PLA.
    PLA is awesome, it seams to bond between layers a little better than ABS and of course, no raft and little warping. Getting close to finishing the parts form my Mendel. Did the little parts in ABS. Got PLA for the larger parts and man, once you get it working it is fantastic.

  • Laser Cutting
    August 26, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    And corn is supposed to be food! What I like about the bio-derived substrates is that it ain’t petroleum derived. The fact that it performs better is an even bigger bonus. Now there is no reason not to use PLA. The green aspect is a nice marketing angle these days.

  • Pieter Bos
    August 28, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    It works it works yes, had loads of problems with PLA then i read this.
    Soo happy. Maybe i can turn off my barrel cooling fans.
    Using extra virgin olive oil to @Tim Schimdt but i thing this will be a problem in the long run. So maybe i wll turn to motor oil (sorry;-)


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