What is High Speed Filament?

What is High Speed Filament?

The recombination of hardware and firmware advancements in 3D printers allows them to print many multiples faster than they could just a few years ago. One recent development is a wave of new high-flow specific filaments, primarily coming in the form of PLA, PETG. However, it is expected that we will start to see them in other types of filaments as well.

What is Hyper PLA?

Hyper PLA, or rapido PLA, or high-flow PLA is designed to be printed at higher speeds, promising better layer adhesion even at elevated flow rates. 

At the time, there are a few high-flow PLAs in the market, includes eSun's ePLA-HS, Kingroon HS PLA, QiDi Tech's PLA Rapido Filament, Creality's Hyper Series PLA, Polymaker's PolySonic™ PLA, SUNLU PLA meta, and Atomic's Hi-Flow Pro PLA. 

Hyper PLA

What is High Speed Filament For?

In common, all high speed filaments emphasis on higher flow that good for highspeed printers, like Kingroon KP3S Pro V2, KLP1 Klipper 3D printer, Creality K1, K1 Max, Creality K1C, Voron types, etc. These printers are equipped to handle high-speed prints, typically exceeding 200-300mm/s, as opposed to the standard 50-70mm/s like Creality Ender3. The design and characteristics of the Hyper PLA cater to the requirements of these advanced printers rather than traditional ones.

The material used in standard PLA is not specifically designed for high-speed printing or high flow. There's a risk of jamming your printer or the print head when pushing the filament through more quickly than it can melt.

High Speed filaments focus on fluidity at temperature, rather than on strength, glossiness, or other properties. The main goal is to facilitate the smooth flow of filament at the required temperature as quickly as possible. 

High Speed PLA Physical Properties

High Speed PLA Physical Properties
3D Printer Filament ePLA-HS
Density(g/cm3) 1.24
Heat Distortion Temp(℃,0.45Mpa) 53
Melt Flow Index(g/10min) 5.2(190℃/2.16kg)
Tensile Strength(Mpa) 60
Elongation at Break(%) 18.3
Flexural Strength(Mpa) 79
Flexural Modulus(Mpa) 2700
IZOD Impact Strength(KJ/m²) 4.3

Hyper PLA VS. Standard PLA

We will have a comparison of the Hyper PLA against a standard PLA to see if and what flow differences we're able to achieve. Since the Hyper PLA is in white, we will run a traditional track test as well as Stefan's flow test to measure how much we are actually extruding. Hopefully, by the end, we will have a better idea if these filaments are worth it.

I was able to find a Technical Data Sheet (TDS) on eSun's website that allowed me to compare their high-flow PLA against their more standard PLA Plus.

Under physical properties, the density is fairly similar between the two materials. Interestingly, the Melt flow index was 5 on standard PLA Plus versus 4.5 on the high flow, representing a difference of 10 percent. Moving on to mechanical properties, the high flow scored lower in tensile and impact strength but notably better in flexural strength. No other differences were listed, except for the fact that the high flow can be printed at a wider range of temperatures.

high speed pla

Recommend HS-PLA Print Settings

When setting up prints with Hyper PLA, I use the default eSUN profile available for download on their website specifically designed for high-speed filament. This profile configures various parameters such as temperature, flow, and fan speeds. In high-speed printing, having fans at maximum is crucial to harden the filament before the next layer is applied.

For optimal results, it's essential to focus on settings like flow rates, filament size, and temperatures. Downloading and importing the eSUN profile into the Bambu slicer simplifies the setup process. Additionally, adjustments to speed settings may be necessary, and you can make these manually or utilize the profile provided by eSUN on their website.

It's worth noting that the default settings on this profile might not be tailored for extremely high speeds like 400-600 mm/second, providing a realistic perspective on the expectations for printing with Hyper PLA.

eSUN ePLA-HS High Speed Printing Filament Parameters
3D Printer Printing Temperature Layer Height Line Width Printing Speed Acceleration Retraction Extrusion Max
Volumetric Speed
Bambu Lab P1P Nozzle Temp: 220℃

Hotbed Temp: 65℃
(PEI Plate)
First Layer: 50mm/s
First layer Infill: 50mm/s
Outer Wall: 250mm/s
Inner Wall: 300mm/s
Sparse Infill: 300mm/s
Internal Solid Infill: 250mm/s
Top Surface: 200mm/s
Slow Down for Overhangs: on
Overhang Speed: Default
Bridge: 50mm/s
Gap Infill: 250mm/s
Travel Speed: 300mm/s
First Layer: 500
Outer Wall: 5000
Top Surface: 2000
Normal Printing: 10000
Software Default Parameters Flow Ratio: 0.98 22mm³/s Fan: On

Software Default Parameters

Creality K1 / K1 Max / K1C

Nozzle Temp: 220℃

Hotbed Temp: 65℃
(PEI Plate)
(0.4mm Nozzle)
Infill Speed: 300mm/s
Outer Wall Speed: 200mm/s
Inner Wal Speed: 300mm/s
Top/Bottom Speed: 200mm/s
Travel Speed: 500mm/s
Initial Layer Speed: 50mm/s
Skirt/Brim Speed: 50mm/s
Infill: 12000
Outer Wall: 5000
Inner Wall: 5000
TOP: 5000
Travel: 12000
Initial Layer Print: 500
Initial Layer Travel: 500
Initial Layer Travel: On
Retract Distance: 0.8mm
Retraction Retract Speed: 40mm/s
Other Parameters: default
Outer Wall Flow: 90%
Inner Wall Flow: 100%
Top Flow: 100%
Infill Flow: 100%
Prinme Tower Flow: 100%
Initial Layer Flow: 100%
/ Fan: On

Software Default Parameters

Filament Max Flow Test

The Max Flow Test Tower desinged by @keenzkustoms_94722 on Printables allows
you to enter a start and end flow rate, generating a single-walled track model. The printed model is inspected to check for any under-extrusion or layer delamination, providing a rough idea of the material's max flow rate and its compatibility with your print head.

max flow test

Cyborg Voron V0.2 has a standard flow hot end, so I conducted the track test with Voxel PLA, using a flow range of 10-20mm³/s. This range was sufficient to reveal under-extrusion and layer delamination, providing valuable insights into the material's max flow rate for the specific tool head.

Subsequently, I loaded Creality Hyper PLA and ran the same G-Code to make a comparison. There were clear indications that the Hyper PLA outperformed the standard PLA. Between 10-20mm³/s, the standard PLA struggled on tight curves, losing form on the top layers due to insufficient adhesion. In contrast, the Hyper PLA maintained adhesion throughout and showed better performance.

rapid pla

Both filaments exhibited signs of under-extrusion, but it was more significant on the standard PLA. The red PLA appeared to extrude fine up to around 12mm³/s, the set maximum flow rate for PLA in previous tests.

Extrusion System Benchmark

Stefan of CNC Kitchen Youtube channel's Extrusion System Benchmark test designed for checking the capability of extrusion systems and avoiding underextrusion. The test involves weighing and plotting any extrusion loss at different flow rates. I conducted three separate tests for both standard PLA and Hyper PLA, ranging from 8-24mm³/s, considering the Voron Zero plate's size and maintaining a temperature of 220℃. 

I proceeded to weigh each extrusion plot and compiled a table to document the flow rate used and the weight of the plot in milligrams. An interesting observation was that the first plot of each test extruded more than the last plot of the previous test, despite the first plot having a higher flow rate. I speculated that during the preheating for the first plot, it sits at the temperature for a longer duration, allowing more filament to melt inside the hot end.

Analyzing the results on a graph, the Hyper PLA demonstrated better extrusion overall, albeit not by a substantial margin. The increase ranged between two and eight percent, with an average around five percent. While this result may be somewhat disappointing, it is noteworthy that the Hyper PLA did extrude more, even if not as much as hoped. However, it's crucial to emphasize that further testing is necessary, especially considering this was specific to Creality's Hyper PLA. Other high-flow PLAs mentioned earlier might have different formulas.

It's important to recognize that this test was conducted with a specific set of hardware, and as we learned from previous flow testing with the Basel nozzle, different combinations of hotends and extruders can yield significantly different results in terms of achievable flow rates. This serves as a data point, and I look forward to seeing results from others who have the opportunity to test either the Hyper PLA or any other high-flow filaments. This concludes the exploration of Hyper PLA. Feel free to share your experiences in the comments if you've tested Hyper PLA or other higher-flow PLAs, and let me know if you noticed any significant differences compared to printing with standard PLA.

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