Filament temperature: ABS, PLA, TPU, TPE, PVA


The extrusion temperature for your filament is one of the most critical settings. Too low and it may not extrude, the layers may not adhere, or you might get an extruder jam and even a clogged nozzle. If the temperature is too hot you can get heat creep up the extruder, stringing or even burnt filament potentially clogging the nozzle.

What temperature should you use for your filament?

Temperature Ranges

Filament TypeTemperature RangeHeated Bed
ABS200 – 250 °C90 – 100 °C
PLA180 – 220 °CNot Required
TPU230 – 250 °C60 °C
TPE210 – 240 °C20 – 70 °C
PET215 – 235 °CNot Required
PVA160 – 190 °C60 °C

These temperature ranges are just a guide and your needs may vary. Different brands may have different tolerances and may work better at different temperatures. Some manufacturers include the temperature range on the filament spool.

The best way to determine the correct temperature to use within the range is to do a test print.

Test Print

The objective of a test print is to vary the print temperature as the print increases in height.

Using a temperature calibration print (like this one), you can test a range of print temperatures. Always do this for each new filament you purchase.

The recommended test print even has labels on it that you use to tell what temperature each section was printed at.

Several 3D slicer programs are able to vary the extrusion temperature by layer. The popular slicer Cura comes with a plugin called TweekAtZ that allows changing the temperature, in addition to other settings, at specific layer heights. This setting can be found in the menu: Extensions: Post Processing: Modify G-Code.

Additionally, the slicer Simplify3D also has the variable setting wizard that allows you to modify settings at different layer heights.

One you have found the optimal temperature for your filament, write it down on an address label and stick it on the side of the roll. You may also want to track the optimal temperature in an Excel or OpenOffice spreadsheet.

For more information about 3D printing, check out how 3D printers work.

Conclusion

Temperature settings vary depending on the filament. Even if you know the correct setting based on the filament type, it is probably a good idea to run a test print for each new filament brand you purchase. Keep these temp setting in a spreadsheet for future use. And have fun.

Verl Humpherys

I have been 3D printing since 2017, using both FDM and SLA printers. My prints have varied from small D&D figurines to full sized baby Groot. I printed mounts for my various game consoles and my Oculus Rift. Any problem you can have with a 3D printer, I have had. And I am here to tell you what I have learned.

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