A brief review of the material I chose to print my scenics and miniatures.
A few weeks ago we published the test of the Geeetech A20, this time it’s up to an in-depth analysis on the material we have chosen to print our sets. To offer you some decent photos and to appreciate the print detail, I decided to buy two rolls of gray PLA, particularly suitable for being photographed because it is relatively matte and “neutral”.
A little disclaimer to get started
I don’t claim to be a 3D printing “guru”. There are much more credible sources on the subject – my goal is solely to share my experience with 3D printing with you, and how it has supported my hobby and my collection of Star Wars board games.
The video review of the Geeetech A20 printer
We shot this video to show you the potential of 3D printing. After watching it, continue reading the rest of the article to discover all the features of the Geeetech A20, download our already optimized print profiles and discover the offer reserved for pilots and captains of Starfighters Italia!
Regarding this material I have read all kinds of opinions: from those who hate it to those who love it. Over time, I have learned to not rely on dry reviews found on the internet, particularly on Amazon (where I purchased the filament). PLA is a relatively “simple” material to use, and I think the result largely depends not on the material, but on the print settings!
In view of the tests on the printer (which you saw above) I decided to buy a total of three rolls: 2 gray and 1 transparent to try thoroughly. Although it is possible to find it from local retailers, I bought the material on Amazon for mere convenience: you can find it in MANY colors and finishes – from the classic matte to the silky silky effect, from the wood effect to the marble effect! The spools of filament, regardless of the type chosen, will arrive packaged in a fairly slim box, with the spool itself contained in a vacuum bag.
As you can imagine, any type of review of a material for printing is strongly influenced by the results obtained in the tests and consequently by the printer settings. Having already optimized the print profiles (found at the bottom of this article), I will try to be as objective as possible, having tried the material with different prints and levels of detail, as well as at various temperatures and speeds.
The temperature range at which Geeetech PLA can be optimally printed varies between 195 ° C and 210 ° C: this printing fork is strongly influenced by two factors. The first is the speed at which you are going to print, the second is the level of detail (and therefore the “length” of the print head movements) of the model. For the larger models that you see in the photos I used temperatures of 205 ° C and 210 ° C, without encountering particular stringing phenomena (the “threads” that are created around the print) except on the print media to be removed or aberrations on surfaces. The material has rendered the details in an excellent way, also presenting excellent adhesion between the layers.
In other words, this means that you will have strong and resistant prints, even without excessively increasing the infill (i.e. the density of the internal structure of the hollow models) of the prints. I printed the models in the photo with 2-3 layers of shell (ie the perimeter walls of the model) and variable infill between 5% and 10%. The models obtained are robust and have no particular fragility! (a note: I’ll be adding more photos shortly, as soon as the ongoing prints are done!)
Generic print settings for Geeetech PLA
You can start from a temperature baseline of 200 ° by applying a little lacquer on the printing plate. Usually I keep the nozzle cooling fan off for the first two layers and the plate temperature at 75 °, the adhesion is excellent and from the first layers it is possible to see that the filament is extruded in a constant way. I recommend: once you have finished printing, always remember to put your material in a closed container, if you have the possibility in a vacuum bag!
It is easy to say: PLA in general and all its variants are hygroscopic materials, that is, they have a tendency to absorb moisture. In short, the moisture absorbed by the filaments compromises the material and the resulting prints so .. my advice is to have “ziplock” bags handy (resealable Ikea ones are great!) And don’t throw away the silica bags . Keep your rolls in one of these bags when not in use and you will see that the quality of the prints will be constant.
If you want more information about it, Filamently has an excellent article that will explain the details and THE SCIENCE.
Conclusions. Should you buy it?
In short, definitely yes. The Geeetech PLA is a relatively cheap material – it ranges from 17.90 € to 24.90 € approximately for 1 kg of material and is very frequently on offer or discount coupons are available in the various facebook groups that we reported in the printer review.
I will avoid writing bulls*** like OMG IS THE ULTIMATE TOTAL MATERIAL ETC ETC as is all the rage now on review sites and on Amazon.
This PLA is a good compromise between cost and consistency of performance. In my experience, I recommend it to anyone looking for a good material that offers reliability without having to waste time fiddling with print settings every time. Just adjust the temperature (± 5 ° C) according to the ambient temperature of the room to ensure optimal adhesion of the layers and you will be super quiet! Found
One note: the first two profiles will print VERY SLOWLY. Don’t be surprised if it takes 4-5 hours for a medium-sized scenic element and up to 20 hours for large scenery such as bunkers or building parts that take up the entire print bed. To print thumbnails, you might consider installing a 0.2mm nozzle.
The models I printed
In addition to the models listed below that you have already seen in a previous article, I have started to print some Arkham Horror LCG accessories for Comix Play friends. Find them at the top of the list!
Free slicer software Ultimaker Cura
- Agenda holder per Arkham Horror LCG: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2847702
- Organizer Token per AH LCG: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2759105
- Dashboard investigatore: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3827671
- Miniatura investigatore: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4439030
- Connettori luoghi AH LCG: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3960827
- Generatore di energia: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2859235
- Generatore di umidità: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2856961
- Razor Crest: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3994663
- Il Mandaloriano: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3989757
- Portamanovre per X-Wing: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1421381
- Organizer per Orlo Esterno: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3798412/files
- Segnalino personaggio per Orlo Esterno: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3724664
- Portapennelli “Cubistand Mini” – è un mio progetto!: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4577544
- Basette da esposizione per X-Wing – è un mio progetto!: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4244692
- Convertitore per Painting Handle della Citadel Miniatures – è un mio progetto: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4242697
A gift for you
You can buy the printer directly on Amazon.it, using the following link
Thanks to the collaboration of Geeetech who contacted us after the first review, we can offer our readers a discount code worth € 80.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request the code and we will send you the coupon to use on Amazon within a few days.