Polymaker offers its PolyLite PLA in a bright green color. Join us as we take a spool offilament for a test ride.
Every Friday, we review a 3D printing filament or resin. For this week’s filament, we took a new spool of Polymaker’sfilament and started printing.
Polymaker started out in Shanghai, China, and quickly became one of the well-known 3D filament companies. Today, the company has offices in China, EU, and the US.
Polymaker offers a variety of 3D printing materials in a broad color palette. Besides the “bread and butter” materials PLA and PC, Polymaker offers industrial and exotic materials like Polysmooth, a filament that can be cured in a mist of alcohol to achieve a smooth, polished surface.
Our review sample of Polymaker PolyLite PLA came in the Lulzbot Green. It’s the same color the 3D printer manufacturer Lulzbot uses for most of its 3D printed components.
Polymaker PolyLite PLA is available in 1.75 and 3-millimeter diameters and comes on 0.5, 1, or 2-kilogram spools. Currently, there are 11 “true” colors and 4 translucent materials available.
The price for a 1 kg spool is around $40.
We tested the Polymaker PolyLite PLA filament with a Lulzbot TAZ 6. The spool came in a recycled cardboard box. The content of the spool was covered with plastic foil to prevent it from absorbing moisture. It also contained a desiccant bag. The plastic bag can be re-sealed so the filament stays dry after the initial use.
None of the test prints failed. The surfaces turned out to be smooth and somewhat shiny. The green color has a nice yellow tint to it.
Also, the color is indistinguishable from the original 3D printed Lulzbot parts. Spot the color difference in the image below – we couldn’t find any.
For the test prints, we used Lulzbot Cura, which has a profile for Polymaker PolyLite PLA. For the filament is printed with an unusually high temperature of 210 degrees Celsius, a bed temperature of 60 degrees Celsius and a travel speed of 60 mm/s.
The Benchy test print turned out to be very good, with two small layer problems (see below).
The overall layer adhesion under the microscope looked good and consistent.
Small details turned out to be nice and smooth. There was nearly no stringing, even at the more difficult parts.
As the material is printed relatively hot, some excessive material can heat up at the nozzle and turn into black goo, which potentially will end up in your print – that happened twice with our prints, as you can see below.
Next, we printed two more models – the first one was an updated spool holder for our Lulzbot TAZ 6. The print came out perfect, and – hooray! – we now have an additional spool holder for our workhorse 3D printer.
Last, but not least, we wanted to print something green… Of course, the Hulk came to mind. We chose the model by Fotis Mint.
The support structures were very rigid and hard to pull off. So the standard settings aren’t perfect for small, fragile objects that need support structures.
It’s hard not to fall in love with the bright and friendly color of the Polymaker PolyLite PLA Lulzbot Green. Thanks to an optimized Cura file, the prints turned out to be excellent.
We didn’t encounter any problems during the printing process. The first layer stuck to the bed with ease, and the rest of the printing went also smoothly.
The supports came off a little hard and left some small dents in our Hulk test print (not that he’d mind). Also, material bits can overheat at the nozzle and make it into the print, which doesn’t look nice. Otherwise, we found nothing problematic.
If you are looking for an easy material to 3D print, look no further.
As most PLA, Polymaker PolyLite is relatively easy to print. Still, you want to experiment with the suggested settings.
Filament diameter: 1.75 mm, 3 mm
Print temperature: 195 – 230 °C (1.75 mm), 210 – 230 °C (3 mm)
Bed temperature: heated bed not required
Suggested Printing speed: 40 – 90 mm/sec
Minimum nozzle diameter: 0,4 mm
Friday is All3DP’s “Filament Friday”, where we take a spool of filament for a short test ride.
Every spool is brand new and unopened.
First, we 3D print a Benchy and check for any inconsistencies. Then we print one or two other 3D printables – and provide you with the results. Slicing is done in the latest version of Cura unless noted otherwise. The prints aren’t post-processed in any way; we just remove the support structures.
As for the printing settings, we take temperature and speed recommendations directly from the manufacturer. If the manufacturer offers a range, we go for the arithmetic middle. So if the manufacturer offers a range from 180-220 degree Celsius, we will set the printer for 200 degree Celsius (unless noted otherwise).
Of course, every spool is different. Even within a filament range, quality may vary. We‘re also aware that tweaking other settings like retraction can be the gap between a successful and a failed print. So if you own a spool of that filament, we would love to hear from you. Any interesting experiences? How did your prints turn out? Please feel free to add to the comments section.
License: The text of "Polymaker PolyLite PLA (Lulzbot Green) Filament Review" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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