HotRod Henry Supercharged allows you to use any filament available in stores. You are not discouraged to experiment. You will not lose your warranty on the device. The only risk you take is that you will have to get a spare nozzle, if you manage to irreversibly clog one of the two that came with the printer. Our main recommendation is:
Use whatever material you like. But be reasonable! Respect the environment and never, ever compromise your own safety!
If you find a spool of cheap unknown PLA that is less than $15 per 1kg and expect good results – feel free to try it. It is unlikely though that the material from unknown source has good chemical and physical properties. From our experience, cheap no-name material actually costs you more, as you throw most of it to the bin, wasting your time and polluting the environment. And even if you are lucky, and the material has constant diameter and goes through your nozzle easily at first, be aware that this might be misleading.
A bright example is the dying process of PLA. During the production of PLA filament, you would normally use natural PLA granulate, dyes and whatever additives you find necessary. The point is, that during making of PLA filament it is best not to use powdered dyes as they do not mix well. Instead, it is good to use an already dyed granulate of a different polymer. To make the long story short, the cheapest way of dying a PLA filament is to actually mix in some… pre-dyed ABS. You may wonder if that is actually ok, as you would typically print PLA filament at around 200°C, while the ABS printing temperature is 235°C… The answer is: At prices of $15 per kilo who would care?
Well, your hot end nozzle cares. Your timetable cares, as you may be wasting your time trying to print from a low quality material (ABS printed at PLA temperatures does not uite guarantee stron layer bonding). And what is the most important, your body cares! Please be aware that if you use your printer in your room, your workshop, your office, you need to be 100% sure that you are using materials that have a known chemical composition. Again, if you purchase some PLA from an unknown vendor and you think you are printing harmless PLA that emits no styrene or other cancerogenic substance, think again!
3D printing means productivity. 3D printing means fun. But those can never come before your health and safety. Please, choose your materials responsibly. Read the products characteristic charts carefully, and if you are unable to find one from this specific vendor/producer – just say ‘no’! Do not take the chances! There are numerous filament manufacturers that can actually certify that their material is safe during printing, and safe afterwards. There are food-safe materials for printing mugs or cups, there are FDA certified filaments that can be sanitized multiple times. Some polymers are very strong and harmless to you and the environment. Some are flexible and pose no safety risk.
Of course, sometimes you really need to use materials that are inherently risky – such as ABS, or POM. In such cases, make sure that the printing room is well ventillated and there are no persons working nearby and possibly inhaling the emissions.
Always feel free to contact us, and we will do our best to advise you on how to minimize any risks, help you plan the room/facility ventillation and/or customize your Henry to serve its purpose. We know our stuff.
OUR MATERIAL PHILOSOPHY
Basic. Advanced. Expert.
After a lot of hard work, we figured our approach to material classification. We have divided materials into three categories based on their physical properties:
Solid, Composite and Flexible.
Within each category you can find filaments that are very easy to print as well as some that require knowledge and experience. It is exactly the same as with three print setting levels in our RealVision Software. We assessed their difficulty levels:
Basic, Advanced and Expert.
You will find our Material class and difficulty chart below.
Use the following as a quick reference guide to help you choose the right material for your needs and level of experience.
The following table contains a list of materials by type of base polymer. We have tried them and we know they are printable using our hardware. We also explain why it is possible to print it with HotRod Henry Supercharged.
|PLA (Polylactic Acid)||
||PLA is perhaps the most widely used material for 3D printing. With great variety of compositions and colours and great ease of printing, it stays most users favourite for prototyping. Depending on manufacturer, its mechanical properties can be excellent and beat those of ABS! Therefore, it can be successfully used for usable parts as well.|
||PLA composites deserve their own category. They are a tiny bit more difficult to print, but are still on the easy side. Mixing PLA with other materials can result in astonishing effects. From pure aesthetics in case of glittery particles, through metal-like (brass, bronze, copper, stainless steel) or wood-like look and feel through improved strength in case of carbon fiber reinforced PLA. HotRod Henry’s all metal extruder is capable of working with all the above. There is no teflon tube to react with copper particles, and a replaceable stainless nozzle prodives long time resistance to abrasive carbon fibers.|
|ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)||
||ABS is the second favourite 3D printing material. In 3D printed form its mechanical properties may vary. The level of detail when printing with good quality ABS is astonishing. However, ABS warps easily and it is difficult to get proper bed adhesion. Generic ABS might produce dangerous emissions. We recommend using well know brands of this material. HotRod Henry’s closed build chamber keeping the temperatures around the printed objest at ~60ºC makes it posible to print large ABS objects. When printing large objects on Henry, Make sure you have the windows and doors installed, as keeping the print warm is essential for successful printing.|
|PET (Polyethylene terephthalate)||
||PET and its derivatives (PETT and PETG) have excellent mechanical properties and the kinds dedicated for 3D printing enable easy adhesion, high speeds and produce strong prints. HotRod Henry’s high speed and powerful extruder let you get the most of PET as a material!|
|HIPS (High Impact Polystyrene)||
||Although HIPS is widely used as a dissolvable support material for ABS prints, it can be also used as material for printing objects.|
||Co-Polyesters have been made famous for 3D printing by Eastman and their Amphora polymer based materials. Different types of Amphora are used to determine different material properties. Thanks to our heated bed, you will never run into adhesion problems with Co-Polyesters.
Some co-polyesters can have great temperature resistance after printing. They require printing temperatures of up to 280ºC. Our powerful hot end and heated bed enable you to print with all co-polyesters out there.
Co-Polyesters can also be used as composites with carbon fiber, producing very strong and stiff parts. HotRod Henry’s replaceable stainless nozzle prodives long time resistance to abrasive carbon fibers.
For more information, please consult either Taulman3D (nVent Tritan) or ColorFabb (XT, nGen, HT).
||Polycarbonate is strong and impact resistant (It’s used in the making of bullet proof glass). It is also temperature resistant and can be use to make strong, translucent parts. As it requires printing temperatures of up to 280-300ºC, Henry’s powerful hot end enables you to print with it!|
|TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer)||
||TPE is a group of flexible materials that can be 3D printed. There are availabe TPEs ov varying softness, different printing temperatures and… requiring different level of experience when printing. Henry’s Cobra Extruder is prepared to deal with every one of them!|
|TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane)||
||Similar to TPE, Thermoplastic Polyurethane materials is a group of flexible materials And again Henry’s Cobra Extruder is ready to print!|
|PA (Polyamide, Nylon)||
||Nylon is an incredibly strong, durable, and versatile 3D printing material. It is flexible when thin, but with very high inter-layer adhesion, nylon can be used to print gears, hinges and other functional parts. It is not supereasy to print on an ordinary printer. However Henry’s interchangeable build platform surface and powerful hot end make printing with polyamides nearly as easy as PLA!|
|PA-Alloy (Polyamide alloy)||
||Developed by Taulman3D, Alloy 910, although nylon-based, it is a completely new type of polymer. With a combined tensile strength higher than the strongest co-polyesters, the durability of Nylons, a shrinkage factor that rivals our best in class, a vast range of chemical resistance and a 95C working range, you now have one solution easily printable at 245C. Henry’s interchangeable build platform surface and powerful hot end make printing with polyamides nearly as easy as PLA!|
|PCTPE (Plastisized Copolyester TPE)||
||A chemical co-polymer of highly flexible nylon and TPE (thermoplastic elastomer)it allows any user to print a highly flexible parts with the added durability of nylon, from durable prosthetics to complete cosplay wearable outfits, cell phone enclosures as well as highly flexible utility/industrial components. Hotrod Henry’s Cobra extruder and special build surface for polyamide-based materials ensure that using this material does not differ from printing PLA on any home printer!|
||Polycamide high strength and durability can be combined with added stiffness of fibers in a single composite filament. Good examples are carbon fiber and glass fiber Polyamide composites. Bothe these materials enable you to print industrial-grade parts that are durable, light and stiff. HotRod Henry’s full stainless steel hot end nozzle is prepare to resist the wear from abrasive fibers, the hot end is ready to maintain high temperature necessary to extrude polyamide, and the special build surface makes bed adhesion a piece of cake.|
||Acetal is a great chemically resistant polymer that might not be the easiest one to print, but it produces superstrong and resistant parts that can work in most harsh conditions, such as being immersed in a fuel tank. Henry’s powerful hot end enables you to print with it! Just use plywood for bed surface, close the chamber and you are ready to go!|
|PEEK (Polyether ether ketone)||
||PEEK is a semicrystalline thermoplastic with excellent mechanical and chemical resistance properties that are retained to high temperatures (up to 250ºC!). PEEK is regarded as one of the highest performing engineering thermoplastics in the world. It is used to fabricate items used in demanding applications in aerospace, automotive, oil and gas and medical industries. Carbon fiber reinforced PEEK might be actually the strongest material printable on any FFF machine. Being printed at 355-390ºC PEEK tests the limits of Henry’s abilities. For larger PEEK prints, additional active print chamber heating might be required. That might require waterdooling the hot end and extruder motor. If you wish to print large objects from PEEK, please contact us, and we will equip you with all the necessary components.|
||Polyetherimide (PEI) is an amorphous, amber-to-transparent thermoplastic with characteristics similar to the related plastic PEEK. Relative to PEEK, PEI is cheaper, but is lower in impact strength and usable temperature. Henry’s powerful hot end and heated bed enable you to print with it!|
The list is by no means closed…
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE?
Our High Temperature Cobra Extruder is all-metal, can heat up past 400ºC, and maintain it!
Our hot end contains no Teflon tubing or plastic parts inside. This allows it to heat up to higher temperatures than typical ones. Also some composites pla mixed with copper particles can react with Teflon in typical hot ends. The hot end temperature is monitored using a precise thermocouple rather than a standard thermistor. This is key to be even able to go past a mere 300ºC.
The heater core is powerful enough to maintain reliable and continous printing at 400ºC. This is especially important as many manufacturers just claim their maximum temperature from running a dry test on an idle machine. When material is being pushed through the nozzle, it takes the heat from the nozzle very quickly. That means you need a lot of power. Especially when printing fast!
The Build Platform
Our print bed is heated and has interchangeable surfaces.
HotRod Henry’s platform can be heated to over 120ºC within minutes! This ensures that PLA or PET get proper adhesion to the build surface.
If you wish to print polyamides, you can change the build surface to a special phenolic-textile composite. Heat it gently, and you are good to go. No tape, no spray, no glue stick required.
If you have special needs regarding the build surface, feel free to swap the provided ones with any 360x360mm sheet that is 5-8mm thick. Some materials, for example stick well to plain plywood. Feel free to get one cut for you at your local home improvement store.
The Build Chamber
Some materials just like the heat.
The working space of HotRod Henry Supercharged can be closed with windows and doors provided. In such case, if the bed heating is on, the air around the printed object will be hot as well. Typically, if you print ABS with the bed temperature set to 100-110ºC, the area surrounding the print would be around 55-65ºC which is just enouch for this material to print properly.
However, if you wish to print large objects from PEEK, you may wish to have your Henry factory-modified for active heating and cooling. Please contact us for details. Of course, typical smaller objects from PEEK will print just as usual.
The little things that matter
Sometimes it is a tiny little detail that makes big things possible.
For printing with carbon fiber or glass fiber reinforced materials, standard 0.35mm nozzle can be exchanged to a special 0.5mm stainless steel nozzle included with your HotRod Henry Supercharged. Standard brass nozzles can suffer excessive wear just from on bigger print using abrasive coposite.
It takes less than a minute to switch to a different nozzle size or to a different material, without changing the calibration of the Z-height.