3D-Printer Filament Weight Test

Filament Leftover After the Test

Filament Leftover After the Test

This post is the result of slightly goofing off & experimenting on a Saturday …

3D-Printing a Metal Casting Sand Mold Pattern

3D-Printing a Metal Casting Sand Mold Pattern

I was 3D-Printing a large metal casting pattern for my friend SuperDave and wondered if I would have enough filament on the spool for the remaining parts …

Of course, AFINIA 3D software has a way to stop a print and replace the filament and then continue printing … but sometimes ya just want to use up the last few wraps of filament on a roll and not have to watch the rest of the print.

3D-Printing a Part to Test How Many Wraps of Filament are Required

3D-Printing a Part to Test How Many Wraps of Filament are Required

Got me thinking about all the ABS & PLA filament spools I end up saving with just a few wraps of filament left on the spools … What could I print with them??

This led me to thinking of how it would be nice to know how much I could print if I knew the number of ‘final row’ wraps on a Filament Spool.

Test Part Created with SolidWorks CAD Software

Test Part Created with SolidWorks CAD Software

So I picked the smallest part left to do and decided to try a test …

This part was drawn by SuperDave for one of his metal casting projects …

3D-Printed Split-Patterns with the Aluminum Metal Castings

3D-Printed Split-Patterns with the Aluminum Metal Castings

David and I collaborate on SolidWorks projects whereby I will draw parts I need, and he will draw parts he needs, and if needed I will add features to items …

In this case, I added a few dowel alignment holes before scaling up the part to allow for metal cooling shrinkage after casting.

Then SuperDave will create Sand Molds and pour in molten Aluminum …

AFINIA 3D-Printing Software Showing the Predicted Filament Weight of 14.4 grams

AFINIA 3D-Printing Software Showing the Predicted Filament Weight of 14.4 grams

I opened the part’s .STL file in AFINIA’s 3D-Printing Software and checked to see what the predicted filament (material) weight was …

The software said I would need 14.4 grams plus extra for the printing ‘RAFT’ …

Only Had 17 Wraps of Filament Left on the Spool

Only Had 17 Wraps of Filament Left on the Spool

Counted the wraps left on the spool and decided to find out if I had enough …

Cutting 1 Wrap Length of Filament to Weigh

Cutting 1 Wrap Length of Filament to Weigh

Decided to do the calculation by the number of final filament spool wraps …

I had a previously used spool of filament with just a few wraps left on it, so I cut two separate single wraps and measured the length & weight of the filament …

Have Very Accurate Digital Scales for Weighing Parts I Draw into SolidWorks

Have Very Accurate Digital Scales for Weighing Parts I Draw into SolidWorks

The length of a single wrap is approximately 284 mm …  Next the Weight??

Used a 10 gram Test-Weight to Check the Accuracy of the Digital Scale

Used a 10 gram Test-Weight to Check the Accuracy of the Digital Scale

Pulled out the digital scales and first did a weight calibration on the scales …

Zeroed Out the Scale Prior to Checking Any Weights

Zeroed Out the Scale Prior to Checking Any Weights

Next Zeroed-Out the Scale and cut 1 wrap of filament to fit onto the scale …

I think the correct term is ‘Zero Out’ but I say say ‘Zeroed-Out’ ~ So Whatever

The weight of 1 Wrap of Filament is 1.10 grams

The weight of 1 Wrap of Filament is 1.10 grams

The weight of 1 wrap of PLA filament turned out to be 1.10 grams …

Weight for 2 Wraps for of Filament is 2.19 grams

Weight for 2 Wraps for of Filament is 2.19 grams

For better accuracy, I cut the 2nd wrap and weighed the 2 wraps together …

2.19 grams divided by 2 equals 1.095 grams … ( Close Enough to 1.10 grams )

Used a More Accurate Scale to Double-Check the Filament Weight

Used a More Accurate Scale to Double-Check the Filament Weight

I have a scale that goes to the 0.001 grams so decided to see what it showed …

Weight of 2 Wraps of Filament is 2.200 grams on this Scale

Weight of 2 Wraps of Filament is 2.200 grams on this Scale

2 wraps of PLA filament weigh 2.200 grams on this more accurate scale …

For purposes of this experiment we will call it 1.10 grams per wrap of PLA.

View of AFINIA's 3D-Printing Software Features

View of AFINIA’s 3D-Printing Software Features

Next step was to see if the calculation would work …

For Most 3D-Prints I Restore the Software to it's Default Settings

For Most 3D-Prints I Restore the Software to it’s Default Settings

I used the 3D-Printer’s Default Settings …

First the 3D-Printer Prints a Short Length of Filament to Make Sure Tip is Clear

First the 3D-Printer Prints a Short Length of Filament to Make Sure Tip is Clear

Printer runs a quick ‘Tip Clearing’ run of melted filament prior to printing …

The 3D-Printer Creates a RAFT for the Rest of the Part to Print Upon

The 3D-Printer Creates a RAFT for the Rest of the Part to Print Upon

Next the 3D-Printing Software gives you the option of printing a ‘RAFT’ of filament on the printing bed to help hold the printing part flat & secure …

I use the ‘Raft’ feature on ALL my 3D-Prints … They turn out MUCH better!

 ... Last Wrap and a Half of Filament on the Spool ...

… Last Wrap and a Half of Filament on the Spool and Still Printing …

Had 17 wraps of filament ( 17 x 1.10 grams )  so should be able to print part …

... Down to the Last Half Wrap of Filament on the Spool and Still Printing ...

… Down to the Last Half Wrap of Filament on the Spool and Still Printing …

Only worry I had was the prediction of 14.4 grams did not include the Raft …

... No Filament Left on the Roll when the Print Finished

… No Filament Left on the Roll when the Print Finished

When the print finished, the only filament left was inside the guide tube …

The Finished Test Part with the Raft Material Still Attached

The Finished Test Part with the Raft Material Still Attached

There was enough filament to print the part with a little left-over to spare …

View of Filament Left-over after the Test Print was Finished

View of Filament Left-over after the Test Print was Finished

In the background you can see a little piece of Metal-Art I made several years ago out of scrap metal found in my workshop ~ Called it ‘Boy Offering Flowers’

"Boy Offering Flowers" ~ Welded using Scrap Metal

“Boy Offering Flowers” ~ Welded using Scrap Metal

Once the part was done, decided to check the material weights …

Decided to Check the Final Weight of the Part & the Raft Material

Decided to Check the Final Weight of the Part & the Raft Material

The Part + Raft + Tip Clearing strip weighed in at 17.11 grams …

The Combined Weight of the Test Part & Raft is 17.11 grams

The Combined Weight of the Test Part & Raft is 17.11 grams

Just the Raft & Tip Clearing Strip weighed 2.67 grams …

Raft Filament Material is 2.67 grams

Raft Filament Material is 2.67 grams

17.11 grams minus 2.67 grams = 14.44 grams for the real part weight …

3D-Printing Software’s ‘Predicted Weight’ was 14.4 grams ( Yay ~Very Close )

Checking to See How Close Predicted Weight is to Real-Part Weight

Checking to See How Close Predicted Weight is to Real-Part Weight

The predicted weight included support material so I took that out of the holes and other areas and then checked the final part weight on the scale …

Final Part Weight with support material removed is 14.37 grams.

Finished Part Weight with Holes Cleared out is 14.37 grams

Finished Part Weight with Holes Cleared out is 14.37 grams

I think when it gets down to the final row about 27 wraps fit across the spool.

27 wraps times 1.10 grams = 29.7 grams available to print a part with an approximate additional  1.5 wraps of filament in the guide tube leading into the AFINIA 3D printing head.

Experiment Done and a New Spool of Filament Loaded to Print the Next Part

Experiment Done and a New Spool of Filament Loaded to Print the Next Part

This experiment was really just for the fun of it … However, now when I get down to the final row of wraps on a PLA filament spool I should be able to figure out if I can print a part or not.

Next time I print with ABS I will check the weights and post the results here.

  • CHEERS!!! 

 

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Filed under 3D-Printing, BRAINSTORMING, PROJECTS, THOUGHTS, WORKSHOP

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