April 2021 Alien3D UFO print results

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One of my favorite subscription boxes is the UFO from Alien3D. This superb box comes monthly and includes four sample filaments, a project, and a bonus accessory. The projects that come out of these boxes are usually fun and easy to make. This post will look at the contents of the box and the print results from the filament samples. I will document the project in a different post.

UFO Contents

April 2021 Alien3D UFO contents

I’ve always liked the filament samples from Alien3D. Josh usually does an excellent job of lining up a good sampling. But now, he has gone one step beyond just providing filament samples. Now each selection includes a baseball-style card that provides recommended print settings. These cards rock! I hope he keeps using these cards in upcoming UFOs.

Filament cards! The 3D printing accessory I didn’t know I needed.

This month’s bonus accessory is a set of wooden handled spatulas. These are always handy with both FDM and resin printing. Maybe I’ll do a whole post on spatulas sometime. I have dozens of them in various sizes and shapes. These are a welcome addition to my collection.

The project is a speaker designed by @polymate3d and a custom Alien3D speaker case designed by @DSK001_3D. I will highlight the project in a future post.

Finally, the kit also included a sticker and snack. The sticker is pretty cool. I’m sure anyone that goes to 3D printing groups on social media has seen “Is your bed level?” as an answer to everything.

The rest of this post will focus on the filament samples

Filaments.ca – Canadian Maker Series Low Sheen Tough PLA

This Pink Canadian Maker Series Low Sheen Tough PLA from Filaments.ca is quite a mouthful. According to the Alien3D card, its recommended settings are:

  • Extrusion Temp: 190-230 C
  • Bed Temp: 40-70 C
  • Speed 30-60 mm/s

I printed a temp tower in five-degree increments from 200-220C on my Ender 3 Pro. The bed temp was 60C and speed 50 mm/s. There was some very slight stringing on the back of the tower at the highest and lowest levels. But the middle of the tower printed perfectly.

I then proceeded to print a bunch of parts for this month’s project. Two of the pieces are meant to be printed in TPU, which I do later. But I printed them in PLA to see if these thin parts would print OK. I also printed two tiny Child in Carbonite designed by Hex3D. The prints can be seen below.

Canadian Maker Series Low Sheen Tough PLA

The parts all printed quite nicely. This is a lovely color. It would have been perfect for printing something Mothers Day related if I had thought far enough ahead of time. There was some slight stringing when the filament had to go through mid-air. But I could easily work that out. Overall I would say this was a very lovely filament.

Greengate3D – Recycled PLA

Up next is Dark Chocolate Recycled PETG from Greengate3D. Greengate3D is one of my favorite PETG manufacturers I’ve ordered filament from this year. First, I like the fact it is recycled PETG. But they also have some unique colors, and it usually prints quite nicely. The recommended settings for this PETG according to the Alien3D card are:

  • Extrusion Temp: 205-245 C
  • Bed Temp: 60-90 C
  • Speed: 45-90 mm/s
  • Cooling: None to Low

I printed a temp tower in five-degree increments from 225-245 C. This was with a bed temp of 80 on my Ender 5 Plus. I went a bit hotter because that is where I’ve had good luck with Greengate3D filaments in the past. The tower had some spider webbing at the back of the tower in the highest temp level. But the sides were solid and quite smooth.

Dark Chocolate Recycled PETG from Greengate3D

I then printed the base to this month’s project at a temp of 240 C. That printed quite nicely, but honestly, it was too hot. I had some slight stringing going between the legs of the base. But overall, it printed very nicely, and it does look like chocolate.

Finally, I printed a scaled-down version of a Chewie Mug designed by Hex3D. This turned out perfect and was printed at 230C. Once again, Greengate3D is at the top of my list for PETG manufacturers.

ProtoPasta – HTPLA

This is another one that is quite a mouthful. Sheyb Designs Glitter’s Mane Teal HTPLA from ProtoPasta is a very cool color. ProtoPasta has some fascinating colors in its HTPLA series. And this one looks just great. The recommended settings for this filament are:

  • Extrusion Temp: 215 C +/- 10 C
  • Bed Temp: 0-60 C
  • Speed 15-45 mm/s

I printed a temp tower in five-degree increments from 205-225 C on my Ender 3 Pro. The temp tower printed perfectly. The sides were smooth and firm. There were no stringing or bridging issues.

Sheyb Designs Glitter’s Mane Teal HTPLA from ProtoPasta

I printed the top to this month’s project twice at a temp of 215C. Both were failed prints, but nothing to do with the filament itself. The first fail, pictured on the left above, had a clog. It turns out my heater block had come slightly loose from the thermal break. That caused me to lose that print. After repairing my hotend, I printed the same thing, hoping I had enough filament left to do so. Nope. I ran out of filament at just about the point where the clog had happened on the previous print. Oh well, it was still a good test of this filament. The filament printed nicely, especially the details around the side of the print.

I’ve enjoyed the filaments I’ve gotten from Protopasta so much that I finally signed up for the Endless Pastabilities Filament Subscription. Yes, this filament is more expensive than many others out there. But really, sometimes you get what you pay for. And I feel their filament is worth every dollar. Now I’m looking forward to seeing what cool colors I’ll get.

Zyltech – TPU

And finally, we have some clear TPU from Zyltech. This was an important one to have this month since the project requires two items printed in TPU to work optimally. I used this filament to test my Micro Swiss Direct Drive upgrade on my Ender 3 V2. The recommended settings for this filament according to the Alien3D card were:

  • Extrusion Temp: 220-250 C
  • Bed Temp: 50-90 C
  • Speed: 20-60 mm/s
  • Hardness: 95A

I printed a temp tower in five-degree increments from 225-245 C. The tower printed great the whole way through. This was the best TPU temp tower I have ever printed. The Micro Swiss Direct Drive upgrade was well worth it!

Clear TPU from Zyltech

I also two speaker parts for this month’s project at a temp of 235 C. Both of them printed OK, but I decided to change the 1mm retraction from 45 mm/s to 30 mm/s. That got rid of a few strings and blemishes I saw on my first prints.

Finally, I printed a bunch of rollers for some droid wheels. I needed twelve of these for a build I am currently working on. There was more than enough filament to print the parts. They printed perfectly. Hopefully, I’ll find time to complete that droid project soon!

Getting PLA from Zyltech has been hit and miss for me. Most of their filaments have been good. But some, such as their gold PLA, was not so good. But, I will say this sample of TPU from them was excellent, and I could see buying a whole roll if I needed more clear TPU.

Final Thoughts

Overall I thought this was a good sampling of filaments. My favorite of the bunch was probably the Dark Chocolate from Greengate3D. The color is just too cool. I almost feel like looking for something to print in that color to be a reason for ordering a roll. But even more so, I think the real winner of this box was the new cards included with each filament. I hope Josh keeps doing that.

Song of the Day: Here I Go Again

I know I’ve been doing time-lapses of the day. But as I wrote this post, I found out that Tawny Kitaen died. Being a young teenage male during the days when MTV was a music video channel, I definitely remember Tawny. RIP…

Bonus Song: Here I Go Again… The first one

I am admittedly a huge Whitesnake fan (and not just because of Tawney). Before the amped-up re-recording of Here I go Again in ’87, there was a slower but still great version on the Whitesnake album Saints and Sinners. What makes this version of the song my favorite is John Lord on keyboards.

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