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Sunlu filament – It’s rubbery, it’s plastic, it’s fantastic!
Sunlu TPU Filament seems pretty good already. When I opened the box and took it out, it looks and feels exactly like strawberry laces!…now, if it had the smell of strawberry laces, would I eat it? You bet I would!
In and Out of the Box
So, in the box for the Sunlu TPU filament, you get your shrink-wrapped filament with your silica gel pouch as standard also a small leaflet with the basic parameters of different filaments and the company details. The box is detailed on the back with the necessary parameters again. These boxes are nicely designed (Much better than your standard brown cardboard packaging with nothing but a sticker on it)
This is my first time using TPU 3D printer filament, and my first impressions of using are mostly positive!
As you can see from above and below, I have the Black and the Blue Sunlu TPU filament. As for their appearance, the BlackBlack is black, no questions about that and the blue is a royal blue in its raw state. After printing, the blue becomes much lighter in colour, almost a pastel blue. The black, again, is black after printing.
The temperatures that I am using on my Creality CR-10S are bed: 60° and extruder: 220° For the print settings, this can vary on the type of model you are printing. However, an essential thing to note when printing with TPU is to print slower than what you usually would.
This would cause your print to take longer, but you can be assured of excellent adhesion & great quality prints! Say if you default print speed is set to 60mm/s, set it to at least half of that – 30mm/s. I would also suggest turning off retraction too.
The only bit I found tricky when using the Sunlu TPU filament was when loading it into the extruder. As this is a flexible filament, its is, errr, flexible, so will bend and flex as you try to push it through.
There is no real way to get it in the first time, so keep trying, and it will go in. There is a mod you can print for the CR-10S which I looked into, but after trying without, there was no need for it. I imagine this would be the case for all flexible type filaments. If you have a direct drive system, you shouldn’t encounter any issues whatsoever.
Printing And Results!
So, with my 2 Sunlu TPU filament colours I decided to print a phone case for my Galaxy S8 in the blue and the BlackBlack I printed an Octopus.
The phone case took just over 4 hours for it to print. I had quite a bit of stringing with this as some of it had not adhered well, especially what appears to be the first layer. I have no fan on for the first layer, so a potential reason why and I also had retraction on. It could also be down to a not high enough temperature!
As I also have Octolapse set up, it moves the extruder to a part of the build plate that you specify (I had set to centre-left), so this causes blobs and more stringing as it moves to take the picture and moves back to continue printing.
The feel of the case is great! It feels thick and appears it would offer excellent protection for my phone, however, it is not as solid as I had hoped for, but this could be down to the design. The fit for me is a little too loose, but this could be down to the way it printed. Not a bad first attempt, though!
You can see the time-lapses of the prints below and also the finished product.
I printed this with a bed temperature of 40° and at a lower speed (15mm/s) so took only a little longer to print at 4.5 hours after. I did alter the feed-rate back to 100% after it had to put it to 10%, but this has produced an outstanding result! The quality of this print is probably one of the best I’ve had from this printer…Hardly any stringing on this one either!
Removal from the print bed is easy too, but try not to pull it off…use your scraper under all of it to reduce pulling it apart. I also think glass would give a flawless finish on the bottom too, and I’ve yet to try this out. The only post-processing was cutting off a few straggly bits and a quick flame to get the slight hairlines off.
2020 Cable clips
As with all new filaments I get, I like to print a fast print, so I always go for the 2020 Cable clips. This only takes around 10 minutes and came out better than I expected!
First initial sticking to the bed was high with both Sunlu filaments, no issues what so ever (It probably helps my gcode draws the line at the start to help with the extrusion and priming the nozzle). The layering of the filament was pretty much spot on…sometimes the trouble with TPU is that sometimes it won’t stick so well and this leads to leaving straggly bits. Nothing is impossible! SUNLU quotes that this is 100% bubble-free, and it is. Nothing more to be said on that.
In conclusion, this is a tremendous looking filament direct out of the box from SUNLU. Provides good quality prints, as long as you have mastered the settings for this. An excellent all-rounder for flexible filament! Do you research from others to find the best settings for your printer?
If you are interested in purchasing this, you can do so via Amazon
I hope you have enjoyed reading my review, and any comments are welcome on anything I may have missed. If you would like me to include anything in future articles, let me know. Happy printing!