Sunlu PLA have kindly donated 2 rolls of their PLA for me to test – 1 Black and 1 white so lets get printing!.
Many of us have a go-to brand and a go-to supplier. As a result, this can depend on what we intend to print and the prints destined final environment. For me, I am lazy, or instead, I am honest. I lack painting skills; therefore, I try to print the colour the final item needs to be or as close as possible. For everyday basics, I use the same as most people – PLA.
Testing the Sunlu black PLA shouldn’t present any issues, so, what do I print? I’m not making anything specific at the moment that needs black parts, so straight off was the obligatory Benchy and XYZ Calibration cube.
The outcome of this was enjoyable. The black prints beautiful and even and with a lovely shiny black and the XYZ cube dimensions are spot on. However, there was some minor stringing, but my Ender 3 Pro was set up for a significant print. I had just completed, and I forgot that it had a 0.6 nozzle fitted, so there was a little stringing however that’s more my fault than the Sunlu PLA.
Hunting for cool things to print I found a T Rex Skull on Thingiverse. I scaled it up 150% and set the printer off. When it finished in a little over 2 hours, the results were excellent. No supports were used, and the print was only in 2 parts.
Printed with 0.6 Nozzle, the T-Rex skull has come out well. With the teeth nicely defined and formed, the Sunlu black PLA has a fantastic finish.
As I said above, the other colour I tested from SunLu was white. Originally I wanted to use the white PLA for a lithophane; however, when I opened the packing and examined the filament, a change of plan was in order! The Sunlu PLA is more like a white transparent. You will see in the photo. Wracking my brain, I decided to print a model of the Saturn V rocket. My plan for this is to insert an LED unit into it and make it into a night light as I feel the Sunlu PLA will lend itself well to being lit.
Printed at a slightly higher temp than the black, (210C 55C bed) but with the correct profile and a 0.4 Nozzle on my Cr10S Pro, the Saturn V Rocket printed flawlessly. No stringing, no zitting or blobs. Just a perfectly smooth surface. If this were a less transparent filament, it would be perfect for lithophanes.
As I’m sure, the more observant among you have noticed the rocket print was printed in sections so as a result, I glued these using Evo Stik Mitre adhesive I purchased locally at a hardware store. The Sunlu PLA stuck well. There was no reaction to the glue or the activator beyond the intended bonding action. I would gladly recommend this adhesive for use with SunLu PLA.
Where can I buy it?
Sunlu PLA can be purchased via Amazon at a very reasonable price of £17.99! (Price correct as of October 2019)
To sum up, I like Sunlu PLA. I would purchase this for my project despite my original misgivings over the transparency of the white. It would be useful, especially for something being internally illuminated, such as a lithophane.
Sunlu makes some fantastic products aside from the PLA. They make ABS, TPU and many others. I have yet to try these however if they are on par with the quality of the SunLu PLA I look forward to working with them in the future.