Value PLA issues (Black). Looking for some help/input

This is my first post and I’d like to thank 3DPC for offering it. Sorry it has to be a problem solving post.

I’m looking for advice on the print temps and bed temps for the value PLA from 3DPC. So far I’ve little to luck using it. A few pictures to help explain this issue I’m facing.

As you can see in the pictures I have a very wide difference between the two materials.

Any advise, help or solution from anyone would be deeply appreciated. I have two spools of this stuff and would rather not scrap them.


I’ve printed a bunch of value pla, nozzle is usually at 200-205C and bed is at 50-55C. I just finished printing from 4 different rolls on three different printers without any headache at all.
Looks like there is some variation across your samples for first layer squish, the one on the right almost looks under extruded in places (gaps in the walls) while some look like a globby mess.

Your samples look almost melted which is weird. Are you sure the temperature of your bed isn’t way higher than what it reads (bed thermistor could have peeled away from bottom of bed causing it to read low)? Do the areas further away from the bed look better than the face that was against it?

Does the print look okay in the first layers then get more deformed as it progresses? Is it always deforming in the same spot?
Even your Amazon pla one looks pretty nasty on the bottom so I suspect there is something else going on with your printer setup and not just the filament.

It is hard to really see what is going on with the low resolution of those photos though so that isn’t really helping to narrow it down. Maybe try printing a few calibration cubes and post up some more clear photos if you can - or better yet a few photos of the print progress with first layer, one or two as it is progressing and a finished one. That way we might be able to tell at what point in the print things start going really sideways.

Sorry for the in-concise reply, I’m just kind of typing out loud.

1 Like

Thinking this has to do with adhesion. If you know your bed is level have a good look at your first layer. Some filaments do work better in this regard. Layer test prints are quick and you can tune as they are printing. Usually print that stuff at 205/60 or 210/65 if the shop is cold.

1 Like

HI, @Tripper Welcome to the forum, Glad you are here. We love problems this one is what we like to see.

I would agree with Blair, its looks HOT. Each filament will run at different temps/fan speed.

I would run a temp tower on it and see where the sweet spot is. think you may final out being a little lower than 200 on this filament.

1 Like

Thanks for that info Blair. Just as an FYI, the parts on the left were deburred thus the strange look on the edges of the bottom. I’ll check the bed and nozzle temps today using a non-contact temp gun and let you know what I find.

Thanks for the welcome Jason. I’ll try printing a temp tower and report back what I find.

The prints I make are strickly for parts and not anything like some of the fantatic stuff I seen in the 3DPC store. So very high quality isn’t as much of a concern. I would just like to find the settings to print straight verically and have it repeatable.

Thanks for the suggestions.

1 Like

Update: I tried to print a temp tower I DL’d from Thingverse 4 times using bed temps ranging from 55, 60, 65 and 70. Each one fell off the bed before finishing. Tried two other rolls of PLA that were not the value type and not the Amazon ones I used before. Well none seem to want to adhere to the glass bed either. I’d rather not use a glue stick, etc for adhesion seeing that the Amazon roll of PLA sticks to the bed fine.

Re-leveled the bed four times, tried different starting temps for the base layer and still nothing but a stringy mess.

After much frustration I quit trying for today and had a cold beer to relax.

I’ll have to try again tomorrow and let you know how I make out.

Regardless, I appreciate the help and advice I’ve received so far.

1 Like

If you’re having bed adhesion issues did you try to clean your bed? Soapy water is good to get rid of oils from your fingers. Otherwise I just clean with isopropyl.
If things still aren’t sticking be sure that your first layer has enough squish.

1 Like

Thanks for the advise Blair. Appreciated.

Just so you know, I cleaned the bed surface before every print I tried. Removed the glass bed, washed under soapy water and well rinsed with very hot clean running water and dried with a paper towel so the moisture would be dried away before putting the glass bed back on the heat plate. I wanted to avoid having any stray water between the bed and the glass.

Not quite sure what you mean by enough squish? I figure when I set the first layer height with the bed level, that should be layer height I get no? Please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

Using Cura 4.13.1 for my slicer.

1 Like

Yes, with manual leveling if set up correctly you should get enough squish. With ABL levelling you need to set the z offset.
This page is the best resource I know of to take you through step by step to calibrate everything.

1 Like



  • Checked the bed temp with a non-contact thermometer. Bed is 5C lower than the temperature displayed on the LCD.
  • Manually extruded some filament at a nozzle temp of 210C. Noticed the filament was oozing out rather than being extruded.
  • Lowered the extruder temp to 190C and repeated. Filament looked more consistent when exiting the nozzle.

Steps Taken

  • Re-leveled the bed.
  • Re-adjusted the capacitive sensor to match the height of the nozzle just contating the surface of the glass.
  • Lowered the extruder temp to 190C.
  • Set the bed temp to 70C. (65C actual)
  • Ran a test print of a part I need for a project.

Three photos of the part printed at those settings.

Not great by a long shot I know but at least the part is sticking to the bed and printing.

1 Like

Try running a bed levelling test print. It’s just a bunch of squares that are a single layer thick. Something like this:

You can easily see if your nozzle is the right distance from the bed to get correct squish by looking at the results of the print. If you have areas that get raised ridges you know it was too close. Conversely when you peel the print off if you have areas where the lines aren’t stuck to eachother your nozzle was too far away.
It looks like this of it is too far away

Looking at the bottom of your print it still looks like you have gaps between the lines in places which makes me think you aren’t squishing the first layer enough and/or your bed is still not level. When you run a first layer test print if for example the squares all have gaps between the lines but it is pretty similar for all areas of the bed then you know that your bed is level but you need to lower the nozzle down more. On the other hand, if some squares have ridges bit others have gaps then you know your bed is not level. It will rarely be perfect.

The whole point of this is that it seems like your nozzle is too far from the bed so you aren’t getting enough squish in the first layer. That means the first layer isn’t being pressed into the bed well enough so it has very weak adhesion. It looks like you have corners that are warping on your print because the stresses from the cooling plastic are pulling the edges and the weak adhesion can’t hold them to the bed. Warping can also be worsened in a drafty room. I have had simple prints fail repeatedly because the room was cool and drafty but the same printer with no adjustment is flawless in a more environmentally stable location. I also print inside an enclosure to improve consistency.

So the action here is start by doing a first layer test (or print your part again but stop after one layer), if that all looks good but you still get warping you could try enabling the draft shield in Cura. It basically just prints a thin wall around your print to block drafts. That won’t be as good as an enclosure but it’s free other than the filament cost.

Just to update again.

I replaced my extruder assembly yesterday with a new one. Seems like my issues have all cleared up.

Is there an average lifespan for an extruder?

Anyway, thank you for all the help and suggestions. It was appreciated.

EDIT: After disassembly I found the plastic bowden tube was fused solid inside the extruder. Maybe it was causing a blockage?

1 Like

by extruder, I think you are referring to what’s been typically called the hot end. the extruder in 3d printing has come to mean the motory drive system that advances the filament. The Bowden tube in there definitely has a life span. it does break down if it gets hot and will cause clogs and all sorts of havoc. it’s good practice to have spares on hand along with spare nozzles for repairs like this.

1 Like

You are correct Glenn. It was the hot end I replaced.

I’ve changed out the nozzle quite a few times but it never occurred to me that the tube could become an issue. Your suggestion on having spares on hand is duly noted! :+1:


Awsome, glad you got it all worked out.

1 Like