After a year of printing solely in ABS,

After a year of printing solely in ABS, I will make my first attempt using PLA. I’m using a modified Replicator 1 and I have a glass plate on hand.

Any important tips I should know before I start?


Clean as much ABS out of the nozzle as you can. If you’ve got some Laywoo filament, that’s perfect for the job as it is happy extruding at ABS and PLA temps, otherwise you will want to put some PLA through at ABS temps to clean the nozzle out. I recommend using PLA of a completely different (contrasting) colour to the ABS for this, as then it’s quite obvious what is PLA and what is ABS coming out of your nozzle.

If you don’t have a heated bed (I assume you do, printing abs and all) hairspray (cheap dollar store unscented ) helps hold it down. As Anthony said fans, not to much though. I have one 120mm fan and one 70mm fan cooling mine.

I second the hairspray suggestion. I print PLA on cold glass with a coat of hairspray and it works beautifully.

Mm it’s helped a little bit on mine, hairspray seems to help quite a bit on abs or you can use abs juice.

As @Jeff_Karpinski says, avoid getting skin oil onto the tape, and clean with isopropyl/rubbing alcohol. Also, some brands of tape seem to work better than others. If the tape doesn’t have a matt (almost hairy) finish, use some 800 grit sandpaper and slightly roughen up the surface of the tape (just remove some of the shiny surface), or switch to a different brand. I also use the sandpaper to level out edges where the tape joins.

PS: I tend to apply the tape while the bed is on and about 40-45 degrees. If you have tape applied cold with the edges right next to each other, you’ll notice gaps appear between the tape as you heat it up.

Make sure you adjust the packing density or the filament diameter to account for the higher packing density of PLA. Your first few prints might be frustrating as you get it tuned in - but once you have it running well, it will be less prone to shrink than ABS, which is nice.