Switching from PLA Filament to PETG on an Ender 3
Have you been printing PLA filament on your Ender 3 and now you’re ready to try something more advanced, and strong like PETG filament? It’s not always an easy switch for people who have gotten used to only printing PLA. It takes some time to learn the tricks and tweaks required to print each type of filament, and each one has it’s own certain conditions required to print it successfully.
I have heard and read countless threads and topics on the Facebook groups, as well as on YouTube that state “just use your PLA profile and increase the temperature”. I would have to say that this may work for some users, but most people will fail this way. The Ender 3 is a great printer for starting in the 3D printing world, but many people have issues with the heated bed being warped; therefore this leads to most people squishing the PLA filament quite a bit to get good first layer adhesion. PETG filament cools rapidly, and is alot more prone to clogging in the hot-end when you try to squish it onto the bed. We are going to discuss some tricks and tips regarding switching from PLA to PETG on your Ender 3 printer.
Switching from PLA Filament to PETG Filament on the Ender 3
The first thing I always recommend people who ask me for help switching from PLA to PETG filament on the Ender 3 , is to get the Z Offset plugin on Cura (if Cura is your slicer). Otherwise find the Z Offset setting in your slicer. The Z Offset plugin allows you to set a positive Z Offset for a specific profile. Positive Z Offsets will increase the height of your Z axis to decrease the amount of squish. Scroll down to see the tutorial below for installing the Z Offset plugin.
After you have the Z Offset plugin installed, you want to click on the Profile drop down box ensuring you have your working PLA profile selected, and at the bottom you will see “Create A New Profile from Current Settings”. Then name it “PETG Profile” and ensure it has switched to that profile.
Modifying your old PLA profile to work for PETG filament
First you will need to modify your temperatures, choosing the temperatures you want to begin with for testing. I suggest to choose 235* for Initial Layer, and 230* for printing temperature for the hot-end. The bed temperature I recommend starting with 70* and using that same temperature for printing to keep the bed shape consistent.
Now we want to scroll down in the settings, or use the search bar at the top of the parameters to find the Z Offset setting. This number will vary for user to user, but a good starting point for most people is 0.015 to 0.050. After you have your Z Offset setting, download the CHEP’s Bed Leveling file and slice it; load up your PETG and test your new offset. Continue to tweak it as you wish, until the PETG first layer is an oval shape. After the offset is working for your printer, Update the Profile with Current settings. Now you have a working first layer to start with! If you haven’t downloaded CHEP’s first layer test file, find it below.
Alternatively, you can also download Print3D.world’s own PETG Cura Profile below or in the Downloads section! If you still have issues with your PETG filament printing, don’t be afraid to leave a comment on this post or on our Facebook page!
How to install Z Offset Plugin in Cura
- Open Cura, and find the Marketplace icon in the top right corner.
- Scroll to the very bottom of the list, and find the Z Offset Plugin. Click on it to install it.