What Happens If You Overheat Your 3D Print? Complete Temperatures Guide


Overheating is a common problem that could occur while 3D printing such that the 3D print model gets too hot and begins to melt away. This problem can be tackled if a good balance is achieved when setting the temperature.

It might be difficult to get an ideal temperature for your 3D printer as that does not exist.

So, you should keep trying out different printing temperatures until you reach a good one is reached.

The most frequent cause of overheating in PLA 3D printer is when cooling of the plastics have been delayed. Slow cooling may easily change the shape of the plastic; hence it’s recommended that you quickly cool your printed areas to prevent deformation.  

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If your printer has a cooling fan, and you have sensed overheating with your PLA during printing, consider increasing the fan’s power by adjusting the speed to enable the plastic to cool faster. Also check out What Is A Heat Break For 3D Printing & Is it required! Heat Creep Explained

 But if this overheating has occurred in your PLA print, this is what will happen;

You will see stringing and oozing because the plastic material is getting soft and escaping the nozzle without control. Since this is not controlled, your prints may develop artifacts. You may experience problems removing your print from the 3D print bed’s surface since the plastic has soaked into the print surface details and hardened.

The PLA print temperature generally ranges between 190 to 220 degrees celsius. In case you set temperatures too high, consumables will melt out of the nozzle completely and become easily deformed when stacked.

Different manufactures have different printing temperatures. It is therefore important that you choose the correct temperature settings.

Let’s proceed to talk more about the overheating of a 3D printer and the PLA printing filament

When do 3D printers overheat?

Temperature plays a critical role in all the 3D printing processes. During summer when everything is hot, 3D printers will also get hot, especially if they print continuously. It is important to note that your 3D printer will even get hot during winter if you fail to keep in mind all the things that keep the temperature stable.

During the continuous printing process, the filament temperature in the nozzle will remain hot for a longer duration, making it melt away and deform your 3D printer model.

Why do 3D printers overheat?

3D printers overheat due to:

  • High printing speeds
  • Inadequate cooling
  • Printing multiple parts simultaneously
  • High printing temperature settings

What is the melting point temperature of PLA plastic?

The melting point of the PLA plastic is between 170 and 180 degrees Celsius. Objects printed with PLA will have good support when at normal room temperatures environments.

Glass transition temperature ranges between 50 and 80 degrees Celsius. At this temperature, the PLA-printed object is expected to soften.

It is hard to print the higher glass temperature plastics on your home 3D printers, which requires enclosure and bed heating over 150 degrees Celsius. (Source)

What happens if the bed temperature is too hot for PLA 3D printing?

PLA does not really require a heated bed right off the bat. Although having a heated bed will make your work easier, you can survive without one so long as you have a recommended bed surface.  Approximately 60 degrees Celsius heated bed surface is a good starting point. You can then adjust by 5 degrees Celsius either way to achieve the adhesion you require.

Some bed materials require more heat compared to others for PLA to stick. It’s, therefore, advisable that you experiment until you get your desired results. 

If the bed temperature is too hot, you will see more strings on your print and realize that the extruder leaks out loads of plastic while moving between distinct areas of the print. Try lowering the temperature by 5 degrees Celsius should you experience this until you reach a point that the extruder is not leaking a lot of plastic material. 

One thing to also consider is the electricity bill. Check out our post on How Much Does 3D Printing Increase Your Electric Bill? 3D Print Pricing Factors

What temperature range should a bed be for PLA?

Heated beds are important to 3D printing. When you have a bed that is temperature-controlled, printing on the glass directly can be an amazing option. You only need to set it to a recommended temperature that will produce your desired result.

The best bed temperature for your PLA is 70 degrees Celsius. However, the best temperature range is between 55 to 70 degrees Celsius. (Source)

Is a heated bed necessary for PLA?

You do not require a heated bed for PLA printing because PLA is a versatile, environmental-friendly, and non-toxic plastic material that is used in 3D printing, it is user-friendly and offers amazing quality prints.

However, you may still use a heated bed for PLA printing provided you control your bed temperature settings to the recommended 70 degrees in the highest temperature range. Any temperature settings above this are likely to cause damage to your 3D print.

A heated bed for PLA will help your 3D printer sustain a warm environment for your print surface during printing. It helps keep plastic-like PLA from cooling quickly, hence preventing warping that can cause serious damage to your 3D models. (Source

How hot can you print PLA?

PLA prints typically between 190 and 220 degrees Celsius. The ideal printing temperature of a PLA 3D printer filament varies depending on the 3D printer you are using and the filament brands. It is recommended that you begin with the middle range manufacturer’s temperature settings to find the ideal nozzle temperature.

If the recommended printing temperature range is between 190 and 220-degrees Celsius, then printing at 205 degrees Celsius will be a good starting point since that is the middle point. It is recommended you adjust 5 degrees Celsius upwards or downwards depending on the quality of your 3D printer. (Source)

Does room temperature affect 3D printing?

External factors may affect your PLA 3D print temperature. For instance, if you have a cool breeze running through your window, you may need to adjust the print bed and hot end temperatures up. Air conditioning vents may also affect the printing temperature.

You should build an enclosure for your 3D printer (source). Enclosures basically perform two functions with respect to 3D print temperatures: They keep heat inside and keep outside room temperatures from affecting your 3D prints.

You can print at a hot or cold room temperature, so long as your 3D printer has good conditions, such as recommended materials and a constant printing temperature.

What room temperature do I set my 3D printer in ?

There is no “ideal ambient room temperature”, but the stable temperature is pretty okay. Temperature extremes and temperature variability are bad, though. It’s not recommended to print at, say, 32 degrees Fahrenheit nor a 24-hour print with ambient temperature ranging from 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

We recommend that you build an enclosure for a 3D printer to enable you to maintain a stable microclimate surrounding your printer without insulating the entire garage.

Does PLA need a cooling fan?

The perfect answer is that YES! You definitely need cooling fans to achieve a good quality PLA 3D print. The desired speed percentage for using a cooling fan is 100% although it can work at different speeds while printing. T

These different speeds produce different results depending on what you desire. Check out our post What Settings Should You Use For PLA? (Speed & Temperature)

Bottom Line

The best PLA 3D print temperature for all the 3D printer manufacturers does not exist! Achieving a perfect result from your 3D printer does not mean that the setting is good for any other available 3D printer.  

However, an ideal temperature setting for your 3D printer can be a perfect starting point for other users. Achieving recommended temperature settings is simpler with PLA printing compared to other filaments that are temperature sensitive.

Also, check out “Can 3D Prints Withstand Heat? Best Heat Resistant Filaments!

Do not shy away from experimenting and making mistakes as these forms the best platform to achieve an ideal temperature setting for 3D printer printing bed and hot end. If your 3D prints are limp or sloppy, consider reducing the hot end printing temperature slightly.

If your printing object is not adhering to the printing bed, consider reducing the printing temperature by some dew degrees Celsius.

sherifjallad

I am a very well experienced techie civil engineer who's extensively interested in 3D printing technology and even more captivated by the potential of 3D printing livable structures

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