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Topic: fan shroud and fan for pla.

Is it pretty much a requirement when using pla? I try to control my temps as best as I can, seem to hover around 173C for pla. Thicker parts, or more dense parts start to get pretty soft and they start to "float" around not hardening.

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Re: fan shroud and fan for pla.

Many will tell you it is a requirement.
I however am a hard headed persistent individual and have successfully printed with PLA for  a couple of years with two different printers. Or maybe too lazy or busy to install a layer fan.
So IMHO while helpful not an absolute requirement. 

what is set for 173 c seems tool low for an extruder temp

also I see a lot of variation in temp recommendation for difference batches and colors with the same brand of PLA.

I have pla boxes labeled from a low of 190 to a high of 225

Soliddoodle 4 stock w glass bed
Folger Tech Prusa 2020 upgraded to  ED3v6 and titan extruder
Marlin/Repetier Host/ Slic3r and Cura

3

Re: fan shroud and fan for pla.

temp will vary depending on the material, color, and the hotend... the stock SD4 hotend ran much cooler "reported" temps than the E3D does

While not an absolute necessity, a fan is quite useful for printing PLA. It does depend a little on what you are printing, too... fine details and overhangs definitely benefit from a fan - larger, less detailed things with few or very shallow overhangs, it is not a big deal

SD4 #1 - Lawsy carriages, E3D v6, Rumba controller board, mirror bed plate, X motor fan & upgraded PSU & Mica bed heater
SD4 #2 - basically the same as SD4 #1 now... wink
Folgertech 2020 Kossel kit with reprinted plastics and top mounted bearing spool feed
Folgertech FT-5 - in progress... (sold the 2020 Prusa)