No worries, thanks for the response. I should have followed up that I found all the info in your original post, sorry.
I wasn’t able to immediately line up what form of coating that you had with what they were offering but I found out from Ulrich that they have a couple of separate anodising companies that they use locally. They basically just hand the work out to them on a case by case basis, which would account for some variance in the finish. Both of those quoted for 12.5u anodize or 25u-50u hard anodize. The AN on yours sounds like anodised and 5-7um would be quite a light anodize. The bright/clear is probably just that they didn’t do an etch to make it matte finish and then didn’t add a dye before sealing after the anodise.
That’s a good result that you can’t spot anything after 20-25 hours, that’s what I was trying to get a handle on. I see what you mean about the force exerted, but it’s always going to flatten out some amount. A perfectly round tube with flat rollers ends up with ridiculously high point pressures for not much force. The equipment that we’ve got at work had roller tracks that started at ~1mm wide on a piece of 75mm steel tube and then widened out to probably more like 5-6mm over time before settling. I assumed something similar would happen with the aluminium but it should be an exponential drop-off, so if you can’t see anything then I’m 100% happy.
I’m assuming your parts were originally PLA and the temperature got up enough that they started to go soft? Man, that sucks… I was worried about that here to start with after coming from ABS-only printers but I’ve had no issues at all, thankfully. Very interested to know how you get on with the PETG, I have absolutely zero experience with anything outside PLA/ABS as they were the only options when I got started, but it seems like the alternative filament is turning into quite the industry, now!
The printer is a Mendel90 by nophead, built from a 100% parts kit about 3 years ago. Everything is stock apart from the addition of a raspberry pi running Octopi/Octoprint for control. It’s using a Wade’s geared extruder with a 0.4mm J-head nozzle and I normally use 0.3mm layers onto a heated glass bed. The printer has been an absolute workhorse. I’ve never had a failure with it in probably 10-20kg of filament. The usual teething issues with bed adhesion but getting the first layers above the Tg for the filament and keeping it clean with Isopropyl seems to be the combo that works for me. I’ve been using filament from Diamond Age here in NZ, as well. They’re actually just down the road from where I live and I think their quality is top notch. They’re definitely on the more expensive end of the spectrum, though, but given that I think I’ve only just passed the point where I’ve spent more on filament than on the printer, I don’t think that’s too bad.
The project I originally bought it for was something that basically used the entirety of the 200x200x200 build space for some parts, so I wanted something that was going to be minimal tuning and extremely reliable under long prints. I’ve been extremely happy. After that long print I just wiped down the bed and fired it up for another 20 hour one. It current did 14 hours overnight and has another 5 hours to go on the 4 middle pieces.
My hardware kit arrived yesterday, so I’m going to just go ahead and order the tube today with the regular anodise and see what happens. I’ve still got probably another 20-30 hours of printing before I can start assembly so it’s all coming together nicely.