eSUN PLA Plus Print / Bed Temperature & Slicer Settings

Having a different slicer profile for each brand of filament that you use is one of the quick improvements we highly recommend applying to improve the quality of your prints, as there are subtle differences between each brand of filament that can cause them to behave differently.

In this guide, we will go through the slicer settings that you will need to re-configure to make them compatible with the eSUN brand of PLA Plus (PLA+) filament in particular, such as the printing temperature and bed temperature, and share with you the general-purpose Cura settings that you can use when printing with eSUN PLA Plus (PLA+) on both the Bowden Ender 3 models, and the Ender 3 S1.

eSUN PLA Plus (PLA+) Print / Bed Temperature & Slicer Settings

While it’s possible to find a pretty detailed specification sheet where you can see eSUN’s recommendations for many slicer settings ranging from the print temperature to retraction on the product page, we will be specifically looking at print temperature, bed temperature, print speed, and fan speed in this guide, which are the parameters that are often misconfigured.

Printing Temperature

Whenever you’re switching to a new brand or type of filament for the very first time and creating a print profile for it, printing temperature enters the list of the most vital parameters to adjust from the top spot, as the differences between the material compositions of the filaments first and foremost affect their melting points, which in turn changes the optimal printing temperature values you should be using for the best results possible.

cura printing temperature


In the case of eSUN PLA Plus (PLA+), the recommended printing temperature range by the manufacturer is 205 to 225 degrees Celsius, and while this is a pretty wide range with 20 degrees of difference between the minimum and the maximum points, it’s still a good starting point that we can use to optimize the printing temperature value.

With this range and our own experiences in mind, our recommendation would be to start out with a printing temperature value of 215 degrees Celsius for your very first test print with eSUN PLA Plus (PLA+), which should allow your 3D printer to go through the test print without any problems, and produce a final product that we can observe to find out whether the temperature requires further adjustment.

Make sure to refer to the detailed specification sheet that you can access by clicking on the image in the Parameter Information section of the product page, where you can see specific printing temperature values that the manufacturer explicitly recommends for some of the popular 3D printers, such as the Creality Ender 3 and the BambuLab X1, and use these values as starting points instead of our recommendation if you own any of these printers in specific.

If you come across signs of over-extrusion on the test print you have at hand, such as oozing and layers that look droopy as a result of staying melted for too long, increase the printing temperature by 5 degrees Celsius, run another test print, and repeat this process until you find the optimal printing temperature value where such issues don’t occur.

Similarly, if signs of under-extrusion are present, such as poor layer adhesion and gaps between layers, decrease the printing temperature by 5 degrees Celsius instead, and keep running tests until you arrive at a printing temperature value that’s high enough not to cause these problems.

Alternatively, if you don’t mind spending some extra time on setting things up for the very first time, you can print a temperature tower for the purposes of testing instead, which we can quickly describe as the combination of a 3D model that’s split into a few different sections, and a script that allows your 3D printer to print each of these sections at varying printing temperature values.

With a temperature tower at hand, you can conveniently observe the effects of different printing temperature values all at once without having to go through a series of individual test prints and quickly spot the temperature value that has performed the best by comparing the print quality between the sections of the tower.

cura pla temperature tower example


While setting a temperature tower up is out of the scope of this article in particular, which is why we have presented it as an alternative method, it’s a fairly straightforward process with the Calibration Shapes plugin that integrates both the necessary 3D model and the script directly into Cura, which effectively makes it possible to set everything up without the need for any additional software or files that you would need to obtain from different websites.

To learn more about how you can use the Calibration Shapes plugin to print a temperature tower for your spool of eSUN PLA Plus (PLA+), you can refer to the Calibration Shapes plugin GitHub page, where you can read up on how to insert a temperature tower into the workspace, and the PLA+ temperature tower page in specific, where you can learn how to correctly set the temperature tower script up for the temperature values to change correctly between each section.

Print Bed Temperature

Print bed temperature is another vital parameter that usually requires adjustment when working with different brands of filament, as the glass transition temperature of the filament, which is the point where it starts softening, will also vary based on the material composition used to produce it, just like its melting point.

cura build plate temperature


According to the specifications provided by the manufacturer, the optimal print bed temperature range for printing eSUN PLA Plus (PLA+) is 60 to 80 degrees Celsius (or no bed heating at all for 3D printers without a heated bed), which gives us a similar range to the printing temperature range where there is 20 degrees Celsius of difference between the minimum and the maximum.

As we have found a print bed temperature value of 60 degrees Celsius to work best when printing eSUN PLA Plus (PLA+) on an Ender 3 V2 Neo (default PC spring steel build plate), this is the value we can recommend you use as a starting point as well, which should allow your 3D printer to produce a successful test print that doesn’t suffer from any severe initial layer-related problems.

Make sure to refer to the detailed specification sheet that you can access by clicking on the image in the Parameter Information section of the product page, where you can see specific build plate temperature values that the manufacturer explicitly recommends for some of the popular 3D printers, such as the Creality Ender 3 and the BambuLab X1, and use these values as starting points instead of our recommendation if you own any of these printers in specific.

In the case where you come across signs such as elephant foot on your test print, where the initial layers end up getting crushed while they are still soft by the following layers and expand outward, which would tell that the print bed temperature you’re using is way too high, we recommend increasing the print bed temperature by 5 degrees Celsius, testing again, and repeating this process until you end up at a value where you don’t face issues.

On the other hand, if you observe signs such as poor bed adhesion instead, where the bottom of the print doesn’t adhere strongly enough to the print bed, and even peels off in more severe cases, which would mean that the print bed temperature using isn’t high enough, our recommendation would be to decrease the print bed temperature by 5 degrees Celsius instead, and to keep running tests until you find the optimal print bed temperature value.

Print Speed

While print speed isn’t a parameter that requires specific tuning based on the brand of the filament that you’re using, unlike the two we have covered so far, we’d still like to go through it as a part of our guide due to its importance for a successful print.

cura print speed description


So, if you already have the print speed value dialed in from printing another brand of PLA Plus (PLA+) before, you can also use the same print speed for printing eSUN PLA Plus (PLA+), which should produce identical results without any problems.

On the other hand, if you will be printing PLA Plus (PLA+) for the very first time with no optimized print profile in place just yet, our recommendation would be to start out with a print speed value of 60 mm/s for a Bowden extruder 3D printer, and 50 mm/s for a Direct Drive extruder 3D printer (due to Direct Drive extruders being heavier on the printhead), assuming that you’re using a layer height of 0.16 millimeters and a line width of 0.4 millimeters, which we can consider to be pretty standard for a typical 0.4-millimeter nozzle.

Once you finish up a test print for the first time, you should then check for signs that indicate the print speed you’re using is too high, whether it’s ringing, which would tell you that the mechanical parts of your 3D printer can’t keep up, or under-extrusion, which would point you toward a volumetric flow problem, and in the case you stumble upon any of these signs, you should reduce the print speed value by 5 mm/s, run another test print, and keep repeating this process until you find the highest print speed value possible where problems don’t occur.

In the opposing scenario, where there are no print speed-related problems you can observe on the test print, our recommendation would be to keep testing yet again, but in the opposite direction by increasing the print speed value by 5 mm/s at a time and continuing until you find the highest print speed value where you don’t experience issues.

While it’s not exactly a necessity to push the print speed up as much as possible, as you won’t experience any quality problems as a result of printing slowly by any means, optimizing the print speed value to be as high as possible will save you a noticeable amount of time in the long run, even considering that it will take longer time to get things up and running initially, as the small savings in print times will constantly keep adding up.

Finally, it’s also worth mentioning it would be a good idea to slightly increase the printing temperature value, such as by a degree or two, every time you bump the print speed value up by 5 mm/s, as higher print speed values increase volumetric flow, which in turn can require the usage of higher printing temperatures for the hotend to be able to melt the filament quickly enough to keep up with the increased demand.

Fan Speed

Fan speed is another parameter you won’t exactly need to adjust on a brand-by-brand basis, but it’s one we would still like to cover as a part of this guide due to the lack of information regarding cooling fan speed configuration for printing with PLA and PLA Plus (PLA+) filaments.

cura fan speed description


In most cases, you will notice that the recommended fan speed value when printing PLA and PLA Plus (PLA+) is 100% due to PLA being a type of material that doesn’t get negatively affected by being cooled down too quickly to the point where the layers end up solidifying without properly adhering to each other, which effectively makes it possible to max out the cooling for the best visual quality possible without any noticeable drawbacks.

That being said, this doesn’t necessarily mean you always have to use a fan speed value of 100% when printing PLA and PLA Plus (PLA+), as the same rule of more cooling for higher visual quality and less cooling for higher strength also applies to PLA & PLA Plus, just as it does to any other type of material, and with this in mind, the correct fan speed value primarily comes down to the purpose of the part you’re printing.

So, for prints where visual quality is the most important, which is usually the case when printing with PLA and PLA Plus (although PLA Plus has high tensile strength, which does make it suitable for some functional prints, it still falls short when it comes to heat resistance, flexibility, and isotropy), using a fan speed value of 100% will be perfectly suitable when printing with eSUN PLA Plus (PLA+), which will cause the layers to dry as quickly as possible and give your model the best visual quality.

On the flip side, for a functional print where visual quality doesn’t really matter, and strong layer adhesion takes a whole lot more importance, going for lower fan speeds, such as 50% and below, can be the factor that makes the difference between whether your part can fulfill its duty without breaking or not, which is why it isn’t always best to set the fan speed to 100% when printing PLA or PLA Plus and to forget about it.

Remember to set your initial fan speed to 0% (or at least no more than 20% if you need to increase it as a result of experiencing the elephant foot problem) regardless of the fan speed value you’re using, as this is is the only way to ensure that the plastic reliably adheres to the build plate and doesn’t end up warping.

Example Cura eSUN PLA Plus (PLA+) Settings for Ender 3 (V2 & Pro & Neo)

Below, you can find slicer settings that you can use for eSUN PLA Plus (PLA+) with a Bowden extruder Ender 3 based on the combination of specifications from eSUN and our own recommendations.

  • Print Temperature: 215°C
  • Bed Temperature: 60°C
  • Print Speed: 60 mm/s
  • Layer Height: 0.16 mm (with a standard 0.4 mm nozzle)
  • Retraction Distance: 6 mm
  • Retraction Speed: 45 mm/s
  • Fan Speed: 100%
  • Initial Layer Height: 0.2 mm
  • Initial Layer Speed: 20 mm/s
  • Printing Temperature Initial Layer: 220°C

Example Cura eSUN PLA Plus (PLA+) Settings for Ender 3 S1

Below, you can find slicer settings that you can use for eSUN PLA Plus (PLA+) with the Ender 3 S1 (Direct Drive) based on the combination of specifications from eSUN and our own recommendations.

  • Print Temperature: 215°C
  • Bed Temperature: 60°C
  • Print Speed: 50 mm/s
  • Layer Height: 0.16 mm (with a standard 0.4 mm nozzle)
  • Retraction Distance: 1 mm
  • Retraction Speed: 45 mm/s
  • Fan Speed: 100%
  • Initial Layer Height: 0.2 mm
  • Initial Layer Speed: 20 mm/s
  • Printing Temperature Initial Layer: 220°C

Conclusion

With your settings now specifically configured for eSUN PLA Plus (PLA+), you can now create a separate Cura profile that you will only use for this filament in particular, which will allow you to quickly alternate between the optimal configurations for all the filaments you own whenever necessary without having to readjust things from scratch.

Even though it will be a bit of a process to do this for every filament you have at hand, especially if you find yourself switching between different brands of filaments often, print quality improvements will definitely make your efforts worthwhile.