Hatchbox PLA Optimal Temperature & Slicer Settings

As each manufacturer uses a different formula and process to produce their spool of PLA filament, it’s pretty natural for your 3D printer to successfully print with one particular brand of PLA and struggle to display the same performance with a different brand of PLA filament you’ve picked up recently.

In this guide, we will go through the slicer settings, such as print temperature and bed temperature, that we recommend using when printing with Hatchbox PLA in particular and share with you the general-purpose Cura configurations we have explicitly prepared for printing Hatchbox PLA with both the standard Ender 3 (which also applies to V2, Pro, Neo, etc.) and the Ender 3 S1.

Hatchbox PLA Optimal Temperature & Slicer Settings

The two parameters Hatchbox mentions in their PLA filament specifications are print temperature (nozzle temperature) and bed temperature, which will be our primary focus when adjusting slicer settings to be compatible with Hatchbox PLA.

Additionally, while Hatchbox doesn’t seem to have any recommendations that are set in stone regarding print speed and fan speed in their print settings section, we will also go through these two parameters to create a more comprehensive settings guide, especially considering that they are usually a part of a filament’s specifications.

Printing Temperature

When reading specification sheets for various brands of PLA, you’ll notice that the difference in printing temperature values is the thing that stands out the most, as the components that a filament is made out of impact its melting point, which in turn affects the required print temperature.

cura printing temperature


As the recommended printing temperature range is listed as 180°C to 210°C on Hatchbox’s information page for their PLA filament, with no single temperature value mentioned, you can practically pick any value in this range as a starting point for further testing.


If you are unsure where to start, our recommendation would be to use a printing temperature value of 200°C for your first test print, which, even if it doesn’t produce perfect results, should allow you to have a successful test print where you can observe the signs of the temperature being too low or too high.

Once you have the printed model at hand, you can inspect it to gather information about whether the printing temperature you have used was optimal, too high, or too low; use this information to readjust the printing temperature (5°C at a time), run another test print, and repeat this process until you find the value that produces the best results.

While signs of over-extrusion, such as stringing and blobs, and an overall loss of print quality point towards the printing temperature being too high, signs of under-extrusion, such as gaps between layers and poor layer adhesion, tell us that the printing temperature is too low.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for perfection right off the bat and don’t mind doing some extra work for it, you can print a temperature tower instead of incrementally fine-tuning the printing temperature across a series of prints, as this method provides a quite reliable way of dialing your printing temperature value in with a single print.

For those unfamiliar, a temperature tower is a 3D model specifically configured for the purposes of testing different printing temperature values in the same print, where the printing temperature increases (or decreases) for each section of the model to make it possible to observe the effects of different temperatures all at once and decide on the best one.

While there are a few different ways to do this, our primary recommendation to print a temperature tower as conveniently as possible is to use the Calibration Shapes plugin for Cura, which automatically integrates the temperature tower 3D model and the temperature changing script into Cura.

To learn how to use the Calibration Shapes plugin, feel free to refer to the plugin’s main GitHub page and the specific GitHub page for the temperature tower option we recommend selecting in this case, which is PLA TempTower 220°C – 180°C.

Print Bed Temperature

Even though the difference is usually not as severe as it is in the case of the printing temperature, you’ll still notice that the recommended print bed temperature values differ across manufacturers due to the components used in the production of the filament also affecting the glass transition point, which is the temperature where the plastic softens.

cura build plate temperature


So, if we look at the specifications that Hatchbox provides for their PLA once again, we can see that the recommended print bed temperature value is in the range of 0°C (bed heating off) and 60°C.

hatchbox pla bed temperature specs


To make things easier, our recommendation, provided that your 3D printer has bed heating, would be to start off with a bed temperature of 50°C, which is a value that has been working well for us with Hatchbox PLA.

If you’re using a 3D printer with no bed heating functionality, you can skip this section, as PLA is also perfectly printable without requiring bed heating.

Once you complete a test print for the first time, you can then look for signs of bed temperature misconfiguration, such as elephant’s foot, which indicates the bed temperature was too high, or poor bed adhesion, which would tell you that the bed temperature was too low, and use this information to fine-tune the bed temperature value further if necessary.

In a scenario where such issues are indeed present on the model you’ve printed, you can either increase or decrease the bed temperature by 5°C depending on the situation, run another test print, check for signs, and repeat this process until you land on the bed temperature value that produces the best results.

Print Speed

When it comes to print speed, you’ll usually notice the filament manufacturers often specify a pretty wide range of values that largely overlap with each other, with our findings also showing us that modifying print speeds across different brands of PLA not being necessary.

cura print speed description


So, if you already have a set of dialed-in values that has always worked well for a different brand of PLA, you can keep the same print speed for Hatchbox PLA and not have any problems moving forward.

On the other hand, if you’ll be printing PLA for the first time with your spool of Hatchbox PLA, our recommendation would be to go with a print speed of 60 mm/s as a starting point (assuming a layer height of 0.16 mm and a line width of 0.4 mm, which we can consider standard for a 0.4 mm nozzle).

If you observe signs of the print speed being too high on the part you have printed, such as under-extrusion (gaps between layers, etc.) or ringing, our recommendation would be to reduce the print speed by 5 mm/s, test again, and repeat this process until you find the print speed value where you don’t experience problems.

On the other hand, if no speed-related issues are present, the next step is to find out whether your 3D printer can handle faster speeds by going the opposite way instead, which involves increasing the print speed 5 mm/s at a time and testing until you reach a point where you experience problems.

As using the highest print speed possible will reduce print times and save you a considerable amount of time in the long run, finding this value is something we always recommend doing when dialing your settings in for the first time with filament you haven’t used before.

It’s usually a good idea to push the print temperature up a bit whenever you increase the print speed (1-2 °C per 5 mm/s) to ensure that the hotend can melt enough filament to keep up with the increased filament flow, which is to keep something in mind.

Fan Speed

The rules for setting the fan speed value are practically set in stone for PLA filament as a whole, and, as a result, the fan speed value doesn’t require any particular adjustment when switching between different brands.

cura fan speed description


Since PLA is a type of filament that doesn’t suffer from layer adhesion problems even when it’s cooled quickly, unlike other filament types such as PETG and ABS, using the highest amount of part cooling is often the go-to way of doing things in a to solidify the plastic as quickly as possible and obtain the best print quality.

While using less cooling or no cooling at all will strengthen the part you’re printing by giving the layers more time to form stronger bonds with each other before they solidify, the loss in print quality, combined with the fact that PLA isn’t the correct choice for prints where strength is critical, makes the usage of lower cooling fan speeds pretty uncommon.

So, in a nutshell, you can use the standard PLA fan speed value of 100% for general-purpose printing when you’re using Hatchbox PLA as well, which will ensure you don’t experience any problems regarding cooling during your prints and provide you with the maximum print quality.

On the other hand, if you’re going for strength (or a mix of visual quality and strength), and PLA is your only option at the moment, you can definitely feel free to experiment with lower fan speeds since this won’t pose any problems for the success of your prints by any means.

Finally, while your slicer should automatically have this in place when you select its PLA profile, it’s still worth mentioning that another thing you will need to pay attention to when setting the fan speed is to ensure that the initial layer fan speed is set to 0%, as giving the first layer enough time to adhere firmly to the build plate is essential for a successful print.

cura initial fan speed


Example Cura Hatchbox PLA Settings for Ender 3 (V2 & Pro & Neo)

Here are the general-purpose Cura settings we recommend for printing Hatchbox PLA on your Ender 3, including all Bowden extruder Ender 3 models, such as the Ender 3 V2, Ender 3 Pro, Ender 3 Neo, and more.

  • Print Temperature: 200°C
  • Bed Temperature: 50°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: 210°C

Example Cura Hatchbox PLA Settings for Ender 3 S1

Here are the general-purpose Cura settings we recommend for printing Hatchbox PLA on your Ender 3 S1, the only Ender 3 model with a Direct Drive extruder.

  • Print Temperature: 200°C
  • Bed Temperature: 50°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: 210°C

Conclusion

Now that you know how to configure your slicer to print specifically with the Hatchbox brand of PLA, you can quickly create a separate Cura profile for it and easily switch between your differently-branded PLA spools without needing to worry about getting the configuration right.

While perfecting the settings can still require some trial and error, as it usually does due to each 3D printer being different, the changes we have covered in this guide should, regardless, prove to be a strong starting point for further fine-tuning.