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Author Topic: 3D printing tips and tricks  (Read 1352 times)

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Online Crusarius

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3D printing tips and tricks
« on: November 19, 2021, 10:53:30 AM »
The idea for this thread came up while I was posting in Vautours mill build thread and mentioned I had 3d printed drag chains for my CNC. 

I have had a 3D printer for quite a while. When I first got it we had alot of fun making trinkets and stuff. Unfortunately it has proven to be an exercise in patients. Many times the things I want to print take hours. 

To many times I will get 2-3 hours in just to have it detach from the bed and ruin everything.

So I am starting this thread to hopefully get some tips and tricks not just for me but for anyone else who may be struggling with a 3D printer.

MPCNC
This was my first experience with 3D printing. I did it at work with the help of a guy that was pretty hardcore into it. The files came from V1engineering.com. All I did was print and assemble. It was definitely alot of fun playing with and one day I may finish it, but for now it was a learning experience.



 



 



 

Offline nopoint

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Re: 3D printing tips and tricks
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2021, 11:06:46 AM »
I oversee a school shop that includes various traditional wood and metal working equipment as well as CNC milling, CNC Plasma, and router. Of all that stuff the 3d printers are the worst! I have spent more time working on this things than anything else in our shop. Our first printer was fairly expensive, the next two are much cheaper. When they break I will have much joy in being able to throw them off the dock into the dumpster!!! Actual useful information.... use painters tape on the bed of the machine. Don't overlap, just butt up to each other. It will help with prints sticking. Some filament is susceptible to environmental degrade. Keep it sealed in a plastic bag when not in use. Keep the environment clean, limit dust etc. Make sure machine/bed is leveled to each other. Use the option for support bed too can help keep parts on bed. 

Offline Magicman

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Re: 3D printing tips and tricks
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2021, 11:17:57 AM »
You got da right colors.  ;D

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Offline btulloh

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Re: 3D printing tips and tricks
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2021, 11:41:45 AM »
Yeah -all of the above. 

My printer is a low end version and it took a lot experimenting and a couple upgrades to get predictable results.  All the tips and tricks come from googling and I bet youve read the same ones. Problem is there are a lot of different ways to achieve good results, so its easyto go down too many paths at the same time. The number of variables is almost infinite. 

My bed adhesion issues got resolve eventually and that is pretty routine and predictable at this point, but my way aint the only way for sure and also depends on your equipment and raw materials.

Painters tape works for some people, glue sticks for some, and so on and so on.

I got through the adhesion thing by using the bed that came with my printer which had a textured surface on an aluminum substrate.  That surface is very similar to painters tape over a smooth substrate. I tried a number of things when I was having stuff detach prematurely. Tape, glue sick, etc. The cure for me was cleaning the surface before each print and playing with initial bed temp and nozzle temp. A little hotter for the firstfew layers, then backing off on both temps a few degrees.  Trial and terror. Best done when snowed in for several weeks with no access to the outside world.  Also using a raft for everything, but Im sure thats not news.

After the bed adhesion was solved, theres plenty to sort beyond that.  No news there either. Everybody confronts the same issues. At least Cura gives the opportunity to adjust at least 500 variables, most of which are not understood by someone with less than five years in the field.

Its a pretty daunting process and nopoints dumpster solution is kind f enticing. 

Crusarius, having a guru to consult has got to be a good thing.
HM126

Online Crusarius

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Re: 3D printing tips and tricks
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2021, 12:12:04 PM »
I am of the glue stick family. but what I do is smear the print location with the glue then use alcohol to thin and spread it. as long as I do a good job and the glue is not to thick it sticks great. But if I am inconsistent the thick glue will not adhere. you almost want like a contact spray for attaching laminate panels. its needs to be super thin and even.

I do have some aqua net hair spray that I have not gotten to trying yet. I also use prusa slicer. I found I like the interface better and seems to have more adjustability. The first experience I have had with 3D printers was on a Prusa. great machines but my creality cost less than $300 when I bought it vs the prusa at 700 for the kit 1000 for it assembled.

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Re: 3D printing tips and tricks
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2021, 12:12:51 PM »
Nopoint, I understand what you say completely. I enjoy having the toy, but many times I would be happy to throw it in the pond.

Offline metalspinner

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Re: 3D printing tips and tricks
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2021, 04:52:07 PM »
I dont have anything real to contribute. But to sympathize with the complexity. 
My oldest son spent several years in the material science lab at UT researching and developing different polymers for 3D printing. Its amazing     How many different properties are available on the plastics. 
One day I can imagine you will be able to send your recycling plastic right into an extruder and print something new. 
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline Ianab

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Re: 3D printing tips and tricks
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2021, 05:34:30 PM »
I bought a super cheap "toy" one a while back, I think about $70US plus tax and shipping. I just wanted to learn more about them, the software and what they can do. 


Amazing thing is, it actually works  :D  It's not fast, and only prints a 4" cube, but it actually works. 



 

This is making little clips that go round the back of your head and stop your mask pulling your ears off over the course of a whole shift.  Printed dozens for friends, workmates and the ladies at the supermarket. That's about the longest thing it will print, and had to be angled to fit on the build plate. 

What I've learnt so far? I need to brush up on my CAD skills.  :D  I can design and print some simple things like fan mounts to add extra fans to a computer case. Often the trick seems to be making a design that's actually practical to print, then playing in Cura to get get the best results. 
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline John Mc

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Re: 3D printing tips and tricks
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2021, 10:34:24 AM »
I print directly on a PEI bed on a Lulzbot Mini. It works well for most filament types. For some types, I had to add an enclosure to get good adhesion.  My poor man's enclosure was originally an assembly of boxes and boards stacked near the printer to block drafts and hold in a bit of the heat. It made enough of a difference on some of the touchier filament types that I was convinced to spring for a commercially made enclosure.

The real key was getting everything calibrated properly to begin with. I've been away from it for a while, so would have to re-learn how to do all of that, but that made a huge difference.
I found this post in the Lulzbot 3D printer forum helpful when I was getting started:
A Strategy for Obtaining Great Prints

I was also on a 3D printing Facebook group that provided me some good tips over the years. If I recall correctly, it was just called "3D printing"
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

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Re: 3D printing tips and tricks
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2021, 11:07:33 AM »
John, thank you so much for that link. of all the stuff I have read (I have not finished it yet) that one seems to be the most informative and useful.

I will be reading it again very thoroughly and probably following it next time I want to play with my printer. One of these days I may start printing a bunch of bolt bins for my toolbox drawers.

Offline John Mc

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Re: 3D printing tips and tricks
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2021, 11:44:40 AM »
As that guide indicates, getting that first layer right is crucial. Doing that is a combination of getting the bed leveled correctly and getting your starting height correct, among other things. Fighting with different adhesion methods is a losing battle if you don't have those basics dialed in to begin with. (These days, a lot of printers do automatic bed leveling - which is really "virtual" bed leveling: they sense where different parts of the bed are and correct for it electronically. IMO, you are well served to level the bed with mechanical adjustments first, and rely on the electronic bed leveling for fine tuning or correcting for warp or bowing that you can't get out with the mechanical adjustment.)

You may want to look up how to calibrate your  e-steps, if you have not already. Basically, that is calibrating the extruder so that when it gets a command to extrude 1mm of filament, it actually does extrude exactly 1mm.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

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Re: 3D printing tips and tricks
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2021, 09:41:55 PM »
I never did any of that adhesion stuff. I ran a couple temperature towers and determined what temps work with the filament I have. I also learned that I use a glue stick that I smear on the bed then thin it with alcohol. that helps alot with adhesion. I bet if I do the adhesion test setup on all my filaments it will make a world of difference. I have also thought about adding the auto bed leveling.

Offline trapper

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Re: 3D printing tips and tricks
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2021, 10:10:37 PM »
grandson wants filament for christmas    where are best places to get it   my knowledge of 3d printing is zero
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Re: 3D printing tips and tricks
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2021, 09:20:13 AM »
I have typically been buying from amazon. The biggest problem is all filament is different. Some that I have purchased prints great and others not so good. This goes back to running proper tests to get all the settings dialed in and working.

PLA+ seems to be the best stuff for generic things. but I know my first CNC I made the PLA is brittle when its cold.

Offline John Mc

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Re: 3D printing tips and tricks
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2021, 09:56:50 AM »
grandson wants filament for christmas    where are best places to get it   my knowledge of 3d printing is zero
You'll need to find out what type of filament your grandson is printing with, as there are a huge range of different chemistries available. PLA or PLA+ tends to be popular, but there are others which may be more suited for specialized uses (note that not all 3D printers can handle all types of filament.
Also, there is a huge difference among different brands of filament. The best ones are very consistent within a roll as well as from one batch to another. I've been away form this for too long to trust my knowledge of specific brands and their quality. I would suggest if your grandson has been doing much printing it would be worth finding out if he has a preference in type and brand. It's much better to risk spoiling the surprise than to get him something that will cause him headaches when he tries to print with it.
People who are in to 3D printing tend to like talking about it. A couple of suggestions if you want to preserve the surprise: tell your grandson that one of your friends is looking for a good gift for their child/grandchild who is in to 3D printing and ask if he has a recommendation for type and brand of filament. If you think he'll see through that, maybe you can enlist a friend of his or a parent or sibling to engage him in conversation about what he has had the best luck with.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Brucer

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Re: 3D printing tips and tricks
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2021, 07:59:05 PM »
This is a pretty good resource for troubleshooting 3D printers. Find the type of problem in their (visual) list and click on it.

This is a downloadable beginners guide to 3D printing. A pretty good overview if you're new to it.
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Re: 3D printing tips and tricks
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2021, 09:58:00 AM »
I need to follow this thread and see where it leads.   I just bought a SnapMaker 2.0 3-In-1 3D printer, laser engraver and CNC.    It gets delivered the end of this week.      
Been there, done that.   Never got caught [/b]
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Re: 3D printing tips and tricks
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2021, 11:07:36 AM »
Buck, I be very interested to see pictures and hear how well it works. I actually just ended up with an Atomstack A5 pro+ laser engraver. I was thinking about starting a thread for laser engraving also.

Offline Tacotodd

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Re: 3D printing tips and tricks
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2021, 11:44:35 AM »
@Crusarius , @doc henderson should be able to help you with the laser engraving .
Trying harder everyday.

Offline doc henderson

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Re: 3D printing tips and tricks
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2021, 12:39:32 PM »
We have messaged a bit offline, but i mostly know mine.  gave generic advice, prob. not helpful.

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