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Printrbot Talk Forum • View topic - Getting the most out of a Simple

Getting the most out of a Simple

Come visit Plexus' print lab and find out what he's been up to (what did he break now?)

Getting the most out of a Simple

Postby plexus » 2014-Mar-Mon-21-Mar

After many many hours of retrofitting, fiddling, tinkering and experimenting here is what I have for you so far: First, 3mm is better than 1.75mm simply because 1.75 doesn't have any significant benefits over 3.00 but 3.00 is more reliable from a mechanical feed perspective and is easier to set up.

I have an E3D on my PB+, which also has many upgrades, and a Magma on the Simple. In previous comparisons I found both all metal hot ends to provide better print quality than the Ubis. Why? I think primarily it has to do with the lack of a significant resevoir space in the all metal hot ends. Melted plastic can not pool in these and so they are more responsive to filament feed changes. The Ubis has a volume that fills with melted plastic and acts as a pneumatic buffer to filament feed. This has been quantified by running filament through the hot ends and then purging it out with a very different colour. The Ubis takes quite a bit more feed length to purge than the all metal hot ends because the latter lack any resevoir space. This is important because the filament feed is computed and numeric - you want a linear equal volumetric reaction on the extruded plastic compared to the filament feed.

Next was to get the Alu extruder and direct drive happening. All this was done on the Simple because my PB+ prints great so I don't want to mess with it unless I know something is going to work. After getting the Alu extruder set up I was able to print with it using a Wantai motor which was surprising (using 3mm). I am using the TrinityLabs Magma 3mm hot end on the Simple. I was happy with this but then noticed a pattern in the print surface. It turns out because the hot end is so responsive, it would modulate its output because the input was being modulated but the slower stepping direct drive. the steps per second is so low that you can see the modulation in the surface.

So this means that when going to a "better" hot end (depends on how you define better) and direct drive you are going to get artifacts in the surface due to the filament stepping. A Wade or geared extruder would be better. This is one reason my PB+ is so much better.

So then I went to get the wood wade's onto the simple. I got it on and the results are better. still not up to the PB+ but much better and the Alu extruder/direct drive. I should mention that I tried to use a geared stepper and it would not feed. it would grind the filament. this is still unsolved - the direct drive stepper worked but the geared stepper ground the filament. my only guess has to do with the back pressure of the filament - perhaps with a stepped feed it somehow over-comes the back pressure due to the percussive nature of the feed pressure vs a consistent pressure from the wades unable to break the back pressure.

Anyway... here are some comparison pics. from left to right:
PB+ with upgrades, Simple with Wades, Simple with direct drive

And here are some close ups.

Update: examining the prints, it looked like the Simple/wade's was perhaps over-extruding a bit. I carefully calibrated E and added about 10% based on calibration procedures. The output was slightly better but only subtly.
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Getting the most out of a Simple

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Re: Getting the most out of a Simple

Postby REPRAP SQUAD » 2014-Mar-Wed-11-Mar

Nice work, its nice to see thec Comparison between the different setups. Ive almost got my printrbot plus just where I've always wanted it to be. It puts out great prints consistently but now im trying to get it to do that at a higher speed. Did you notice a big difference when you modded your pluss y axis. When I extended mine recently I took the opportunity to upgrade the bearing mounts as well as the rods. It was very noticeable but, im wondering if I can get better speeds and quality with a similar y axis setup.
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Re: Getting the most out of a Simple

Postby spaceorange12 » 2014-Sep-Wed-19-Sep

Cool setup with the LCD mounted on the side!
I wish I could convert to 3mm, but would probably screw something up. Good work!
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