First few prints! .1mm needs a little work, though.

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First few prints! .1mm needs a little work, though.

Postby Valrum » 2014-Feb-Sun-18-Feb

Just got my Printrbot Plus recently, and started to try calibrating. Got lost of it done well, at least I believe so, but there are the pics!

The .3mm calibration print had a round top which I learned here was due to insufficient cooling(?). The little test cathedral went very well, though, at .3mm.
Printing .1mm, the tops of the calibration prints have quite a bit of overhanging plastic, and I'm struggling finding a topic on the forums about it, mainly because I don't know what this sort of error is called. is it due to over extrusion? to much heat? not enough cooling? I'm a little lost on it. I also have a rupee I printed to help test how my printer would do angles at .1mm, and although it did well (no sagging, like with .3mm) the print still has bumps along the top of the print, and quite a bit of extra plastic that created an overhand during the print. usually it was higher than the extruder, but I wanted the print to finish instead of just stopping it all together.

Any tips (or names of these specific issues so I can look them up myself)? I'd appreciate anything!


Thanks, and glad to be here on the forums!

Val
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First few prints! .1mm needs a little work, though.

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Re: First few prints! .1mm needs a little work, though.

Postby marmil » 2014-Feb-Thu-01-Feb

Welcome Valrum.
Your extruder or z calibration being just a bit off might contribute to what you're describing with your .1 prints. Things have to be really dialed in for layers that small. Any extrusion or vertical travel errors just add up over time and make things worse. If you print a 10mm tall block how close does it measure up?
Do you have a few more pictures of what you're seeing?
Also if the print starts to lift off the printbed even just a little you can start to get that mess of overhang looking problem, probably more so with smaller layer heights. You're more likely to see this on corners though where lifting is more problematic.
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Re: First few prints! .1mm needs a little work, though.

Postby marmil » 2014-Feb-Fri-23-Feb

Valrum, a post by Alex in another thread reminded me that you should also double check what you're measuring for the the diameter of your filament and update that value in slicer if needed. That could also be a factor when trying to print with such a small layer height.
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Re: First few prints! .1mm needs a little work, though.

Postby Valrum » 2014-Mar-Mon-19-Mar

Hey, sorry about the late response! I guess although I've been continuing my troubleshooting I didn't expect a response here, when really this is where it should be, I guess. Should this be moved to troubleshooting?

I think having a slightly-off z calibration could be one of my problems, and will take your advice/calibrate it in a couple of hours (might stream it if seems like I'm screwing something up). I did double check my filament diameter in slicer, and found it was set to 1.7 instead of 1.75! Would playing around with the extrusion multiplier help here at all?

I can try to print a 10mm cube if you would like, just to see how it turns out, but it seems like things have gotten worse, not better, with help on other sites (I've been just troubleshooting on my own). Currently I'm dealing with a new problem. As shown in the new picture, the extruder is having some problems laying down too much at certain points, creating large clumps now and then, sometimes making strings.


I appreciate the help immensely. 3D printing is one of the first things I've really thrown my hands up in the air over trying to figure out myself, and although I enjoy solving problems like this without external help, I've learned a lot and still haven't made too much progress. This last week I haven't even tried anything at all, and I've given up trying to solve these problems alone.
Another thing I could do, if there's anyone here willing to help for a short time, is stream what's going on via my twitch channel. Might be more direct and give more clarity as to what's happening on my end than my bad camera/pictures can show.
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Re: First few prints! .1mm needs a little work, though.

Postby marmil » 2014-Mar-Wed-02-Mar

Oh no! What did you change?

Valrum wrote:... Would playing around with the extrusion multiplier help here at all?
...

I would suggest not messing with the extrusion multiplier until you're positive you have all the other stuff dialed in. If you start changing too many variables it's hard to track down where the issue really is. Better to find the issue and solve that instead of fudging some sort of temporary solution.

Your camera's pictures are fine for seeing what is going on. Post away.

Can you provide some more info about your settings? ABS or PLA? Your temperature settings?
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Re: First few prints! .1mm needs a little work, though.

Postby Valrum » 2014-Mar-Fri-16-Mar

I'm printing in PLA. Extruder temp is set to 185, 190 for the first layer. heating bed it at 70C. Too hot, maybe?

Tried to post the slicer setting in a list, didn't work since I'm new and I can't find where it thinks a URL is.
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Re: First few prints! .1mm needs a little work, though.

Postby Mooselake » 2014-Mar-Sat-03-Mar

Measure your filament with your digital caliper, in several places and at different angles around it (it could be oval), then calculate the average. Most likely it's not 1.75.

Don't get crazy with decimal places, two, like 1.62, is good enough.

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Re: First few prints! .1mm needs a little work, though.

Postby Valrum » 2014-Mar-Thu-17-Mar

Finally got my calipers in the mail, and it seems that the filament is pretty much 1.75, actually. I've measured in several places along the filament to get varied results, but they stay roughly at 1.73-1.76. I've decided to print in .2 instead. Since I'll be getting a new batch of ABS soon I'll likely vapor treat most of the stuff I print, but I still want PLA in case I don't need it treated (I really want to do mechanisms and stuff that would be cast in metal).
That doesn't mean I don't want my printer working at be best it can, though, and still need help narrowing down a few things. Sorry for my spotty attendance to my own thread, seems like life suddenly got busier after the printer arrived. :\

Included are some new pictures, .2mm prints, PLA, extruder temp at 185c and bed temp at 50c (decided to turn it down a bit). I'll be posting as I print, and have a few other things printing now!
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Re: First few prints! .1mm needs a little work, though.

Postby greenb » 2014-Mar-Thu-22-Mar

Can anybody tell me why those little strings form? Is there a way to prevent those strings from forming?
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Re: First few prints! .1mm needs a little work, though.

Postby evanalmighty » 2014-Mar-Fri-00-Mar

Try lowering the temperature a couple of degrees at a time. The string probably means you're running hotter than you need to so the filament keeps oozing out.
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Re: First few prints! .1mm needs a little work, though.

Postby Valrum » 2014-Mar-Sat-01-Mar

lowered the temp, but I think it's a slightly different issue. occasionally, after a layer's printed, the extruder seems to catch the cooling plastic. maybe it's pulling part of that out, also causing the pillars to be bumpy? Just a guess.
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Re: First few prints! .1mm needs a little work, though.

Postby RetireeJay » 2014-Mar-Sat-05-Mar

greenb wrote:Can anybody tell me why those little strings form? Is there a way to prevent those strings from forming?


Strings are a common enough occurrence that slicing software has provisions built in to alleviate them.
Besides printing at the lowest temperature that will extrude reliably, there are a few more tricks:

1) Use the "retract" function. This means that the Extruder will pull back on the filament going into the hot end before a non-printing move. How much retract to use depends on your particular material, the nozzle, etc so you will have to experiment a little. I've seen ranges from 0.5mm to 5mm.
1A) When using Retract, it helps to do it quickly. Otherwise the printhead stays put in one spot for a while and creates a bump in the plastic. You do this by adjusting the maximum speed allowed for the Extruder motor. During normal printing, the Extruder motor speed is synched with the motion in X Y but during a Retract it runs at the maximum speed.
1B) There are sometimes some other settings in your slicer for things like "wipe" and "lift" that are also intended to help out with getting smooth objects that don't have strings. Experimentation is the key.

2) Use a very high speed for "transitions" between printing zones.
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