Visual Troubleshooting Guide
Pictured here are some examples of failed and/or poor-quality prints and some suggested corrections.
|What you see||How to fix it|
|Offset layers. This can be caused by your X or Y motors skipping steps or belt slippage. Make note of the direction that the layers are offset and eliminate any slippage or backlash in that motor. Make sure your belts are tight - a simple tensioner on the X belt (such as thing:10082) can help to reduce any slack in that direction. Slow down your print and/or travel movement speeds until the problem is eliminated.|
|Poor layer quality. Verify that your extruder and Z steps are calibrated as described in the Getting Started Guide. If those are both correct then this is most likely caused by inadequate cooling. Add a fan mount such as thing:21462 or thing:21761 or thing:29565 and wire a fan to the provided pins on your printrboard. Slow down your print speed to allow each layer sufficient cooling time.
A second issue with PLA that can cause poor layer quality is too low extruder temperature. Essentially the extruded filament isn't hot enough to deposit and gets "pulled" around sharp corners. Increases in temperature of only a few degrees may help resolve this issue.
|Fill or solid layer quality problems. Increase your infill and/or number of solid layers.|
Lincomatic has a good blog entry on Printrbot tuning.
Apart from tightening belts and leveling the print surface, most of the detailed tuning will take place in Slic3r. While the Getting Started Guide does take some first steps on configuring Slic3r, further tuning could significantly improve prints. This section will reference places that people have found to assist in detailed Slic3r tuning.
Slic3r is Nicer
RichRap has put together a detailed tutorial on calibration using Slic3r 0.5.7. While the current version is much higher and the UI is slightly different, the basic concepts and fields are still valid and the background knowledge will be useful long after the UIs are changed or if different tools are used.
The guide is in three parts:
If your filament isn't feeding well or at all there are a few things to check:
Is the extruder making clacking, grinding or other noises?
- incorrectly aligned gears herringbone gears are especially sensitive to this, make sure the cheverons are well aligned. You can leave the set screw a bit loose on the small gear and run the motor a bit and it will walk align itself the last little bit. DO NOT forget to tighten that set screw after a few minutes.
- Stepper motor turned too far down doesn't have enough power to drive filament turn pot on printrboard back to 6 o'clock position and see if issue resolves itself
- Nut on the hobbed bolt has vibrated and moved up against the bearing and the stepper can't turn the gears Back the nut off, consider a nylon locking nut in this location or a jam nut. This sometimes shows up as stuttering before things get to where they totally jam up
Gears turning correctly but still nothing is being extruded?
- stripped filament This will happen if your hobbed bolt is turning and the filament isn't moving. Eventually you can grind nearly all the way through the filament. Be sure and clean up all the spare plastic dust you can, because otherwise you will just keep stripping more filament.
- clogged hobbed bolt -- if you have stripped a lot of filament and you've brushed it off a few times it's possible the deepest parts of the grooves are full of your ground up filament, cleaning with acetone works great on ABS, a brass or bronze brush can also be very helpful.
- clogged nozzle If your filament had some sort of impurities in it that won't fit through the tip things will get stuck. Carefully remove the tip (look for instructions) and try cleaning the inside with acetone to remove residue.
- poor alignment of hot end to extruder the filament can't make turns of very small radius. Remove hobbed bolt, loosen screws holding hot end in place, use filament or a small 2.5mm diameter metal rod to verify alignment and hold the alignment while tightening the screws that hold the hot end in place.
Printrbot Problem Report and Bug Tracking
Issue tracking system use to manage and maintains lists of problem report and bug.