Author Topic: The Living 3D Printing Thread  (Read 96846 times)

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Offline Leslieann

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #550 on: Sun, 15 December 2013, 16:37:44 »
I have spent the last two days trying to print a single part in ABS. What should take 20 minutes has kicked my butt for 2 days (of near constant printing!). After a ton of effort it occurred to me that I have never had this much problems printing ABS before, and that even smaller stuff was a problem. Turns out that Toybuilder's ABS has a rather high shrink rate. This was causing all sorts of cooling and curling issues. I tried hotter beds, cooler beds, higher hot end, lower hot end, more cooling. less cooling... If it looks halfway decent, the part would break apart when tapping it for threads. I like the Toybuilder ABS, it smells A LOT better when printing, and flows fine, but I can't print much with it under my current (and soon to be retired) setup.  Today, getting a fresh start I went back to the Ultimaker ABS and the first print was better than what I got from all of my attempts in the last two days.


I picked up some Toner Plastics PLA at Microcenter yesterday, I'll report how good that works. It looks like it's the same OEM as Ultimaker, and @ $40 before tax, and available (sort of) locally, this would be great for emergencies if nothing else, it's quite a drive but for a single roll, after tax and gas I save a buck compared to Ultimaker.
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Offline Leslieann

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #551 on: Sun, 15 December 2013, 16:48:06 »
Cool. I'm thinking about building a wider (and shorter) delta printer. And stiffer. But I'm not in a hurry. Maybe in a year or so :)

You have a Rostock right?
You could upgrade to something like what I am pretty easily and cheaply, about $200 to get an 18-20in build surface.
I designed it to use as many electronics and hardware from my Rostock as I could.

Other than the Wolfstock, nothing bigger than a Rostock has been documented, even then, none of them very well. Something I'm hoping to fix when I release mine into the wild.
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Offline vvp

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #552 on: Mon, 16 December 2013, 04:17:57 »
Interesting. Looks like filament can make a huge difference. I have it all from only re-seller (do not know the original producer) and it is doing fine so far.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #553 on: Mon, 16 December 2013, 18:54:20 »
Toner Plastics is as far as I can tell, the same as Ultimachine (awsome!). I only tried the natural colored PLA, which I haven't used from Ultimaker, but it seems to work identical to the Ultimaker Black I have. I'll be using Toner Plastic black later tonight. Same spools, same tints, same temps...  It's cheaper, and while they have limited selection for colors, it's great to be able to buy locally.


And yes, filament does matter, more than I ever expected. 
We know there is only a few makers in China, and my experience has been that they each use a specific spool. I won't buy smooth sided spools again, I'm convinced the manufacturer has no QA of any form other than making sure it spools and gets loaded on a palette. One seller claims if it doesn't work for you, there's something wrong with your machine, lies, and that he uses it in his machines, more lies.  I know, because he asked me to do some prototype work for him. This was after he blew off my problems with his filament.

The ribbed spool like Ultimaker, Toner Plastics and Toybuilder/Prototype Supply, work great, barring the ABS shrink issues from the latter.
I don't think I have had a single jam with Ultimaker that I can blame on the filament. NONE. It was always an outside influence. So when someone tells me it's the machine that makes their filament jam my machine every 5 minutes, I have to take it with a grain of salt.

Nozzles matter, but in a much different way. When I had a .5 nozzle, I could run anything that fit through my Bowden. Now, no way. One thing I have also learned is that nozzle size is less crucial to good prints than I thought. A smaller nozzle allows tighter corners or thinner walls, but otherwise a smaller nozzle, just means more headaches and slower print times. Layer height will do more for quality than nozzle size. I've seen amazing stuff from .5's and junk from .35 all due to layer height. While I like .35 (I've had .5, .4 and .35), my next nozzles will probably be .4 again, as they seem quite a bit more forgiving without a large difference in size/quality. It seems like anything will block a .35 nozzle, while a .4 is just large enough to let things slip through. I also use a polishing pad from a Dremel as a filter. While I can't say it has stopped a jam for sure, I am pretty sure it has suspect it has, considering the junk it has pulled off the filament.
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Offline mkawa

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #554 on: Mon, 16 December 2013, 22:13:39 »
ultimaker, toner plastics and toybuilder do not share a supplier.

there are far more than a few factories in china churning this stuff out right now. a whole bunch of molding factories are taking front-ends that were out of service, shoving a die on them and extruding crap. the commonality in the spool designs is because there are only so many pieces of spool tooling out there; i'd guess about 3 unique designs and maybe 4 copies of each design. further, even output from the same factory on different days can be wildly different, or output on the same day but with a different dye or master batch source; there are non-zero numbers of manufacturers who don't even buy from master batches but are extruding off the spot market, with little to no information source, chain of handling, or heat history.

bottom line: plastic is a very complicated beast. extruding plastic at home is even more so. with all things, my feeling on filament is to KISS. gravitate toward at most two suppliers for a single kind of material. taulman, obviously, for nylon is a no-brainer right now. toybuilder is a no-brainer for ABS and HIPs for me. I don't extrude PLA at all, but dcnewman is able to get some beautiful prints out of toybuilder PLA and a number of other people in the bot community swear by his PLA. i believe i've discussed the differences between his ABS and MBI ABS.

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline damorgue

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #555 on: Tue, 17 December 2013, 11:20:32 »
From what I hear there is less variance amonst the PLA than there is between the different ABS'es. PLA appears less sensitive to heat cycles, defects and changes in the supply chain or there just happens to be less shoddy manufacturers of it out there.

Offline mkawa

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #556 on: Tue, 17 December 2013, 21:02:19 »
abs is the most popular plastic for injection molding and there are about a zillion different formulations and suppliers. PLA is basically only used for biodegradable silverware and filament right now, so probably just batchmakers. that said, people also expect a lot less out of PLA in terms of material properties and stabilities. i mean, it's water soluble...

i was about to say that no one's printing guns with pla, but i have a guy who did just that. thankfully it broke before he could use it in any way.

eta: PLA is also way way easier to extrude and to mold because of its very very low shrinkage rate
« Last Edit: Tue, 17 December 2013, 22:21:31 by mkawa »

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Offline mkawa

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #557 on: Tue, 17 December 2013, 22:20:23 »
COI full disclosure: i am now working in a consultant capacity for toybuilder labs.

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.


Offline Leslieann

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #559 on: Sun, 22 December 2013, 20:28:57 »
I started having problems with PLA warping as well and traced the problem to my heated bed's thermister. I'm getting MUCH better results from the TBL ABS now. TBL and TP may not be the same manufacturer as Ultimachine, but the plastic works the same (once I fixed the heated bed).

Yes, many companies over there can just slap on a die and produce filament, but how many actually are. This is still primarily a cottage industry.
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Offline vvp

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #560 on: Mon, 23 December 2013, 05:40:07 »
My first small enough and somewhat working extruder. Some parameters may need a bit more tweaking. It bents filament to an arc with radius of about 5 cm. This should not happen in ideal situation. The filament driving pulley needs to be cleaned after each slip. When filament slips the grit is packed between pulley teeth and that causes loss of traction. The pulley starts to grind the filament at about 8 cm/s (@ 230C, ABS). Maybe it is a filament problem too. May be the ABS is too soft or whatever. Otherwise I like it. Filament insertion is easy: just insert from the bottom and it will pull it itself properly. No need to fiddle with the idler clamp.
So the biggest problem is probably the filament drive pulley. To tell the truth it is not much better than my hobbed bolt version.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #561 on: Wed, 25 December 2013, 02:01:21 »
Looks good.
Put a bit more clamping pressure or lower the amperage so the motor skips first. I think extruders are the biggest pain the neck on printers.


My monster is up and running, it's leveled to about .02mm across a 500mm (20inch) build surface. Still chasing bugs, but it's pretty neat. A bit quieter than then Rostock, however, it's shocking how much noise comes from the print head.
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Offline vvp

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #562 on: Fri, 27 December 2013, 05:20:03 »
Put a bit more clamping pressure or lower the amperage so the motor skips first. I think extruders are the biggest pain the neck on printers.
Good point. I should decrease the maximum stepper current. Skipping is better than filament grinding. The clamp is already as tight as it can be.
Or replace the filament driving pulley. Are you aware of anything with a big diameter (at least 15 mm) and bigger teeth spacing (so that the filament grit does not stick between teeth)?

The extruder is parametric (currently there are about 40 scalar parameters) so it is easy to use different filament diameters, driving pulleys, bolts, bearings, gear ratios etc. If anybody would like to try it, I can post it now. Otherwise I do it when it is more mature. Currently only two sets of parameters were really tested:
  • M8 hobbed bolt with three 608 bearings;
  • Φ 5mm shaft with off-the-shelf driving pulley, two 625 bearings, and one 608 bearing.

My monster is up and running, it's leveled to about .02mm across a 500mm (20inch) build surface. Still chasing bugs, but it's pretty neat. A bit quieter than then Rostock, however, it's shocking how much noise comes from the print head.
0.02 mm is very good. Did you use laser cut top and bottom plates?
What do you mean by noise from "print head"?

Offline Leslieann

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #563 on: Sun, 29 December 2013, 02:24:24 »
Good point. I should decrease the maximum stepper current. Skipping is better than filament grinding. The clamp is already as tight as it can be.
Or replace the filament driving pulley. Are you aware of anything with a big diameter (at least 15 mm) and bigger teeth spacing (so that the filament grit does not stick between teeth)?

Smaller pulleys are better for torque.
I like the Ultibots 1.75mm pulley, while most are made for 3mm and simply work on 1.75, Ultibots makes a pulley specifically for 1.75, and I've had better luck with it.

0.02 mm is very good. Did you use laser cut top and bottom plates?
What do you mean by noise from "print head"?
Depends on the print job and things, but on some printers you can hear the head rubbing ridges of the part you are printing. In my case, cheap pulleys were to blame, which I've since replaced. That significantly lowered the noise and made my layers much more uniform.

My new printer uses no wood or plates, it's a cross between a Kossel and Cerberus using aluminum channel.

Interestingly, I found my EZ-Struder extruder can handle .35 nozzle, with good filament and enough heat. However, the extra long wires on the large printer makes my thermister WAY, WAY off. By the time I see 175c at the nozzle with the infrared thermometer, Repetier is showing 250c. Only off a little, LOL.
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Offline vvp

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #564 on: Mon, 30 December 2013, 07:27:16 »
Smaller pulleys are better for torque.
My idea is to get bigger pulley so that there is more contact area with the filament. This should lead to grinding at higher forces. I can adjust torque easily by changing the gear ratio.

However, the extra long wires on the large printer makes my thermister WAY, WAY off. By the time I see 175c at the nozzle with the infrared thermometer, Repetier is showing 250c. Only off a little, LOL.
This does not sound right. If you use 100kΩ thermistor then resistance difference between 175C and 250C should be about 700Ω. Even long wires should have resistance of about 2Ω at most. That is too far from 700Ω. My guess is you have a bad connection somewhere (broken wire, bad solder joint) or you do not use 100kΩ thermistor, or something else is broken or improperly measured.

Offline mkawa

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #565 on: Mon, 30 December 2013, 14:00:14 »
IR thermometers measure total radiance emitted over a volumetric cone type thing and aren't useful for trying to measure point temps, but that's just one issue in that whole stack. there is also the thermistor. simple point thermistors are just not very accurate. RTD-style resistance thermometers are accurate, but expensive. for point measurement, you really should be using a thermocouple.

also, smaller pulleys are only better for torque at the pulley. however, you want to look at how the torque translates to force on the filament. to do so you need to utilize friction to apply downward force on the filament. friction depends on kinetic friction, since both the friction gear and the filament are moving relative to each other. hence, once has to consider the contact patch between the two objects. think tires and road

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Offline Leslieann

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #566 on: Mon, 30 December 2013, 18:04:02 »
This does not sound right. If you use 100kΩ thermistor then resistance difference between 175C and 250C should be about 700Ω. Even long wires should have resistance of about 2Ω at most. That is too far from 700Ω. My guess is you have a bad connection somewhere (broken wire, bad solder joint) or you do not use 100kΩ thermistor, or something else is broken or improperly measured.

It wasn't right, I believe the Arduino was bad, though my reading is still way off. I'll have to test the wires and see what kind of resistance I'm getting.

IR thermometers measure total radiance emitted over a volumetric cone type thing and aren't useful for trying to measure point temps, but that's just one issue in that whole stack. there is also the thermistor. simple point thermistors are just not very accurate. RTD-style resistance thermometers are accurate, but expensive. for point measurement, you really should be using a thermocouple.

I'm not doing either just to expel plastic. If the plastic flows, it's good.
You are correct about the cone though, it's a hassle trying to focus it precise enough or close enough. Right or wrong, it allowed me to crank the temps without fear of a complete meltdown of the hot end.
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Offline legodt

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #567 on: Mon, 06 January 2014, 12:50:34 »
Does anybody have a standard preferred STL for all keycap rows, mods, or standard spacebars?

Offline damorgue

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #568 on: Mon, 06 January 2014, 18:09:33 »
I'd start with getting the tolerances right.

Depending on whether the operator chooses to print the parts with the roughness outside of the model, inside or with average height on the boundary, slightly different dimensions is required for ideal fitting between stem and cap. Because of this, different hardness of materials, different roughness of the gripping surfaces, printing orientation and such,  differences between machines and processes, it is a good idea to test the stem tolerances first.

Klick the image to view it or here to download an .stl

The part above has stem fittings with the following dimensions, starting at the end with the extra chamfers:
0.95 x 1.15
1.00 x 1.20
1.05 x 1.25  <<< Measured stem size
1.10 x 1.30
1.15 x 1.35
1.20 x 1.40
1.25 x 1.45
1.30 x 1.50
(All dimensions in mm)

Edit: Below is an old image of a similar part I once made. It is just to give a better idea of what it might look like and how to use it:
« Last Edit: Mon, 06 January 2014, 18:21:31 by damorgue »

Offline kmiller8

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #569 on: Mon, 06 January 2014, 18:12:00 »
OHMYGOD I'M PRINTING ABS.

THIS IS SOME VOODOO WITCHCRAFT.

WILL REPORT WITH RESULTS LATER.

OMG IT CAME OUT LIKE ****, BUT IT WORKED





ABS AND ME BESTEST FRIENDS.
« Last Edit: Mon, 06 January 2014, 21:57:46 by kmiller8 »
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Offline vvp

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #570 on: Mon, 13 January 2014, 11:28:11 »
Does fan on print head help when printing ABS on a support?

The printed part is big enough so layer cooling as a whole is not a problem. There is no slowdown for a layer. But  the part of printed object which is being built on a support material looks terrible. Would fan help here? Does Cura (or some other slicer) even slow down and switch on a fan when printing the first layer on a support?

My point is that the first layer on support should use similar rules as when printing bridges. Other problem is that Cura does not built support well. It just does a sparse infill of a "support object". Which is wrong since a support is needed everywhere where the hotend changes direction while printing the first object layer on a support material. And also maybe something like each 8 mm under each straight line.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #571 on: Mon, 13 January 2014, 21:47:51 »
A fan certainly helps definition, I get tighter turns.

However, with ABS, you can overdo it and cause delamination.
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Offline vvp

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #572 on: Tue, 14 January 2014, 04:05:26 »
Thanks Leslieann. I looked at Cura generated gcode and it does not look like it does anything special with fan for the first layers on support. I'm tempting to think I could achieve even more with an option to make the print speed for the first layer on support really slow. It should behave like bridges. But I do not see such an option in Cura, nor KISSlicer. Slic3r has a bridge speed option but I do not know whether it would be used for the first layer on a support material.

First layers on support do not look that bad when they are at least a bit sloped. Then only short pieces of extruded filament are on support. But if there is some area which is completely horizontal and resting on support then it is terrible. Cura tries to print it with normal printing speed (60 mm/s for me with 0.25 mm layers) and there is no chance the extruded filament staying continuous for the first (and often even the second (and sometimes the third)) layer on a support.

I'm almost tempted to fix Cura. Though I should try Slic3r and KISSlicer may be they are more intelligent even when options do not indicate so. No explicit options for the first layer on support.

I did only ABS, if I had used PLA I would have mounted some fan long time ago.

Offline vvp

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #573 on: Tue, 14 January 2014, 04:09:24 »
kmiller8: Did you figure out why it did go wrong in the upper part?

Offline kmiller8

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #574 on: Tue, 14 January 2014, 09:15:05 »
kmiller8: Did you figure out why it did go wrong in the upper part?

I'm thinking it's my retraction settings and ABS, I haven't tried messing with it since then however to confirm my suspicions.
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Offline kmiller8

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #575 on: Tue, 14 January 2014, 12:11:21 »
Upgraded my Z-rods (smooth)

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Offline Leslieann

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #576 on: Tue, 14 January 2014, 22:37:16 »
Thanks Leslieann. I looked at Cura generated gcode and it does not look like it does anything special with fan for the first layers on support. I'm tempting to think I could achieve even more with an option to make the print speed for the first layer on support really slow. It should behave like bridges. But I do not see such an option in Cura, nor KISSlicer. Slic3r has a bridge speed option but I do not know whether it would be used for the first layer on a support material.
The lack of fan tweaks and such is probably at least some of the reason Cura slices so fast.
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Offline vvp

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #577 on: Thu, 16 January 2014, 04:00:19 »
RFC about fan mounting.
Is it worth to add a fan duct to direct air more below the print head?
Or is fan without any air duct better?

Offline Leslieann

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #578 on: Sun, 19 January 2014, 03:48:04 »
RFC about fan mounting.
Is it worth to add a fan duct to direct air more below the print head?
Or is fan without any air duct better?
A duct shouldn't matter, the heater should be able to heat up plenty regardless.

Many deltas just stick a small fan blowing across everything and have no issues, this makes for a lighter moving assembly. I tend to go back and forth between effector mounted and just a loose fan, however I have yet to find a duct worth bothering with.
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Offline Candyflip

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #579 on: Sun, 19 January 2014, 06:35:58 »
My friend printed Yoda the other day for me, the detail is amazing.  :p
I don't know a thing about 3D printing but I guess this belongs here.
51577-0
This sucks more than anything that has ever sucked before.

Offline mkawa

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #580 on: Sun, 19 January 2014, 10:57:41 »
Upgraded my Z-rods (smooth)

Show Image

my god, where did you get the rod on the left from? that's a bit of a disaster right there


to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline mkawa

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #581 on: Sun, 19 January 2014, 10:58:18 »
My friend printed Yoda the other day for me, the detail is amazing.  :p
I don't know a thing about 3D printing but I guess this belongs here.
(Attachment Link)
wow, that's fantastic. do you have any info on what printed that?


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Offline vvp

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #582 on: Sun, 19 January 2014, 11:25:05 »
A duct shouldn't matter, the heater should be able to heat up plenty regardless.
Many deltas just stick a small fan blowing across everything and have no issues, this makes for a lighter moving assembly. I tend to go back and forth between effector mounted and just a loose fan, however I have yet to find a duct worth bothering with.
If I would had known I would not start designing some duct.
Now, I do not know whether I should finish it :D

This is the reason I'm trying to improve printing on support.
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Offline Candyflip

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #583 on: Sun, 19 January 2014, 11:54:53 »
My friend printed Yoda the other day for me, the detail is amazing.  :p
I don't know a thing about 3D printing but I guess this belongs here.
(Attachment Link)
wow, that's fantastic. do you have any info on what printed that?
My friend told me its a cheap Chinese copy of Makerbot Replicator, it is printed with ABS plastic with 0.01 mm layer.
This sucks more than anything that has ever sucked before.

Offline mkawa

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #584 on: Sun, 19 January 2014, 19:31:48 »
My friend printed Yoda the other day for me, the detail is amazing.  :p
I don't know a thing about 3D printing but I guess this belongs here.
(Attachment Link)
wow, that's fantastic. do you have any info on what printed that?
My friend told me its a cheap Chinese copy of Makerbot Replicator, it is printed with ABS plastic with 0.01 mm layer.
yes, i've seen these. they're sold as 'flashforge' and they've managed to second-shift the makerbot/ssys tooling to the point where their machines actually say makerbot all over them :P. they actually cost quite a bit considering, and use very well-made mbi revD controllers (from thingiverse) and all the other open source parts that MBI put up before they closed much of their design (and wasted tons of engineering time on posting images of your print to facebook :facepalm:).

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline Candyflip

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #585 on: Sun, 19 January 2014, 19:51:49 »
My friend printed Yoda the other day for me, the detail is amazing.  :p
I don't know a thing about 3D printing but I guess this belongs here.
(Attachment Link)
wow, that's fantastic. do you have any info on what printed that?
My friend told me its a cheap Chinese copy of Makerbot Replicator, it is printed with ABS plastic with 0.01 mm layer.
yes, i've seen these. they're sold as 'flashforge' and they've managed to second-shift the makerbot/ssys tooling to the point where their machines actually say makerbot all over them :P. they actually cost quite a bit considering, and use very well-made mbi revD controllers (from thingiverse) and all the other open source parts that MBI put up before they closed much of their design (and wasted tons of engineering time on posting images of your print to facebook :facepalm:).
I don't even know what a mbi revd controller is and none of this 3D printing stuff. Just wanted to share this little Yoda I got   :p
I think my friend is noob in this field too.  :))
This sucks more than anything that has ever sucked before.

Offline mkawa

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #586 on: Thu, 23 January 2014, 13:27:20 »
fun stuff! i started getting the worst air prints yesterday after pulling one of the heads off of my carriage to reduce backlash. for some reason, the exact same models at the exact same temperatures as before the head removal just stopped printing. at most i'd get a little bit of plastic out and then it would jam.

thankfully i have accurate thermocouples and kapton tape and a thermometers up the wazoo.

it turned out (and this is the cool part) what was happening was that the head temp was tracking with the mightyboard's TC up until about 200C with deviation at most like 5-10C. then suddenly at 200C, the deviation grew to 30C and actually kept growing up to like 40C. sat down and thought about this, and remembered that line CTE on aluminum is very non-trivial; it's like 25um/m/C. my theory on what was happening was that at 200C, the "kind-of-cold-end" nozzle retainer block of the rep2x would actually expand enough to start transferring a ton of heat into the carriage and the stepper motor and the heatsink etc. etc. basically everything near it, and then suddenly you have like 10x as much thermal mass, so temperatures actually drop; there's like a massive knee in the graph where these things connect.

food for thought, and a good reason to start making things out of magnesium instead. hah!

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline vvp

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #587 on: Fri, 31 January 2014, 13:25:54 »
My first attempt to print a fan duct/holder. The print could be actually usable if I would not make a mistake a make it by about a millimetre smaller :-D

Anyway, I wanted to ask about your experience with printing slopes. The bottom part has a small piece which is almost horizontal (slope angle almost 0) but it turned out much better than the upper part. The upper part has the minimum slope of 20. You can see a burned plastic in the picture of the upper part and irregular surface. Pictures of both top and bottom part were taken from an angle which shows the part the worst print quality. The parts were already cleaned up a bit.

There was a difference in the way the parts were printed.
The bottom part was printed as a solid without infill and bottom/top surface. The bottom part model did not have the "hole", i.e. it was not isomorphic with toroid. It was done so because FreeCad/OpenCascade does not support "thickness" action on more complicated shapes yet.  It was kind of like spiralize mode.
The top part was printed as solid with 20% infill and both bottom and top surfaces. Well the 20% infill almost does not make sense since the printed solid is almost always very thin to allow for any infill.
All the printing was done with 0.1 mm layer height; material was ABS. There was a static external fan blowing a bit at the part. The fan is needed. It was too near in the case of the top part print. That led to delamination (thanks Leslieann for pointing that out) which was repaired with acetone. Repaired clumsily; I spilled it over bigger area of the printed part ... which is why it is so shiny sometimes.

What is your smallest slope angle you can print reliably and at what layer height, material? Assume at least 2 cm wide slope. Any tips how to print small slopes well?
« Last Edit: Fri, 31 January 2014, 13:36:37 by vvp »

Offline mkawa

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #588 on: Sat, 01 February 2014, 00:33:53 »
it looks like you have some polymer degradation there (the discoloring). that might explain why the upper part came out so sickly looking. have you measured your nozzle temps? i think what's happening here is that the nozzle is closer to the bulk of the upper part because of the low slope (it's just circling round and round for however long) and your nozzle is 'burning' the pla.

i went to a 3d printing "world expo" today. it was very depressing. i'm going to think about this a bit before i start drawing, but i suspect i will be trying to design an open source x86-based filament extrusion printer with specs suitable for geekhack-level production of parts. large build area, brute force will be the word of the day. this may start with some work on the ggppll such that it comes into being first.

thought will be applied before money, but there is quite a bit of talent on the board that is not NDA'd, and a standard commodity platform removes many of the dumb restrictions and adds a huge number of kernel options as well as a much faster bus than any of the embedded platforms i know of. i see this as a relatively long term project, but one that runs in stages. the first stage will be to move to the x86 platform (but i very likely will be powering the same motors and actual motion hardware). the second stage will be to design a new frame, then a new motive geometry, and so on and so forth.

i saw literally every trick in the book in the printers on the floor and none of them were enough to make something durable, reliable and consistent. one simply has to recognize the problems involved -- motion control, power control, mechanical repeatability w/rt material choices and previous, and apply basic principled engineering.

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Offline vvp

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #589 on: Sun, 02 February 2014, 09:14:55 »
Yes, the low slope parts have thermally degraded plastic and also rough surface. The temperature should be ok. It was ABS. Does PLA work better for low slopes? It probably should since it does not have such a problem with contraction while it cools down.

I think that the problem is mostly in the slicer (I used Cura). It tried to print the 1.5mm thick wall of the low slope area by printing first the external and internal perimeters and then zing-zagging between the perimeters doing 100% infill. (The infill was set to only 25% but the wall is thick 1.5mm which is less than 2 times the shell thickness. Under 20 slope it looked like 4.3 mm wide area of 100% infill.) That does not look like a good strategy for sloped walls because:
  • the outer perimeter is not well fixed (there is not enough material there to hold it securely in place);
  • heat from the head creeps into lower layers making them prone to bend;
  • because of zing-zagging the whole top surface is melted at once;
  • then when head moves to other place the melted ABS will shrink a bit and curl outer perimeter into the part (above the last layer plane);
  • the next time the head goes over this area the parts of the curled plastic stick to the head and thermally degrade on it;
  • not only the plastic get burned by sticking to the head, but it is missing to support the next layer too.
Slicer should detect these situations and instead lay filament on these parts by extruding it only in parallel with the perimeters and with sufficient time for previous thread to cool before laying down the next one. The idea is to prevent having the whole top surface of the sloped wall melted at once and hence minimize curving of the outer perimeter which is not supported well from below).

The more I get involved into 3dPrinting the more I think the printer themselves are quite good (well, at least the old Rostock). That cannot be said about the slicers. They suck. All of them.

Looks like you want to do a new controller board too. Isn't SmoothieBoard quick enough? If not then BeagleBoard with some shield should do. Also there should not be a need for a lot of computing power on the controller board. Since a big part of the current 3dPritners are open loop (all the stepper control is open loop (temperature control is closed loop)) then you do not need to do much in the printer itself. They only need to know when to increment/decrement a stepper. Everything else can be done by the slicer which can run in a comfortable and powerful PC. Then you have a compression problem how to move the data from a slicer to a printer efficiently. We use G-codes currently. But maybe it would be better to use NURBS curves, or some other compression scheme.

Offline mkawa

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #590 on: Sun, 02 February 2014, 19:10:09 »
the controller will almost certainly be fpga pcie based with high bit-width single-ended buses to the motor drivers. that's about as tight a coupling you can get, and your processor has extremely high compatibility with any kernel you can think of and is about a million times faster than any embedded board. if you're not size constrained, don't go embedded; it makes no sense.

the driver bits are a little bit of black magic because of the need for tight coupling and high power on any reasonable motor (i'm talking nema 24-26 here, with servos and brushless DC instead of steppers wherever possible). i've talked to a lot of people who like the gecko drivers, but there are a _ton_ of driver vendors out there because they are mostly analog current and/or voltage regulators, and there are as many recipes as there are particles in the universe. also, the big guys tend to farm out their driver boards because you need an analog design wizard to get a really good board that will hit your machine specs.

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline mkawa

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #591 on: Sun, 02 February 2014, 19:11:51 »
re: that part of yours vvp, it looks thin enough that you should able to tell cura to shell it with a high number of layers (like 4-5) with 0% infill.. that may keep it rotating quickly enough to not burn anything up. this may also point to an issue with your head thermocouples..

i will say that i've had issues like this with the makerbot slicer and i usually hack up some workaround like a sacrificial tower or something. the algorithms are pretty broken, but i will say that they're no more broken than any other gcode compiler i've seen.
« Last Edit: Sun, 02 February 2014, 19:14:29 by mkawa »

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Offline vvp

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #592 on: Mon, 03 February 2014, 04:25:46 »
Good point! Slic3r can have shell count specified and that may be enough (or I can add support there).

Yes, if the idea is to go fully closed loop then computing power will be needed on the printer. It will give a lot of space for improvement and allow better modelling of the mechanical properties of the printer.

Offline mkawa

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #593 on: Mon, 03 February 2014, 11:28:03 »
yep yep. and decoupling the driving hardware from the control hardware will allow the use of serious motors given precise and noise-free power signals. i've talked to enough people who are using recipes like this and getting incredible results that i just think it's the way to go at this point for a serious printer.

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline vvp

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #594 on: Sun, 09 February 2014, 08:56:08 »
The idea with multiple perimeters in slic3r did not work. It still printed it too quickly so it did not have enough time to cool. Increasing air flow did help a bit. The part is not very nice but it is usable.

Offline mkawa

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #595 on: Sun, 09 February 2014, 13:11:45 »
this one looks a ton better.

can you not lower your nozzle temps at all? also, this is a little counterintuitive, but try making the walls thicker. more plastic to sink the heat and the head's going to run a little cooler since it's pushing more plastic through.

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline vvp

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #596 on: Sun, 09 February 2014, 19:33:51 »
It is definitely better. Moreover picture of this one was not taken after "shaving" off the worst irregularities (contrary to the previous one). Everything the same as the old print. The only difference is higher air flow when the 20 slopes were printed and smaller air flow during everything else. I believe thicker walls would help but only a bit. The leading edge on the low slope will still have weak support. The trailing edge should look much better. But this one is usable as it is. So I leave it out as it is till I do not need to redo it because of something else.

Low slope areas need a lot of cooling otherwise they bend (since the support from bottom is weak), stick to the head more and burn. On the other side well supported areas can delaminate if they are cooled a lot. Varying cooling is not good though. It is visible on the walls which are vertical.

Offline mkawa

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #597 on: Sun, 09 February 2014, 22:48:53 »
yah, you can see the shrinkage patterns.

had i been printing this, i very likely would have printed it in two pieces. the bottom section built straight up as kind of a cardioid originating on the plate and then the elliptical bit from the flat bit up. brush a bit of acetone on the sections and press together and abs will join quite cleanly with an adequately strong bond for most purposes; flanges would make it easier to join as well.

if i am trying to print hard edges i usually fillet or chamfer them pretty gently now. ironically, when the printer first showed up i thought that arcs would be the most difficult bit of printing. naively, i had completely discounted inertia. now i'm deathly afraid of edges, since ringing can completely destroy a print, and neither the bot or the slicer deal with it very well.

i feel like one of two things is going to happen as the hobbyist machines progress. either we'll have to start programming our gcode by hand like all the big boys do, or we're going to have to get a lot smarter about gauge checks and JIT with parallel simulation. one of the reasons the silly expo was so depressing was that everyone is trying to build a cheaper and/or flashier printer. fail. the hobbyist folks have yet to produce a printer that actually, dependably, works. that is the problem that needs to be attacked..

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Offline Leslieann

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #598 on: Sun, 09 February 2014, 23:45:56 »
i feel like one of two things is going to happen as the hobbyist machines progress. either we'll have to start programming our gcode by hand like all the big boys do, or we're going to have to get a lot smarter about gauge checks and JIT with parallel simulation. one of the reasons the silly expo was so depressing was that everyone is trying to build a cheaper and/or flashier printer. fail. the hobbyist folks have yet to produce a printer that actually, dependably, works. that is the problem that needs to be attacked..
You've eclipsed what I would consider hobbyist at that point.
Even where we are now is stretching it for many hobbyists.

As for the race to the bottom... You may see it as a race to the bottom, but until we break the $200-$400 mark, with something reliable, and easy to use, regardless of quality (so long as it's similar to what we have), 3d printers are not going to invade the average geek's home, much less the average home. Companies are throwing a bunch of things at the wall hoping it sticks, looking for that golden ticket.  They know a lot of it's junk, but it funds their next attempt.

I think you just have unrealistic expectations for the technology as it stands. I do agree that the gcode the slicers generate could be better, but by hand, really? Many printers are hard enough to operate without having to hand code everything.
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Offline vvp

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Re: The Living 3D Printing Thread
« Reply #599 on: Mon, 10 February 2014, 04:59:39 »
mkava: The part is already in two pieces. The one shown lately is the top part only. But I could divide the top part to the duct section and fan holder section as you proposed for even better result. Good point. I believe this would help much more than thicker walls.

I have very good experience with connecting ABS parts with acetone too.

I also can confirm that part designer should try to avoid sharp corners. Especially then they should happen in the section of part which has low slopes. Sharp corners in the low slope area are unprintable with current slicers. Well if you re not willing to do everything very very slowly. I guess it could be printed if the corner itself is printed really very slowly.
I attached a picture of the failed bottom part of the duct which did have a sharp corner in the low slope area. Notice that the corner is collapsed. You can see the same part redesigned without the sharp corners in my old posts. After filleting the corners it turned out pretty well.

I think to get better results mathematical model of the FDM printer should be part of the slicers (for open loop) or the firmware (for closed loop). It is not like it is a new physics. It is just not a simple physics.

Btw I was asking somewhere in far history about belt young modulus. Here are some approximate data:
  • 6mm wide T2.5 belt with steel core - will stretch about 0.02 mm per 1m of length per 1N of force (from a rough measurement of a belt user)
  • 6mm wide GT2 belt with glass core - will stretch about 0.06 mm per 1m of length per 1N of force (from a provider data sheet http://www.bbman.com/assets/files/pdf-library/Engineering/Timing%20Belts/BeltTensileProperties.pdf ); notice the data sheet has incorrectly specified unit for their belt modulus; they specified it as lb/in but it should be only lb
That indicates that for machines with long belts (e.g. deltas) the belt stretching can be significant part of corner errors at high printing speeds. Depends on the stepper motor rotor inertia in comparison to the inertia of the rest of the printer moving parts.