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    Help with understanding 3D Printing, highs and lows.
    by Paul33 πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ ( Master Seaman)
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    πŸ“ Help with understanding 3D Printing, highs and lows.
    27 days ago by Paul33 ( Master Seaman)
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    Hi all,
    hopefully this will be an ongoing blog about how to achieve printing results from a 3d printer. I'll make it clear that although I have been printing for 5 years, I'm no expert. But in that time I have printed hundreds of items and almost none have been right first time. I have used countless 1Kg reels of filament and tested my patients on many occasions. Failures come in many forms ie: running out of filament during a print, nozzle blocking, print coming unstuck/not sticking from the bed and causing a massive birds nest and a gooey mess of filament around the nozzle. The best one is, the dreaded power cut after 20 hours of printing an object, yes its happened to me many times.

    I find 3d printing a great hobby and the things you can print is almost limitless. There are companies around the world 3d printing houses, replacement body components etc. Commercially with the right printing setup you could virtually 3d print anything.

    The first main thing to undertake is spend a lot of YouTube time following the guru's sites like Makers Muse, Teaching Tech, CG Geek there are many to look at, by the way look at Naomi 'SexyCyborg' Wu she's a very talented and qualified lady.
    Before you buy any machine, check the reviews and the forums, that a good place to get the feel about a printer.
    Regarding cost, get what you can afford. I have had four printers, three of which I still use and the fourth (which cost just under Β£800) has been dismantled and all the components are used for spares. The printer was a dual printer i.e. can print two colours. An educated guess is that I attempted to print in excess of 100 two colour objects with a 95% failure rate.In the end I just used one nozzle with reasonable success. The main problem was that the dual nozzles had to be perfectly level, and to achieve that was extremely difficult.
    There are many makes of printer out there, most of which are clones of the "i3 design". The big daddy of the diy 3d printer is a guy from CZ called Josef Prusa, if you what a good machine at a affordable top end price buy a Prusa, I wish I had.

    One thing that all 3d printers have in common is the firmware (the brains of the machine). As far as I can see, all firmware is "open source" and free to download. Most manufacturers use open source firmware that suits them and tweak it to suit their machine. For those that are not aware what open source software is, its software that is developed by very clever geeks around the world for free!! Github website is the place to go.
    Printers will not print without the firmware as it will not print without Slicing software. Slicing software is in my opinion the most important part of the 3d printing cycle. More of that another time.
    Filament can be mostly purchased in 500g or 1Kg spools @ 1.75mm thickness. Each 1Kg spool has a length of 300m, I have seen comments about the filament snapping this can be very annoying. Filament is not supposed to be very flexible and if bent it will snap, you can buy flexible filament but that is a different ball game. If like me, my garage is my workshop and in a bid to protect my tools, boat printers and other equipment during winter I have a back ground heater running, this also protects my filament from becoming to brittle and snapping even easier. Always keep spools of filament in the plastic bags and cardboard boxes along with the silica gel pouch when spools are not in use. Failing to do this will reduce the shelf life of the filament. Try to refrain from buying cheap filament. I use a lower to mid range priced filament from Technology Outlet called Premium PLA Plus currently about Β£20 inc VAT per 1Kg spool. Since I started using PLA Plus the quality of my prints have considerably inproved. Also try to resist buying filaments like ABS, PETG and the myriad of other types until you are sure you can deal with them.
    Anyway that's enough for now, 3d printing is a big subject. Hopefully I will do my next contribution on the very important slicing software subject.

    Cheers
    Paul33πŸ‘πŸ‘
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Help with understanding 3D Printing, highs and lows.
    27 days ago by cormorant ( Lieutenant)
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    Hi Paul.
    Thanks for the intro. I have just started with a Creality Ender 3 Pro, which to my untrained eye gives a good result. It cost me just over Β£250 and so far I am very pleased.
    I have heard of the need to upgrade the firmware but I'm told it requires something called a "boot loader"? I need to do a bit more research on that.
    I have already experienced breaking filament which I keep in my office in the house. It broke once without the extender and has just broken again, with. Luckily, I got it from Amazon who have given me a full refund. I am currently using AMZ3D, which feels a bit more flexible, and only a couple of quid more than the other stuff.
    I look forward to reading more on your blog.

    Cheers

    Steve
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Help with understanding 3D Printing, highs and lows.
    27 days ago by mturpin013 ( Captain)
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    I'm not sure 3D is for everyone I prefer to scratch build items making it a much more involved and satisfying activity, making them from plastic and a computer program isn't model making to me but it seems to the fashion at the moment, and appealing to some.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Help with understanding 3D Printing, highs and lows.
    26 days ago by Fireboat ( Midshipman)
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    Thanks Paul, always good to hear the advice and learnings of others.

    One of the problems I have is with prints coming off the base and warping. It usually happens with larger prints that have a large surface area fill at the bottom. You mentioned it above, so I would be interested to know how you’ve solved it?

    I’m pretty sure it’s to do with the layers cooling down, but without putting a heated build plate in, I’m out of other ideas. Tried sprays and tape on the build plate, tried rafts, tried without the cooling fan. In the end, I often have to print things diagonal or upside down with supports or sideways if I can. Not ideal.

    Reluctant to buy a heated build plate unless I’m confident it’ll solve the issue.

    What’s your experience here?

    Stephen
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Help with understanding 3D Printing, highs and lows.
    26 days ago by cormorant ( Lieutenant)
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    I agree with mturpin's comparison of scratch building to 3D.
    However, Figtree put me onto the software programme, Fusion 360, which will allow me, once I've got the hang of it, to design my own fittings.
    Fusion 360 is, to me, a complicated programme, and though I have been following tutorials on line, I'm not holding my breath.
    However, an interesting new venture.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvrHuaHhqHI&vl=en
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Help with understanding 3D Printing, highs and lows.
    26 days ago by Martin555 ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Hi Paul33,
    I have to agree with mturpin013 also.
    Maybe i am a bit old fashioned but i feel the skill is making things by hand.
    However having said that i will be following this blog as it is an interesting subject.

    Martin555.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Help with understanding 3D Printing, highs and lows.
    26 days ago by Paul33 ( Master Seaman)
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    Hi Steve, Firstly a Boot Loader is used as an interface between your computer and your machine. As mentioned in my Intro Blog nearly all firmware used on diy cnc machines (3d printers are cnc machines) use open source firmware, as such, there are a multitude of variations of each firmware. Each having their own followers. My recommendation is to stay with the version supplied by the manufacturer, until such times as you feel confident to try another version by someone else.
    I think I'm correct in saying your machines firmware is based on "Marlin". When you turn on your machine it usually shows the firmware installed, also check the "About" file on the display to double check. Write down the details and go to the "Creality.com" home web page and check downloads for your machine. It should show you the latest firmware available for your machine, I had a quick check and the latest update was on the 14/08/20. It's some time since I used the Cura slicing software, I think Creality recommend it for use with their machines. Possibly under a dropdown tab i.e. help, configuration or the like a heading which will transfer the new firmware upgrade for your machine.
    I hope this was helpful. Cheers Paul
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Help with understanding 3D Printing, highs and lows.
    26 days ago by Paul33 ( Master Seaman)
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    Hi mturpin013,
    I totally agree 3d printing will never replace the achievable quality of a scratch built item. But I do think 3d printing has a place. I'am currently building a CNC router with a plywood structure and 3d printed components all because I can then make things from wood. Just something you can make with the help of a 3d Printer, follow link. https://youtu.be/TyJmYH3C4Ls

    Happy building.
    Cheers
    Paul
    https://youtu.be/TyJmYH3C4Ls
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Help with understanding 3D Printing, highs and lows.
    26 days ago by Paul33 ( Master Seaman)
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    Hi Fireboat,
    I know your reluctant to add a heated bed, but my personal view is it will greatly assist in adhesion issues.
    One thing that causes a lot of problems is nozzle height. By trial and error keep lowering the height adjustment by very small amounts till you get better adhesion.
    Next a level bed is critical, here is a link to a STL file that is designed to see how accurate your print bed is. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4175093

    Have you tried this spray its the one I use:
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&c...

    Hope this is of some help.
    Cheers Paul
    https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4175093
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    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjTx4_PxLHrAhWEiVwKHT-PCiEQFjAAegQIARAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.co.uk%2F3D-Adhesive-Anti-Warping-Spray-Printers%2Fdp%2FB01HQ4KXZ4&usg=AOvVaw17fkfw3RPbELJVbleo-KM_
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Help with understanding 3D Printing, highs and lows.
    26 days ago by mturpin013 ( Captain)
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    Hi there, just to clarify I have nothing against modern methods of production as I during my careers as an engineer I have worked in all disciplines of CNC production and they can produce some fantastic shapes but at the end of the day its not my definition of model making. Hand skills and basic machining skills are the limit for me as a model maker.
    My only concession could be 1:12 scale figures if anyone's having a go at these😁
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Help with understanding 3D Printing, highs and lows.
    24 days ago by figtree7nts ( Vice Admiral)
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    Hi Paul33,

    I really like your Blog!
    I wish you would of started it weeks ago!

    As I would have read it.
    And maybe gotten a better 3D printer!

    By asking you questions about the subject!

    Anyway , I got into 3D printing.
    Because it the new wave of the 21st century!

    And yes, if I have to I'll make something by hand!

    But, I got into it because I've always wanted too!

    I am learning Cura and also intend on leaning Fusion 360!

    As I would ultimately like to design my own boat parts!

    And yes, would like to learn how to design figures!

    Keep on writing your Blog!
    I find it very informative!

    Cheers, Ed
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Help with understanding 3D Printing, highs and lows.
    24 days ago by figtree7nts ( Vice Admiral)
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    Hi Steve,

    I too have had the Filament I was using brake!
    Not once but quite a few times!

    I had purchase it from Banggood!
    Who gave me a refund opon hearing about it!

    Cheers, Ed
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