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Improving Print Quality
 STARTT   Started by Rich Stoops   2017-11-03 02:20:27 +00:00   Comments: 6    Viewed: 1715

  1. Rich Stoops
    Rich Stoops Member
    Writing about my experience thus far.
    Some things I am skipping off the bat
    - Build; this went off pretty much without a hitch, took my daughter and I about 3 hours to complete.
    - Calibration; Also went off without many Hitches. Something to remember is belt tension, needs to be nice and tought, about 1/2" deflection of the belts worked for me
    - First prints; had some issues with first prints but after a bit of troubleshooting (Loose Bolts, Loose wires, disconnected Wires) went off without a hitch.

    First prints were fairly good, not a lot of troubles, first print was a scaled "Fallout Drink Coaster". I had poor first layer adhesion, as I had not yet discovered adding rafts to prints. Also printed "VaultTec logo". A bit more tuning of the Z-Axis as well as the addition of "BLue Tape" to the build plate improved prints.

    I then built a calibration cube (Black Cube) and noticed a minor amount of z-banding, which I then researched and found Tim Hooglands Z-Wobble fix. I printed them, but did not install immediately. Several successful (and admittedly, some failed) prints later, I decided another round of calibration was in order. I printed another calibration cube and again discovered z-banding, especially on the Y-Axis (Grey Cube). I disassembled the z-axis and installed the z-wobble parts and printed another calibration cube (White Cube).

    As you can see the banding is more pronounced on the white cube. I have decided to start back near square one and have started re-squaring the frame and aligning the axis in hopes I can get it even better. Any tips, tricks, pointers, etc...will be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

    Rich Stoops, 2017-11-03 02:20:27 +00:00
  2. Norm Huntley
    Norm Huntley Member
    1/2 in deflection is too much needs to be around  1/4 in or less  I have adjusters on the X and Y downloaded from Tim Hooglands web site, make sure the hot end is tight and cannot move at all
    Norm Huntley, 2017-11-03 20:09:46 +00:00
  3. JoeBloggs
    JoeBloggs Member

    As youve already stated from a print build point of view ensure that the printer is squared. The distance of the print head to the bed is set correctly, along with the leveling of the print bed which is crucial to getting a clean print. A spirit level and thickness guage are useful tools to add to the printer kit. Dont forget the provided you tube videos for calibration and cleaning.  Ensuring the printer is on a solid base that doesnt rock and in an appropriate enviroment as the environmental conditions can affect your print i.e. in a cold room the filament cools rapidly preventing the next layer adhering cleanly.

    Other than the structural enhancements youve started looking at there are other posts on the forum that detail enhancements to the printer build i.e. swapping the bearings out for plastic bearings. I have found that this improved my print by reducing vibration when the extruder is moving along the rails. Another one I found was replacing the couplers as I found that these ocassionally slipped. Ensure that the threaded bars are straight with the thread bolts tightened. Some people also recommed using a PTFE lubricant to reduce friction on the threads. The plastic bearings shouldnt need lubricating.

    If your using cura make sure your selecting the appropriate print profile. You can also customise this further to suite the type/grade of filament your printing with (Dont assume the default print settings are correct for your filament its all about tuning). Print quality is also improved by a good quality filament stored properly (normally a good filament will have a recommend print config). Try and avoid leaving your filament exposed to the air as this degrades the filament quality and attracts dirt i.e. dust into your print. Some forums even recommed feeding the filament through a section of sponge soaked in veg oil. (Only a little and it can smell when printing)

    I use a customised sealed lunch box filled with Desiccant silicon beads that houses all of my filaments on an free flowing axis. Then have a sealed cap that my filament feeds through to the printer. This forms a seal around the filament as it leaves the tube ensuring its air tight. (Slight Over Kill)

    If youve already printed some items also make sure that you clean down the printer correctly, the little drills bits found online are very useful for cleaning the nozzles (or buy new ones). If your swapping filament alot the cleaning filament is also good. I use Rigid.Ink Floss

    As youve already started to do the best bet is to experiment this is a very good printer but remember its only really entry level. so if you want high quailty invest in upgrades, finishing tools or a higher level printer. 

    One example for a smooth finish is to print using ABS for this i would recommend adding on a heat bed makerfarm do a good one that fits the start. You can then finish it using acetone. Unfortunatly finishing PLA takes a lot more patients different gradients of sand paper, poxy resin and primer is your best friend. There are chemicals that react with PLA but they can be hard to get hold of or have varying results.


    JoeBloggs, 2017-11-03 20:39:44 +00:00
  4. Ian Coombs
    Ian Coombs Member
    Hi guys

    Just wondering is anyone has a link to the Tim Hoogland X and Y adjusters and the Z wobble fix?

    Ian Coombs, 2018-01-05 15:07:27 +00:00
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  6. Jim Gunn
    Jim Gunn Member
    Make sure that the printer is on a solid base.
    Jim Gunn, 2019-05-16 13:16:27 +01:00
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