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Printing Issues

Posted by paula1 
Printing Issues
June 27, 2013 12:24PM
So I am very new to 3D printing. I am an intern who was given a project that someone worked on last year, and that others have messed with without any luck. Basically I have a BOTMILL 3 Axis printer using PLA 3mm filament. I am using Skeinforge to make the gcode. And Redsnapper to run it. I have been able to make a few very rough prints. (You can tell what the object is, but the quility is low.) I kept noticing that the settings in the skeinforge were really weird though. So I put the settings back to default and only changes what I deemed necessary. I figured then it would print in really good quality. Instead it prints...much much much worse. When I print, either nothing comes out, or the filament just comes out in blops. Like every 2 mm there will be a small blop of filament. I am wondering why it is doing this an dnot just printing a thread like it was before I changed the setting. If anyone knows what the problem might be, please let me know. Any information about this would be very helpful.
Re: Printing Issues
June 27, 2013 02:34PM
Congrats on what sounds like a really cool internship!

I'm unfamiliar with your specific printer, but the issue you describe is classically caused by one of two things:

1) You aren't heating the extruder sufficiently to melt the filament. (What were your before/after extruder temperature settings?)
2) Your idler (the part that pushes the filament against the part that spins it into the extruder) is too loose.

Because you don't say you messed with the hardware, just the settings, I'm guessing number 1 is your issue. Different kinds of filament (e.g., PLA, ABS) need different temps, and different colors and brands of filament within a type operate best under a surprising variety of temperatures.

Going forward, you might propose to your boss that you spend some time calibrating the printer to get better prints. [reprap.org]

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/27/2013 02:37PM by Karmavore.
Re: Printing Issues
June 27, 2013 07:55PM
Paula I'm reasonably sure that your steps per millimeter on the extruder is off there's a lot written up on calibrating the extruder here is a pic of something I printed calibrated correctly my own printer I designed https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=108919115976745&l=8836569305644303332
Re: Printing Issues
June 28, 2013 12:55AM
cnc_dick , Incredibly smooth rounded edged, are you by chance using mach 3?
Re: Printing Issues
June 28, 2013 07:52AM
James yes I am is a picture of my machine and the link to a video https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=108919115976745&l=8836569305644303332

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/28/2013 08:07AM by cnc dick.
Re: Printing Issues
July 02, 2013 03:10PM
I figured out the problem. I had unchecked the dimension tab in skeinforge. This tells the printer what size the filament is and how fast to feed it. Also, my temperature was a little low for the situation.
Thanks for your help though.
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