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Posted by frankrho 
December 26, 2010 11:28PM
A long while ago I built one of the kits available from TechZoneRemix LLC and I've run into some issues. Construction has been completed but the final configuration has given me some problems... I've been trying to print PLA but i cannot get it to stick to the print bed, be it the aluminum sheet bed from the kit or the print bed covered in scotch blue painter's tape. This issue has made it darn near impossible for me to configure my machine any further. Any advice on this is appreciated.
Thank you -Frank Rhodes
Re: troubles
December 27, 2010 01:02AM
You could try using an acrylic sheet in place of the aluminum one or you could try adding a heater.

You should also try lowing the starting point of your prints. If you do not start printing at roughly half of your layer thickness above the build plate, then it probably will not stick no matter what you use. If you get it too close though, the build plate will act as a plug that blocks the extruder and causes the filament to strip.

If you want to continue printing without a heated bed, you should really consider using rafts. I don't think the reprap host includes rafts by default. Maybe it doesn't even have a way to add one? I switched to skeinforge almost immediately so I didn't get to know the reprap host settings very well.
Re: troubles
December 27, 2010 04:50AM
A raft isn't going to help is PLA sticking problem!

There are three critical factors: HEIGHT, SPEED and TEMPERATURE.

HEIGHT: Above the bed. This is the most critical aspect. As little as 0.1 mm can make a big difference.
SPEED: Low and slow as opposed to high and fast. With Skeinforge you can set different settings for the first layer. Make it much slower e.g. half as fast.
TEMPERATURE: PLA and bed are both important. With Skeinforge you can extrude the first layer at a higher temperature (maybe as much as 10°C higher) which makes it stick better. And the last factor is the temperature of the bed. With a cold bed you will have problems. You can warm it up with a hair dryer but the best solution is to install a heated bed. This will fix your sticking problem and also allow you to print very large objects without warping.

In the Summer I had no problems with the PLA sticking, in the Winter I sometimes need to preheat.
You do NOT need a raft, you need the PLA to stick well on the first layer.
Use Skeinforge.

Bob Morrison
Wörth am Rhein, Germany
"Luke, use the source!"
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