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RepRap Neo issues...

Posted by GeauxGhoti 
RepRap Neo issues...
January 18, 2016 08:22AM
First: I'm incredibly new at the whole 3D printing thing, so expect an incredible level of ignorance.

Now... I bought a RepRap Neo about a year ago, and had serious troubles leveling it, and gave up on it for a time. After learning a bit more, using my XYZprinting Da Vinci AiO, I decided to get the Neo out, and start trying to get it going. I did, at the very least, learn enough to get it set up, level and home the bed and start printing...

But... I'm using an unheated aluminum bed with a BuildTAK surface (the black, sticker like cover) attached to it, and my prints refuse to stick to it. On my Da Vinci, I use glue on the bed, but it's a heated glass bed. How do I get my prints to stick on this surface?

Also, I didn't notice until it was too late, that my print wasn't sticking. By the time I did notice, the extruder had picked it all up, and now the PLA is dried to it, and I have no clue how to remove and clean it. The wires that are connected to the belt seem to not be removable, so I'm at a loss.

Any and all help is greatly appreciated

Re: RepRap Neo issues...
January 18, 2016 10:03AM
Welcome to the forum!

I'm not familiar with buildTak, but in general, to get better first layer adhesion try these:

1) Make sure your first layer is somewhat squished, i.e. you need the first layer thickness setting to be larger than the actual height of the extruder. Remember the thickness still has to be less than the nozzle diameter. Aim for 0.8 x nozzle diameter to give a thick layer with the best chance of absorbing any errors in the Z home position.

2) Print the first layer using wider extrusion than the rest. Aim for about 1.8 x nozzle diameter.

3) Print the first layer hotter than normal. Using pla you could try blue painters tape with a first layer at 220C, that should be enough for the pla to get a good grip on the tape.

4) Print the first layer slow, like really slow! Try 10mm/s, and if that works go to 15mm/s

If you still can't get it to stick, trying adding a layer of elmer's purple glue stick over blue tape.
Re: RepRap Neo issues...
January 19, 2016 01:12AM
Thank you for the help, James!

1. When leveling and homing, I appear to have allowed a bit too much space (allowing the sheet of paper I was using to slide between freely, rather than allowing some resistance), so it appears that I need to adjust that.

2. and 3. This will probably sound a bit stupid... I'm not sure how to set this up, so that only the first layer will be so different from the rest. Obviously, you're not sitting at my computer seeing my screen... What I'm asking is, is this something that needs to be done "manually", or should there be something in the software that I need to look for, but have (obviously) overlooked? I'm using Simplify3D, but I also have German RepRap Repetier-Host, if that helps.

I was about to add 4. to the previous, but I think I found that a few minutes ago, so I'll see once I get it running again...

Now... Here's a potentially stupid question: You're not the first one to say this. I've actually seen it all over the place, but as this is the first time it's born any relevance to me, I've never bothered to ask before... Is there a reason the tape should be "blue" or the glue stick should, specifically, be the "purple"? With so many people talking about color, it appears to be more important than I've realized, but I can't figure out why...

Thanks, again! I'll be back if I run into any further problems.
Re: RepRap Neo issues...
January 19, 2016 07:09AM

The settings depend on the slicer you use. I mostly use Slic3r because it has a lot of control and you can set the first layer properties easily in there. I don't know Simplify3D, so I don't if the options are available or where they would be. Worst case you could manually edit the g-code by hand to change the temperatures after the first layer, but that would get tedious after a while.

The obsession with colours does seem a bit odd doesn't it. It's really just a short hand for particular brands and types of product that have been found to work well. There are a lot of different masking tapes available, but at least in North America the blue painters tape that is widely available in hardware stores has been found to work well. It has a waxy surface that the plastic melts in to, and the adhesive seems well suited to printing. I discovered there is an outdoor variant of blue masking tape that is completely different, more plasticky than the normal paper one. I haven't tried it on the printer, but I would bet that it acts differently.

Elmer's purple is just a particular type of glue stick that works well and is widely available over here. It's meant for kids so has a purple dye that dries clear/white. That's not particularly relevant for printing, but if you say Elmer's purple people around here know what you mean. I haven't tried other types to see how they compare, I'm guessing that there are quite a few types that would work.
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