Tips on using a 3D printer

Thread Starter

ErnieM

Joined Apr 24, 2011
8,150
I wanted to report my 3D printer arrived today. Assembly was simple, and all the adjustments I was warned I would need to make were unnecessary.

I am half way thru printing some file that was on the SD card.



creality.jpg

All it took was my refund from Walmart and extra $140 bucks and Microcenter gave me a nice one.

Oh, and on the left is mini printer I received with no paperwork coincidentally on the same day the Walmart printer was supposed to be delivered.
 

Wolframore

Joined Jan 21, 2019
2,273
Are you using the new Cura to slice? I regret upgrading to the newest, I had an older version dialed in perfectly and the final finish use to be much nicer.
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
23,520
@ErnieM I got my Creality Ender 3 3D printer exactly a year ago and I have been blown away with its utility.
I got it just before COVID lockdown and for that reason it was a life saver, so to speak. Learning to use Autodesk Inventor is more than half the enjoyment. I think I ought to be a mechanical engineer in my next life. If you need any help or advice on your printer just fire away.

About a month ago I got a CNC engraver that cost less than the 3D printer. With it I have been machining wooden toys along with learning the ropes of using Fusion 360 and building CNC machines in general. Now I am on my way to building my own DIY CNC machine about four times larger.
 

Thread Starter

ErnieM

Joined Apr 24, 2011
8,150
@MrChips I suspect I'm going to be having some fun with this. Right now I'm looking to create some custom enclosures for some of the things I've made for around the house, but my first test print of a puppy dog on the SD card got me thinking...

I made a test print of a 1/2" cube with a recess, an object I created in FreeCad and sliced in Cura. Wasn't the best with a lot of layer artifacts but still a nice starting point.

I'm currently printing in PLA+ but want to make the jump to ABS when I have more experience (and a glass bed and a surround).

If you have a link to a place to learn I would appreciate it.
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
23,520
A job for the 3D printer pops up every day. I am building a cyclone dust collector for my wood workshop. The cyclone came in today and of course the inlet and outlet ports don't match up with my vacuum hoses. The ports are 50mm diameter. My hoses are 2". So I'm off to make a 50mm -> 50.8mm adapter (with adjustments to make a tighter fit). (Most people would just duct tape it but I'm not most people, OCD shall we say.)

Printing ABS is tricky. Learn the ropes first with PLA before trying ABS.
I don't have a specific link but there's plenty of info in the web. What I have learned comes from experience, trial and error, and of course searching the internet.

When you are ready I will give you my lowdown on printing with ABS.
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
23,520
Since you've already printed your first object you have passed the first hurdle.
In any case I will tell you my initial errors made.

1) I missed the instructions on how to set up the zero micro-switch for the Z-axis. I ended up leaving a permanent score on the heating bed. In the end I printed a tiny spacer block that set the correct elevation for the micro-switch in case I ever have to undo it.

2) Make sure that the filament coming off the spool never gets crossed otherwise you end up with a filament jam.

3) Leveling the bed is crucial. You want to squish the first layer by just the right amount. Not enough squish and the object will not stick to the bed. When you get it right the printed object should be hard to remove when the printing is completed. Rather than trying to force it off the print bed, allow it to cool down and it should slide off easily.

4) I always monitor the print for the first few layers. After that I check on it occasionally. It's like watching paint dry, as they say. Large narrow objects will fall over. You need to know when to use supports and adhesion. I have had filaments break while printing. You don't want to come back and find a ball of mess on your printer.
 

Thread Starter

ErnieM

Joined Apr 24, 2011
8,150
@Wolframore : I'm using Cura but just on the default settings, mot ready to adjust them yet.

@MrChips: I missed how to set up Z, but somehow it doesn't crash the bed. Leveling the bed was a snap for me, it was like adjusting the screen pressure as I once did when printing on ceramic substrates for hybrid circuits. I watch how a print starts and am quite willing to restart several times until it looks good. One thing Cura does is outline the part so you have a level bed check built in before you begin the thing itself.

How about those auto bed levelers? The idea looks cool... till I realize the bed placement is set by ME using the software. What does auto level mean anyway? Just a fancy name for detecting the bed tilt with a manual soft setting for distance?
 

Wolframore

Joined Jan 21, 2019
2,273
I have auto leveling, it measures the bed at 16 points and is able to compensate. I had issues with the capacitive sensor which drifts with temp and changed it out to an inductive one. I’ve heard that the BL touch is a nice sensor.
 

Thread Starter

ErnieM

Joined Apr 24, 2011
8,150
I just made my first modification to my Ender 3 Pro. Pulled the PSU, removed the plastic overlay holding the power switch/cord socket, removed the power switch, inverted it 180 so now top is ON.

It's the little details that make life livable. ;-)

I've booted up my Pi 4 yesterday with Octoprint. Very cool to have a web based interface for control. Haven't used it yet as I'm printing a ton of toys for my grand daughters right now. Going to connect a regulator off the Ender'd PSU to run the Pi. Nice one switch to enable things and this should alleviate any USB back voltage issues.
 

Thread Starter

ErnieM

Joined Apr 24, 2011
8,150
My printer work is on hold. Top begin my next steps I want to add auto bed leveling. I did the mechanical install of the BL Touch 3.1. Next is firmware but I'm very leery of bricking my printer.

This all may become moot next week as I have the v4.2.7 board on it's way. Or I start this all again.

I keep going in circles not being 100% sure of what to use. I would just wing it if I had a solid handle on any firmware I could re-install if I brick the thing.

Given I have an Ender 3 Pro with the v4.2.2 motherboard does anyone have a link to the firmware .bin I would need?
 

dendad

Joined Feb 20, 2016
3,835
3D printers are great!
I have a Kickstarter Deltaprintr kit and it has done MANY prints, including 2 full size working violins.
Then, a Aldi Cocoon Create (Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus) purchased to print in ABS. (I'll not use ABS anymore if I can help it.)
Finally, a Wombot Modus that was second hand. It is 400 x 400 and is a great workhorse!
This Wombot came with a BL Touch. They are a well worthwhile addon.
The Deltaprintr originally had Force Sense Resistors under the print bed for auto leveling. Then I changed to Piezos, and now it has a prox. But I did buy a BL Touch to add to it when I get the time.
The Aldi did not have any level sensing so I added a BL Touch to it and flashed the display and main board firmwares. Much to my joy, after the display flashing, it turns out it is in colour. The original software was mono.
Another mod to the Aldi printer is a new hotend made by some friends of mine to suit a Ruby nozzle purchased for my birthday. There was feed problems with the Aldi printer before the new hotend and I thought it was just blocked. But now, it still stops feeding after a while, so I think it may be a motor driver problem. They are soldered onto the board :(
Well, time to upgrade to a 32bit board???
I've got a reel of Carbon Fiber Nylon and really want to try that in the Aldi. It sounds like a very good material. It is abrasive, hence the Ruby nozzle.
If you are interested in my prints, like the violins, look at https://www.thingiverse.com/search?q=dendad51&type=things&sort=relevant

Other that the Deltaprintr that at the moment has a plastic disk to print on, the others are glass, and a watered down PVA glue is wiped on and dried to make a good print surface.
Oh, the Wombot is large enough for me to print 32 of the geckos at a time :) (see the thingiverse link)
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
23,520
There is always another job for the 3D printer each day.

I bought the wrong size clamps for the speaker grill for my tube amp.
So what to do? Print new clamps with the 3D printer, of course.

1620829472715.png
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
23,520
Recently a friend asked me to fix a tube radio from 1956.
The front grill was fragile and crumbling to pieces. Here is the radio repaired with a new grill made on the 3D printer.

Sparton radio before.jpg

Sparton Radio.JPG

Edit: btw, noticed the geiger counter lurking in the background? I had to check the clock and radio dials for radioactivity.
The dials have radium in the paint so that they glow in the dark.
 

Thread Starter

ErnieM

Joined Apr 24, 2011
8,150
MrChips: I love how you duplicated the irregularity of the hole pattern on the grill. While the logo looks original did you do the speaker cover too?
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
23,520
MrChips: I love how you duplicated the irregularity of the hole pattern on the grill. While the logo looks original did you do the speaker cover too?
I am not sure what you meant. The red (grill) overlay is the original. Most of it, even though somewhat fragile, is supported with a backing except in the center over the speaker. The part over the speaker someone already put a hole in it and it crumbles easily if mishandled. I just cut out the large hole over the speaker part and glue the black grill I made on the 3D printer.

The logo is original and I just glued it on to the black grill.
 
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