Alright, It has been a while since my last post. I’ve been working hard at work AND working on my printer a lot as well. I’ll try to sum this up to make it easy to digest. When I assembled the printer ONE of the screws holding one of the carriages was loose. That thew off the calibration. After it was fixed I STILL had a lot of problems with inconsistent prints. Using the exact same settings, it would print great once, and then fail the next. I have reduced the remaining problems down to the filament I’m using. I’ve seen the diameter range anywhere from 1.9mm to 1.6mm. Usually it is pretty close to 1.6mm, however, some times it will just get larger. When this happens it really screws up my prints. I was able to compensate for this some by slowing down the print, and turning up the heat. This made sure that there were no clogs in the nozzle. When it got thin, unfortunately it would still under extrude. I did not by “cheap” plastic, it was rated pretty good on Amazon. But I will not be buying from that manufacture again. It has cause me a ton of headaches.
The printer has been great. I did get my first nozzle jam, it took about an hour to clear. When I was changing filaments, I took the bowden tube out too slow and the plastic came in contact with the heat break and solidified. I had to disassemble and hand drill it out. As side from the jam (which was my fault), the printer has been amazing. I’ve been trying to test the limits of what it can do and so far I’m very pleased. I think I’ve hit some of those limits, and I’m thinking about modifying the printer to get finer resolutions. I’m thinking about switching to a .4mm nozzle, but for MOST parts the .5mm one I have works fine. I no longer have the headache I had from my last post. I would like to thank the SeeMeCNC people on the forums for being patient with me and helping me figure out what was wrong. They are great folks. Since I got it fixed up, it has been running almost all the time I’m home just to test what it can do before I start making my own parts.
I did switch my software to Simplify 3d and all I can say is Wow! That was a HUGE difference in setup time, calibration, and tweaking. I went from tweaking for DAYS to get a good print to tweaking for an hour or less. It allows me to tweak as much as I want, but the built in defaults for my printer worked right out of the gate. (Some of that tweaking may have been the stupid filament with the variable diameter, but still, I was able to mitigate it to some extent with settings.)
But… all that said, when the filament diameter stays relatively constant I get really good prints. Here are a few I liked: