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Old 19th Apr 2016, 07:59   #21
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I'm interested to see how you get on with this, and how well it performs after calibration.

Purely out of curiosity - I don't have room for a 3D printer. Well, I could make room, but I'd have to ditch my second monitor.
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Old 19th Apr 2016, 09:52   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreadie View Post
I'm interested to see how you get on with this, and how well it performs after calibration.

Purely out of curiosity - I don't have room for a 3D printer. Well, I could make room, but I'd have to ditch my second monitor.
I plan to make ALL the things!

Actually, I built a small workshop in the spare room for this. See workbench in purchases thread.

Next up, I'll be connecting my Pi Zero running Octaprint, to work as a print server for 3D items.
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Old 19th Apr 2016, 17:02   #23
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Here's mine

The HICTOP "Desktop" 3DP-11 kit.



I specifically wanted an aluminium frame. I can be a bit heavy-handed, and I was afraid of breaking an acrylic frame when tightening bolts.

My first test prints were.... actually pretty good





I did a slightly larger companion cube in white, which was miles better than the first print I tried



I also made some useful stuff: I printed some custom tokens for Android Netrunner, as the ones that come with the game are cardboard

Credit tokens (there are larger 5 credit denominations in the bottom of the box)



Double sided brain damage & tag tokens, and a click tracker - I haven't done any corp-specific tokens yet, only runner



Feeling confident after making the netrunner tokens, I started printing a tile dispenser for Carcassonne. Within about 5 seconds of starting the print this happened:



TL;DR: the nozzle hit the print bed and ground against it.

When a print starts, the printer will first "auto home" - it'll return all axes to the starting position. It then moves the extruder to the middle of the bed - it has to lift the Z axis to do this. Well the left-hand motor didn't turn when the right one did - the Z axis wasn't raised as high as the G-code told it to. When it tried to move the extruder to the middle of the print bed, it lowered the Z axis as far as it thought it needed to in order to print - if it goes X number of steps up, it should go X number of steps down. Except it went too far down, because it wasn't raised high enough in the first place.

I don't think there's any permanent damage. I spent the weekend rebuilding the printer and the nozzle doesn't seem to be blocked or damaged in any way, it seems to be printing OK. Basically I think the whole Z/X axis frame wasn't quite aligned properly, so the motor just jammed when trying to turn the threaded rod. Everything was measured to within an inch of its life when I re-assembled it, so it should be OK. I can already see that the axis movement is smoother.

Next plan is to reflash the controller with optimised firmware, and learn once and for all how to level the damn bed properly...
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Old 1st May 2016, 19:24   #24
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Calibrating the extruder steps per mm is an extremely tedious process.



This guide recommends printing this calibration piece at 250% normal size with 95% infill. My normal infill is 20%.

This. is. TEDIOUS.

Worth it tho. You can see how shonky & untidy the first ~6 layers are compared to the rest.
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Old 1st May 2016, 20:09   #25
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^ thats one of the reasons i was looking into getting an almost 'ready made' printer as opposed to building it

i just need to save up and pick one up, my budget is around £350 so the I3 still looks good ( with an all metal extruder upgrade ) the only reason i dont have one, is that every time i get some cash saved up, something breaks and needs replacing

But should nothing else need replacing i should be ordering my I3 in the next 3 weeks or so
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Old 2nd May 2016, 11:22   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgoth89 View Post
^ thats one of the reasons i was looking into getting an almost 'ready made' printer as opposed to building it

i just need to save up and pick one up, my budget is around £350 so the I3 still looks good ( with an all metal extruder upgrade ) the only reason i dont have one, is that every time i get some cash saved up, something breaks and needs replacing

But should nothing else need replacing i should be ordering my I3 in the next 3 weeks or so
To be fair I'm doing this because I want to, I want to get the best results. The settings in the stock firmware were enough to get things up and running and most people would probably be perfectly happy with the results.

I just want to get the best out of the machine, so I upgraded the firmware to Marlin 1.1.0-RC5 and that means a round of calibration to get everything right. All the other axes were pretty easy, but the extruder is a little tricky.

I'm only on my second extruder calibration piece and already print quality is miles better than the stock firmware.
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Old 11th May 2016, 19:37   #27
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Fixed my images in an earlier post!
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Old 13th May 2016, 16:53   #28
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Well the I3 i have been looking at went below £300 on Amazon so i just pulled the plug on it, will let you know how it prints when i get it delivered
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Old 13th May 2016, 17:48   #29
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Quote:
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Well the I3 i have been looking at went below £300 on Amazon so i just pulled the plug on it, will let you know how it prints when i get it delivered
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Old 14th May 2016, 14:55   #30
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Well it arrived today and i was very exited to see it and get it built, i followed the instructions but have yet to print everything as i ran into a problem while loading the filament.

the Manual says that i should insert the filament into the top, and then turn the extruder position until a couple of centimetres have extruded, but nothing is coming out

the machine says it has printed out 2m when i first turned it on, and there is green residue at the extruder head, so is it possible i have been sold one that has been used and become blocked ?
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Old 14th May 2016, 15:26   #31
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Where is the extruder mechanism? On the head so it feeds straight into the nozzle or on the frame so it has to go through a bowden tube to the nozzle?

When you are extruding you must make sure that the nozzle is at least 180 deg C before trying to pushing plastic through. Most firmwares won't let you extrude anything until the nozzle is hot.

Also when you were feeding filament was the extruder motor turning? Could be the knurled nut slipping on the filament. If so try adjusting the mechanism.

With regard to the green residue, it could well have been the remnants of a test to check that the nozzle was heating up and filament could be extruded.
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Old 14th May 2016, 15:34   #32
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^ the nozzle is set to 195 C as the manual suggests

Im not sure where the Extruder Mechanism is located,

The motor that feeds does appear to grab the filament and pull it for a few turns before stopping ( maybe hitting the set plastic in the Extruder perhaps ?
This is my first 3d Printer so the solution could well be staring me in the face,
i did find

but i am unsure as to if i should attempt this or wait to hear back from the company i picked it up from
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Old 14th May 2016, 15:49   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgoth89 View Post
^ the nozzle is set to 195 C as the manual suggests

Im not sure where the Extruder Mechanism is located,

The motor that feeds does appear to grab the filament and pull it for a few turns before stopping ( maybe hitting the set plastic in the Extruder perhaps ?
This is my first 3d Printer so the solution could well be staring me in the face,
i did find
<video>
but i am unsure as to if i should attempt this or wait to hear back from the company i picked it up from
I had a similar issue with my Hictop. I dismantled the extruder assembly enough to see what was happening with the feed - turned out the filament had taken a 90 degree turn and was not feeding into the extruder itself - just pushing up against the frame next to it. I re-aligned this and it started working fine.

Might be work just pulling the filament out and re-seating it on the off chance its the same issue?
If its the same construction as mine, there should be a lever you push in before trying to manually feed. Push that in, pull out the filament and then re-feed.
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Old 14th May 2016, 15:57   #34
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Looking at the video, the extruder mechanism is on the print head (the stepper motor can be seen).

The plastic doesn't 'set' (as it is a thermoplastic not a thermosetting plastic) but just cools and solidifies. Once it has cooled, it can be heated up and melted again so leaving plastic in the nozzle shouldn't be an issue.

I'd be very surprised if the nozzle is already blocked and so I have a feeling it is an extruder problem.

What I'd do is take the extruder motor off (1.50 onwards in the video) and check that the knurled nut can actually grip the filament or that there isn't any misalignment. When reattaching it, make sure that the top of the nozzle is lined up with where the filament comes out.

If you want to wait to hear back (and not take things apart) you can try this: with the printer on and nozzle hot disable the stepper motors (M18 for my firmware but check here for a more comprehensive list). Then try and push some filament through by hand.
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Old 14th May 2016, 16:04   #35
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Quote:
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I had a similar issue with my Hictop. I dismantled the extruder assembly enough to see what was happening with the feed - turned out the filament had taken a 90 degree turn and was not feeding into the extruder itself - just pushing up against the frame next to it. I re-aligned this and it started working fine.
Good idea, I've not had that much experience with this type of extruder but I've seen it happen on Makerbots. Seems like a silly design that there's a possibility that the filament doesn't always end up in the nozzle.
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Old 14th May 2016, 17:30   #36
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well i managed to get it un-clogged, but all the prints are coming out VERY stringy, and everything i try to print out ends up as a ball of stringy mess, i have tried leveling the bed, using paper, but it still happens...
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Old 14th May 2016, 17:37   #37
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Ah, glad you got it unclogged.

Have you got any pictures of this stringy mess? Is it not adhering to the bed or are the layers not sticking to each other?
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Old 14th May 2016, 17:47   #38
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im gonna leave it running this time to see if any higher layers have issues

i think the main issue is the bottom layer not sticking to the print mat as it appears the layers are being dragged around by the extruder head and all ending up in a stringy ball
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Old 14th May 2016, 18:10   #39
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Try painting your print bed with a glue stick, and leaving it to dry for 30mins before printing.
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Old 14th May 2016, 18:50   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgoth89 View Post
i think the main issue is the bottom layer not sticking to the print mat as it appears the layers are being dragged around by the extruder head and all ending up in a stringy ball
Have you levelled the bed correctly? A good method is to use a business card between the bed and the nozzle, adjust the bed until there is some friction when you pull on the card - repeat for all the levelling points.
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