Evolution of a Blog

This blog has evolved as I have as a maker. It starts at the beginning of my journey where I began to re-tread my tires in the useful lore of micro electronics and the open-source software that can drive them. While building solutions around micro-electronics are still an occasional topic my more recent focus has been on the 3D Printing side of making.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The "Patience Required" Aspect of 3D Printing

3D Printing is not foolproof and because it takes so long to do a print you may not even know that you have an issue for hours.  Hence the patience.  Additionally, as you chase higher and higher quality the threshold between success and failure also narrows.  In this case I was trying to do a print using a 250 micron nozzle at 100 micron resolution.

First Attempt - Scuppered by Human Error

I use Simplify3D as my slicer and it usually does a particularly good job of handling support material.   In this case it did not and I did not check the slicing rendering as I should have done.  This resulted in the brake plate printing really poorly.  I could have caught this earlier but don't usually observe a print once it has gotten off to a good start.  Four hours later I see that I am going to be doing another print.

Second Attempt - Scuppered by an Under Extrusion Issue

The first couple layers of this print went down well so I left it on its own to print...and did not come back to it until the build platform came down.  At that point I realize that something went south.  A 250 micron nozzle has a lower tolerance for issues than does a 400 micron nozzle and obviously something had pushed this one over the edge.  I did an atomic clean and wrote off another four hour print!

Third Attempt - Finally we Have a Good Print

Very happy with the quality of this last print and especially with the detail of the controls...which are hard to see given the white filament!  The brake plates are still not great but the geometry of that part of the model is really challenging for my printer.

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