3D printer at staples: Staples’ New Sculpteo-Powered Online 3D Printing Service Launches – 3DPrint.com


Staples’ New Sculpteo-Powered Online 3D Printing Service Launches – 3DPrint.com

As one of the United States largest office supply chain stores Staples has been putting a lot of muscle behind 3D printing in the past year. Just last year Staples started rolling out in-store 3D printing services in most of their 2,000 store locations and this week they are ramping up those services by opening their new online 3D printing platform aimed at small businesses. Not only does this further broaden the reach of 3D printing services available to consumers, but as a service offered by a well-known brand name it will most likely prompt new users to investigate and potentially try using 3D printing services for the first time.

Some of the 3D models available for purchase at Staples.com

The new 3D printing web portal, announced last week, went live on Staples.com this week and offers customers a user-friendly interface that allows them to easily upload their 3D models for printing.

The service also offers customers the option to purchase models from a curated assortment of popular designs.The web portal includes an interactive 3D viewer allowing users to preview their 3D model before sending it off to be printed. Once submitted, customers can choose to pick up their printed model at a local location or have it shipped directly to their home. Staples will continue to offer their in-store 3D printing services using the Copy & Print sales team.

“This is a great addition for our business customers that are looking for an easy way to prototype with quick turnaround time, and at an affordable price. The platform allows beginners to get a taste and try 3D printing by selecting one of our existing models and making it their own through our customisation options,” said Staples vice president of eCommerce services Behzad Soltani.

The 3D printing services will be handled by popular 3D printing bureau Sculpteo, and Staples is probably the highest-profile retail company to incorporate their Sculpteo Cloud Engine API into their online presence.

This partnership with Staples is one of several successful deals that Sculpteo has entered into this year, including a partnership with HP that allows users of their their Sprout desktop to send 3D models directly to an integrated Sculpteo app. This is all on the heels of the company receiving a significant investment of almost $6 million from a pair of high profile private equity firms in April.

“We are thrilled to support Staples through our 3D Printing Cloud Engine. This is an exciting time for 3D Printing in retail. Staples will become an entry point for both work and the general public to benefit of 3D printing, and we are proud did Sculpteo’s technology will help to make that Possible,” said Clément Moreau, CEO and co-founder of Sculpteo.

Staples isn’t the first retail business to offer in-store 3D printing services, with UK office supply chain Asda and France’s Auchan beating them to the punch, but they do seem to be the first to offer online printing options. Their partnership with Sculpteo is likely to be duplicated by other retail stores, including most notably Amazon.com.

Sculpteo, once the new kid on the block, is now growing pretty quickly and becoming a strong competitor for other well known 3D printing services bureaus like Shapeways and i.materialise. As the 3D printing industry continues to rapidly expand they seem to be setting themselves up quite nicely to end up on or near the top of the heap.

Discuss this news in the Staples / Sculpteo Forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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New Partnership between Staples and Sculpteo

Posted By Sculpteo on Sep 10, 2015 |

It’s been a while since we’ve heard  stories about how 3D printing will  change retail as we know it.

Think  of a shop in which you’ll  be scanned from top to bottom, one where you’ll leave with made to order products. Building on their early success in  3D printing, the major office supplier, Staples Inc., just opened a new platform for anyone  to discover professional quality 3D printing at fair market prices.


Sculpteo is pleased to be selected by this major retailer for its new online 3D printing platform. Staples is not new to 3D printing. A while back, Staples launched a new initiative for people interested in buying a 3D printer. The company was among the first to develop a service where customers could walk into a  store with a 3D file and walk out with a  3D printed part within a few hours. This initiative was a success.  Staples went a step further by offering their customers the ability to upload their designs directly to the website. Today, we’re excited to announce that Sculpteo has  been selected to drive Staple’s initiative  through  our 3D Printing Cloud Engine.

Staples is a key supplier to man companies. We believe that 3D printing is  a manufacturing tool for every professional and market sector. Through the  Staples and  Sculpteo partnership, access to 3D printing has never been easier.


“We are thrilled to support Staples through our 3D Printing Cloud Engine. This is an exciting time for 3D Printing in Retail” said Clément Moreau, CEO & Co-Founder of Sculpteo, “Staples will become an entry point for both businesses and the general public to benefit of 3D printing, and we are proud that Sculpteo’s technology will help to make that possible”.


Sculpteo empowers customers of Staples with it’s signature features including  Hollowing, thickening & solidity check. Offering a combination of  48 materials , it is Sculpteo’s mission to match anyone’s designs with nearly any combination of printable materials.  

For those willing to learn more about the Staples and Sculpteo partnership, Clément Moreau and Behzad Soltani will be announcing the partnership together  at the 3D Printshow Pasadena on Friday, September 11th to introduce this new online service.


Staples and Sculpteo Partner On 3D Print Services « Fabbaloo

Consumer service giant Staples has made a deal with Sculpteo to enable Staples customers to obtain professional quality 3D prints. 

Staples has long been looking at various aspects of 3D printing, including: 

Partnering with iGo3D in Europe to provide 3D printing expertise
Selling personal 3D printers in retail stores
Partnering with 3D Systems to provide print services in selected areas
Partnering with MCOR in Europe to provide color 3D print services

Note the pattern in the previous 3D printing ventures undertaken by Staples: most are in-house configurations where it was likely Staples eventually realized that 3D print services are difficult to do. Perhaps those prior experiences led Staples to the idea of engaging a professional 3D print service to do the job for them, as the professional firm would have figured out all the challenging aspects and Staples would not have to do so themselves.  

Now Staples is going big time with a new Sculpteo partnership. The idea is to provide a seamless and simplified method for professional firms to request and receive 3D prints directly from Staples. In reality, Sculpteo will be behind the scenes performing the necessary printing, using their comprehensive “cloud engine” to track and manage print jobs. 

This is a big deal for Staples, as the service will initially be available in the US to any customer. Previously, Staples’ 3D printing efforts were limited in some way, but now that won’t be the case, as Staples clients will be able to obtain the same extensive 3D print services as Sculpteo offers. This means they’ll be able to request color and metal prints as well as a variety of plastic options. Sculpteo’s extensive experience in developing a proper 3D print service will be instantly available to Staples clients. 

Is this a big deal for Sculpteo? You bet, perhaps the biggest deal they’ve yet made. In the USA, Staples operates something like 1,500 stores in the country, meaning it has a presence anywhere. Everyone knows what Staples is. And those same customers will now be presented with 3D print service offerings, branded by Staples with an interface specifically designed to provide simplicity. The partnership should result in a huge boost to Sculpteo’s operations in the long run. 

There are challenges, however. The biggest we feel would be the general lack of understanding of 3D printing by Staples’ current client base. Like other 3D printing players, Staples will have to provide a way to educate and attract people to 3D print services. But they’ve done that with other products, so why not 3D printing? 

Staples: making more happen … with Sculpteo!

Via Staples and Sculpteo

Staples’ 3-D Printing Service Has Arrived

Two years after testing 3-D printing service centers in Europe, office supply and services giant Staples is trying the concept in America, with two 3-D printing “experience centers” in New York and Los Angeles. The idea is to educate consumers and small businesses about 3-D printing and more easily facilitate its use.

The centers–which opened inside the Fifth Avenue and Studio City stores in the last month–are in partnership with 3D Systems, which is providing the design, scanning, and printing hardware and software for occasional use or to try out before purchasing. Staples offers assistance from 3-D printing experts and eventually plans more such centers.

[L-R] Tech consultant Gene Marks of The Marks Group moderates a Q&A with Staples’ Damien Leigh and 3D Systems’ Scott Turner during the April 29 experience center launch at the Studio City store.Photo by Matt Sayles, Invision for Staples, AP Images

“Part of our brand is to help small businesses market themselves,” says Damien Leigh, Staples’ senior vice president of business services. “3-D printing is an emerging technology, and most small-business customers have read about it in the media but don’t know how to access it. So, we’re creating a market for 3-D printing as a service–helping them understand the process and how they can apply it to their business, then giving them the means to design and print sophisticated renderings, without having to make major capital investments.

The 3-D printing marketplace has opened up around the world, thanks to declining costs of 3-D printers and services, increasing user-friendliness of the technology, and rising popularity of the DIY/Maker movement and hackerspaces. Staples decision for an overseas test first had less to do with the exploding European 3-D printing market than an opportunity presenting itself with MCor Technologies. Other conglomerates are attempting similar approaches. For example, The UPS Store is collaborating with Stratasys for an on-site 3-D printing service in Israel.

3D Systems’ $1299 entry-level model, Cube2, was just lowered to $999 to make way for its next generation model in two months.Susan Karlin

However, Staples is the first major retailer to offer consumer and prosumer 3-D printers, which it does online and in 150 of its 1,500 U.S. stores. They range in price from $1,300 to $5,000, and printing sizes from 5.5 to 12 cubic inches in a range of materials: ABS (petroleum-based plastic), PLA (biodegradable polymer), castable material for dental and jewelry-making molds, and gypsum-based powder. In addition to entry-level machines, the experience center provides access to a $60,000 professional full-color 3-D printer.

Customers can print larger, more complex items off-site on a 3D Systems’ $1 million set-up through a cloud-printing service offered in-store, which are then shipped to offices or home. The system prints up to 1.5 square meter objects, with larger models made by connecting those printed components.

Adam Reichental, 3D Systems’ manager of retail, models 3-D printed glasses made by the Cube2. He’ll be demonstrating 3D Systems technology at San Diego Comic Con in July. Susan Karlin

Customers can use in-store design software or 3-D print-ready files from their own computers or file sites, like Cubify.com and Thingiverse.com. They can also capture their own images using 3-D photo booths or scanners for personalized products, like figurines (think wedding-cake toppers) or smartphone cases. In fact, 3D Systems’ senior research engineer Scott Turner used the technology to craft the rings and cake topper for his own wedding.

3D Systems’ Joshua St. John (right) scans Gene Marks in preparation for a 3-D replica of himself. The scanning software is available at Staples.Photo by Matt Sayles, Invision for Staples, AP Images

Will Sturgeon, 3D Systems’ retail training manager, sums up the process: “We can provide every solution from start to finish, seamlessly, or we can provide one or more of those elements with equipment or software you already own.”

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Staples to offer ‘Easy 3D’ printing service, put an end to hackneyed hockey masks

Full colour and low cost make 3D printing accessible to everyone

In a giant step toward the reality of 3D printing for all, Mcor Technologies Ltd has struck a deal with Staples Printing Systems Division to launch a new 3D printing service called “Staples Easy 3D,” online via the Staples Office Centre.

Staples’ Easy 3D will offer consumers, product designers, architects, healthcare professionals, educators, students and others low-cost, brilliantly coloured, photo-realistic 3D printed products from Staples stores. Customers will simply upload electronic files to the Staples Office Centre and pick up the models in their nearby Staples stores, or have them shipped to their address. Staples will produce the models with the Mcor IRIS, a 3D printer with the highest colour capability in the industry and lowest operating cost of any commercial-class 3D printer.

Mcor announced Staples Easy 3D today at Euromold 2012 in Hall 11.0, Stand B109.

“Given our market leadership in commercial print, why would we ever stop at two dimensions?” said President Wouter Van Dijk, president of the Staples Printing Systems Division in Europe. “Customised parts, prototypes, art objects, architectural models, medical models and 3D maps are items customers need today, in a more affordable and more accessible manner. Mcor will help us to keep prices low, quality high and colour brilliant as we meet the demand.”

Although 3D printing is evolving on a similar path to 2D printing, there’s no sign that every home will have a 3D printer right away. “Until that time, consumers will look to service bureaus,” said Mcor Technologies co-founder and CEO Dr. Conor MacCormack. “Staples is uniquely positioned to become the pre-eminent service bureau to the world, and we will help them deliver highest quality and value. Staples Easy 3D is a breakthrough service in innovation and access for consumers and businesses alike.”

The online platform for Staples Easy 3D will initially be made available in the Netherlands and Belgium in Q1 2013 and will be rolled out quickly to other countries, according to Oscar Pakasi, director business development of Staples Printing Systems, who is responsible for developing the concept and the design of the Staples Easy 3D print service platform.

About Mcor Technologies Ltd
Mcor Technologies Ltd is an innovative manufacturer of the world’s most affordable, full-colour and eco-friendly 3D printers. They are the only 3D printers to use ordinary business-letter paper as the build material, a choice that renders durable, stable and tactile models. Established in 2004 with a talented team of specialists in the area of 3D printing, software and CAD/CAM, Mcor’s vision is to make 3D printing more accessible to everyone. The company operates internationally from offices in Ireland, the UK and America. http://www.mcortechnologies.com.

90,000 Creality Ender-3 V2 3D Printer – Review, Unboxing, Test Print Welcome to the Colored World!

At the moment there are many companies that produce budget home 3D printers. But the last couple of years, Creality has stood out among them. Creality began to produce printers back in 2014, in 2016 the CR-10 model was released on a prus-like kinematics with an impressive print area of ​​300x300x400mm.The printer turned out to be very successful in its class, not ideal, with its own problems, but almost everyone spoke positively about this model.

Creality was recognized, but the circle of users was not very large. That all changed in 2018 when Creality released the Ender-3.

Budget, moderately large home 3D printer, requiring assembly, but not complicated. The components used in it are simple, but of sufficient quality. And a design to allow the printer to be assembled and set up so that it can print really well.Of course, there were also problems with him, but they became much less than that of the CR-10.

In addition, Ender-3 received certification from the Open Source Hardware Association, that is, all circuits, drawings, 3D models, firmware were posted on Guithub for open access. This made the Ender-3 very easy to modify. And a whole community quickly formed around him, which is still quite active. There are thousands of models on thingiverse.com to upgrade, albeit sometimes degrading, the Ender-3.There are many instructions, descriptions and tests of various modifications and upgrades on the Internet.

There were other models, but the Ender-3 and its slightly improved version of the Ender-3 Pro stood out a lot among them. It took about 2 years. The developments of Creality began to be actively used by all and sundry. As a result, the market has been flooded with printers from various companies that are either almost complete clones of the Ender-3, or use some of its individual solutions and elements.

And now, after 2 years, Creality finally released the Ender-3 V2.

We will tell you about him today. Let’s consider all the innovations and test the printing with different materials.

As before, the new Ender-3 has a prusa-like kinematics, or as they like to call it – “drystol”.

All axes are moved using the OpenBuilds system, that is, rollers that roll on an aluminum profile.

The declared print area, as before, is 220x220x250 mm, although the actual table size is 235×235 mm and it can be used if the correct size is specified in the firmware.

The printer is delivered in a small box, partially disassembled, in much the same way as before.

The assembly is not very difficult and is in many ways similar to the assembly of previous versions. In the illustrated, fairly detailed instructions, it is divided into 9 conventional steps. In short. The control box with power supply, control board, wires, table and the whole Y-axis is already assembled.

It is necessary to install the vertical profiles, fix the motor and the Z-axis screw.

Assembling the X-axis is perhaps the most difficult thing. You need to fix the extruder, tighten the belt.

Lower the entire X-axis from above onto the vertical profiles.

Next, screw on the upper crossbar, screen, filament spool holder and connect all wires. In theory, the assembly takes 40-60 minutes. But we highly recommend taking your time and not setting build speed records. This process must be taken responsibly and everything must be collected neatly and evenly. How your printer will then print directly depends on this.

Be sure to make sure all axles are perpendicular to each other, all parallel profiles are parallel to each other. All rollers must be evenly pressed against the profiles; if necessary, adjust the pressure of the rollers using eccentrics, which are on one side of each carriage. In general, the structure of the kinematics, with the exception of a couple of moments, has not undergone any changes. Therefore, numerous manuals and tips for tuning the mechanics of the Ender-3, it is quite applicable to the V2.

In addition to the parts and all the screws, nuts and plugs necessary for assembling the printer, the kit includes a set of hexagons, a screwdriver with wrenches, side cutters, a small spatula, a needle for cleaning nozzles, a micro-SD card with a card reader, a small probe of white PLA plastic , one spare nozzle and clamping fitting.

Let’s analyze the design of the printer.

The Y axis has not undergone any fundamental changes.The motor with a limit switch was hidden under a plastic casing.

A belt tensioner appeared in front, this is a really useful thing that facilitates the procedure for setting up the printer, but does not directly affect printing.

Otherwise, the same 40 x 40 profile as the Ender-3 Pro, 4 casters, the same frame, large adjusting knobs, the same aluminum table with a 24 volt heater.

On top is glass with an ultrabase-like coating, which was similar with some versions of the Ender-3 and earlier.The glass is held in place by convenient staples.

The Z-axis is generally completely the same as it was before. One motor on one side with a trapezoidal 4-start 8mm propeller. The same carriages, three rollers each.

There is also a belt tensioner on the X-axis, otherwise no difference.

The feed mechanism is located, as before, on the left, directly on the X-axis.And he, too, has not changed much.

Plastic MK8, one brass feed gear and smooth counter roller. We melted in a brass insert at the entrance so that the filament does not wipe the hole while moving, and added the ability to change the pressure of the gear against the plastic.

There is a large plastic wheel that fits over the motor pulley. Such wheels are sometimes printed just for beauty, they can of course be manually pushed through plastic, but this has never been a problem with such a feeder.

Hotend, here, there seems to be something new or not quite …

The hot end itself, the heating block and the nozzle are exactly the same as they were. It is usually called CR10. The Teflon tube runs straight up to the nozzle.

On the one hand, at the moment there are a lot of hotends and better ones, but the CR10 can do its job just fine. Despite the fact that all components and spare parts have not changed and have been on the market for a long time in assortment.

The only difference is that the metal casing with fans was changed to a plastic one. It resolves one of the problems of previous versions. In the old casing next to the heating block there was a hole through which the hot-end blower blew down. Because of this, problems arose when printing with plastics that did not require blowing.

This should not be a problem on the Ender-3 V2.

At the same time, the fans themselves remained the same.

The air duct for blowing the part is directed from one side and has not changed much. It is directed a little more evenly, and a small partition was added at the back, it is not very clear why.

The printer is powered by a proprietary MeanWell 24 volt 350 watt power supply.

Previously, it was quite enough, which means that there will be no problems in the new version. The only difference is that now the power supply does not hang on the right, but is hidden at the bottom of the printer and closed by a box.

Finally, we get to the really significant differences. A small box was added in the front from the bottom in which tools can be stored.

More seriously, Creality has finally fully updated the printer control board and screen.The new board now runs on a normal 32-bit STM32F103 microcontroller.

It is fast enough so that no stuttering occurs when printing. It has enough memory to use all modern firmware features. And most importantly, the procedure for flashing the printer has been greatly simplified. To reflash the old Ender-3 with custom firmware, it was necessary to perform many operations that were not the most obvious for a beginner, since the bootloader was not installed on the board initially. And for a long time it had to be done, since some important security functions were turned off in the stock firmware. Now, for the firmware, you just need to write the compiled firmware file to the SD card, insert it into the printer, and the firmware will be automatically installed. Creality themselves currently only upload ready-made, compiled firmware.

However, if you would like to customize the Marlin firmware yourself, there are sample configurations for the Ender-3 V2 on github that can be very useful.

The stepper motor drivers are still soldered on the board itself, which means that for most users they cannot be replaced or repaired.

But the drivers themselves are now TMC2208, quiet, and generally more modern and accurate. The motors are barely audible during printing, although the fans are still audible.

Well, what is most striking is left for last.


Although large and colorful, it is not touch sensitive. It is controlled by an encoder from below. And it’s pretty handy. Certainly more convenient than using a low-quality touch screen with an incomprehensible menu, which some companies install on budget printers. I would like, of course, that there were more opportunities for configuring the firmware parameters through the screen menu.

But almost everything you need is there.During printing, you can change the print speed, temperatures, airflow and Z-offset. No flow setting. Most of the time the screen worked fine, no significant problems were noticed with it. Unless, once it freezes, but the printer continues to print. The screen itself is removable and is fastened to the holder with snaps.

Considering that the screen wire is rather short, there is not much sense in this function. Maybe put a screen next to the printer, but why?

Ender-3 V2, as before, is able to restore printing after a power outage, there is no filament end sensor, auto-calibration sensors too. You need to calibrate the printer, as before, using a sheet of paper, manually moving the extruder carriage at different points on the table. By the way, the calibration assistant, which automatically moves the extruder to the corners of the table, was not added to the screen menu.

Let’s move on to our tests and examples of printing.

We started as usual with red PLA Tiger3D. And they printed the well-known boat Benchy. It was printed without significant problems. The layers are stacked fairly evenly. Holes, arches, bridges did not sag.The lids closed well. The only obvious flaw, the side-aligned seam is slightly visible, and in the place where there was a strong slope, there was not enough airflow. At the same time, the slope in front turned out to be just perfect. The reason for the lack of airflow for the area at the back was probably a partition on the air duct, which does not let the flow back.

The same PLA printed another small test – the low-poly Pokémon Totodile. It turned out just fine. All slopes are printed, the edges are even, the corners are not protruding, there is no echo.

Well, we tried to print a more complicated model. Iris Box, a small box that is printed assembled with internal mechanisms and then closes beautifully. In order for it to work after printing, the printer must print with sufficient quality, otherwise the internal parts may stick to each other.And Ender-3 V2 with this task, with difficulty, but coped.

After printing, you need to cut the small safety dividers at the bottom. But immediately after that, the box did not work. I had to crumple it, twist it, and in the end it, of course, began to function.

During this printing, we noticed that the fitting holding the Teflon tube on the feeder side is very loose despite the plastic spacer that should solve this problem.This backlash degrades the accuracy of the plastic feed and makes retracts less effective. As a result, the fitting was changed to another suitable one, the tube is held securely with it. Exactly the same problem was with the first versions of the printer.

We took the beautiful Esun eSilk, which is essentially PLA plastic. After printing, models made of this filament shimmer and shine very beautifully. A model of Judge Dredd, already beloved by eastman from MyMiniFactory, was printed. The model is printed without supports, although it has rather strong inclinations.The height is about 20 cm. The judge was printed with a layer of 0.2 mm at a main speed of 60 mm / s for about 20 hours. At 19 o’clock, the electricity suddenly went out for about 20 minutes.

The model did not have time to peel off the table, but a drop of plastic managed to leak out in the place where the extruder hovered over the model. After turning on, the printer offered to continue printing, warmed up the extruder and continued from the point of stopping. The leaked drop slightly interfered with the printing, the extruder was beating against it. As a result, a small stripe in the form of a protruding layer turned out on the head. In addition, the front of the Dredd looks great, there was a little lack of airflow in some places, but all the details were printed well, there are no significant flaws. Despite the fact that on this plastic all the problem areas are very striking. There was not enough blowing on the back of the arms, the same with some other places. The seam of transitions between layers is also striking, but this is already a problem with the settings of the slicer.

We tried to print another interesting model with a mechanism with PETG Tiger3D plastic.This is a tricky phone stand. It consists of two parts, the mechanism itself and the leg for it. PETG adhered to a clean table, but poorly. Therefore, they anointed the table with glue-stick, this solved the problem with adhesion. The mechanism was printed and started working right away. There were quite a few strings on the model, some of the bridges sagged, but this did not affect the performance. Considering that some of the elements in this model are literally printed in the air, there are many gaps between the parts that should not stick together. The result was impressive, even despite the visual flaws.Very cool phone stand. Perhaps not the most user-friendly, but it shows a whole range of 3D printing possibilities.

We took the Esun eTPU-95A to see if the Ender-3 V2 can handle flex head. Indeed, even though the feeder and the Bowden extruder were not the most suitable for flexible plastics, the previous versions of the Ender-3 could print with not very soft flexes.Meooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo We set the speed to 20 mm / s, reduced the length of the retracts to 2 mm and printed another totodila. Overall, it turned out well. Naturally, there were a lot of strings, but this is quite expected. The surfaces themselves are neat and even almost everywhere.

We also tried printing a shoe insole. We have included adaptive layers in Cura to make smooth slopes as smooth as possible. But in the preview, they did not notice that the minimum layer is 0.08mm was set for the entire model, as there are slopes everywhere. As a result, the usual 4 layers of the top cover with such a layer thickness were not enough to cover the filling in some places. In a place with a strong slope, a defect was formed due to insufficient airflow, the specifics of flex plastic and, again, too thin a layer. That is, most of the shortcomings are related to the print settings, and in general, the printer coped with flex printing. Nothing was jammed anywhere, the plastic was fed quite evenly, the walls are smooth and even.The waves that can be seen in some places are not a printing defect, but polygons of the 3D model.

Well, the last test is ABS plastic printing. It should be noted right away that printing with plastics prone to shrinkage, such as Nylon, ABS, polycarbonate, is, in principle, difficult on an open printer. When printing small parts, all you need to do is find a suitable adhesive. Large parts, even well-glued ones, can deform and crack during printing due to shrinkage.Therefore, we decided not to play with fate and printed a small but useful part for the printer itself – a filament guide, since in the drain the plastic goes close to the Z-axis screw. The most interesting thing is that this model is designed for older versions of Ender-3, but it is quite suitable and for V2.

This applies not only to the rail, many models from the Ender-3 fit the V2, although some of them require minor modifications, such as a model of the blowing system. At first glance, there are holes in the carriage of the extruder for attaching the old casing, but it turned out that they are slightly misaligned.

The guide printed well, minor supports came off without issue. She got into place, as it should and performs its functions.

Let’s summarize.

The Ender-3 V2, as before, is a good solid printer.

Quite a lot of changes have been made to the new version. Most of these enhance the usability of the printer or make the printer more visually appealing.These include a new extruder shroud, belt tensioners, a neat electronics layout at the bottom of the printer, a new color screen, and a toolbox as a bonus.

In fact, the only innovation that directly affects print quality is the updated electronics. Which, of course, is very pleasing, but I would very much like to see in the next versions the addition of a high-quality feeder, effective two-way blowing, auto-calibration, filament end sensor and other useful functions.

If we ignore the comparison with past versions of the Ender-3 and our expectations, and consider the Ender-3 V2 separately in comparison with other printers, it is a decent, competitive 3D printer in its class and will give odds to many market representatives in this price segment. especially with such a huge community, although the Creality revolution in this case did not happen.

Tronxy 3D Printer Parts Bracket X Axis Pulley and Motor Mount used

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Problems and defects in 3D printing – how to fix them

This manual will be of great help for you to improve the quality of your 3D prints. We have compiled a large list of the most common problems, not forgetting about the software settings, and all this will help you solve all these problems.What is especially valuable is that this guide contains many real pictures that make it easy to identify certain problems of a 3D printer. So let’s get started.

Take a look at the pictures below. They show the most common defects in 3D printing. You can click on the picture to go directly to the part of the manual where direct recommendations for solving this problem are given. If you are unable to identify the defect that occurs during printing from the picture, just skip ahead and read each section in detail.There are many helpful tips on how to improve your 3D prints!

Picture quality problems for 3D printing

Hereinafter, the menu of the slicer program Simplify3D is used as an example. Menu items, their names and locations in your software may vary.

Take a look at the pictures below. They show the most common defects in 3D printing. You can click on the picture to go directly to the part of the manual where direct recommendations for solving this problem are given.If you are unable to identify the defect that occurs during printing from the picture, just skip ahead and read each section in detail. There are many helpful tips on how to improve your 3D prints! 3D print quality issues in pictures 3D printer does not print The print does not stick to the platform Insufficient extrusion

3D printer does not print – no extrusion when printing starts

This is a fairly common problem for new 3D printer users, but fortunately it’s very easy to fix! If your extruder does not start pushing plastic when starting the job, there are 4 possible reasons for this.Below we will go through each of them and explain what settings can fix this problem.

The extruder was not prepared (filled) before printing

Most extruders have the bad habit of leaking plastic when not working but at high temperatures. The hot plastic inside the nozzle seeps through the hot-end, causing voids inside the nozzle to leak out.

A resting leak can occur before printing starts, when the extruder is preheating, and at the end of printing when the extruder begins to cool down gradually.If some of the plastic has escaped from the extruder, the next time you extrude, it will likely take a few seconds before the plastic starts to come out of the nozzle again. When you try to start printing after the plastic has flowed out of the extruder, you may notice some delay before extruding starts.

To solve this problem, just before starting work make sure that you have prepared the extruder so that the nozzle is filled with plastic and ready to extrude.The standard trick is to print what is called a skirt. This “skirt” is a ring, a stroke, an outline around your future part, and while it is being printed, the extruder is filled with plastic. If you feel that additional preparation is required, you can increase the number of printed “skirts”, corresponding settings are available in a number of 3D printing programs.

Some users prefer to pre-extrude the filament by hand. This process is often called Jog Control in the control panel.

The nozzle starts to work too close to the platform

If the nozzle is too close to the print bed, there may not be enough room for plastic exiting the extruder. The hole at the end of the nozzle is effectively blocked, so the plastic has nowhere to go. Obviously, this kind of problem is indicated by the situation when the plastic does not extrude onto the first or even the second layer, but somewhere from the third or fourth, as the platform descends along the vertical axis, everything is normalized.This problem is very easily solved by setting the G-Code, which is located under the tab of the same name in the 3D printing program. There you can fine-tune the Z-axis position without having to change any settings directly in the hardware. For example, if you enter 0.05mm for the Z offset of the G-Code, the nozzle will be retractable 0.05mm from the platform before printing. Continue increasing this value in small increments until there is enough space between the nozzle and the platform for the plastic to exit.

Filament has ground off on the drive gear

Most 3D printers use a small toothed feed gear to push the filament forward or backward. Its prongs cling to the filament for precise control of the filament position. However, if you notice a large amount of plastic shavings near the printer, or if there is a feeling that some part of the filament is “lost”, it is possible that the drive gear has “gnawed” too much plastic. If this happens, the gear, when it tries to push the filament forward or backward, has no choice but to continue to bite deeper and deeper.Please refer to the Filament Grinding section for instructions on how to fix this problem.

Extruder clogged

If none of the above options is suitable for your case, then most likely your extruder is clogged. This can happen when all sorts of debris gets into the nozzle, when hot plastic has been inside the extruder for too long, or if the extruder does not cool enough and the filament starts to soften in the wrong place.You can clean the nozzle mechanically, for this, many stores offer special needles and drills for cleaning the extruder nozzle, we also recommend using the cold broaching method, look on the Internet for how to do this: cleaning the extruder nozzle of a 3D printer. The last measure, if all else fails, the problem with a clogged extruder is solved by disassembling it, and it is a good idea to contact your printer manufacturer or dealer before taking this case. The nozzle and thermal barrier can be immersed in a solvent, thereby chemically cleaning the adhered plastic, then mechanically removing all carbon deposits from it.

The menu of the Simplify3D slicer is used as an example. Menu items, their names and locations in your software may vary.

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The print does not stick to the 3D printer platform

It is very important that the first layer of the print is firmly attached to the printer bed so that all other layers use it as a foundation. If the first layer does not stick to the platform, problems will arise later. This misunderstanding can be resolved in a variety of different ways, so we will point out only the most typical reasons and explain how to eliminate them.

Print bed is not aligned

Many printers allow you to adjust the position of the print bed with a few screws or knobs. If this is your case and you have problems with the adhesion of the first layer, the very first thing to do is to make sure that your print bed is level and not skewed. If skewed, one side of the platform may be too close to the nozzle while the other is too far away. To obtain the best possible first layer, the print bed should be adjusted accordingly.Most 3D printing software has a setup wizard that guides you through all the stages of platform alignment. Usually it, the Bed Leveling Wizard, can be found somewhere in the Tools menu.

The nozzle starts to work too far from the platform

After you have properly leveled the platform, you still need to ensure that the nozzle starts to fire at the correct height from the platform. Your goal is to position the extruder at the ideal distance from the print bed: not too far, not too close.To help the printable stick better to the platform, it is helpful to press the filament slightly into it. Of course, you can configure everything directly on the printer, but, as a rule, it is much easier (and much more accurate!) To do it through the program. Usually the corresponding parameters can be found in a menu like Edit Process Settings → G-Code. There you can set a global value for the G-Code offset along the Z axis, adjusting it extremely accurately. For example, if you set this offset to -0.05mm, the nozzle will print 0.05mm closer to the platform.Do not overdo it, set only very small offsets. Each layer of your object is usually about 0.2 mm thick, so “small” offsets should be understood at this scale.

First layer prints too quickly

When you print the first layer of plastic onto the platform, you want this first layer to adhere well to the surface before the second is laid on it. If you print the first layer too quickly, the plastic may not have time to attach to the platform.For this reason, it is usually very beneficial to print the first layer at a lower speed. Most slicers have this option. You can find it roughly in the menu Edit Process Settings → First Layer Speed. For example, if you set this parameter to 50%, then the first layer will print 50% slower than the rest. If you think that this is not enough, try to change it again.

Temperature or cooling settings

The plastic shrinks as it cools.For clarity, imagine that you are printing an object with ABS plastic that is 100 mm across. If the extruder prints with plastic at 230 ° C, and this plastic is laid out on a cold platform, it will most likely cool down quite quickly after leaving the hot-end. Some printers have special cooling fans to speed up this process. If an ABS object cools down at room temperature of 30 ° C, a 100 mm long rib will be compressed by almost 1.5 mm! At the same time, the printing platform does not undergo such linear distortion, it is generally generally maintained at a constant temperature.Due to these circumstances, the plastic will tend to detach from the platform as it cools. And this is an important point to keep in mind when printing the first layer. If you notice that at first the layer seems to stick to the platform, but then, as it cools, it begins to lag behind, perhaps the reason is precisely in the temperature and cooling settings.

Many printers that are designed to print at high temperatures (such as ABS) have a heated bed feature to help combat these problems.If the platform is heated to 110 ° C and this temperature is maintained throughout the entire printing process, this will ensure that the first layer is heated and it will not shrink. Therefore, if your printer has a heated bed, you can try turning it on to keep the first layer warm. In general, it should be borne in mind that PLA adheres well if it is heated to 60-70 ° C, and ABS works better when heated to 100-120 ° C. All of this is configurable in print management programs. In the corresponding menu, for example Edit Process Settings → Temperature, you need to select the required platform from the list and specify the temperature of the first layer for it.The temperature value can usually be changed by double clicking on this parameter.

If your printer has a cooling fan, you can try turning it off while printing the first few layers so that they don’t cool down too quickly. This is also usually found in the Edit Process Settings menu, under the Cooling tab. Here you can set the fan speed for the selected levels. For example, you might want the first layer to print with the fan off, but to turn on at full power when it reaches the fifth layer.Then you need to set two labels in the corresponding list. Layer 1 is at 0% fan speed, Layer 5 is at 100% speed. If you are using ABS plastic, the fan is usually turned off for the entire printing time, so one mark (1 – 0% layer) will be sufficient. If you are working in very windy conditions for some reason, you may also need to protect the printer from the wind. When printing bridges and overhanging elements of ABS, it is better to turn on the cooling, so the plastic will cool and harden faster.

Print bed surface (tape, glue, other materials)

Different plastics adhere differently to different coatings. Therefore, many printers come with special materials that are proposed to cover the printing platform. For example, some printers come with a FIXPAD sheet – to which PLA, ABS, HIPS, SBS adhere very well. Other manufacturers offer special self-adhesive films for the 3D printer table. If you intend to print directly onto these surfaces, it is always a good idea to make sure they are free of dust, grease or oil before starting work.It is enough to rinse them with water or isopropyl alcohol – and the effect will be quite noticeable.

If your printer does not have this special adhesion material, you still have tons of options! There are many different types of tapes to which common plastics in 3D printing adhere well. Strips of such tapes are simply glued to the platform, and then easily removed or replaced as needed if you want to print with other materials. For example, PLA sticks pretty well to blue masking tape, and ABS loves kapton, also known as polyamide film.Many users have had great success with temporary glue or spray applied to the platform. This can be hairspray, glue stick, or more tricky sticky substances that will fix the problem if all else fails. Just experiment and find what works best for you.

If all else fails, use the fields: raft or brim

There are times when you need to print a very small object, the surface of which is simply too tiny to stick to the platform.3D printing programs often have settings that allow this surface to be enlarged so that there is something to stick to. One of these options is called brim (fields). These margins are additional circles that are printed around your subject, so that you end up with something like a brimmed hat. The option is enabled in the menu Additions → Use Skirt / Brim. Also, printing programs sometimes offer to print a “raft” under the part, which serves the same purpose as margins. If you are interested in these possibilities, take a look at the corresponding manual – it explains everything in detail.

The menu of the Simplify3D slicer is used as an example. Menu items, their names and locations in your software may vary.

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Plastic is not extruded enough

Each of the 3D printing software profiles has settings that specify how much plastic the 3D printer should extrude. However, since the 3D printer itself does not give any signals as to how much plastic it actually extruded, it may happen that less filament has been extruded than the program suggests (this is called under-extruding).If this is a problem, you may find gaps between adjacent layers. The most reliable way to check if your printer is extruding enough plastic is to print a simple cube with an edge of 20 mm and at least 3 outlines. Look at the top layer – are all 3 circuits well connected? If there are gaps, under-extrusion occurs. If all the perimeters are in proper contact and there are no gaps, the problem is something else. If you find that you are underextruding, there are several reasons for this problem, and they can be summarized as follows:

Incorrect filament diameter

The first thing you should check is whether the printing program knows the diameter of the filament you are using.These settings usually live in the Edit Process Settings → Other menu. Make sure the value is set there for the filament you are using. You can even measure this diameter yourself with a micrometer or other precision instrument and make sure it matches the program settings. The most common filament diameters are 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm. On many spools of plastic, the exact diameter of the filaments is indicated.

Extrusion ratio too low

If your filament diameter is correct and the extrusion is still insufficient, you will need to adjust the extrusion ratio.This is a very useful parameter (sometimes called a flow rate, etc.) that allows you to easily change the amount of plastic being extruded. The corresponding settings live somewhere under Edit Process Settings → Extruder. Each extruder on your printer can have its own extrusion ratio, so if you have several of them, you need to select the correct one from the corresponding list. For example, you can change the specified ratio from 1.0 to 1.05, and then the plastic will be pressed 5% more than before.For PLA, the extrusion ratio is usually set to 0.9, for ABS it is closer to 1.0. Try increasing this parameter in 5% increments by re-printing the test cube to see if there are still gaps around the perimeter.

The menu of the Simplify3D slicer is used as an example. Menu items, their names and locations in your software may vary.

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Too much plastic extruded

The software constantly communicates with your printer to ensure the correct amount of filament is extruded.This is very important to ensure good print quality. But most 3D printers don’t have the ability to tell how much plastic is actually extruded. If your extrusion settings are incorrect, the printer may push more plastic than the program expects. This kind of over-extrusion will result in excessive amounts of plastic having a catastrophic effect on the outer dimensions of the printed object. To solve this problem, you need to pay attention to several parameters in the settings of the print program.See the section Plastic doesn’t extrude enough for details on what to do. Although these are instructions in case of under-extrusion, you can adjust the same parameters in the opposite direction. For example, increasing the extrusion ratio helps with under-extrusion, therefore this ratio needs to be reduced when over-extruding.

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Holes or gaps in the top layer of the printout

To save plastic, most 3D printed parts are wrapped around a porous, partially hollow core.For example, when creating the internal volume of a part, only 30% of the filling can be used, which means that inside it will only consist of 30% of plastic, everything else is air. Since the insides of the part can be partially hollow, we want the surface to be solid and solid. To do this, 3D printing programs allow you to specify how many continuous layers should be laid out on the bottom and top of the object. For example, if you print a simple cube with 5 solid layers on top and bottom, the program will do exactly that, and everything inside will be partially empty.This saves an impressive amount of plastic while keeping the objects themselves strong thanks to the adjusted infill settings. However, depending on which settings you have made, you may find that the top layers of your print, which should be solid, are not quite solid. There may be cracks and holes, although, apparently, they should not be there. If you are faced with such a problem, there are some simple tweaks to help you solve it.

Insufficiently continuous upper layers

The first setting to look at is the number of top solid layers. When you try to print a 100% solid layer over a partially empty interior, the top layer should cover the void underneath. But a single layer will tend to drain and sag. Therefore, as a rule, several layers are printed over the void to provide a flat and completely solid surface. The golden rule here is that the solid part of the printout should be at least 0.5 mm in thickness.Therefore, if you have 0.25mm layers, you will need at least 2. If you are printing in thin layers, such as 0.1mm, you may need 5 solid top layers to get a satisfying effect. If you notice gaps on the top surface, the first step is to increase the number of solid layers that make up it. For example, if this problem occurs with 3 solid layers, try laying out 5 and see if it gets better. Note that these solid layers are printed inside your object, i.e.That is, its external dimensions do not change. You can change the number of solid layers in the Edit Process Settings → Layer menu or similar, according to the print management software you are using.

Fill percentage too low

The inner filling of your object acts as a foundation for the layers above it. The solid layers at the top of the printout require the foundation underneath to be strong enough. If your fill percentage is too low, then there will be too much empty space inside.So, if the infill is set to 10%, the remaining 90% will be empty, i.e. there may be very large white spaces, over which you then try to print a solid layer. If you increase and increase the number of solid top layers, and the gaps in them all do not go away and do not go away, you may need to increase the fill percentage to get rid of this misunderstanding. For example, if the infill percentage was 30%, try setting it to 50%, which will make the support under the solid top layers more secure.

Insufficient extrusion

If you increase and increase the number of solid top layers, and the gaps in them all do not go away and do not go away, the process may suffer from under-extrusion. This means that less plastic is squeezed through the nozzle of your printer than the program expects. For a full description of this problem and how to solve it, see Plastic doesn’t extrude enough.

The menu of the Simplify3D slicer is used as an example.Menu items, their names and locations in your software may vary.

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Hair or spider web

Hairs (spider webs, “hairy”, “whisker” printing) appear when thin, unwanted strands of plastic are formed when printing a 3D model. Typically, this is due to the fact that such filaments are pulled out of the nozzle when the extruder is moved to a new position. Fortunately, slicers have several parameters that you can tweak to get rid of this problem.The most common setting that combats this problem is usually called Retraction. When it is on, the extruder will draw the filament into the nozzle when it has finished printing a certain area of ​​the model, which is a good way to get rid of hairiness. When printing needs to continue, the filament is pushed back into the nozzle and the plastic begins to extrude. To see if the extrusion is set, you need to click on Edit Process Settings, and then select the Extruder tab.This option must be enabled for each of the available extruders. Below we will look at the important retraction parameters, as well as some other settings that will come in handy in order to get rid of the cobwebs – in particular, the extruder temperature settings.

Retracting distance

The most important retraction setting is the distance. It determines how much plastic is pulled back into the nozzle. Generally, the more plastic is drawn in, the less likely the nozzle is to leak during travel.For most gearless extruders, a retract distance of 0.5-2.0mm is sufficient, although some Bowden extruders may need as much as 15mm because they have a large distance between the drive gear and the hot end. If you encounter a hairiness problem in your job, try increasing the retraction by 1 mm and see if it gets better.

Retracting speed

The next retraction parameter to check is the speed at which the filament is drawn into the nozzle.If it is too small, the plastic will slowly drip down and may start dripping even before the extruder has finished moving to a new position. If it is too high, the filament may come off the hot plastic in the nozzle, or the jerk may cause the drive gear to gnaw off some of the filament. The sweet spot is usually somewhere between 1200 and 6000 mm / min (20-100 mm / s), then retraction works best. Typically, printing programs offer pre-configured profiles that you can take as initial ones, and gradually vary the values ​​of the parameters in order to better adapt them, for example, to the characteristics of the material used.So it’s good to experiment with different retraction speeds as well and see if the hairiness diminishes.

Temperature too high

If all is well with your retraction settings, the next most common cause of webbing is overtemperature in the extruder. PLA is especially temperature sensitive. If it is too high, the plastic inside the nozzle becomes excessively fluid and it is much easier for it to flow out through the nozzle. If the temperature is too low, the plastic will be too hard and difficult to push through the hot end.If, in your opinion, everything is in order with the retract settings, and the described problem has not been solved, you can try to lower the extruder temperature by 5-10 degrees. This can significantly affect the quality of the finished object. The temperature is adjusted, as you might guess, somewhere here: Edit Process Settings → Temperature. Select the appropriate extruder from the list and specify its desired temperature for a specific point in the printing process.

Long-distance travel

As we have already said, the spider web appears when the extruder moves to a new position, and the plastic at this time flows out through the nozzle.How significant this kind of leak can be has a lot to do with the distance the printhead moves. Short distances are covered quickly enough that the plastic simply does not have time to seep. But if the distances are significant, the likelihood of a web is much higher. Many 3D printing programs have an extremely useful feature that allows you to minimize the distance the nozzle travels over void. This is done due to the fact that the trajectory changes from a straight and shortest, to a longer and more winding – but above the surface.In most cases, you can generally choose a trajectory that will never turn out to be a “bridge”. That is, for the emergence of a cobweb there simply will not be opportunities, because the nozzle will always be above something. Such an option lives somewhere in Advanced and can be called, for example, Avoid crossing outline for travel movement, i.e. “Avoid going beyond the boundaries of the contour when moving.”

The menu of the Simplify3D slicer is used as an example. Menu items, their names and locations in your software may vary.

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Overheating of plastic

The plastic that comes out of the extruder has a temperature in the range 190-240 ° C. Since the plastic is hot, it is soft and easy to shape. But when it cools down, it quickly becomes hard, and its shape cannot be easily changed. You want to balance temperature and cooling so that the plastic can flow freely through the nozzle but harden quickly, ensuring the 3D part is printed accurately.If there is no such balance, problems with print quality may arise, when, for example, the external dimensions of the object do not turn out to be what you planned. As you can see in the photo, the filament that was extruded onto the top of the pyramid was unable to solidify quickly enough to maintain its shape. Here are some common causes of overheating and how to fix them.

Insufficient cooling

The most common cause of overheating is when the plastic does not cool quickly enough.When this happens, the hot plastic cools down and takes on a variety of shapes. For many types of plastic, it is much better when the filament, once laid out in a layer, cools quickly so that the shape does not have time to change. If your printer has a cooling fan, try increasing the cooling power to help the plastic cool faster. The cooling power, or rotation speed, is changed in the Edit Process Settings → Cooling tab. Double click on the corresponding label, change the value – and it’s done.Additional cooling will help the plastic retain its shape. If your printer does not have a native fan, you can adapt some or even use a small manual fan, blowing it over the object during printing.

The temperature is too high

If you have already turned on the fan and the problem has not yet been resolved, you can try to print itself at a lower temperature. When plastic is extruded at a lower temperature, it hardens faster and holds its shape better.Try to lower the temperature by 5-10 degrees and see what happens. This can be done in the menu Edit Process Settings → Temperature. Double click on the corresponding label, changing the value is done. Don’t overdo it, or the plastic won’t heat up enough to be pushed through the tiny hole at the end of the nozzle.

Printing is too fast

If each layer of your object is being printed very quickly, it may not take long for each layer to cool down sufficiently and the printing will be done on top of the hot layer.This is especially important for very small parts where it only takes a few seconds to print each layer. Even with a cooling fan, you may need to slow down the print speed of small layers to give them enough time to cool down. Most 3D printing programs do this very easily. In the Cooling tab of the Edit Process Settings menu, there is most likely a Speed ​​Overrides section. There is an option to automatically reduce the print speed for small layers to give them time to cool and harden before a new layer begins to be printed on top of them.For example, you can let the program automatically slow down the print speed for layers that are laid out in less than 15 seconds. This is a very useful option to combat overheating.

If all else fails, try printing multiple parts at once

If you have tried all three of these options and still have problems with insufficient cooling, there is one more thing to try. Create a copy of the object you want to print in the slicer (Edit → Copy / Paste), or import another object so that it is printed at the same time.By printing two objects at the same time, you can provide more cooling to each of them. The heated nozzle will have to move to a different position above the platform in order to lay out the layer of the second part, and this gives a short respite during which the first part can cool slightly. This is a simple but very effective method for overheating problem.

The menu of the Simplify3D slicer is used as an example. Menu items, their names and locations in your software may vary.

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Layer displacement or no alignment

Most 3D printers use an open loop control system, in other words, as strange as it may seem, they have no idea about the actual position of the print head.The printer just tries to move the head to a certain position and hopes that it will be there. In most cases, this works because the stepper motor of the printer is powerful enough and some kind of load that could interfere with its work usually does not happen. But if something goes wrong, the printer will never know how to determine it. For example, if you hit the printer hard enough while it is busy, its print head can suddenly change position.Since the device has no idea what you are honored for, it will continue to print as if nothing had happened. If you find misaligned layers in your printout, this is usually due to one of the following reasons. Unfortunately, if such an error occurs, the printer itself is not able to catch it, and then a person must come to the rescue and solve one of the following problems.

Print head moves too fast

If you are printing at a very high speed, your 3D printer motors may have trouble keeping it up.If you are trying to get the printer to print faster than the motors can handle, you may hear a characteristic clicking sound when the drive fails to reach the target position. When this happens, the rest of the printable object will be offset from what was printed below. If you think the print head is moving too fast, try reducing the speed by 50% and see what happens. To do this, there is the Other tab in the Edit Process Settings menu.Adjust Default Printing Speed ​​and X / Y Axis Movement Speed. The first parameter determines the speed of any movement when the extruder is actively pushing through the plastic, the second determines the speed of rapid movements when no extrusion occurs. If the value of one of these parameters is too high, it can lead to displacement of the layers. If you are not embarrassed when changing the advanced settings, you can also try decreasing the acceleration value in your printer’s firmware settings so that the speed does not increase and decrease as quickly.

Mechanical or electrical problems

If the layers remain misaligned even after the print speed has decreased, then the printer is most likely having some kind of mechanical or electrical problem. For example, most 3D printers use belt drives to drive the motor to control the position of the print head. These belts are usually made of rubber, which is reinforced with some kind of fiber. Belts can stretch over time, affecting their tension and their ability to position accurately.If the tension is too low, the belt can slide off the drive pulley, i.e. the drive will rotate, but the belt will not transmit anything. If the belt was initially tensioned too much, this can also lead to problems. An overtightened belt creates excessive friction in the bearings, which prevents the motors from turning. Ideal assembly assumes that the belt is taut enough not to come off, but not so tight as to block the rotation of the system. If you begin to notice misaligned layers appear, you must make sure that all drive belts are properly tensioned, not too loose or too tight.If you think this is the problem, please contact your printer manufacturer for advice.

Many 3D printers also have belts that are pulled over pulleys attached to the stepper motor shaft. The fastening there is done with small adjusting screws, also called set screws. This ensures synchronous rotation of the pulley and shaft. However, if the adjusting screws are loose, the synchronicity may be out of order. It may turn out that the motor rotates, but the pulley does not.When this happens, the print head misses the desired position, affecting the alignment of all layers printed after a failure. Therefore, if layer misalignment occurs regularly, you should make sure that the screws on the pulleys are tightened well.

There are also some common electrical failures that also cause the motor to go out of position. For example, if the amperage supplied to the motor is too low, it may not be powerful enough to spin.It also happens that the electronics of the electric drive has overheated, due to which the motor may temporarily stop and not work until the temperature returns to normal. This, of course, is not all, only a few common electrical and mechanical points are described here that should be considered if layer misalignment is a common problem.

The menu of the Simplify3D slicer is used as an example. Menu items, their names and locations in your software may vary.

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Layers separate and split

3D printing is designed in such a way that one specific layer of an object is printed at one particular moment. Each subsequent layer is printed on top of the previous one, and in the end a given 3D model is obtained. But in order for the resulting object to be strong and reliable enough, you need to make sure that each layer is properly connected to the one below it. If the layers are not bonded together well enough, the resulting object may crack and fall apart.Here are some typical reasons for this and suggestions on how to fix everything.

Layer height too high

Most 3D printers have a nozzle diameter of 0.3-0.5 mm. The plastic is pushed through this tiny hole so that very small parts can be printed as a result. But these small sizes of the nozzle also impose certain restrictions on what the height (or, if you will, the thickness) of the layer can be. When you print one layer of plastic on top of another, you want the top layer to be pressed against the bottom so that they stick together.The iron rule is this: the layer height you choose should be 20% less than the nozzle diameter. For example, if you have a 0.4 mm nozzle, you cannot deviate too much from the 0.32 mm layer height – otherwise the plastic layers will not adhere properly to each other. Therefore, if you notice that your print is flaking, the layers are not sticking, the first thing to check is the ratio of the layer height to the diameter of the nozzle hole. Try lowering the layer height and see if the cohesion of the layers improves.This can be done in the Edit Process Settings menu, in the Layer tab.

Print temperature too low

Hot plastics will always bond better than cold plastics. If you notice a lack of adhesion between the layers and you are confident that the layer height is not too high, it is possible that your filament needs a higher temperature to print in order to bond the layers securely. For example, if you are trying to print with ABS plastic at 190 ° C, you will most likely find that the layers of the printed object split too easily.This is because ABS requires a temperature of 220-235 ° C for printing, then the layers are glued together reliably. Therefore, if you encounter the problem described, make sure you are printing at the correct temperature for your filament. Try increasing the temperature by 10 degrees and see if the grip improves. This can be done in the menu Edit Process Settings → Temperature. Double click on the corresponding label, changing the value is done.

The menu of the Simplify3D slicer is used as an example.Menu items, their names and locations in your software may vary.

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Filament is grinded, plastic is crumbled

Most 3D printers use a small drive gear that catches the filament and guides it where it needs to go. The drive gear has sharp teeth that allow it to bite into the filament and push it forward or backward, depending on the direction of rotation. If the filament cannot move, and the gear rotates, it can “gnaw” it so much that it will have nothing to cling to to push the thread.Many people complain about this kind of problem: the filament is worn out, as a result of which the extruder cannot work as it should. If this happens to your printer, you usually find underneath a pile of plastic shavings that have been removed by the drive gear. You can also notice that the motor is running, but the filament is not being pushed into the extruder. We will explain the easiest way to get rid of this trouble.

Increase extruder temperature

If you encounter filament chipping, try increasing the extruder temperature by 5-10 degrees so that the plastic flows better.This can be done in the menu Edit Process Settings → Temperature. Select the appropriate extruder from the list and specify its desired temperature for a specific point in the printing process. At higher temperatures, the plastic always flows more easily, so this setting can be very useful.

Printing is too fast

If the filament continues to be seamed even after increasing the temperature, the next thing to do is to slow down the print speed.Then, since the filament will be pressed for a longer time, the extruder motor does not have to rotate as fast. Slower motor speed can help prevent chipping. These settings usually live in the Edit Process Settings → Other menu. Adjust the Default Printing Speed, which determines the speed of any movement when the extruder is actively pushing plastic. For example, if you used to print at 3600 mm / min (60 mm / s), try reducing it by 50% and see if the seam has disappeared.

Check for clogged nozzle

If the drive gear continues to gnaw on the filament even after increasing the temperature and decreasing the print speed, it is likely that your printer nozzle is partially clogged. Please refer to Extruder Clogged for instructions on how to resolve this issue.

The menu of the Simplify3D slicer is used as an example. Menu items, their names and locations in your software may vary.

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Nozzle clogged, plastic stuck in 3D printer extruder

Your 3D printer has to melt and extrude many kilograms of plastic during its lifetime.So that life does not seem like honey, he also has to push all this plastic through a tiny hole with a diameter of a grain of sand. And inevitably there comes a point when something goes wrong with this process and the extruder no longer manages to push the plastic through the nozzle. These blockages or blockages usually happen because something inside the nozzle is preventing the plastic from passing freely. This is especially frustrating the first time around, and we will describe a few steps that can be taken to solve a clogged nozzle issue.

Push the filament into the extruder by hand

The very first thing to try is to manually push the filament into the extruder. For a start, it is useful to warm up the extruder to the appropriate temperature for the plastic. This is done through the control panel of the 3D printing program. Also, on the control panel, you need to find the Jog Controls menu or similar, with which you can feed the plastic forward or backward. Feed it into the extruder, for example 10 mm. When the drive starts to rotate, lightly push the filament with your hands.In most cases, a little extra effort is sufficient to get the filament through the problem area.

Reinstall filament

If the filament still does not move, the next thing to do is remove it from the printer. Make sure the extruder is at the correct temperature and then pull the filament out of the extruder through the print software control panel. As in the previous case, you will have to apply reasonable physical force: if the thread gets stuck, gently pull it.After removing the filament, use scissors to cut off the melted or damaged piece. Thread the filament again and check if you can now print with a new, undamaged piece of filament.

Clean nozzle

If you cannot print with a new piece, most likely, you need to clean the nozzle. Many 3D printer users have been very successful in this task by heating the extruder to 100 ° C and manually pulling the filament through the nozzle (in the hope that it will pull out all the debris).Others preferred the E string (obviously the first, for a six-string guitar. – approx. Transl.), Pulling it back and forth through the nozzle. Some stores offer special needles and drills for cleaning the extruder nozzle, we also recommend using the cold broaching method, look on the Internet for how to do this. There are tons of different methods you can think of, and every extruder is different, but it’s best to contact your printer manufacturer for specific guidance.

The menu of the Simplify3D slicer is used as an example.Menu items, their names and locations in your software may vary.

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3D printer stops printing at an arbitrary moment during printing

If your printer was extruding normally at the start, but then suddenly stopped, then this problem is usually associated with just a few reasons. We will explain each of them and suggest a solution to the problem. If this kind of problem occurs very early on in printing, refer to No extruding when starting to print.

Out of filament

This is obvious: before looking for the reason why the printer is not printing, it is extremely useful to make sure that it has something to print. If the coil runs out, you need to fill in a new one, and then continue.

Filament has ground off on the drive gear

During printing, the extruder motor rotates continuously, trying to push the filament into the nozzle so that the printer can extrude the plastic. If you try to print too fast or extrude too much plastic, the motor can bite into the filament to the point that it grinds everything away, and the gear has nothing to cling to.If the extruder motor is spinning and the filament is not moving, this is probably the reason. Please refer to the Filament Grinding section for instructions on how to fix this problem.

Extruder clogged

If none of the above is your case, it is very likely that the extruder is clogged. If this happens during the printing process, you can check the filament itself for contamination, and also make sure that the spool is not dusty. If a dusty filament is fed into the nozzle, it all ends up clogging.There are several other possible causes of extruder clogging, so please refer to No extruding when starting to print for details.

Extruder motor overheated

When printing is in progress, the extruder motor is having a very hard time. It constantly rotates back and forth, pulls and pushes the plastic back and forth. Fast movements are associated with high energy consumption (and release), so if the electronics in the printer are not sufficiently cooled, they can easily overheat.Usually motors have thermal protectors that will shut them off if the temperature gets too high. In this case, it may turn out that the motors along the X and Y axes continue to work and move the extruder head, but the extruder motor itself is stopped. The only way to solve this problem is to turn off the printer and let the electronics cool down. It may also be helpful to install an additional cooling fan if the problem recurs.

The menu of the Simplify3D slicer is used as an example.Menu items, their names and locations in your software may vary.

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Poor filling

The filling of your 3D model is very important in terms of its durability. It is responsible for holding together the outer shell of a 3D object and maintaining those planes of it that are printed on top of it. If the infill is weak or hairy, there are several print management software settings you will need to change to give extra strength to this part of your object.

Try changing the content templates

One of the first parameters you need to pay attention to is the template used when printing the infill. The pattern is described by the Internal Fill Pattern parameter. Some patterns are more solid and solid, some less. For example, Grid, Triangular and Solid Honeycomb, i.e. Lattice, Triangles and Solid Honeycombs are durable fillings. Others like Rectilinear or Fast Honeycomb i.e. “Straightforward” or “Fast Honeycomb” sacrifices durability for speed.If you’re having trouble creating durable and reliable infill, explore the effect of different templates.

Reduce print speed

The infill usually prints faster than other parts of your 3D model. If you try to print the fill too quickly, the extruder may not be able to handle it and you will see an underextruded effect on the inside of your object. As a result, the filling will be fragile and cobweb-like, because the extruder has not been able to push through the amount of plastic that the printing program was counting on.If you’ve tried different infill patterns and still have a problem with infill strength, try slowing down your print speed. To do this, there is the Other tab in the Edit Process Settings menu. Configure the default print speed, Default Printing Speed, which directly affects the speed at which the filling is printed. For example, if you used to print at 3600 mm / min (60 mm / s), try reducing it by 50% and see if the fill is stronger and more consistent.

Increase Filler Extrusion Width

With another very powerful option found in some 3D printing programs, it is possible to change the extrusion width when printing the fill.For example, you can print the outer outline with an extrusion width of just 0.4 mm, but go down to 0.8 mm when printing the inner parts. As a result, the internal baffles will become thicker and stronger, which will inevitably affect the strength of the printed 3D object. These settings can be found in the Edit Process Settings → Infill menu. Infill Extrusion Width is set as a percentage of normal. If, for example, you set it to 200%, the plastic extruded during the fill printing will be laid out twice as wide as when printing the perimeters.With this kind of setup, consider the ability of the print program to maintain the infill percentage you specify. If you set the internal extrusion width to 200%, each fill strip will use twice the amount of plastic. To ensure this percentage of filling, the plastic filaments forming it must be properly spaced apart. For this reason, many increase the fill percentage after increasing the fill extrusion width.

The menu of the Simplify3D slicer is used as an example. Menu items, their names and locations in your software may vary.

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Bumps, sagging, snot and pimples

During 3D printing, the extruder has to constantly stop and start pushing the filament back and forth as it travels from one position to the next. Most extruders do a very good job of extruding evenly during movement, however, every time the extruder is turned off and then turned back on, slight deviations occur.For example, if you look closely at the outer surface of your 3D print, you may notice a small mark, and this is exactly where the extruder started working with a particular piece of plastic. The extruder, on the other hand, had to start printing the shell of your 3D model from some place, and then, when the shell is finished printing, it returns to this starting point. Marks of this kind are commonly referred to as drips or snot. As you can easily guess, it can be problematic to connect two parts that have some blemishes.Fortunately, many 3D printing programs have a simple tool to minimize these kinds of cosmetic defects.

Retraction and coasting settings

If you begin to notice small defects on the surface of the printout, the best way to diagnose it is to take a closer look at each of the printed perimeters. Does this defect appear the moment the perimeter printing starts? Or does it appear later when the perimeter is complete and the extruder has stopped? If the defect appears very early in the cycle, you may need to tweak the retraction slightly.Go to Edit Process Settings → Extruders. Immediately below the retraction distance there is a setting labeled Extra Restart Distance. This refers to the difference between the filament retraction distance when the extruder stops and the length by which it fills up before continuing to run again. If you find a surface defect at the start of the perimeter, there is likely too much plastic left in the extruder before starting to print the outline. In this case, you need to reduce the fill length by entering a negative value in the Extra Restart Distance field.For example, if the retract distance was 1.0 mm and the Extra Restart Distance was set to -0.2 mm (note the minus), then every time the extruder stops, it will retract 1.0 mm of plastic. But each time it starts working again, only 0.8 mm of filament will be fed into the nozzle. Adjust this parameter until the defect disappears when you start extruding the perimeter.

If the defect does not appear before the end of the perimeter printing, when the extruder stops, you need to take another parameter.It’s called Coasting, i.e. “Coasting”. Its value is set, as a rule, directly under the extrusion settings in the Extruder tab. It allows you to turn off the extruder a few moments before it reaches the end of the perimeter, which will relieve pressure inside the nozzle. Enable this option and increase the value until the imperfections at the end of each perimeter, when the extruder stops, disappear. Typically 0.2-0.5 mm coasting will give tangible results.

Avoid unnecessary pulling in

The aforementioned retraction and coasting settings can help avoid defects in cases where the nozzle is retracted, but sometimes it is much better to simply try to avoid this movement of the printhead.In other words, make sure that the extruder never reverses its direction of motion and continues to work calmly and evenly. This is especially important for printers with Bowden extruders, as the large distance between their motor and nozzle makes retracting more problematic. To configure the parameter that determines when retraction is turned on, you need to go to the Advanced tab and find the Ooze Control Behavior section there, which translates roughly as “leakage control actions.”This section contains many useful settings that can be used to change the appropriate behavior of your 3D printer. As mentioned earlier, in the section on hairs and cobwebs, Stringing or Oozing, the retraction is set mainly so that the nozzle does not leak at the moment when it moves from one part of the object to another without printing. If the nozzle does not cross open spaces, everything that flows out of it will remain inside the printed model and will not be visible from the outside. Therefore, many print management programs have a check mark to avoid unnecessary retraction, which indicates that filament should be retracted only over open spaces – Only retract when crossing open spaces.

Another useful item can be found in the Movement Behavior section. If the printer is configured to only pull filament over open areas, it will be extremely beneficial to avoid such areas in every possible way. Some 3D print management software has a useful feature that allows you to change the trajectory of the extruder, minimizing the number of cases of overshoot. If this succeeds, there is no need to retract at all. This option is called the Avoid crossing outline for travel movement, i.e.e. “avoid going beyond the boundaries of the contour when moving.”

Non-stationary retraction

Another very useful feature found in a number of 3D printing programs is non-stationary retraction. It is especially useful for Bowden extruders, where high nozzles are pressurized during printing. Typically, when these printers are shutting down, overpressure in a stopped extruder can cause plastic clumps to form in the extruder. For this situation, some 3D printing programs have an option that can be turned on to allow the nozzle to retract the filament as it travels.This reduces the likelihood of plastic clumping in the stationary extruder because the retraction is done on the fly. To enable this option, you must first configure a few parameters. First go to Edit Process Settings → Extruders. Make sure Wipe Nozzle is on. This will mean that the printer will clean the nozzle at the end of each piece of the model when it stops printing. Set the Wipe Distance to 5mm to start with.Next, go to Advanced and enable Perform retraction during wipe movement. This will block stationary retraction as the printer is now told to clear the nozzles on the counter duct. This is a very powerful option, and there is a very good chance that it will help you get rid of surface imperfections.

Select where to start printing

If minor defects still remain, it is possible to tell the printer where it is permissible to leave such dots.This can be done in the Edit Process Settings menu, in the Layer tab. In most cases, the print start location is chosen to optimize speed. You can also randomize this starting point, randomize it, or specify a specific position. For example, if you are printing a statue, you can instruct the print to always start from the back of the figure, so that nothing will be visible from the front. To do this, enable the Choose start point that is closest to specific location option, and printing will start as close as possible to the specified point, the coordinates of which must be specified.

The menu of the Simplify3D slicer is used as an example. Menu items, their names and locations in your software may vary.

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Gaps between filling and circuit

Each layer of a 3D printable object is created by a combination of outer perimeter and infill. The perimeters of the layers follow the contour of the model, creating a solid and tidy surface. The padding that is printed inside these perimeters makes up the rest of the layer.It is usually executed in the form of patterns, which are obtained by the reciprocating movement of the print head and allow you to print at high speed. Since the printing of the infill canvas uses different patterns than the printing of the outline, it is important that the two parts are firmly connected to each other. If you notice small gaps along the edges of your fill, then the problems that are corrected by the appropriate settings may be as follows:

Insufficient overlap of the contour

Some 3D print management programs have a parameter that allows you to adjust the bond strength of the outer contour and infill.This parameter is called Outline overlap, it specifies how much the filling will overlap on the perimeter, so that the two parts are better interlocked. This setting can be found in the Edit Process Settings → Infill menu. It specifies the percentage of the extrusion width, which makes it easier to scale for different nozzle diameters. For example, if you have specified 20% overlap of the contour, this means that the program will send instructions to the printer according to which the filling will overlap the inner part of the perimeter by 20%.The overlap allows for a more secure grip of the two parts of the model. If you’ve printed with a 20% overlap before, try increasing it to 30% and see if the gaps between the perimeter and the inside of the print have disappeared.

Printing is too fast

Model fills usually print much faster than outlines. However, if the infill is printed too quickly, there may not be enough time for it to adhere to the perimeter.If you have tried to increase the outline overlap, but the gaps between the edge and the fill persist, you can try slowing down the print speed. To do this, there is the Other tab in the Edit Process Settings menu. Adjust the Default Printing Speed, which determines the speed of any movement when the extruder is actively pushing plastic. For example, if you used to print at 3600 mm / min (60 mm / s), try reducing it by 50% and see if the gaps between the perimeter and the fill have disappeared.If the gaps disappear at a lower speed, start increasing it a little until it becomes maximum, but not leading to defects.

The menu of the Simplify3D slicer is used as an example. Menu items, their names and locations in your software may vary.

Curled or uneven corners and edges

If after a while you notice that parts of your printout begin to curl, the problem is usually overheating. Plastic is extruded at very high temperatures, and if it does not cool quickly, it can change shape over time.This problem can be avoided by quickly cooling each layer so that it does not have time to deform before it hardens. For a more detailed description of the issue and how to solve it, please refer to the Overheating section. If you notice that the part begins to curl at the very beginning of printing, then the section Printing does not stick to the platform, which addresses the problems associated with the first layer, will help you here.

Scratches on the upper plane

One of the advantages of 3D printing is that each object at any given time is formed layer by layer.This means that when printing each specific layer, the nozzle can move freely to any place on the platform, if there is already a printed layer under this place. Since this allows very high print speeds to be achieved, you may notice that the nozzle leaves a mark as it travels to the surface of the layer just printed. This is usually most noticeable on the solid tops of the printed object. Scratches and marks occur when the nozzle tries to move to a new position, but it hits the already printed plastic.Below we will point out some possible reasons for this and give recommendations on what settings can be used to get out of the situation.

Too much plastic extruded

One of the first things to check is the amount of plastic being extruded to see if it is too much. If it is too large, each layer will be slightly thicker than planned. This means that when the nozzle moves over it, it can catch on the plastic. Before checking various other settings, you should first pay attention to this one.Check out the Plastic Extrudes Too Much section.

Vertical lift (Z-hop)

If you are confident that the plastic is extruding as much as needed, and the problem with the nozzle movement over the surface persists, it may make sense to pay attention to a setting in the printing program, such as “vertical lift”. It instructs the nozzle to rise above the just printed layer before starting to move to a new position. When the nozzle reaches the coordinates required to continue printing, it descends back.By moving slightly higher, the nozzle can be prevented from touching the already printed layer. This setting can be found in the Edit Process Settings → Extruder menu. Make sure retraction is turned on, then set the Retraction Vertical Lift value to whatever height you want the nozzle to lift on reverse. For example, if you specify 0.5 mm, the nozzle will always rise 0.5 mm before moving to a new position.Please note that this option only works in conjunction with retraction. If you want retract to turn on every time you move the printhead, click on the Advanced tab and make sure the Only retract when crossing open spaces and Minimum travel for retraction options are off, i.e. retraction is not only carried out when moving over an open area, and the return distance is not minimized.

The menu of the Simplify3D slicer is used as an example.Menu items, their names and locations in your software may vary.

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Holes and gaps between the corners of the layers

When printing a 3D object, each layer uses the previous layer as the base. However, how much plastic is extruded is also important, so a balance must be struck between the strength of the base and the amount of plastic used. If the base is not strong enough, you will have holes and gaps between the layers. This is usually most pronounced at corners when the size of the part changes (for example, if you are printing a 20 mm cube on top of a 40 mm cube).When changing to a smaller size, you must ensure that there is sufficient support to support the sidewalls of the smaller cube. There are several common reasons that lead to a substrate that is not strong enough, and we will discuss each of them and show you the most useful settings for 3D printing programs to help improve the quality of the final model.

Not enough perimeters

Adding a perimeter outline to the print will greatly strengthen the foundation of the next layers.Since the inside of the printed object is usually partially empty, the thickness of the surrounding walls is very important. You can configure this parameter in the Edit Process Settings menu, in the Layer tab. For example, if you previously printed two perimeters, try printing the same with four and see if the gaps have disappeared.

Insufficiently continuous upper layers

Another common cause of weak support layers, i.e. such that other parts are printed on top – this is when the layers are not solid enough.A thin ceiling cannot normally support the structures laid out on it. This is solved in the Edit Process Settings menu, in the Layer tab. If you’ve only printed two solid layers before, try printing the same with four and see if it gets better.

Filling percentage too low

Finally, you should also check the percentage of infill, which is set in Process Settings → Infill. The top continuous layer is laid on top of the padding, so it is important that this padding is sufficient.For example, if you have previously printed at 20% infill, try increasing it to 40% and see if the quality improves.

The menu of the Simplify3D slicer is used as an example. Menu items, their names and locations in your software may vary.

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Lines on the sides of the printout, ladder from layers

The side surfaces of your 3D print are made up of hundreds of individual layers. If everything goes according to plan, these layers will form a single, smooth surface.But if something is wrong with at least one of the layers, it usually appears clearly on the outer surface of the object. Such a “defective” layer may appear as a line or groove on the side of the print. Often this defect manifests itself cyclically, i.e., for example, a line can appear every 15th layer. Here are some of the most common causes of this problem.

Uneven extrusion

The most common cause of this defect is poor filament quality. If the filament tolerances are not small enough, these deviations will immediately be reflected on the walls of the objects.So, if your filament diameter fluctuates within only 5% per coil length, the extruded plastic width can vary by 0.05 mm. That is, some layers may be thicker than others, which will look like a line on the side of the print. To get smooth walls, the printer must be able to extrude extremely evenly, and this requires high quality plastic. For other possible causes of uneven extrusion, see the Uneven Extrusion section.

Temperature fluctuations

Most 3D printers use the so-called. PID controller (proportional, integral and differential controller). If this controller is not configured correctly, the temperature of the extruder will fluctuate during operation. Due to the design of the PID controller, fluctuations are often cyclical and the temperature fluctuates in a sinusoidal manner. When the temperature rises, the plastic starts to flow differently than when it is colder.This leads to the fact that the layers are extruded in different ways, peculiar waves are formed on the sides of the object. A properly configured printer must maintain the print temperature within ± 2 ° C. In the process of work, you can monitor the temperature of the extruder through the control panel of the print program – in most programs there is such an opportunity. If you see temperature fluctuations in excess of 2 degrees, you should calibrate the PID controller. For more detailed instructions, please contact your printer manufacturer.

Mechanical problems

If you are sure that uneven extrusion or temperature variations are not the cause, there may be some mechanical problem causing these lines and unevenness. For example, if the base your printer is mounted on vibrates or vibrates during printing, then the nozzle will also vibrate or vibrate. This will cause some layers to be slightly thicker than others. Such thick layers will appear as irregularities on the side surfaces of the printed object.Another common cause is when the vertical printhead movement guide is not set correctly. Also, the reasons may be jolts during a sharp change in the direction of movement of mechanical parts or incorrect settings of the microstepping motor controller. Even a small change in the position of the print bed has a large impact on the quality of the layers.

The menu of the Simplify3D slicer is used as an example. Menu items, their names and locations in your software may vary.

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Vibrations and waves

The print surface may appear wavy if the printer vibrates or rocks during printing. This is usually noticed when the extruder suddenly changes direction, for example near sharp corners. So, if you are printing a 20mm cube, then whenever the extruder starts to print part of the contour of the next side, it must change the direction of movement. Vibrations can occur due to the inertia of the extruder when it needs to change direction abruptly – and this is reflected in the printout.We will consider the most common causes of this problem, which are as follows.

Printing is too fast

The most common cause of wavy roughness is when the printer tries to print too fast. When the direction of printing is suddenly reversed, an additional force is generated which results in a vibration that lasts for a while. If you think the print head is moving too quickly, try slowing down the print speed.To do this, there is the Other tab in the Edit Process Settings menu. You will need to change the Default Printing Speed ​​and X / Y Axis Movement Speed. The first parameter determines the speed of any movement when the extruder is actively pushing through the plastic, and the second is the speed of rapid movements when the plastic is not extruded. Play with both settings to get the effect.

Firmware acceleration

The factory firmware that controls the electronics of your 3D printer usually has acceleration settings so that changes in the direction of movement of the mechanics are not too abrupt.The priter, thus, slowly increases the speed and, when it comes time to change direction, gradually drops it. The nuances of this process are decisive in terms of the appearance of irregularities. If you have no problem digging into the firmware details of the electronics, you can even try decreasing the acceleration so that the speed changes more smoothly. This will leave bumps even less likely.

Mechanical problems

If none of the above helps and “waves” continue to appear on the sides of the printout, you may be experiencing a mechanical problem that is causing excessive vibration.It could be a loose screw or a broken bracket. Inspect the printer while it is running and try to identify the source of vibration. We know of many cases where users eventually find the cause of printing defects in mechanical problems, so if all else fails, it makes sense to try to approach the problem from this side.

The menu of the Simplify3D slicer is used as an example. Menu items, their names and locations in your software may vary.

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Gaps between thin walls

Because your 3D printer has a fixed nozzle size, problems can arise when printing very thin walls that are only several times thicker than the nozzle diameter. For example, if you are trying to print a 1.0mm wall by extruding 0.4mm strips, you may need to tweak the printer to make the walls solid, with no gaps in the middle. 3D print management programs have several special settings for this, which will help when printing thin walls.These settings are as follows:

Settings for thin walls

The most important related settings are those that determine the wall thickness. They can be found in the Edit Process Settings → Advanced menu. There is a very useful parameter called Gap Fill. It, as the name suggests, controls gap filling and allows the program to fill in small gaps between thin walls. To allow such filling, you need to check an option like Allow gap fill when necessary.If even after this kind of indication, gaps remain, there is another setting, which is useful to check. Go to the Infill tab and increase the Outline Overlap. This will allow the filling to more closely cover the potential gaps between it and the contour. If, say, you’ve printed with 20% overlap before, try increasing it to 30% and see if the thin walls are getting more solid.

Extrusion Width Settings

In some cases, you may find that the result is better if you change the width of the extruded plastic strip.If, for example, you are printing a 1.0 mm thick wall, you can get a quick and durable result by adjusting the nozzle to eject 0.5 mm filament. This will work well for parts with all walls of the same thickness. The extrusion width is configured in the Edit Process Settings menu, in the Extruders tab. Select manual mode and set the value.

The menu of the Simplify3D slicer is used as an example. Menu items, their names and locations in your software may vary.

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Very fine details are not printed

Your printer has a specific size nozzle that allows you to reproduce very fine details with great precision. For example, many printers have a 0.4 mm orifice nozzle. In most cases it works fine, but when you try to print well, very small parts that are smaller than the nozzle diameter, problems arise. Let’s say you want to print a 0.2 mm thick wall using a 0.4 nozzle.Nothing good will come of this, because it is unreasonable to push a 0.2 mm wide strip of plastic through a 0.4 mm hole and hope that it will turn out neat. The extrusion width must always be greater than or equal to the nozzle diameter. For this reason, when you want to see a preview of a future model and click on Prepare to Print or something similar in the print program, the program removes such small details from the preview. Thus, the program tells you that with this nozzle of your 3D printer you will not be able to print too small parts.If you often try to print small things, this problem is familiar to you. There are, however, several tricks that will allow you to successfully cope with such difficulties. Receptions are:

Redesign the object so that its details are larger

The first and most obvious one is to redesign the printed object so that it contains only parts that are larger than the diameter of the nozzle. This usually involves editing the 3D model in a CAD program. Once you have enlarged the fine details of the model, you re-import it into the slicer to make sure the printer can reproduce the shape you created.If all the small details are visible on the preview, the printer should be able to print the converted object.

Install a smaller nozzle

In many cases, it is not possible to change the design of an object. For example, it may be part of someone else’s model, or you downloaded it from the Internet. If this is the case, you should consider purchasing a different nozzle for your 3D printer that allows you to print finer nuances.Replaceable nozzle tips are available for many printers in the aftermarket, making this easy to do. Many users, for example, purchase, in addition to the already existing 0.5 mm nozzle, a 0.3 nozzle. Contact your printer manufacturer for detailed instructions on how to install the smaller tip tip. Forcing the printer to print parts smaller than the nozzle only makes sense as a last resort.

If you cannot change the design of the original 3D model and also install a smaller nozzle, there is only one option left.This, as already mentioned, is to force the printer to print small parts forcibly, which is likely to have some quality consequences. Go to Edit Process Settings → Extruders and manually set the extrusion width. If you have, say, a nozzle of 0.4 mm, you can manually set the width to 0.3 mm, then the printer, obeying the program, will try to print arabesques of this scale. However – we repeat again – most nozzles are not able to provide high-quality extrusion at such a ratio of their diameter and width of the laid out filament, so the responsibility lies entirely with you.

The menu of the Simplify3D slicer is used as an example. Menu items, their names and locations in your software may vary.

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Uneven extrusion

For your printer to print neat objects, it must be able to extrude very uniform amounts of plastic. If these quantities are different in different parts of the printed object, this will immediately affect the final result. Uneven extrusion can be detected simply by taking a closer look at the printing process.For example, if the printer prints a straight line 20 mm long and you see that the extrusion is going on with some kind of bumps, the plastic strip turns out to be of different sizes, you have a problem. Below we have collected the most common causes of uneven extrusion and suggested ways to deal with it.

Filament stuck or tangled

The first thing to check is the reel of plastic. You need to make sure that it rotates freely and that plastic can be unwound from it without problems.If the filament is tangled or the spool does not rotate quite freely, this will affect how smoothly the filament will extrude through the nozzle. If your printer comes with a Bowden tube (a small tube through which the filament is guided), you must also make sure that the filament passes through it freely and without unnecessary friction. If the friction is too high, the tube should be cleaned or some kind of lubricant should be used.

Clogged extruder

If the filament is not tangled and easily pushes into the extruder, the next thing to check is the nozzle itself.There may be some pieces of plastic stuck there and interfering with normal extrusion. The easiest way to do this is by using the print program’s control panel, by giving a command to manually extrude some plastic. The plastic should come out evenly and evenly. If a problem is found, the nozzle may need to be cleaned. Please consult the manufacturer for the best way to do this.

Too thin layer

If both the filament is free to rotate and the extruder is not clogged, the problem may be with a few simple 3D print manager settings.For example, if you are trying to print in extremely thin layers, such as 0.01 mm, there is too little room for the plastic at the exit of the nozzle. The nozzle gap is only 0.01 mm and this can be a problem for extrusion. Check carefully if you have set the correct layer height for printing. You can see this in the Edit Process Settings → Layer menu. If the specified layer height is too low, try increasing it, it may feel better.

Incorrect extrusion width

Another interesting setting for the print control program right now is the extrusion width.She lives in Edit Process Settings → Extruder. Each extruder has its own unique extrusion width, so be sure to select the correct extruder in the list of settings. If the extrusion width is much smaller than the nozzle diameter, this can cause problems. The golden rule is that the extrusion width should be 100-150% of the nozzle diameter. If the width of the extrusion is significantly less than the diameter of the nozzle (say, 0.2 mm with a nozzle of 0.4), the extruder will not be able to push a uniform flow of filament.

Poor filament quality

One of the most common causes of uneven extrusion, which we haven’t mentioned yet, is the quality of the filament you are printing with. Poor quality filaments may contain inclusions that make the filament irregular. Other nodules affect the filament diameter, which also results in uneven extrusion. Many types of plastics simply decompose over time. For example, PLA tends to absorb moisture from the air, and over time this will begin to affect print quality.It is for this reason that many reels of plastic come with a desiccant – a dehydrating agent, a desiccant. If you think that the cause of your troubles is in the filament, try replacing it with a high quality new one, in the packaging – it may help.

Mechanical problems of the extruder

If you have checked everything described above, and the extrusion is still non-uniform, it may make sense to examine the extruder for mechanical problems.For example, many extruders use a drive gear with sharp teeth that snag on the filament, allowing the extruder to push the filament in any direction. Extruders usually have settings that allow you to control how tightly the gear is pressed against the filament. If it is not pressed down enough, the teeth will not adhere well to the filament and it will be difficult for the extruder to control its position. Check with your printer manufacturer if your model has these settings.

The menu of the Simplify3D slicer is used as an example. Menu items, their names and locations in your software may vary.

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Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of our list of Common 3D Printing Problems

Translation of an article from the site https://www.simplify3d.com/

Unique leg splint | 3d-daily

KAFO is a customizable, lightweight, fashionable and functional leg brace with a unique design.Industrial designer Or Steiner has redesigned the old leg splint, while maximizing the balance between aesthetics and strength to support the patient.

After injuries or diseases of the extremities, the patient needs to maintain full weight so that the level of comfort and mobility does not decrease. In the past, the functionality of such brackets left much to be desired.

Steiner, a former student at Shenkar’s College of Engineering and Design, stumbled upon 3D printing technology while trying to model his designs for further fabrication.His work is the result of a chance encounter with a patient named Ron, who was injured in an accident.

The accident made Ron dependent on a wheelchair or a set of braces and crutches, but the heavy weight and ill-conceived design created quite a lot of discomfort.

“The brace consists of several parts: thigh holders, a movable knee part on a hinge base, a frame that supports the lower leg and a foot plate that is angled at 90 degrees.Modern staples are bulky, heavy and unaesthetic, which is why Ron hardly ever used them. I wanted the design and appearance of the crutches to be created with cutting edge technology and to inspire those in need to wear them, ”says Ohr Steiner.

The KAFO tire is quite robust despite its fragile design. It is this view that allows not only to perform its direct functions, but also provides the skin with the ability to breathe. The use of 3d scanning technology will maximize the adaptation of the splint to the patient’s body.Steiner used a rigid, opaque version of Stratasys 3D Vero Black material to provide the necessary structural strength.

“The main advantages of the product are the flexibility of customization and personalization for the user. The printed staple may look like a conventional injection molded product.

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