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Posts posted by origamimavin

  1. I've spent the last couple days messing with the extruder speeds, and it seems like i'm back where I started. In Cura, I had the Steps per E at 865.888, and was told this was probably wrong. I opened Pronterface and did the extrusion calibration (now I see that some of my settings were off in this test, working on testing it again), but my new number was about 1354.5033, which seemed to print much worse. Immediately, it stopped monding with the bed, and once I got it to stick again and upon dialing those numbers back down through trial and error, I'm back at the original 865.888, but it still seems to be extruding too much at the beginning (globbing/ dragging) and too little at the end (spaghetti stinging). Since I have the correct setting in Cura, I'd like to use that to do a filament extrusion test, but I don't see a GCode sender in that software. After preparing a file in Cura and going to Print, I've clicked on the extrude button, but there's no control on how far it goes. What is this set to by default? in measuring it, at the 865.888 steps setting, it was extruding nearly exactly 2mm per click. Is this correct? I'd like to find some logical reason why that 865.888 number seems to work, or possibly dial it in closer rather than just using a number that seems to work decently.

    The difference between extrusion at the start and the end made me though.. can I use a plugin to set a M92 code for the first X number of layers (like 1-3 or so), then change the steps per extrusion after that to complete the rest of the model? or is there some other settings I can change to get the first layer to extrude less while it keeps it up for the rest of the build?

    rbc1225, I've read through that whole link and then some, as well as other sites, and can't seem to come up with a solution to my extrusion problems...


  2. Thanks, I'm working my way through it all now. I don't have internet at my apartment where the machine is, and can only make small posts like this one from my phone at home, so I tried to write as much as I could about how far I got when I was in front of a computer online. Just hoping someone might have some advise on top of that.

  3. Thanks for the replies, all! I've been making some progress...

    The first thing I did was this:

    I got the new 13.03 siftware and moved some of my specs over and tweaked some others. My last print had critical dimensions as follows:

    layer height: .2mm

    wall thicknes: 1mm

    bottom/top thickness: .6

    fill density: 20%

    print speed: 20mm/s

    print temp: 185°C

    bed temp: 60°C

    support: everywhere

    support type: rectangular

    filament diameter: 1.71mm

    skirt line count: 5

    skirt distance: 4

    bottom layer speed: 10mm/s

    initial layer thickness: .15mm

    infill overlap: 25%

    loops > infill > perimeter

    support material: 30%

    Steps per E: 865.888

    Results are as follows:


    First 5 layers or so turned out great!



    Support material turned out the best I've seen so far



    Finished on bed



    Finished piece

    It's still a little rough, but it turned out really nicely. Some of the overhanginf material got kinda messy, but I know that' to be expected. I just think it can get a bit better. Temperatures stayed low, which I kind of like, but the print was VERY slow, and I'd like to bump that up over time. Any more tips would be helpful as to what to tweak next!

    After printing the above, I decided to look into the firmware stuff and did as follows:

    Joergern and rbc1225, thanks for the steps per E advice! I'm looking into it now. Here is an image of my extruder motor:


    Extruder gearbox pictured disconnected from extruder


    I also don't know the gearing ratio of the motor. I was able to dig up the firmware codes I loaded up the machine with, but don't know exactly which I used (but I have a pretty good idea). It should be one of two or three, so even if I upload the wrong one, I can do a print or so with each and figure it out again. My calibration variables (float axis_steps_per_unit[] = {X, Y, Z,E}) of the different firmwares I tested have E values of 1292.52, 1380, 1200, or 1000. The one listed at 1000 is what I had labeled as my most recent iteration, so that's the one I went with, and loaded it back onto the machine (variables of {58.1818, 58.1818, 2600, 1000}). With these variables, I extruded 100mm of material and my measurements were pretty off. I had to head out and couldn't calculate what I needed to change it to, nor did I get a chance to change or try it, but I'm about to go do that now. Once I get the extruder moving properly, I should be in much better shape.


    After I printed the model I have shown above, I compared it to a model that I printed on a professional machine (that I assume to be much more accurate than mine), and noticed mine was taller. I havent compared it to the 3d model yet to totally verify this, but I have a feeling my Z axis is off in the firmware as well, giving me incorrect layer heights, which could also compound the printing problems I've been seeing. Any advice or links on how to fix this? is it also a matter of moving the nozzle up a certain amount and seeing if the actual movements matched the programmed movements and use a similar equasion to fix this too?


    Another question along those lines; when I home my Z-axis, i have adjusted it to sit about .015mm (.002") above the printing surface (using feeler guages to measure this at multiple locations). When the machine starts to print, does it print at that Z-home height, or does it move up any? Like if I have the initial layer thickness set to .15mm, does that mean the machine is expecting the Z-home to be .15mm off the bed, or does it move the nozzle .15mm above Z-home?


    Outside of the X, Y, Z, E movements listed above, is there anything else I really need to calibrate that I may have missed to get the machine up and running properly?


    gr5, I'll try a hotter temperature (and I'm guessing a faster speed to go with it?) once I get more of these numbers dialed back in. It does ooze and drip even at 195°C, but hopefully some speed with help make up for the mess. I'll post back about this as soon as I can.


    Thank you all for your help, I've made more progress with this software and your help in 2 days than I have in a very long time of failed attemps through other methods.


  4. I haven't been able to get any good prints using other software, so I can't really compare it to much.

    I can try slowing it down and dropping the temperature back down to 185 and report back, but I would like to be able to speed up the prints a bit more. How can I turn up the extrusion amount, would I change the steps per E, or fudge the filament size any?

  5. I built a Reprap based 3D printer a while back (longer than I'd like to admit), and haven't been able to get it to print anything even remotely acceptable. I'm back at making a solid effort to get it up and running, and just found the Cura 12.12 software, and right off the bat got the best print to date. I've still been having some problems, so I came here for some help.

    Current build specs:

    Prusa Mendel, Marlin, Ramps 1.4

    X: 180mm

    Y: 170mm

    Z: 84mm

    Nozzle: 0.35mm

    Heated bed (typically at 60°C)

    1.75mm Filament

    Steps per E: 865.888

    Nozzle distance from bed at Z-Home: .051mm(.002")

    Material: PLA

    Printing surface: glass

    Fans: None

    Best printing specs to date:

    Layer height: .2mm

    Wall thickness: .6mm

    Bottom/Top thickness: .6mm

    Fill density: 20%

    Print speed: 25mm/s

    Print temp: 195°C

    Bed temp: 60°C

    Filament diameter: 1.71mm

    Packing density: 1.0

    Fill type: Rectangular

    Support type: all

    Skirt lines: 5

    Skirt distance: 4mm

    Retraction minimum travel: 5mm

    Retraction speed: 40mm/s

    Retraction distance: 2.5mm

    Extra length on start: 0

    Bottom later speed: 15mm/s

    Initial layer thickness: .26mm

    Infill overlap: 25%

    Early layers

    First layers seemed great


    As the build continues

    Started to get messy as it was built


    finished decent model

    Finished decent model


    The model I tested ended up only having 1 or 2 layers of infill for the bulk of it, but the top flat section still ended up pretty rough. The taller sections had a lot of infill even though it's narrow, so the perimeter ended up pretty rough. The first couple layers seem to go on really well, but after that it seems to get really messy. how can I fix this? does it have to do with the speed and temperature? I typically print my PLA at 185°C, but for this print, i slowed down the printer a bit and bumped the temp up to 195°C, and it seemed to work a bit better, but added more stringing. Could this have to do with the layer height? I tried a print at .15mm (as opposed to my usual .2mm), and it sisn't come out much better. The first layer seems to have trouble bonding with the glass when I run it at 195°C, and works much better at 185°C, but havent tried anything hotter than that yet. The nozzle also tends to drip a bunch as it's heating up, so I didn't try pushing it any more. I also don't know exactly if the Steps per E is correct, and just went with the number that was in there. I'm currently playing with that number a bit as well to see if that's going to help anything.

    I'm also trying to print some simple cubes to see how the fill is working, and it seems to be moving quickly and isn't laying down properly. I can post more pictures of this and more of my attempts later.

    The other thing I'd really like to change with the software is to add a couple more perimeter layers around the outside to hopefully add some more quality and definition to the model. Is this done by changing the wall thickness? Does that add more layers if I increase it enough? Is there a Plugin that can be used to adjust this?

    Does anyone know of some specs I should specifically change to try and get better results? Is there something I can try and post pictures or video of the results to better understand the problem that's happening? Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated. I've worked with Dimension printers, Z-Corp printers, and Objet printers before, and while I know I shouldn't expect results quite like those, I do know generally what to expect and know I'm not getting there.

    Thanks in advance!



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