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Posts posted by krys

  1. Look for additional FreeCAD tutorials about converting STLs. There is a function in FreeCAD to simplify models. Learning to use that could probably reduce the file size considerable. I just do not remember the details or what it is called. ... I think it is either in the Mesh or Part workbench.

    As for why it is tricky, my understanding is that STLs are just a bunch of points, lines and faces. Further, every surface is broken up in the triangles so you get a lot of triangles. They have no concept of volume, or squares, or rounded surfaces, ... or surfaces at all.

    STEPs on the other hand are solid objects with volume. They know about surfaces with various geometries and curves. And so it is hard to take a collection of triangles and know that those ones over there are a cylinder, and these ones over here are a square with a hole in it and the other ones over that way are a rounded edge. These are all things that the original STEP files would have in them but that you lose when converting to STL.

    It is like a digital picture. It is really just a bunch of pixels. It is hard to go from pixels back to that is a face, or even that is the face of my dog. That is what you are asking for when converting STLs to STEPs.

    At least that is my understanding. Hope it helps. Good luck! :)

  2. +1 for FreeCAD for this, but converting STLs to STEP can sometimes be tricky. It is not always a clean and easy transition. So, heads up and good luck! :)

    Another option, if you know or our like to learn some programming would be to manipulate the STLs directly in OpenSCAD. No conversion necessary. Decent for tweaking existing designs. Maybe consider this a backup if your particular STLs do not like being STEPs.

    And lastly, the most deal solution would be to go back to the original author of the files and ask if they are willing to share STEPs with you. Many authors are willing but just do not think of it. Then again, many 3D models are made in software that does not do solids and so does not speak STEP. But it is worth a try and the STEPs will generally be better quality than those converted from STL.

    Anyway, just a few option for you to consider. Hope it helps! :)

  3. I find carbon fiber to be more matte, but it is black and harder to print (nozzle wear) and more brittle than standard PLA. It looks super sexy though! :D

    And of course, colder printing can make for matte-er results. But weaker layer bonding.

    Oh, and I have found the FormFutura PLA to be matte-er than other PLAs (e.g. ColorFabb). At least it used to be, I have not bought from them in a long time. And even then, I only bought yellow, so who knows. But still it was more matte and really nice quality.

  4. Yeah, the cheap stuff can cause more issues. There is just less hassle/tweaking with the branded stuff. Usually it is bed adhesion, more glue. Though I did have some really brittle crap once. Could not even stay in the feeder overnight without snapping. Really pissed me off. Then again, I have had cheap stuff that just worked like magic. So it can be a bit hit or miss. Again, more tweaking to get it right.

    That said, the I find the MakerGeeks stuff quite inexpensive and also very usable. (Funny story though, I ordered a spool of PLA from them once and I got a spool of PETG, but it was labeled PLA. Man that led to frustrations until I realized what happened!) :D

    What I did while I was first learning was to use brand names mostly. But I would pick up a cheap roll just to try out. If it was a ball of headaches, lesson learned and I would not buy that kind again. If it was a joy or good enough, then I noted the supplier and picked up a couple more.

    But when things go wrong, or get tricky, or I just don't want hassles, I go brand name. And ColorFabb is my go to. Like Gr5 said, PLA/PHA is awesome! :)

    • Like 1
  5. For Ultimaker brand filament, I like to support Fabrc8

    For my ColorFabb needs, I frequent PrintedSolid   He ships very quickly and somehow, he gets stuff to me in 2 days (and I live in the very far North East of the United States!)


    Oh yes, of course Ultimaker brand filaments are excellent quality too. Given their printers, you know they would not put their name on crap filament. :D

    And I have heard of PrintedSolid. I think the guys at adafruit have mentioned them.

    Speaking of adafruit, they also sell filament (and Ultimakers), but I do not know if they carry much 2.85mm. They seem to really prefer the 1.75mm stuff. Still, they are an excellent and pioneering US company for DIY/hobbiest electronics projects, so it might be worth checking out what they have for filament.

    • Like 1
  6. Hi there,

    I am Canadian but I buy US sometimes too.

    Either fabrc8 or Gr5store (or both) sell filament. And one of them sells Faberdashery (UK) brand, which is really nice high-end stuff.

    I have also bought a few spools from MakerGeeks. They are cheap and quite decent quality and US made, if that matters to you.

    I have also bought from Proto-Pasta. They have excellent quality and really innovative stuff. They are also US made products, I believe.

    Beyond that I generally think it is more about the brand of filament and less about the supplier. So ColorFabb stuff is great, so is FormFutura and I am discovering Innofil is excellent too. People have said good things about eSUN and polymaker too, but I have no experience there.

    I generally keep two categories of filament around. 1) Super cheap, maybe-lower-quality, stuff for testing, prototyping etc. That way screw-ups are not so costly. 2) Brand name high(er) end filaments which print fantastically and have really great colour (color ;) ) saturation. This is for final products, special occasions, special people, etc. I guess the third category I keep is specialty materials like wood, polycarbonate, nylon etc.

    Oh and speaking of nylon, Taulman is a US company that makes great nylon and PET (T-Glase) filaments. Small spools though.

    Oh and I think NinjaFlex/NinjaTek (i.e. Fenner Drives) is US based. They started the whole flexible filament idea and their products are top notch.

    I am sure there are other more general distributors, but the above are the specific companies and manufacturers that I have had good experiences with.

    Anyway, hope this helps with US sources. Have fun! :)

    • Like 2

    I'm surprised no-one mentioned the obvious: use BOLD for the font to thicken everything.



    Maybe the reason why it is not said, is that everyone expected that everyone already tried that?  :)


    I will admit, I just never thought of it! :p Nice thinking, @eldrick!

    Though, it seems @geert_2 has thought quite a bit about it. :)

  8. I wonder about a couple things. Maybe @SandervG or others might have some insights:

    1) None of what has been suggested so far would explain why the original true Olsson Block that the printer came with would have such severe leaking to begin with. If it had not failed, or other blocks would have been bought, I assume. :)

    2) If the new Olsson Block from Gr5 comes in and the printer still leaks, then what? I.e. if it is not the nozzle that is the source of the problem, what else could produce similar symptoms?

    Anyway, the above comments just got me thinking about these a bit.

    Hope it helps. :)

  9. All that said - perhaps my question to the forum is.

    When you replace the Olsson block - where do you buy them? And do you know what parameter to pay attention to?



    I see you are in the US.

    In which case you might want to look at / talk to fabrc8. They probably are the ones that made your printer anyway. :)

    The other source I know of in the US is gr5. They carry Ultimaker parts and also 3rd party mods.

    There might be other good sources, but those are the two I know and have purchased from. Plus they are both active members on this forum. :)

    Hope it helps.

  10. Wow!!  I'm impressed by the number of useful responses I've gotten.


    In any event, I now have my work cut out for me.  Thanks for your help and suggestions.


    We are a pretty helpful bunch around here. I hope you keep us updated with your progress! :) Good luck!

  11. I never thought to doing an offset to widen the font explicitly. Good idea! :)

    Suguru is also a nice idea!

    I guess I have been lucky as I have done several massive retraction prints before and never had an issue. But I see your point.

    Thanks! :D

  12. Hi @neotko,

    It figures that you would have success here, base one what I have seen of your other works! :)

    Those are really nice results! That's with a 0.4mm nozzle?

    Though I do see that you are using a sans-serif font with a nice wide line width. :) That is quite different to what @rich17222 has shown us. I do stand by what I said that rich17222's model will need to be changed.

    Still, glad to see it is doable at the sizes rich17222 is talking about! I knew other clever people would have good answers! :D

    Thanks for sharing!

  13. Hi there,

    One thing I did not see you mention (maybe I missed it), do you tighten the nozzle while it is hot? If you tighten when cold, then when the nozzle heats up it expands a bit, which would loosen the threads again.

    Though, by the sounds of things, that is not your main/only issue, if it is leaking that much.

    So, yeah, what DidierKlein asked. :)

    Good Luck!

  14. Hi there,

    Long post ahead. Sorry. Hope it helps. :)

    I have on several occasions, and just recently too, done some letter printing. Here are some observations of your situation based on my experiences:

    First, as others have said, nozzle size. I mean physically. If your printer has a 0.4mm nozzle, then thinner lines are either not possible or tricky to get working. And even with tricks, there will be a physical limit on what you can achieve. For a 0.4 nozzle, depending on font, I can get down to 8 or 6mm high lower-case letters max. With a 0.25mm nozzle I can get better detail, and probably smaller font size too, but I have not personally tested that case.

    The thing to remember is, if the line is too thin, Cura will just not render it. Will not send it to the printer. So if it is not showing up in the Layer view, it is because the lines are too thin. This is not a bug, this is just Cura doing the best it can given the physical constraints of 3D printing. I suspect Slic3r would be the same, but I have not experience with it.

    Second, font choice makes a big impact. Like DaHai8 said, sans-serif fonts are better. Those little serif pointy bits are just too thin, except on larger size letters. If you look at Gr5's pictures, you will see the "Anne" one is small and sans-serif, whereas the serif ones are all larger single letters. And they have pretty fat serifs at that. Also some fonts just have thinner lines than others. Or thin horizontal lines and thicker vertical ones (that was my recent issue). So picking a 3D print-compatible font is important. Not just any old font will do.

    Third, as mention by peggyb, your vertical direction (Z) has much greater resolution, so if you can turn your model sideways, you might get better font results. But in my experience, the results often look worse in different ways. (Drooping, etc.) Still, it might be worth a shot. If you do try this, then keep your lettering indent/outdent shallow. 0.5mm - 1mm. If it overhangs too much, you will get drooping.

    Fourth, raised vs sunken writing can make a difference too. If the writing is sunken, then it is not the nozzle width you have to worry about, it is just the accuracy of the head movement. The negative space with no plastic is your lettering, rather than the extruded plastic being the lettering. Sunken is not always what you want. And I have, with the above-mentioned aspects in mind, had good results with raised lettering. Just not as tiny as your attempting.

    Basically, at the size you are trying and with the font you have shown us, I do not think there is any software setting that will get you want you want. IMO, you will have to change your model and maybe try a smaller nozzle if you can, to make something work at your size constraints. Either that, or print bigger.

    But that is just my opinion, and others here might have some smarter tricks! :)

    Anyway, I hope this info is helpful. Good luck! And welcome to the community! :D

    • Like 1
  15. Anyhow, I just finished a very rough new version and I'll attach it probably tomorrow night to run some tower tests full of zig-zags.


    So, is your version specifically for the UMO, or did you just do some generic improvements?

    It would be cool if you two combined your efforts or at least both reference each other when/if you share your results. That way the vast majority of the UM community would be covered by this mod. :) ... Just thinking out loud.

  16. First, because before when I  calibrated the bed  I noticed that on especially the 2 front points, the bed had move down only when I slide the UM calibration paper sheet between the nozzle tip and the bed glass without get much friction, so the setting may be distorted if not pay attention to it.


    I could share the bed stabilizer without guaranteeing that it is a miracle solution, it will be up to everyone to appreciate or not .


    Regarding the front calibration, I too see that. If I want to get a similar resistance on the calibration card/paper/feeler gauge, the bed has to get pushed down and the nozzle basically touches the bed.

    Also, I find the front of the plate easily flexes up and down if I put any amount of pressure on either side. While I cannot say that this has ruined any prints or anything, it has bothered me for a while now. And I have had some adhesion issues because of over/under calibrating the front.

    So, all that being said, if you decided to share your design, either publicly (preferred) or just with me (and @neotko obviously), I would certainly be grateful. :D

    I would even post back about any advantages/disadvantages I see.

    I think you have something here that many in the community would be interested in, especially those are that particular about print quality. :)

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with it!

  17. My first test showed improvement but I found a big flaw on my redesign to adapt it to umo that I need to fix in the following weeks. After changing basic stuff I'll do some tests again.


    Are you only testing it on UMO, or are you planning on testing it on UM2(+) as well?

    @Gudo, yours is mounted on an UM2(+) right? How dramatic of an improvement did/do you see? (If you are willing to talk about your experiences with it, that is.) :)

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