Jump to content
Ultimaker Community of 3D Printing Experts
veedee

Underextrusion BCN Sigma & Cura

Recommended Posts

Hi fellow makers,

I have a BCN3D Sigma for more than a month now and using Cura and S3D with it. But somehow I can't get a nice and smooth infill. The infill seems to have underextrusion at random places, but it also isn't random at the same time.

Every time I try to print a simple calibration cilinder with 100% infill, there are little open spaces between the infill (see picture). The weirdest thing about it is that the underextrusion happens on the same place when I print the same gcode multiple times, BUT I also get the same gcode to be printed out fine sometimes. I have tried every setting that possibly has to do with it in cura, but also in S3D. Sadly the problem has not been solved yet. I want to print colorfabb pla/pha with at least: 0.15 layers, 215C, 60mm/s, 50% fan speed. So these are my base settings.

I thought it has something to do with the hotend and cooling fan setup, maybe thermal interference between them (fan cooling the nozzle too much or whatever). When I crank up the temp to 250C, prints are printed better, but other temperature issues appeared. So maybe slowing down the layer time. At 20mm/s it looked better, but this is just terribly slow. Fan of also works (but not always), but I don't want to print without the fan because of sagging issues. Also I thought different layer heights may work, but for as well as 0.2 and 0.1 layers, the underextrusion happened in many cases.

I also tried different materials and different brands on both hotends. But it happens in every combination. Altough it looks like the left hotend is worse than the right hotend, but I'm not 100% sure about that.

So that's were I started looking at mechanical issues. Dirty drivegear maybe, or extruder skipping steps? No, sadly that was not the case. Maybe the wrong steps per E? Nope. When I installed a (slightly modificated) UMO geared extruder to see if that works, it initially looked like it worked. So I made two identical UMO geared extruders with a different mounting bracket and installed those (ofcourse calibrated the E-steps). After some testprints, the problem appeared to be still there. Still no grinding issues, skipping steps or wrong steps per E, so the amount of extruded material seems to be right. By the way, those extruders proved me to work very reliably, I have them on 6 UMO's. So I guess the extruder is ruled out at this point.

Other things I tried which all didn't work:

• Oiling the filament

• Cleaning the nozzles

• Thermal grease between the thread of the nozzle/heaterblock and heaterblock/heatbreak

• Hotend autotune (10x)

BCN3D is sending me new hotends to test, but I'm afraid this is not going to help since the construction of the hotend+carriage doesn't change.

Does someone have any ideas to solve this problem?

Also: I don't seem to be the only one having these issues, but many people don't even mention it since it's their first printer and have different expectations or no comparison.

IMG_5060.thumb.JPG.f14ae8f2d5660a5cdf1ad19250e00c98.JPG

IMG_5441.thumb.JPG.0a3bd40f2df02661b85ee770faf9c435.JPG

IMG_5450.thumb.JPG.292970c962a7ab1bdbb69c5a533c4bfa.JPG

IMG_5054.thumb.JPG.40802fb2a4accf5a69a2b85039ef3464.JPG

Edit: Below you see exactly the same gcode printed at one of my UMOs. Did a 205ºC temperature and 300% speed override, still printed fine.

IMG_5464.thumb.JPG.55a9eb46c4c2ee3f598a1fc8d532973b.JPG

IMG_5060.thumb.JPG.f14ae8f2d5660a5cdf1ad19250e00c98.JPG

IMG_5441.thumb.JPG.0a3bd40f2df02661b85ee770faf9c435.JPG

IMG_5450.thumb.JPG.292970c962a7ab1bdbb69c5a533c4bfa.JPG

IMG_5054.thumb.JPG.40802fb2a4accf5a69a2b85039ef3464.JPG

IMG_5464.thumb.JPG.55a9eb46c4c2ee3f598a1fc8d532973b.JPG

Edited by Guest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Sorry, I don't know anything about your make of printer but just looking at your images makes me think that the z-height is varying across the print because you have gradual changes from under to over-extrusion. So, can your z-height alter due to changes in x/y position?

 

Thanks for your input, but I checked this already. The bed actually is very flat and the first layer always prints great. But the underextrusion problem keeps happening in the entire print after that. A varying Z-height can be visible in the first few layers but dampens out and disappears when you print taller parts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Veedee,

 

Did you ever solved this issue? I have a BCN3D sigma with similar underextrusion issues, and as far I can tell it has something to do with retraction. Because I noticed the underextrusion starts after a while (in the beginning its extruding fine) and increases as the details in a print increase or when the dual extrusion kicks in (thus the retraction increases). It's an old post but I hope you can tell me if and how you solved the issue. 

 

Kind regards,
Bart

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nope sadly not. I have heavily modified the machine to try and make it work reliable. I added UMO style extruders with hobb goblin drivegears, E3D hotends with silicone socks, better hotend carriages with improved airflow, but sadly nothing helps and I'm out of ideas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently had some of this underextrusion on skins and the only way I could improve it was to print the skin slower. I am using an e3dv6 hotend I have come to the conclusion that it simply doesn't have the heat transfer capacity to continuously print large areas quickly. Setting top surface skin layers to a non-zero value and then using a much reduced speed for the top surface layers helps the speed/time trade off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually do not think that the E3D hotend is the problem, because I use them on 10 other machine, where they work absolutely fine with higher extrusion rates. Also, printing PLA on an all metal hotend can be improved by seasoning the filament with a tiny wipe of vegetable oil.

 

I think it has something to do with the temperatures on the sigma, which probably are not displayed correctly. Higher temperatures print way better on my sigma.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's sad to hear. All the modifications you describe where on my optional to-do list to improve the reliability of the machine but now I'm thinking to just give it back to the owner (I borrowed it with the option to buy). Probably better to invest my money in a new and more reliable dual-extrusion machine... I read somewhere on the internet that an owner of the Sigma thought the underextrusion had something to do with a bad stepper driver and that it misses steps as the driver gets warmer or something. Veedee, did you do the stepper driver upgrade on your machine or did you by the R17 model that has the improved stepper drives? I will try to google the post where I read this...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Our picks

    • "Back To The Future" using Generative Design & Investment Casting
      Designing for light-weight parts is becoming more important, and I’m a firm believer in the need to produce lighter weight, less over-engineered parts for the future. This is for sustainability reasons because we need to be using less raw materials and, in things like transportation, it impacts the energy usage of the product during it’s service life.
        • Like
      • 12 replies
×

Important Information

Welcome to the Ultimaker Community of 3D printing experts. Visit the following links to read more about our Terms of Use or our Privacy Policy. Thank you!