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UM2 Print quality issues with ABS

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I barely purchased my UM2 and am printing my first ABS print.

I used default settings for ABS that were pre-set in the UM2 and the default settings via cura, except I customized the support settings, which should be non-related to the issue and I am printing with a raft.

The layer height selected was FINE .1

default settings had the print speed at 50mm

ABS used is IC3D.

used glue on the glass and no warping so far, so that is not an issue at this time.

bed has been leveled prior to print so that should not be an issue.

Ive tried tweaking the settings mid print, and brought the nozzle temp down from 260 to 250, and material flow from 107% down to 100% as I figured it was possibly an issue of over extrusion. I have just now decided to turn off the fans as the default settings had the fans on at 40%.

Now the print quality isn't terrible, but I also own a zortrax m200 and printing at a layer height of .14 on that machine with ABS, I get much smoother prints. Since Im using settings on the Ultimaker 2 at .1 layer height, I assumed it would be better quality or at the very least, hard to tell the difference between the two. This is not the case and the UM2 print seems to be printing with slightly uneven layers as the print lines are extremely noticeable. I will include pics to show what I mean and hopefully i can get some tips from those that would know.

Thank you for any help you guys can provide.

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I barely purchased my UM2 and am printing my first ABS print.

 

Really? That means, it is a used one, right? How many printing hours does it show on the "Runtime stats" menu? Does it have an enclosure or at least a front door? While not strictly necessary it's highly recommended for ABS prints.

From your pictures i would say: it's either (partially) underextrusion, poor layer bonding (because of the fans or too low temperature) or temperature fluctuations.

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I barely purchased my UM2 and am printing my first ABS print.

 

Really? That means, it is a used one, right? How many printing hours does it show on the "Runtime stats" menu? Does it have an enclosure or at least a front door? While not strictly necessary it's highly recommended for ABS prints.

From your pictures i would say: it's either (partially) underextrusion, poor layer bonding (because of the fans or too low temperature) or temperature fluctuations.

 

yes it is used, but based on the stats it wasn't used much at all and I was able to talk the guy down to a measly $200(which was a steal for this machine) so although in the realm of too good to be true, I figured it was worth the risk as it appeared to be in new condition and the seller didn't seem very educated on the machine itself.

Stats show:

Machine on for: 330:10

Printing: 183:03

Mat: 125m

The housing has back and side enclosures... the top and front are open. But I have a plastic bag draped over the top to preserve some heat and I setup the machines on this side of the room to prevent drafts from the air conditioner. The entire time this print has been going the AC has been off, and the room itself is pretty warm.

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Looking at the print in its current ongoing state, i do see a little bit of a split in one layer... this might have happened when I tuned the settings and turned off the fans? I dunno.. but based off that split, its possible it is poor layer adhesion or under extrusion. Although Ive been printing with my Zortrax for almost a year now.. being that the software for slicing on that machine is closed source and print options are limited, I haven't had to tweak and troubleshoot my prints on it. Its been extremely reliable and all I have to do is preform regular maintenance. That being said Im not very educated on how to combat under or over extrusion and have at this point been winging it. So any help would be appreciated.

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Edited by Guest

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Ordered a 12x12 sheet of 1/8" thick acrylic so I can build myself a front door. Not sure if I need to do anything for the top as it was never an issue for my zortrax printing ABS and when it was I just used the bag method. Aside from trying to prevent temperature fluctuations what other tweaks do you think I should try making?

Like I said I might buy that Simplify3D as well.. Ive heard it works better than cura and that supports come off easier as well. Its a hefty price tag though for something without a trial.

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Purchased Simplify3D yesterday to give it a try as it has a 2 week refund period. So far my test print of one of those marv things came out pretty smooth... it did seem to have some problems with bridging between the legs but I just used the default settings before I start tweaking it. So far though I think this slicer is a bit better... but only time will tell.

My second print using the S3D software resulted in a fair amount of pillowing on the top surfaces. Its set to 30% infill already so I don't think its an infill issue because that should be enough in my experience but I do know that the Cura settings for ABS did have fans going and the S3D settings has them turned off the entire print. Im going to see what happens with adding 15-30% fans when the top surface begins to print and increasing the top surface by one layer.

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Just to illustrate the difference 2 additional top layers and a turning on the cooling fans can make on an ABS print.

Both were printed using simplify 3D, Default ABS settings with a .1mm layer height.

the first had massive pillowing to the top surfaces... I added two additional layers and turned the fans on to 30% once the top surfaces started printing. As you can see it made a huge difference in surface quality.

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I piece together the two pieces of this mask. The top half was my first print from my Ultimaker2 at .1mm layer height using the latest cura with default ABS settings. Turned out pretty bad. But will be usable with a little sanding and filler.

The bottom half was printed on my Zortrax at a .14mm layer height, and as always it turned out beautifully. I wasn't sure what to expect size wise using two different model printers, but was very happy that they printed with dimensional accuracy so they didn't have any issue fitting together.

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I almost want to print the top half again since I purchased Simplify3D... but I don't feel like using anymore filament when I should be able to fix the one I already printed. Oh well.. Ill be printing up another large mask this week and Ill have to see how the pieces turn out.

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Edited by Guest

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Ive since purchased simplify3d and tried printing up another item.

I can say, without a doubt that the support structures via simplify3d are superior thus far and peel off easily. Now that said... my settings changed a little using simplify3d but my results of surface quality remained comparable to what I got using cura.

same filament

leveled bed again.

Print Speed: 40mm

Infill: 30%

Nozzle Temp: 230

Bed Temp: 100

Flow: 100%

Fans: 30%

Layer Height: .14mm

Enclosed top and front to maintain temp.

used glue stick on glass.

surface quality still has not improved. I would appreciate any help anyone can offer.

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I have to say I am impressed with the Zortrax result but having said that it was designed with ABS being the main objective. everything else came second.

ABS must have an enclosure, there is no getting away from that.

I print a lot with ABS and very rarely get that result as you have with the Zortrax. My enclosure is on my UM2+.

Maybe this is the next challenge for Ultimaker to have a full enclosure and achieve that level of quality.

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I have to say I am impressed with the Zortrax result but having said that it was designed with ABS being the main objective. everything else came second.

ABS must have an enclosure, there is no getting away from that.

I print a lot with ABS and very rarely get that result as you have with the Zortrax.  My enclosure is on my UM2+.

Maybe this is the next challenge for Ultimaker to have a full enclosure  and achieve that level of quality.

hmm.. I've created a plexiglass door for the front and am enclosing the top in the same manner as I do the zortrax. Ive had zero issues thus far with bed adhesion with the Ultimaker using the glue stick on the glass... If that is really the case of ultimaker not being tuned for ABS, then that is a shame. :( as it is my favorite material due to its ease of sanding.

But just to be straight, are you saying that my current ABS results are pretty much the norm of how the Ultimaker prints ABS? Or do you think other than enclosure, is there anything else I can attempt?

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the enclosure will improve it a bit as I am sure you are aware that the cooling of ABS during printing causes all sorts of horrible results. as it's rate of shrinking during cooling can affect the quality.

so yes, you can get better than what you have originally printed but I have not had as good a quality as you have managed with the Zortrax.

Having said that I haven't used Cura 2.7 in the 2+ yet with ABS. and I have had better results with PLA since the update. so it might have improved. I normally use S3D but with Cura they have made some incredible advances in functionality.

I'd get that enclosure sorted, pre-heat the chamber then initiate the print. I also have the bed at 108.

hope this helps and I look forward to your results

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I've been using S3D with enclosure and door maintaining 45 degrees C

Nozzle 250

Bed 100

Fan off till 10 layers (when doing 0.15mm layers) then at 20%

Same models were splitting before I used the enclosure

Using just enough fan for better overhangs and tops

At 50mm/sec. at 0.15mm layers but also printing finer layers and slower speeds with good results

I'm sure CURA would print good with the same settings

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I've been using S3D with enclosure and door maintaining 45 degrees C

Nozzle 250

Bed 100

Fan off till 10 layers (when doing 0.15mm layers)  then at 20%

Same models were splitting before I used the enclosure

Using just enough fan for better overhangs and tops

At 50mm/sec. at 0.15mm layers but also printing finer layers and slower speeds with good results

I'm sure CURA would print good with the same settings

I have Simplify3D as well. My last print was using 40mm/sec at 0.14mm layers... my fans were on from the start I think at 30% but I don't think it had any ill effect on bed adhesion as i didn't have any problems there.

I can turn down the fans to 20% and turn up the nozzle temp to 250 and move my print speed up to 50mm to see if it makes a difference.

I just installed a plexiglass front door and at the moment am enclosing the top with a trash bag... Ill need to throw in a thermometer and look for temperature fluctuations.

Ill also be changing out the bowden feeder tube because I suspect there might be some warping at the ends which maybe is causing some resistance on the filament.

Ill also use some sewing machine oil and lube up the X and Y axis rods to make sure they are not dry and at fault... then there is always the off chance that the filament is just crap... I saw online that the IC3D filament is decent(better than the Chinese knock off brands), though not the best. it seems constant and doesn't appear to have moisture or hollow spots that I've noticed so Im giving it the benefit of the doubt right now.

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I've been using S3D with enclosure and door maintaining 45 degrees C

Nozzle 250

Bed 100

Fan off till 10 layers (when doing 0.15mm layers)  then at 20%

Same models were splitting before I used the enclosure

Using just enough fan for better overhangs and tops

At 50mm/sec. at 0.15mm layers but also printing finer layers and slower speeds with good results

I'm sure CURA would print good with the same settings

So I duplicated your settings in Simplify3D and the print lines still seem extremely noticeable. Im not sure if this is just as good as it gets or if I just need to keep tweaking. I just heard so much about the Ultimaker printers that I expected them to be equal or better than the zortrax.

I decided to print a little batman bust and when looking straight at it, it looks lovely, all the details are there.. but when you slightly shift your angle you see how pronounced every print line is. Now Im not expecting perfection, but I expect the depth from one print layer to the next to be a little more subtle.. I guess my zortrax has just spoiled me on how well it prints and how seemingly invisible the print lines are.

I willing to try whatever and keep printing these test pieces if anyone has any additional suggestions.

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IMG_4966.thumb.JPG.0677fbb3730f47df40718e95b4ac4778.JPG

Edited by Guest

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I've been using S3D with enclosure and door maintaining 45 degrees C

Nozzle 250

Bed 100

Fan off till 10 layers (when doing 0.15mm layers)  then at 20%

Same models were splitting before I used the enclosure

Using just enough fan for better overhangs and tops

At 50mm/sec. at 0.15mm layers but also printing finer layers and slower speeds with good results

I'm sure CURA would print good with the same settings

So I duplicated your settings in Simplify3D and the print lines still seem extremely noticeable. Im not sure if this is just as good as it gets or if I just need to keep tweaking. I just heard so much about the Ultimaker printers that I expected them to be equal or better than the zortrax.

I decided to print a little batman bust and when looking straight at it, it looks lovely, all the details are there.. but when you slightly shift your angle you see how pronounced every print line is. Now Im not expecting perfection, but I expect the depth from one print layer to the next to be a little more subtle.. I guess my zortrax has just spoiled me on how well it prints and how seemingly invisible the print lines are.

I willing to try whatever and keep printing these test pieces if anyone has any additional suggestions.

IMG_4965.thumb.JPG.8a22378902b68c2b17e85ff234ed876c.JPG

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I don't think that's too bad a print for ABS as it doesn't print as well as NextGen or others. Where you see the very noticeable lines at the top of the shoulders is purely a function of layer height. Lowering layer height will greatly diminish these. You can go down to about 0.04mm layer height or less. Less quite often doesn't make much difference though it might on this section. In S3D you can also print different sections at different layer heights so that you can print fine where you need to without slowing the whole print down. Use the variable settings wizard under the tools menu and change the layer height for each process. Maybe find a smaller model to experiment with.

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I don't think that's too bad a print for ABS as it doesn't print as well as NextGen or others. Where you see the very noticeable lines at the top of the shoulders is purely a function of layer height. Lowering layer height will greatly diminish these. You can go down to about 0.04mm layer height or less. Less quite often doesn't make much difference though it might on this section. In S3D you can also print different sections at different layer heights so that you can print fine where you need to without slowing the whole print down. Use the variable settings wizard under the tools menu and change the layer height for each process. Maybe find a smaller model to experiment with.

Its not bad. But its not great.

I tuned the settings a little last night and printed it over again.

I went down to a .08mm layer height

I slowed down the print speed to 35mm

Nozzle temp decreased to 240

Bed temp remained at 100

Fans kick on at 30% when it reaches layer 10.

And I also changed retraction speed to 4.5 (default I think was 4)

Print came out much nicer with the exception of the ears. They didn't solidify quickly enough I guess and didnt look as sharp as the previous .15 layer print... not sure if I needed to turn up the fans more when it reaches the ears or increase the print speed or what.

To those that are knowledgable to how each setting effects what, are there any changes I made that were probably pointless? Could I have achieved the same quality at 50mm speeds?

LEFT .08 - RIGHT .15

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Edited by Guest

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more than halfway through with my 3rd test print of this piece.

I kept all the settings the same, but I upped the print speed to 50mm/sec, brought the infill down to 20% and made custom set points to increase and decrease percentage of fan the piece gets according to overhangs and the ears. Hopefully the print comes out perfectly. Ill know in another hour or two.

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third print came out just as good, and just as bad.. the same ear was messed up... maybe its the way its sliced when at that layer height? Ill have to look at it or when parts go thin and to a point on prints i might have to change up the layer thickness at the top? I dunno.. Im really new to all these settings. But I do appreciate the help Ive gotten so far... my prints are far better than when I started using this thing a week or two ago.

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