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edgar-meyer

uneven printing

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The PLA thread tends to form little balls on the tip as the thread is being deposited - they make the surface lumpy and unattractive

feed, flow, and temperature seem to be the major variable

any suggestions?

thanks,

EM

-even worse, the flow stops 3 hrs into a 7hr printing job - it seems a plug forms at about the brass tube position and the PLA stops feeding

I am stopped by this most of the time

I need help - any suggestions???

thanks also,

EM

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I am using Ultimaker v1.0 5D firmware, with Skeinforge 35. The print rate is 16mm/s and the flow rate is 10mm/s, the temperature is 210C

You should really upgrade to the Marlin firmware and a new version of skeinforge..

See viewtopic.php?f=15&t=417 for a very easy way to get the firmware up to date and

http://wiki.ultimaker.com/Sprinter#Spri ... _and_later

for tips on getting a recent SF.

It's a bit of a pain to get everything upgraded but it's very, very worth it!

Ask as many questions as you want, too.

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Basically any Skeinforge version less than 40+ is from another era. And Marlin firmware, well that's the beginning of a new era. The two things together make a difference like night and day.

(It's really not even worth fiddling with the old stuff any more)

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Thanks - I'll do it

are there pitfalls to avoid?

are there cook=book recipes and acceptable ranges of parameters? I find so, so, so many variables and it is hard to know which are important, and which values to use.

EM

I'll let Daid or somebody else answer about firmware..

For SF, the wiki page was written around SF43 or so - starting at SF44 (2011-10-08 from www.skeinforge.com) is probably a safe place to start. Later versions (AFAIK) work fine but there have been a number of changes with parameters being moved and such. The wiki page might be out of date for new versions.

For acceptable ranges, since you're new, I'd say the big ones are:

- keep feed rates under 100 until you get a couple good prints then give 'er the spurs

- layer height between 0.15 and 0.25

- divide 0.5 by layer height and use that for the 2 "width over thickness" settings

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There are a ton of settings in Skeinforge and it's easy to be overwhelmed. You can get a profile that "works", but it will take time and experimentation before you understand how the various settings will actually affect your print quality. The very first thing is your Layer Thickness (in the carve tab) because it will most of all affect what other parameters you want to set. I like to set mine to something that divides evenly into 1mm because it makes modelling results more predictable, but feel free to experiment. After that the big ones are Width over Thickness (in both fill and carve tabs - keep them equal for now), and Infill Solidity Ratio in the fill tab, which is pretty self-explanatory.

Next is your Feed and Flow in the Speed tab, they should also be kept equal (until you're trying something really advanced), I consistently print at about 40-60. Also I would set Travel to not more than 120 to be safe because it can be more sensitive to problems with lubrication, alignment, driver voltage or a bunch of other things as you move higher. Finally there is Temperature in the Temperature tab, you can go as low as 190 and as high as 240 (give or take a few degrees), you will find that different temperatures work with different speeds, faster generally means hotter. If you are troubleshooting then it's safer to stay on the hot side. At first just keep all the temperatures the same and experiment later.

After that you have some nice tweaking stuff, like Extra Shells (keep them all equal for now), and Solid Surface Layers in the Fill tab. After that I would tweak Object First Layer in the Speed tab to adjust the speed of the first layer since it is more critical to get this to stick correctly, and along that line I would also adjust Object First Layer in the Temperature tab, it's generally helpful if you set your first layer a little hotter because helps to make it stick.

Actually there is one more here that is kind of important, you should set your Filament Packing Density in the Dimension tab to 1.0 if you are using PLA, and less (about .8) if you are using ABS. Also if you have a caliper you should measure your ACTUAL filament size and put that into Filament Diameter space. I find my actual filament size is between 2.86-2.89, although this will vary based on your supplier.

Other things less important to play with are the Bridge settings in the Inset tab (bridge is when you print across an open area "bridging" it), and Thread Sequence Choice in the Fill tab, (I find Perimetwe>Loops>Infill works best), and... also the Support Cross Hatch setting in the Raft tab. Check support if you plan on printing a steep overhang that would otherwise not stay suspended in mid-air! Oh yes, and one more thing, I highly recommend that you don't print with a raft, not just because it is a needless waste of plastic that masks other tuning problems you might have, but because it is a sissy thing to do and other forum members will laugh at you! You have been warned. :D To Disable your raft do not uncheck Activate Raft, simply set Base Layers to zero.

Phew, well that turned out longer than I anticipated. Take your time :D

If you need more explanation of what a particular setting does, try this manual->

http://fabmetheus.crsndoo.com/wiki/index.php/Skeinforge

 

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I'm no expert (new builder), but I had great results straight away with Daid's SkeinPyPy. I just followed the links in his post:

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=153

I swear, the only number I changed was the temperature in Printrun (from 250 c to 220). It even automates the process for updating Marlin with a bat file. I just trusted him and it works really well. I don't know if I will stay with the setup but what we all want at the start is a working setup.

Maybe it will work for you too.

Good luck,

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Marlin firmware, and a lower printing temperature should solve your 'bumps'.

Marlin firmware should be easy to install with Build-Me-Marlin

However, the default build won't work with ReplicatorG. BUT, we have something better. SkeinPyPy. This is Skeinforge with PrintRun, pre-configured to run with the default Marlin firmware.

Skeinforge got about 260 configuration settings. And that's just for the "craft" settings. Which settings to mess with? Well... that's kinda hard to say. Also, a bunch of settings moved between versions. The Width/LayerHeight (ratio) setting is silly. But there are about 20 settings you really want to mess with.

My new user interface project, "SkeinPyPy Beta" tries to solve this:

Screenshot-SkeinPyPy-4.png

You have about 10-15 settings you want to adjust each print. The defaults make sense. And you can adjust want you actually want to configure, not what ever technical term Skeinforge has come up with. You also have all the settings you want right in front of you, not hidden in 5 different tabs.

The most complex example is the "wall thickness", this is actually achieved with multiple settings in Skeinforge. The wall thickness is used to calculate the number of perimeter lines and the thickness of those lines. For stronger parts you can increase this number, for weaker/quicker parts you can lower this number. Piece of cake.

Added bonus: The tool warns you if you enter something stupid. Like a wall thickness of 0.2mm

Added bonus(2): It's about 4x faster then normal Skeinforge (this also goes for the Alphas)

The SkeinPyPy Alphas are normal Skeinforge, but with all the defaults right for the Ultimaker with Marlin firmware. So you still have 260 configuration settings, but for a decent print you don't have to adjust any of them. Also, the "W/T ratio" is gone and has been replaced with a line width.

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I installed SF44 (2011-10-08) but the printing is miserable - no flow with the go - so I have the flow rate(128) at 4x the feed rate (16) and it is still miserable, no where near the glorious speeds I read in exciting, enthusiastic blogs

wazzitdoin?

EM

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Did you see the bit in the wiki that says:

 

set SpeedFlow Rate to the same value as the Feed Rate - just totally forget about what you think the flow rate should be and always set it to the same value as the feed rate

I'd go back through the wiki and make sure you did the stuff it talks about. Take your time, make sure to do it all..

You upgraded to Marlin too, right?

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Don't know what is wrong off-hand, but we can narrow it down pretty quickly. I am linking to a working profile, this is Skeinforge 48 (2012-01-22) so you should use that version to make sure everything is compatible. Go ahead and add it to your C:\Users\\.skeinforge\profiles\extrusion Directory. This is a fairly moderate setting, I change things around all the time but I don't think I have anything too crazy in there right now. (click on "profile" up in the menu bar, select "extrusion", then "pla .25")

 

http://solidfiles.com/d/f0067a149b/download

Also, as ddurant mentioned make sure you have updated your firmware if you haven't yet.

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I installed SF44 (2011-10-08) but the printing is miserable - no flow with the go - so I have the flow rate(128) at 4x the feed rate (16) and it is still miserable, no where near the glorious speeds I read in exciting, enthusiastic blogs

wazzitdoin?

EM

Sounds a lot like a missing M92 Exxx, or a missing upgrade to Marlin.

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Step by step for manually updating to marlin firmware:

1. Navigate to

https://github.com/ErikZalm/Marlin

2. Click the little button in the top left-hand corner that says "ZIP"

3. Save the file somewhere and extract it

4. Navigate to

http://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software

5. Scroll down to "Previouse IDE Versions", download and extract "Arduino 0022" *note - do not install any other versions as they will not work at this time

6. In the Arduino-0022 folder, run Ardiuno.exe, if you are prompted to update to a new version , click "no"

7. Under Tools>Board select the Arduino Mega 2560

8. Under Tools>Serial Port select the serial port that your Ultimaker is connected through. This can vary from system to system. (if no option is available make sure your Ultimaker is connected and you have installed the USB driver)

9. Click File>Open and navigate to the folder where you have extracted the Marlin firmware, select "Marlin.pde" for opening

10. Click the "Verify" button in the tool bar

11. After verification is complete, make sure your Ultimaker is turned on and connected, then click the "Upload" button. note - you may not be able to connect if there is a competing program open such as ReglicatorG.

12. If the upload is successful, congratulations, you have updated your firmware to the latest Marlin (similar instructions are listed at the bottom of the page in the Marlin github)

You can also use Daid's increasingly popular Build-Me-Marlin

http://daid.eu/~daid/marlin_build/

, which is pretty simple to use. However it will not work with ReplicatorG. Realistically you should probably upgrade to Printrun instead of ReplicatorG anyways. Daid has devoted a lot of time to making a all-in-one solution SkeinPyPy, which includes Printrun, and a simplified version of Skeinforge. This is a great option for many people, but you can also install Printrun separately and use Skeinforge separately. There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods. (Note - If you use SkeinPyPy you must also install your firmware using Build-Me-Marlin as it is not currently compatible with the latest github release of Marlin firmware)

To install Printrun separately navigate to

https://github.com/kliment/Printrun

instructions for installation are listed below the file listing. There is also a pre-compiled version which will be the easiest to set-up, although it may not be updated as frequently.

Good Luck!

PS, in case it wasn't clear we are dealing with 3 different components here 1. Firmware, which is uploaded to your arduino board on the Ultimaker and doesn't need to be modified that often 2. Slicer software, in this case Skeinforge but there is also Netfabb and others. You use this every time you have a model (.stl) and want to convert it into a printable format, the slicer will convert the model to gcode 3. Printing software, such as ReplicatorG, or Printrun. This is used to feed g-code to the Ultimaker during a print. pps, can't tell you anything about apple/macintosh

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The files from ErikZalm/Marlin require that you install the Arduino software:

http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Software

But, it's easier to pick a build version from:

http://daid.eu/~daid/marlin_build/

this uses the same files as from ErikZalm/Marlin, and the Arduino sofware to make a working package for you. But doesn't require that you install all kinds of tools yourself, and that you mess with configuration files.

 

You can also use Daid's increasingly popular Build-Me-Marlin

http://daid.eu/~daid/marlin_build/

, which is pretty simple to use. However it will not work with ReplicatorG. Realistically you should probably upgrade to Printrun instead of ReplicatorG anyways.

Actually, if you disable "software endstops" (which is default right now), and set the baudrate to 57600 then it should work with RepG. You also need to set the "steps per unit" for "E" to 14 if you want to use the old Skeinforge. But I don't recommend that.

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