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Posted (edited) · Saluti

Pardon my English.  My family is from Orvieto but it has been a long time since I spoke Italian and I never did learn to read it.


It's a fun hobby.  It has levels and depths that need to be explored.  There is the electro-mechanical printer, the firmware, and the slicing software that all need to work together.  Understanding what is going on between the three greatly increases the likelihood of consistently excellent prints.  Learn the main gcode commands (G0, G1, G28, M104, M140, etc.) so you can understand what a gcode file is actually telling the printer to do.

**Your Longer LK4 appears to be a clone of the Creality Ender 3 so when in doubt you can refer to the Ender 3 Reddit group.

  1. Make sure your printer is assembled with everything square (all axis at 90° to each other) and parallel (the Z uprights).  If the printer is crooked your prints will be crooked.  Just because some of the machine was pre-assembled doesn't mean it's right.  (The pre-assembled build plate Y axis on my Ender was so tight it would barely move and it was angled by about 3°.  Not good.)
  2. All the wheels need to be adjusted so the axes each move freely with no "wiggle".  When they are correct you should be just able to spin a wheel with your fingers.
  3. The X beam should be rigid with no up-down wiggle at the right end.
  4. Make sure the Z threaded rod is parallel to the Z upright.  Sometimes the motor mount bracket needs a shim.  The print carriage needs to be at Z=0 when you check this.
  5. The Z rod coupler needs to be tight to the shaft and to the Z rod.
  6. The belts should be tight enough that they twang like a bass guitar string.
  7. Flow Calibration.
    1. If your E-steps/mm setting (in the printer firmware) is not calibrated then you will over or under extrude.  You should calibrate the E-steps before you try to print anything.  When the printer is told to extrude 100mm of filament then the extruder motor must push 100mm of filament - no more, no less.  There are lots of videos out there on how to calibrate.  If someone suggests to you that you need to calibrate "flow" using a single or double wall calibration cube then politely say "Thank You" and then DON"T DO IT.  When Esteps are calibrated no further flow calibration is required.
    2. Carefully measure your filament diameter with a caliper or micrometer.  In Cura under "Settings | Printers | Manage Printers | Machine Settings | Extruder 1 - Nozzle Settings" is a place for "Compatible Filament Diameter".  It needs to match the actual diameter you measured.  Example:  If you measure the filament and it is 1.72mm and Cura is set at 1.75mm you will under-extrude by 4%.
  8. A moderator here (@ gr5) made a video about bed adhesion.  It's kind of long, and in English, and it's very good.
  9. Leveling the bed (setting the Z gap) is really important.  Practice, practice, practice.  I use parchment paper because nothing sticks to it.  A store receipt works well also.  I suppose an auto-leveling system (BLTouch) is nice but there are thousands of threads on Reddit that complain about them.  A piece of paper is simple, easy to understand, cheap to replace, and doesn't require any change in firmware.  I am including a Leveling print that you can download.  It makes leveling easier.  If you open the file in a text editor you will see two instructions at the top.  Uncommenting the temperature lines will allow you to level with the nozzle and bed hot.  When the printer pauses at each position you can level and then click on the printer LCD to resume (the file uses the M0 command to pause).
  10. Practice leveling some more.

Cura is a full-featured program with many options.  Load a 3dBenchy STL or a calibration cube STL and then move around within the Cura application so you have an idea of where everything is.

  1. Go to the Marketplace and load the plugin "Printer Settings".
  2. Just above all the slicing settings is the "Settings Search" box and just to the right of that is a dropdown list for setting visibility.  Use the dropdown and set the visibility to "All".
  3. Go through the settings.  When you hover the mouse over a setting name a description will appear.
  4. Now you can start slicing and see the results in the Preview window.  The 3dBenchy is printed without support, but turn support on for it, slice,  and take a look at the preview.  You can't print over air so when a model must have support the first question you always need to ask yourself is "How do I get the support out of there without wrecking the print".

Good Luck and have fun.




Edited by GregValiant
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