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Posted · Hello Makers

Well after years of glancing at printers and watching prints on youtube, I finally pulled the trigger. I purchased a entry level printer the Ender 3 V2. I ordered a few upgrades that I have yet to install: Anti backlash spring nuts, Dual Z axis kit, bowden tubing, metal extruder, and the cr touch auto bed leveling kit. I also purchased a few spare nozzles and cleaning pins. If i've missed any key upgrades to improve print quality/success please let me know!


My first print was a cat that came on the sd card that shipped with the printer, this failed halfway through, i believe this was due to poor adhesion to the bed. I've ordered glue sticks to hopefully prevent this in the future. My second print was a extruder knob with yoda on the top, this failed as well i believe i either had a bad file or i sliced it improperly. 


My third print was a success however it had a few areas that i thought were printed wrong or poorly. I printed an egg, the front and sides looked great, however there was a line on the back that stuck out the entire way up throughout multiple angle changes. The top also didn't finish out that great.


So now comes down to tinkering. I'd like some input from those with experience, should I install the upgrades I've purchased first, or should I focus on playing around with settings to dial in the prints? And more importantly can you recommend a print that I should continue to print over and over until I feel I've reached peak performance from my machine? I realized when I successfully finished my print tonight, I should continue to print the same file until that's dialed before I move on to print other more difficult items. 


I'm happy to have joined the community, I hope to one day soon be able to contribute with some files of my own! Thanks in advance for the help!

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    Posted · Hello Makers

    Hello.  My printer is an Ender 3 Pro so it is much like yours.

    The "Anti backlash spring nuts" and "Dual Z axis kit" can wait.  (I've never had a need for either.)   If the Z kit is a belt drive or is going to run off a splitter then you can install it whenever you want.  There are some that require a second Z port on the mainboard.  You may need  to look at that depending on the kit.

    The "Bowden Tube" is a consumable.  The piece that goes into the hot end gets damaged both at the nozzle, and from the jaws of the fitting that holds it.  Usually just nipping 6 or 7mms off the end and then sticking it back in will give you another bunch of prints.  Eventually it gets too short and then you will need the new one.  You may as well wait on that install as well.  When cutting the tube I would recommend a single edge razor.  That cut must be as close to a perfect 90° as you can get it or you will have problems with clogging between the nozzle and the bowden.

    The aluminum Extruder should be put on right away.  The stock Creality extruder has a failure rate of near 100%.

    I level with a piece of paper (but the software I've written has movement commands for leveling so I don't use the knob).  If the CRTouch does NOT require a firmware update then you can install it whenever you want.  If it does need a firmware update then you may want to wait until you get more familiar with the whole "update the firmware" thing.  It can be a deep dark hole.

    Getting that first layer to stick requires that the plastic gets squished to the bed.  Calibrating the E-Steps is a big part of that.  If not enough plastic is being pushed (under-extrusion) then you will struggle getting prints to stick. 

    Spherical shapes are tough.  I am assuming that flaw you see is the Z seam where the outer wall extrusion starts and stops.  It can be moved but you can't hide it on a round shape as there aren't any corners to hide it in.

    Finally...The top of the egg requires support on the inside.  Like Z seams - there are always "steps" in a print that are 1 layer height high.  It's the nature of the process.  When those steps are too far apart (geometry of the model) then they will fall in if they aren't supported.

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