3D Printing (Part 2)

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This is a “tips and tricks” section, applicable to Makerbot Replicator 2x and ABS prints only

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And now, the real thing !

Printed part design

  • Add 1/2 mm thick round corners (mouse ears) to prevent warping and ease the removal of printed parts.

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Printer settings

  • <!> Tweaking is great but it requires a lot of patience and … filament.
  • Activate “Print skirt” option.
  • Printing a raft support improves the chances to get what you want, except is you need a flat smooth surface:  in this case, do not use a raft.
  • 10% fill makes surprisingly strong parts with minimal filament consumption.

Before printing

  • Remove bubbles from the Kapton plate.
  • Wipe the heated plate with acetone and clean the extruder tips.
  • Check plate level.
  • Preheat the printer to its actual printing temperature.
  • Preload the filament(s).
  • Start printing.
  • Check the printing quality of skirt. Success in printing the skirt means high chances of success in printing the whole part.

After printing

  • Hot parts shall be easier to remove than cold parts and will create less stress and bubbles on the Kapton tape.
  • Peal part with a surgical scalpel, starting from the mouse ears: no other tool is more efficient. The idea is to break the absence of air (in other words vacuum) under the part (which is acting like a suction cup) by creating a very small but already big enough “leak”.

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In case of printing jam

  • Unload the filament(s)
  • Remove ABS particles from driving mechanism (compressed air or so)
  • Clean the driving gear with a sharp tool (a tooth brush may work too)
  • Peal aborted prints with a surgical scalpel and wipe the heated plate surface.
  • Restart printing process

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Unproven experience

  • While printing series of similar parts, if the first print is alright, do not touch anything, print, print, print!
  • When you abort a print, strange things seem to happen leading to printing failure on next attempts… Applying the same procedure as for printing jam seems to be a good idea.

HTH

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