3D Printing?

Discussion in 'Modelling' started by von Poop, Nov 26, 2021.

  1. SteveDee

    SteveDee Well-Known Member

    When things are going well, you should not need to continually re-adjust offset/platform.

    I suggest you swap your trusted piece of paper for a set of metal feeler gauges. Also ensure that filament ooze is not tricking you into thinking the gap is wrong:-
    Captain Bodgit: My new favourite 3D printer bed leveling method
    von Poop likes this.
  2. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Interesting again, Steve.
    Was only last night wondering about feeler gauges
    Nice, shiny dedicated alco-washed feeler gauges maybe, rather than my existing greasy box-full. :unsure:
  3. SteveDee

    SteveDee Well-Known Member

    Pieces of paper are compressible, so not exactly repeatable. With a set of metal feelers, you can keep using the size that gives you best results.
    As long as your platform is not subjected to a serious thump between prints, it should be fairly stable.
    For best results, test your setup with one of those calibration cubes downloadable from Thingiverse. They provide quite a lot of useful information on x/y/z setting and quality.
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Yeah, the attention is wandering towards testy stuff. Torture Toaster.etc. Though I still need more reference points to understand what I'm actually testing for.
    But first, I must print this knob successfully.... Rats nest ahoy this evening.

    The platform really has got me thinking.
    Every time I lift this strong magnetic plate, I'm surely tweaking things. Fractions of a millimetre is not a hard measurement to nudge.

    Sprog Alpha returns from uni soon.
    Hoping he'll brush me aside and I can learn from his graphic designy/pootery skills.
    Nice soft brains, these 20-somethings.

    3 successful prints so far.
    2 Nonsense, one genuinely useful/potentially money-earning in use.
    3-4 complete arse-ups. Not a bad ratio to my mind. Was expecting worse.
    More filament needed. Currently PLA+. Got a feeling I should try a few more. (And then contemplation of nylon capable ends. If I could do nylon there's a whole world of fixing things I couldn't before to consider. I enjoy fixing things, and get paid for such.)

    Either of you chaps tried Laser engraving bolt-ons?
    Another area I could earn a few quid with.
  5. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Did someone mention feeler gauges ? Another one of my dead-end peripheral "collections" :whistle:

    1936 1.jpg


    Can you print "Mottled brown Vulcanite" ?
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  6. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    One day, mate.
    One day.
    Rich Payne likes this.
  7. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    Done Nylon, even more of a nightmare to dial in bed adhesion then got it too good and ripped up print surface trying to get print off. Got it dialled in and mostly use for bearing surfaces.


    Good next step from pla is petg. I use prit stick to smear print surface then print onto that - let cool after print and it self releases. Just refresh with prit stick to print more. To fully remove glue from print surface wash plate in sink warm water and a squirt of washing up detergent. Dry and clean with ipa as before.

    Did not try laser module add on to fdm printer as wanted to fully cut through carboard/engineering plastic sheet and could not trust focus not to damage print surface.

    Used open builds guidance to do a light weight 3d platform using extrusion and printed parts
    3D printed Laser Engraver

    Works well and from there went down the rabbit hole of doing cnc router to allow subtractive manufacturing as well as 3d fdm additive.

    von Poop likes this.
  8. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I have a dark feeling CNC routers might be the end result of all this.
    I like routers, while also being healthily terrified of them.
    Magic routers that follow instructions... hmmm.
    PsyWar.Org likes this.
  9. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    You are going to need a bigger shed.

    docs:machines:comparison [OpenBuilds Documentation]

    I built a mini mill to do aluminium versions of the side plates I printed for the laser engraver. Does well approx 150mm x 150mm and 50mm depth Al block light cuts. Quite rigid structure - best use is up to 6 mm ally plates. Uses Matika palm router.

    For wood I built an Ox but if starting now I would do a Workbee and use the Matika again.

  10. SteveDee

    SteveDee Well-Known Member

    Highly recommend you download this file and print: XYZ 20mm Calibration Cube by iDig3Dprinting

    Using your vernier calipers (...you did buy yourself a pair, didn't you?) each side should be more or less the same.
    The quality on each face also gives a clue to axis drive problems. Print one now and you will have a reference against which you can judge your machine and any anjustments you make in the future.

    BTW, are you printing with a Brim?

    So you can test this by adjusting the gap/platform, then remove mag plate without doing a print, then put it straight back and test again.
    von Poop likes this.
  11. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Cheers, again.
    Now that I understand what the Brim/raft/skirt difference is, I shall be doing more of that depending on part.
    Half a dozen times trying to print a tiny round knob. Brimmed up, and printed first time... Sigh.

    Thinking fighting a few more prints, then onto calibration ones.
    Don't yet have the mental reference points to fully grasp what I'm looking at. Need a few more failures/theories to start joining dots.
  12. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    For stuff that has a very small initial contact point to volume eg a sphere a good trick is to look at your slicer software and change the setting for supports rather than use a raft.

    The brim will be produced to cover the entire area of supports, so while these have a small contact area it's augmented by a dirty great brim layer below. If you change the overhang/support ratio to give more supports than the default then it makes cleanup much easier than stripping off a raft with it's many contact points on what you want as a finished surface.

    You do need to have dialled in temps and retractions first though to use supports reliably - the stringy hairs from poor settings will get caught in nozzle passes and can break long thin supports before they can do their job in supporting an overhang in higher layers.

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  13. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Kilo of white PLA for £8.63 after ticking 50% token, in case anyone's interested.

    Hoping it'll help being able to actually see what's hitting the bed...
    And maybe with painting little AFVs

    (Fully manually levelled the bed, BTW. Unnerving hitting those wheels, but now suspect there was a fractional sloping off towards the rear. Soft vice jaws printed beautifully after that, and with a skirt. Offset holding after print - user-friendliness ramps up.
    Thanks again to you chaps for assorted tips. Helped enormously.)
    SteveDee likes this.
  14. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    Smoothing 3d FDM prints is a ball ache especially so for your small print AFVs ready to take paint.

    For prints I usually knock the highest ridges down with abrasive then, depending on size of sub module:

    For large - cover in car filler to raise print lines to ridges - sand smooth and prime


    For Small or intricate detail that negates sanding - use XTC-3D resin filler and prime


    XTC-3D small bottles from Bentley go a long way - the videos show good guide to application - essentially you keep moving the excess drips back up to the top of the surface by a disposable brush until it just starts to cure then leave it to self level

  15. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Funny.Was just this moment looking at 'ironing' and considering future finishes.
    The resins are interesting. Reasonable track record with epoxy in general, but think I'm a way off such for this stuff.

    No idea why everyone talks about this sheet of paper business. Cheapness doesn't really justify it. Nice new dirt cheap set of feelers washed of oil in a Xylene/Acetone mix & offset/adhesion seems perfect from first go. They should chuck a feeler leaf in the box.

    My first tip for fellow knowlessmen: Get a nice light colour filament so you can see WTF is going on.
    Started with shiny black, as I assume many do - good colour for many brackety/devicey things, but... you cannot easily see whether it's working, or if it's left any bits of crap on the bed.
    There is a lot of staring involved.

    The eye now drifting towards TPU.
    Soft vice jaws astonishing fit on a hefty WW2-era vice & good for small things, but too brittle in PLA really.

    Worth it so far?
    Yes. Satisfaction level routing a new stair tread using a near perfectly rigid trim router base that fitted first time, made from shiny plastic string: Immense.

    Good book, for bookish types.
    Honest, direct, low jargon.
    Whether he's right, I do not have the skill to tell, but finding it interesting anyway.
    If nothing else, it runs through concepts that aren't necessarily easily found in one place.

    Screenshot 2022-06-27 143538.jpg
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  16. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Kilo of blue TPU for £11.44 on lightning deal with voucher if you're primed up:

    TRONXY 3D Flexible Blue TPU Filament 1.75 mm 2.2 LBS (1KG) Material: TPU for 3D Printer ,Hardness 95A https://amzn.eu/d/i1g0C9Z

    Let's see if it's as irksome making squidgy things as many say. For cheap.
  17. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Further thoughts of a knowlessman, a few weeks in.

    • Calling it 'Bed levelling' is ridiculous. It's tramming/squaring/aligning, and using those terms brings far more logic to the process. Funny how terms get embedded, even if useless.
    • Sheets of paper? No... Just get some feeler gauges. (Make sure there's a 0.2mm in the set.)
    • Expect to use a lot of Isopropyl. (Though I'm guessing anyone in the nerd-world already has litres of the stuff too).
    • Connecting a print to some existing item in the real world with correct fit is intensely satisfying. (My Bosch batteries all now have wall mounts...)
    • Consider a camera. First world problem, but going to check the thing gets tiresome fast - smart camera and plug to just kill things v useful. Cheap these days.
    • If in doubt: Print it. You don't yet know enough to be sure how things will go, and much positioning etc. is counter-intuitive. Just do it. Learning ensues.
    • Things going wrong is a positive in many ways. My Hot end started oozing (painful stuff) - up until the dismantling required there I didn't really grasp how the core deposition worked. I do now.
    • Rafts are great. You might 'waste' filament, but it gives the thing a chance to get any lumps and dribbles out of the way before hitting the precious print.
    • Tree supports are largely the way forward. So far.
    • Just buy filament when it's cheap. Never seen such rapidly varying prices on anything 'consumer'.
    • TPU and making squidgy things quite funny. Watch videos, read articles - maybe not as tricky as often stated.
    • They're messy bastards. A nearby bin is essential.
    • Don't fret about slowness, 15 hour print times etc.. After a while as confidence builds, you just set it going and hope.
    • Lithopanes also quite funny. And please Grannies etc. Investigate them.
    • 3D modelling is hard... Steep learning curve. I'll get there, as I don't believe I can claim to be using it properly until I've done something useful completely from scratch.
    That'll do for now.
    I know it's not WW2, but it's definitely nerdy... and... well... y'know. :unsure:
    Tempted? Intrigued? At least moderately technically competent? Give it a whirl. It's fascinating, and actually useful.

    I now have an upgraded hot end.
    Not fitted yet, as everything's working quite nicely anyway.
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  18. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron


    For someone who would torch a Airfix Westland Whirlwind kit because the wings glued solid in the flopped position I will leave this 3D stuff to the patience types
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  19. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    Those views are in a nutshell why I recommend leaving the Ultimaker style plug and play for schools and other places that do not want to have tech support.

    Using the machine as the educator of processes, in my mind is a much better encouragement to gain understanding than anything I can post here for you.

    No more poring over internet images to get a battery wall mount that partially does what you want - see the need - do a few sketches - grab a kilo of plastic thread and next day you have the thing - and tomorrow you will have thing 2.0 to solve a problem you never knew existed on thing 1.0.

    Nasa can email a wrench to the ISS - and you can fix the fridge is the same way!

    Of interest are their other free source files - spacecraft/satellites and planet surfaces
    Models | 3D Resources

  20. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Completely true, like almost nothing else I've played with. If you're not prepared to sometimes fanny about with the machinery, making incremental steps, then don't yet bother.
    Actually annoyed at how they're presented by the marketing wanketeers & some youtubers as so straightforward.
    They're just not. They're intermediate technology (my favourite kind). Reasonable reliability/consistency/ease may have partly dawned, but perhaps 5 years from beginning to resemble true 'plug & play'.

    And, yeah... I know.
    I absolutely have to grasp the modelling.
    Need some outside-outside calipers and can't find a file, so hoping they'll be my reasonably simple shape to drive progress there.

    Now I fancy printing a Lunar Module.
    Deary me.

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