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3D Printer Hacks for 3D Printer Headaches

Having trouble creating quality prints? Are you tangled in a human spool of filaments while sporting 2nd degree burns? Never fear, we've compiled below a list of handy recommendations to consider before tackling your 3D print job. These tips can save you a lot of time, and frustration.

 

#1: Leveling the Bed

This tip is definitely one you want to get in the habit of doing before printing, and can really change the quality of your print when done correctly. A couple of tools you want to invest in is a dial indicator, and a feeler gauge [both can be purchased at any local tool supply store and of course online]. Once you have these two you're ready to start leveling. The first thing you want to do is make four marks on your bed [keep for reference during each round of leveling]. Start with one mark, measuring with feeler gauge between the bed and the hot-end nozzle, once you have the right height, zero the dial indicator at the same mark and then adjust the rest of the bed at the other three marks until all adjustment points are at zero. This may take a few tries.

 

#2 Upgrading your Bed Material

This tip has a wide variety of answers that boils down to personal preference and experience. So depending on who your talking to or where you are getting your info from, your answer will be different. There is a wide variety of options and hacks on the market for having that perfect bed surface. The overall goal is to have a bed that is sticky enough to hold the first layer of printing without it popping up or sliding around, but not too sticky were the finished print requires a jack hammer to remove. A sort of Goldilocks zone adhesiveness, that’s just right. Most printers have a bed material comprised of a metal-alloy or glass which has some issue with that Goldilocks zone adhesion of prints. To combat this problem you'll see a lot of people utilizing several methods. These methods include everything from using 3d printer masking tape to applying hairspray to the bed [CAUTION: hairspray is extremely flammable and should not be directly applied to an already hot printer bed]. Another is the purchasing of carborundum [a silicon carbide semiconductor containing silicon and carbon] plates that heat and cool down with the build plate efficiently enough to allow the print to be removed without using a knife or scraper. Some bed plates are magnetic or like a sticker for better installation and longevity. If your current bed material isn't the best working surface looking into these different bed material solutions can definitely up your print game.

 

#3 Purchasing a 3D Pen

This is definitely one of those underestimated tools that has quite a useful application, but often not considered. The harsh reality when 3D printing is sometimes not matter how experienced you are, or how much fine tuning you do, things can still go wrong. For example a print can end up breaking, the printer software cuts off your print unexpectedly, or you simply want the object your printing to be printed in separate parts to make one large object. The 3D pen, utilizing the same filament as your printer, can adhere selected print pieces together, whether broken or intentionally printed separately creating a seamless transitions that’s virtually invisible.

 

 

Resources:

 

Lewis, J. (August 31, 2016).BALDENGINERR. https://www.baldengineer.com/3d-printer-tips.html

 

The 3D Printing Zone.(June 19, 2021).3D Printing: 13 more things I wish I knew[Format]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hl_rWNW_rmU

 

ENK Technologies LLC.(May 24, 2012).MakerBot Replicator Better Build Plate Leveling procedure[Format]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgWeew6SmjQ

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