What course of action do you usually take when you run into a problem with your 3D printing machine? Do you usually get in touch with a professional service right away if your 3D prints, suddenly, are not coming out right? If they are skewed or having a rough surface finish. Are you bothered that your 3D printing will have blobs in them or have plenty of stringing?
Enlisting the help of a service contractor is not always the best remedy. At some point, depending on the standing issue at hand, it may not even qualify as a practical option to take.
Instead of enlisting the services of a third-party technician or specialist, you can just acquaint yourself first with some of the basic troubleshooting steps for common 3D printer issues. These basic troubleshooting steps can help and save you from whatever hassles are entailed with having a technician around.
Problem #1: 3D Printing Machine Filament won’t stick to the print bed
When trying to 3D print an object, do you always find yourself ending up with a jumbled mess as opposed to sticking to the print bed? There are a few reasons why this sometimes happen but they all boil down to the adhesion aspect. Of paramount importance here is that your model comes with a solid foundation, otherwise your entire 3D printing efforts are bound to fail.
Treat your print bed when encountering such an issue. You can make use of an adhesive for this purpose in the likes of stick glue or hair spray. Alternatively, you can cover unheated beds with a lightly textured tape such as blue painter’s tape
Verify that your print bed is level. In addition to that, see to it that your nozzle is neither too close nor too far from your machine’s print head.
Problem # 2 Stringing
At the end of a printing session, your 3D printed model kind of look like that it is okay and all, but taking a closer look you see it is flawed by virtue of fly-away filaments. You can easily remove these flyaway strings, but there are ways to keep them from occurring again with these tips.
You need to go back to your slicing software and see to it that you ensured that its retraction capability is enabled. This will help in pulling the printed filament back into your 3D printer nozzle before it tries to move again across your model. Hence, there will be no left-over filament drawn between spots.
If the same issue persists and you verified that retraction feature is in the right settings, consider increasing the speed of movement of your nozzle. Please note that this would be far different from print speed. If your printer nozzle is moving faster between different areas of your printed model, there is going to be less time and chance for flyaway strings to form.
Problem #3 Warping
Since the natural tendency of plastic is to become smaller while it cools down, it is inevitable for it not to warp. And this is a common issue among all kinds of filament. Warped 3D printed objects are usually curled up or have an uneven form. There are instances that it lifts off the entire print bed.
It is such a relief to know that warping can easily get solved, most especially when the identified root cause has something to do with temperature control issues.
If your 3D printer is among those 3D printers that happen to have a high-temp filament, then you need a heated print bed to make it adhere properly. A PLA type of plastic can also benefit a lot from the use of a heated print bed.
The use of heated print bed will not only help out with your adhesion concerns, but will prevent the bottom of the print from cooling, and eventually warping, before the printing of the 3D model is completely done. In any case that you already employed the use of a heated print bed, see to it that it is at the right temperature and that it is stable throughout the print process.
If you happen to have an open-frame printer or a semi-enclosed type of 3D printing machine, know that they are subject to their environment.
This means to say that they are very sensitive that even a gentle draft of wind is good enough to alter the finish of a printed 3D model. Hence, you can either build a custom enclosure for your printer. Enclosing your printer will significantly help in keeping the surrounding air pressure and temperature stable.
Many people are under the impression that troubleshooting steps for a 3D printer machine are intimidating. However, most of them would only take about 15 minutes or less to complete.
Notice that the troubleshooting steps are given above, some basic issues can be resolved by virtue of changing or adjusting a few slicer settings. You need to become more familiar with your 3D printer. The more you know about your machine, the greater the chances you have towards becoming a good maker.
Go now and roll up your sleeves. Set your printer back up and running!