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Random 3D printing chatter

Discussion in '3D Printing' started by Cenedd, 30 Jun 2020.

  1. Cenedd

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 4 Jun 2007

    Posts: 2,189

    Location: Watford, UK

    What's this? Well, I was whinging at @LePhuronn for selfishly having a 3D printer. Why? Well, I'd been watching a YouTube series and after a while the incessant "I needed a <thing> so I just printed this and it's perfect!" gets seriously irritating. So, in other words I think this comes down to basic jealousy :D
    LePhuronn said he would recommend the Ender he has and suggested that @Vince would enjoy a natter too. So rather than clutter up his build thread (which you should probably check out here) I started this one. The intention is for it to be less specific than the other threads. It's not specifically about 'Which one should I buy?' but mainly to get a little less clueless and also make sure that if I do buy a lemon, it's by informed choice with the intention of upgrading it.

    So, what am I looking at? LePhuronn has an Ender 3 Pro but suggested that the Ender 5 is superior. As far as I can tell, there is an Ender 5 Pro that seems to be what you'd probably mod the 5 into but supplied that way out the box. I'm sort of thinking along the lines of if I'm going to spend a couple of hundred quid, I may as well spend a little more and do it properly.....but I'm not yet clued up enough to know where that line is yet and I'm hoping to bypass the buying a lemon and learning this by regretting it stage. Well, if I'm honest, I'm hoping someone will just hand me all the knowledge on a plate.....but I'm interested enough that the laziness will go away eventually :D

    What do I want to print? Well, I'm trying to work through Clough42's Electronic Lead Screw and build one for my lathe. If you get to part 17 (no, seriously!) he's starting to 3D print parts for the control panel. There are buttons printed in Ninjaflex and spacers etc. That's the sort of thing I have in mind. General prototyping, brackets, fixtures etc. To be honest, I suspect that this will be a new hammer along the lines of "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail".

    If people want to chip in with anything else, feel free - that's sort of the point of this thread.
     
  2. LePhuronn

    Soldato

    Joined: 26 Sep 2010

    Posts: 6,379

    Location: Stoke-on-Trent

    I did mean to reply to your email but I got sidetracked with the vet and trying to put ear drops into a rat. Maybe I should print something to help me :p :D
     
  3. LePhuronn

    Soldato

    Joined: 26 Sep 2010

    Posts: 6,379

    Location: Stoke-on-Trent

    The big thing to remember is unless you're prepared to drop bazillions of beer tokens on a pre-made unit, you're always going to face the risk of something off with a kit job. For example, one of the common issues with the Ender 3 and Ender 3 Pro is the build plate can be bowed slightly. Creality did fix this at the factory, but we're still talking about a relatively thin piece of aluminium suspended by 4 screws in the corners which, by design, can be pulled around. It is fixable of course, but it's done with an upgrade which adds to the cost of your base unit.

    Kit printers are more versatile than pre-made units because you can tinker, but that's a rabbit hole just waiting for you.

    Ultimately the two things to consider are this: what do you want to print and how much do you want to spend? What you want to print can influence material choices, nozzle sizes and even extruders. I'm only interested in functional items for around the house and case mod projects, so my Ender 3 Pro printing PLA is perfectly fine, but even then printing ABS would be beneficial in some situations, and that requires some changes to my printer and an enclosure. I'm not interested in printing exotic materials, not do I need extreme precision from smaller nozzles, so therefore I don't need new extruders and all that jazz.

    Sounds like you'd be content with an Ender 3 Pro like mine, but the Ender 5 is regarded as a better printer. I'm going to watch this later on

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4GMCYee44E
     
  4. Cenedd

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 4 Jun 2007

    Posts: 2,189

    Location: Watford, UK

    That's cool. If you come up with anything - printable or otherwise - that stops the unwanted distractions (in normal times these are often called 'customers'!) then let me know....or don't and make yourself a fortune!

    I'm at the stage of being blissfully unaware of the material differences and the requirements for an enclosure. I'm trying lately to reduce the amount of airborne stuff that might kill me prematurely. Preferring instead to slowly drink myself to death ;) Although I am trying to use at least some of the beer tokens for something less ephemeral!

    I'm thinking of the space on top of a row of floor-level cupboards for the printer and it's a home-office I share with my wife so poisoning her would probably not go down so well too!
    My attention is massively split lately and the conflict between when I feel like doing things and when it's allowable (milling the other side of a thin stud wall to where my wife is on a video conference for work is a recipe for industrial injury!) so I think something bundled would be better. Don't mind putting it together but don't want to be slowly selecting and sourcing individual parts as an entry point - I don't have the knowledge at this stage and I think my enthusiasm is likely to last longer if I start getting useable parts off it relatively quickly.
    I'll have a watch of that vid when I can - mobile currently.
     
  5. Vince

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 30 Oct 2003

    Posts: 11,473

    Location: Essex

    Ello!! Right ive read and taken it all in! You know what @LePhuronn is right! Buy the best you can afford and look at what best suits you in terms of space, features etc. I bought a £75 kit for my first printer and it's been awesome fun but it broke within days and then I had to think about what to do so I rebuilt the thing with all different parts and ended up having to re-write all of the firmware, buy all new stepper motor drivers, new motherboard, new lcd, new z axis, new x axis, new y carriage, basically I changed everything and printed some parts for it myself which while fun and all that meant I couldn't just enjoy the printer for what it is. Now I am half way through a build of my own design which is going to have all the features etc that I need, ive spent all of the money and could have just bought an ender 5 pro or something and been done with it. It's just not my style though. :p If you want to see my ghetto build have a look here: https://forums.overclockers.co.uk/posts/33626922/ some details on there of what I did to it as well.

    I basically find myself prototyping parts for a 3d printer with a 3d printer. Honestly if you want to get in deep and quickly right down into the nitty gritty of the firmware etc then buy a cheap printer, it will break if it even works in the first place and you will be replacing parts all over the place :D

    If you are printing pla you aren't going to be killing anybody. Nobody prints abs these days so you should be golden.
     
    Last edited: 30 Jun 2020
  6. Cenedd

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 4 Jun 2007

    Posts: 2,189

    Location: Watford, UK

    Cheers Vince. I know what you're getting at. By the time I'd been through all that the enthusiasm would have run out. It's a balance between buying something good enough that you don't get discouraged (or waste the money) but not so good that you can't justify the cost.
    One issue I've spotted so far is that the space I'd got earmarked for it is too shallow for it to fit - finally found some dimensions of the printer rather than its max print size. A slight rejig in plans should sort that though. Presumably whatever it sits on needs to stable (ie not wobbly) but we're not talking the same rigidity requirements as a mill or a lathe where the (cutting) forces are significantly higher?
     
  7. Vince

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 30 Oct 2003

    Posts: 11,473

    Location: Essex

    It seems to help. Best bet is some sort of heavy slab or thick ridgid foam type affair. My one is the loudest thing in the world on the table it's on. You can literally hear it reverberating around the entire house. Wife doesn't like that at all.
     
  8. LePhuronn

    Soldato

    Joined: 26 Sep 2010

    Posts: 6,379

    Location: Stoke-on-Trent

    I'm back after a random 24 hour ban :confused:

    If you want as little fuss as possible, I'd deffo get a kit printer, rather than following in Vince's footsteps and building something totally from scratch. Yes, there is still assembly involved but it's usually just bolting together pre-assembled sections. My Ender, for example, had the entire base done for me so it was just a case of putting the vertical extrusions together with the gantry, make up the carriage and hot end and join together with the Z lead screw. Took 2 hours but I was going through a video walkthrough very slowly to get it right first time (Ender 3's instructions aren't too clear, and the wealth of community experience deals with pitfalls at a build level).

    As for noise, I got my Ender pretty much silent. Printed some vibration-dampening feet that just clip into the extrusions and a baffle for the PSU exhaust fan. Just those 2 alone eliminated vibration through the floor and the whine of the PSU when it kicks in full chat. With the door closed in the room you can't even hear the chirrup of the stepper motors.
     
  9. Cenedd

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 4 Jun 2007

    Posts: 2,189

    Location: Watford, UK

    Maybe the admins were offended by you having a 3D printer too! ;)
    An Ender 5 Pro may have just fallen into my basket last night. So much for being restrained and not jumping the gun! I went with a UK seller (forest-based, if you get my meaning). It was cheaper purchasing from a popular far-east supplier and shipped from either Spain or Czech Republic.....but if it got stopped for VAT - which is now payable on EU imports - then it would very quickly not be cheaper.

    Also bothered to read the reviews which suggested that Ender's supplied PLA filament isn't actually the right size (out of tolerance) for the better teflon tubing. So I ordered a spool of black stuff and Murphy's law dictates that's going to turn up first.

    There's something sort of satisfying about being able to print improvements for itself - and yet also irritating at the same time....'cos if it was that easy, why did they not just supply it like that in the first place?! Ach, there's just no pleasing some people eh? (ie me! :D )
     
  10. LePhuronn

    Soldato

    Joined: 26 Sep 2010

    Posts: 6,379

    Location: Stoke-on-Trent

    My Ender 3 Pro came from Creality's store on that auction site, simply because I wanted the Nectar points, but would've got it from rainforest otherwise. There was also a special deal on so I got the Pro for the same money as the standard. I have the Creality 1.75mm PLA and it's done me proud this past year, but YMMV.

    Once the printer is built, we need to discuss slicers :p I recommend Cura to get you going, but download the latest from Ultimaker, not the rubbish that comes bundled with the printer.
     
  11. Cenedd

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 4 Jun 2007

    Posts: 2,189

    Location: Watford, UK

    Apparently they've just added slicing into Fusion 360 so I may have to give that a try as well. Video that I'll be watching when I have a sec: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWFRh-MdKxo
    Of course, this also means I need to get better at 360 and not just swear, give up and go back to SketchUp!
     
  12. bulb66

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 12 Jun 2005

    Posts: 1,634

    Location: Suffolk

    Forget about Fusion360 slicing for now, PrusaSlicer is the one to use imo.
     
  13. Cenedd

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 4 Jun 2007

    Posts: 2,189

    Location: Watford, UK

    I shall be having a play with a few, no doubt. The only reason I was looking at the Fusion 360 slicer is purely that it's already in the modeling software I'm using...or, perhaps more accurately, trying to use!

    Since it should be delivered tomorrow, I meant to ask: can anyone recommend a good divorce lawyer? Fairly sure I may need one by the end of tomorrow! ;)

    Have been prematurely* browsing Thingiverse. I think this could actually end up saving me money :eek: Mainly because I'm browsing Thingiverse going "Ooh, I may have to print one of those" rather than browsing the rainforest and dropping hard-earned cash on things I probably** don't need!

    *premature in that I've not yet got the printer, let alone mastered the slicing and got anything at all printed! :D
    **the odds are quite well understood on this one!
     
  14. LePhuronn

    Soldato

    Joined: 26 Sep 2010

    Posts: 6,379

    Location: Stoke-on-Trent

    Fusion 360 can slice? I may have to try it.
     
  15. Vince

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 30 Oct 2003

    Posts: 11,473

    Location: Essex

    It can, im with you though, i design in cad and then export stl and slice in cura.
     
  16. Cenedd

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 4 Jun 2007

    Posts: 2,189

    Location: Watford, UK

    Well, no divorce but I did get both the disapproving and disappointed looks! Along with many questions with a negative theme along the lines of "Why?!". So, progress? Yup, she's built and ghetto'd onto the workbench. It wasn't much too shallow but the front feet were on the top of the door so you can foresee the disaster that would have occurred sooner or later!

    Don't think I've done too badly on the cable management front. Might check out some of the 3D printable clips when I get a bit further.

    [​IMG]

    Now printing: Cat! Why? Laziness. It was on the supplied card so it seemed the quickest way of getting something out to test it. The default temps of 180°C nozzle and 45°C bed (iirc) seem to be far too low compared to a quick search. I increased the bed to 60°C and the nozzle to 200°C. The first few rows seem to be liney (for lack of better terminology) so I've increased the nozzle to 210°C but it sounds like it could need to be higher by a smidge. 215°C seems to be one I've heard a few times.

    [​IMG]

    Slicers then people. I've heard people mention (on this thread and elsewhere) Cura, Prusa and Fusion 360. What do you use and more importantly, why? An "I use slicer A because it's the first one I tried and it seems to work" is perfectly fine but "I use slicer B because I tried A and found it made the extruder fall off*" is probably more interesting. :D

    *exaggerating, obviously.
     
  17. bulb66

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 12 Jun 2005

    Posts: 1,634

    Location: Suffolk

    When you say the first few rows, do you mean literally the first 1 or 2 layers of plastic? If so it was liney because it's a raft, big, thick and a waste of filament, lol.

    As for temperature, 60°c of the bed for sure and extruder can be 210-220°c for PLA.

    And slicers well, I've tried them all (apart from Fusion 360, because it's not worth it imo) I used Simplify3D for a long time as it's a paid product as it was at the time I purchased it the best slicer. However for reasons I won't go into, they are in my bad books. I have now moved over to almost exclusively PrusaSlicer, it's always being developed and updated and has a lot of useful features for those who need them but also easy to use if you just need the basics.
     
  18. LePhuronn

    Soldato

    Joined: 26 Sep 2010

    Posts: 6,379

    Location: Stoke-on-Trent

    Every brand of PLA will have its own optimum print temperature which you can only determine by just printing with it. For now, jump in at 200 degree nozzle and 60 degree bed and see what happens. Why very first print was the pre-sliced Doggo on the SD card, that printed at 200 nozzle and 40 degree bed and was sublime, but when I started doing my own stuff I was getting issues. I first worried about bed adhesion and found the sweet spot for my bed was 55 degrees, and I've ran with that for a year. I'm starting to get elephant foot though so perhaps need to have an annual tune up (and get my warped bed sorted out).

    With the bed adhesion sorted I went for the hot end, and stayed at 200 degree nozzle because that's what my temperature tower said was best for my Creality-branded PLA. I wouldn't go higher than 210 degrees for PLA, there's no need. Show pictures of the final print and we can see what the "liney" is all about. It could be adhesion problems, it sounds like under-extrusion, but could be a number of things.

    You will need to run some calibration tests to dial this in for best results (calibration cube, temp tower, e-steps are the main 3), but we'll cover that later.

    As for slicers, I've stuck with Cura because I've not had any issues. Cura came recommended in various Ender 3 communities, and it has more options than I understand, and to be honest the few print issues I've had have come from hardware issues, not the slicer. Prusa slicer is highly regarded. I say just pick one, play with it and see what happens. If you get slicing issues then see if there's a quirk that can be fixed or switch to something else. If slicing is a new feature in Fusion though I'd avoid for a while.
     
  19. Cenedd

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 4 Jun 2007

    Posts: 2,189

    Location: Watford, UK

    You may well be right that it was simply rough rafting and the slight spacing between rows caused it. It does seem smoother at the higher temp though so I may have stumbled on the right temp. I'll probably give the temp tower LePhuronn suggested a go and see where I get.

    Havent finished print the damn cat yet! It's 4½ hours in so far! You can see it in the pic in my previous post if you click for a larger version. It's like a mat where the filament loops back on itself at the end of each row. Could definitely be just rafting though. It took me a while to realise (as the layers slowly built up) that what appeared to be poor finish was actually deliberate texture in the model! Ah noobs! :D

    You're almost certainly correct.....which it why I'm certainly going to be stupid enough to try it :D Sometimes you've got to make life difficult for yourself and fail hard! On the lathe I was told I couldn't turn HSS (High Speed Steel - which is hard as hell) and I commented that it was a good job nobody had told me that before I'd successfully done it :D Although, I'd not recommend it on what's referred to as a "small" lathe despite weighing around 15 stone!

    I think first project/upgrade is going to have to be quieting the fans. The steppers are almost silent - or at least inaudible over the incessant drone. Setting the fan speed down from 255 just seems to make the pitch lower but more irritating and I suspect it may be only the part cooling fan that's affected. I've already worked out that there's a fan in the control box (low-hanging fruit that one I reckon!) and of the two on the head, one is for cooling the hot end (perversely, the bit you're trying to heat up) and the side blower for part cooling. That last one was the least obvious as I thought at first it was some sort of push-pull setup. Does anyone have any recommendations for either fans or ducts to reduce the noise from the head?
     
  20. Vince

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 30 Oct 2003

    Posts: 11,473

    Location: Essex

    This weekend I print a massive model with a massive 0.8mm nozzel :D Finally at a position away from work where I can get it done.