Getting Started With 3D Printing: Guidelines for New Owner
As we all know that today’s age is highly technological, and 3D printers are a new addition to this hi-tech era. If you also wish to bring one at home, you would have to burn a whole in your pocket. Depending upon the features you want in your 3D printer, you may have to shell out between $500 and $2000.It will, for sure, hurt your pocket if after expending a hefty amount on purchasing a new 3D printer; you are not able to take out good prints. As a matter of fact, using 3D printers is not a piece of cake! You need to master the tactics to make it work marvel for you.
Here are some tips to make 3D printing a happier experience for you.
[I] Tips to be followed before you begin printing:
You would be over excitedto print something from the newly bought 3D printer. But, is it ready yet? Well, you should go through the instruction booklet before turning on the new device. Also, you must follow the below given tips each time you begin printing.
- 1. Ensure all Components are Working Properly
Before start printing,check the fans, motors, and theend stopsof the printer so as to ascertain that all the mechanical and electronic parts are functioning smoothly.
- 2. Tight the Belts
Remember one thing- the more tighten the belts of the printer would be, the finer will your prints be. Therefore, if the belts are slack, tighten them with the help of belt clamps or the mechanism provided in your printer.
- 3. Level the Platform
To get an effective print, level the platform of the printer. It’s very simple! You can check the height of extruder nozzle on the build platform by using a paper sheet. Adjust the height of the extruder at first layer height. Then, shift it to the center and all the four corners with the paper sheet between the extruder and the platform. Ensure that paper can be moved at all five positions, as well as the extruder’s tip can touch the paper at all five positions.
- 4. Take Care of Cleanliness
The oil present on your hands will not let the printable object to glue to the build platform. To get rid of this nuisance, you should clean the build platform with the help of rubbing alcohol on the regular basis. Also, make sure that no debris (such as filament from previous print, etc.) is there on the nozzle and extruder.
[II] Tips for sticking the filament to the heated bed and make it reside there:
The effectiveness of 3D printing greatly depends on how effectively the filament sticks to the heated bed. Here are some tips for the same.
- The level of the print bed should be correct.
- Dirt and oil serves as a great hindrance in sticking the filament well. So, it’s very important to clean the print bed with acetone and a lint free/soft cloth.
- Preheating helps in averting the edge curling. So, don’t forget to preheat the build platform to its maximum temperature, in case, you are printing in ABS plastic. For ABS, the temperature should be 110°. For PLA, 55-60 Celsius is enough.
- Make use of a glass surface for the printing purpose. You can also use blue painters tape or Kapton tapeif the filament doesn’t glue to the glass surface.
- For making your filament stick, you can also try a hair spray. All you need to do is just sprinkle a few drops of your hair spray on the heated surface from a distance. It will really work wonders! But, don’t allow it to fall on other moving components.
- You can also use ‘ABS juice’ to glue your prints better. For preparing ‘ABS juice’, you will have to dissolve some ABS scrap in a bottle of acetone. Clean your print bed with this juice.
- Keep the room temperature high. This can be done by using a room heater. If, however, it’s not feasible, you can also utilize glass boxes on the printer.
[III] Tips for maintaining your 3D printer:
If you want to save your money on the maintenance of 3D printers, follow the given below tips.
- Regularly check all the belts, washers, bolts and nuts in order to keep your 3D printer working for a long. Tighten the loose components.
- Oiling can increase the life of your printer. So, oil the X axis threaded rods and smooth rods on a regular basis. But, keep in mind that the oil you are using should be very light.
- Open up the extruder from time to time in order to clean the hobbed bolt/drive gear. Replace the springs whenever required.
- Unclog the choked nozzles.
[IV] Some other useful tips:
- To shield your printer from dirt and oil, cover up it with a polythene sheet. Close the filament when you are not printing.
- Place the filament roll in such a way that the filament can be fed straight.
- Jot down each action you perform and its respective consequences. This will help you learning the things very easily.
- Be patient! Since you are new to the technology of 3D printing, you need a lot of perseverance and serenity to master it. It’s very difficult to hold your excitement when you bring home a new 3D printer. You would be eager to print everything in a single go. But, be relaxed!It’s not a toy; it’s a complex machine that calls for knowledge for operating it. So, master it gradually and bit by bit. First begin with simple prints, and then progress towards printing complex and larger models.
- Take help of internet to learn more about 3D printing. You will find a lot of blogs and articles on the internet that will definitely enhance your knowledge.
- To make your printer more awesome, upgrade it from time to time.
Good luck and happy 3D printing!
Jean Grey is an online blogger . She like to blog on different tips for using 3D printers .For more information visit http://www.iprint-technologies.com/about-us/