I is learnin’ things

So I have done a lot of printing over the last two weeks. About 144 hours of printing in reality. That’s about 6 full non-stop days in a 14 day period. So let me share some of what I have done and learned in the process.

What I’ve Done/Learned

  1. I learned – through a few failed printings – how to recognize when the filament flow is too high or too low. I also figured out how to adjust it in the middle of a print.
  2. I made two wobble stoppers for my z-axis. They seem to be helping already. In the long run they will keep my z-axis poles in line and ensure the continued quality of my prints.
  3. I made a button for my feed screw that is pressed down to release the old filament when switching it out. My fingers are already thanking me.
  4. I am developing a particular fondness for one specific color and brand of filament. Worksteel in white makes really lovely and consistently even prints. I ordered a second roll because I like it so well. 
  5. I was attempting to adjust the level on my print bed when one of the screws got stuck and then broke. I ended up having to break the screw, which lead me to cutting part of it off so that I could use vise-grips to twist it out. Once I replaced the screw I was able to really tighten the bed down, which has solved my problem of constantly having to adjust the level of the bed. It’s not tight to the point the springs don’t move, just tight enough that they only have a touch of give.
  6. I printed a very large bunny head in white. Then cut a hole in the bottom so that I could insert a LED light. It was a pain. I was going to print the body too and glue the two together, but I decided that I didn’t like that idea and went a different direction. 
  7. Instead of gluing the two pieces together I decided that I would rather make the head so that it could come as go as needed. That was it could be turned to create different body expressions or removed if something dictated.
    1. I may need to add a stem so that it can be removed in the future to allow air pressure to move when the head and body are removed from each other.
    2. I started with one kind of connection point, but realized that it wouldn’t actually work. I reworked the design slightly and it kind of worked. I just needed to adjust the scaling on it so that the fit was more secure.
    3. I reworked it again and am in the process of printing again to see if it works. I scaled it down slightly so that the print wouldn’t take as long to print.
  8. The purple filament has been causing problems. Most of which I got fixed. I adjust the layer height to 2mm (coarse quality in Cura), slowed the print speed slightly, and upped the filament flow to 125%. This seems to have fixed the majority of issues.
  9. I started to do little bunny test prints for the different filaments before I print anything larger. I write down the stats for the prints and number them so that I can keep track of what changes are being made. This will save my use of filament.
  10. I also adjusted the jerk speed on the prints. there was a small valley forming at the seam point of the print. I slowed it down slightly so that now there is a small ridge. Now I need to adjust it again so that it a smooth print instead.
  11. I am trying a Hatchbox black. The brand was recommended to me, so far it is a touch better than the Melca. The roll was all a jumble which sucks, I am trying to work with the problem though.
  12. I am still trying to get changing the filament easier. Theres something about how the machine is designed that just seems to be causing issues. It is next to impossible to get the old filament out and the new filament in the whole without taking the heat sync and the fan off. Doing this too much is going to cause issues in the future and I want to nip that in the bud now before that happens.
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