Printing small components

General discussion of 3D printers

Printing small components

Postby grezmel » Mon Oct 06, 2014 6:52 pm

Hi all

I'm new to 3d printing and am enjoying the learning curve. I have an Ordbot Hadron and am currently printing fairly decent large pieces using slow print speeds - I am happy with the output at 0.25mm and various tweaks over the past week have improved my prints no end. I've got good adherence to a glass bed with out using tape etc.

The problem is that when I try and print small objects <5mm diameter (small buttons, nuts, bolts etc) it falls and the prints deform.

I've tried different temperatures and showing the speed down to minimum to no avail.

I'm using PLA......

Any suggestions ?
Cheers Graham.
grezmel
 
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Re: Printing small components

Postby cvoinescu » Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:15 pm

This is usually because the PLA remains very soft. Slowing down does not help, because the heat radiating from the hot end keeps the PLA from solidifying.

To fix this problem, I had to do two things: turn on "orbit" in Skeinforge, and add a fan blowing on the print.

"Orbit" does not slow down the printing, but, if a layer takes too little time to extrude, it adds one or more loops around the object, to give the last layer time to solidify without the hot end being right above it. I'm not sure whether there's an equivalent feature in other slicers.

I used a small DC brushless fan rated at 12 V, but powered from about 7 V. You can also turn it down from the firmware, but I did not have a spare MOSFET output at the time. You don't need a lot of air, just a gentle breeze in the general direction of the printed object. (And remember to turn it off when printing ABS.)
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Re: Printing small components

Postby grezmel » Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:19 pm

Thank you for your reply - I haven't used Skeinforge yet, still getting to grips with slic3r (not sure how accurate Slic3r is compared to others). I will downloadS keinforge and give it a go.

Would a fan also help further with my prints as I find that part of my print comes out glossy and other parts matt ?

Cheers Graham.
grezmel
 
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Re: Printing small components

Postby cvoinescu » Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:14 am

First, check whether slic3r has an option similar to "orbit" and try to use that. No point in getting Skeinforge if the slicer you're using is doing an otherwise good job. Skeinforge has an unusual user interface, and you'll need to read the manual carefully to set it up.

I think the fan will make your PLA prints more consistent; whether this means all matte or all glossy, I don't know. The extrusion temperature has an effect on the glossiness of the part, too, and with a fan cooling your print you have a wider range to try (you can go higher).
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