3D Printing – 5 days later …

I’m having a blast with this thing. It’s not always gone well. There have been problems. Solving problems is what I love to do so I’m having a great time.

Several prints later I’m still liking this printer. I wish it had a bigger build volume but I knew that would be an issue at some point. I figure that if I really need something bigger that can be covered in the next printer. No time soon for that though.

I now have 3 different filaments, all PLA and in 1 kilogram spools:

  1. HatchBox PLA in silver. This is working well and gives off hardly any odor (all PLA filament has some odor – not objectionable or really toxic). The color is great as it gives off a bit of a sheen. I like it and would buy more without hesitation.
  2. PolyMaker PolyLite PLA in red. This also works well and gives off a bit more of an odor. Red is of course an important color and I’m glad I have it. I did have a couple of broken filament problems. The first one broke off right at the extruder and I had to pull the Bowden tube from the extruder to get enough filament to grab hold of to pull it back. The other break left a big enough piece to actually print something with so not too much wastage. I probably wouldn’t buy this again as it’s a bit more expensive ($25) .
  3. MatterHackers Build PLA in blue. I just got this one so I don’t have as much experience with it. It gives off the least odor of the three. It looks though that this may be my go-to filament. Unless something really turns up against it this will be it. The price is $19.99 like the HatchBox but I can order directly from MatterHackers instead of through Amazon.

I’m printing a ‘3DBenchy’ as I write this in the MatterHackers blue and I like the color. It’s about half way though right now and is looking good. I’ll add a paragraph at the end when it’s finished.

This is the first print using a new version of the slicer Cura 3.6. I was using 3.2.1 and it was working OK and I had most of the settings tweaked pretty well.

What’s a slicer you say? It’s the software that converts the 3D drawings into the command code (gcode) for the printer. If you look at the gcode you can see EVERY little step the printer has to do to print the drawing. For example, 3DBenchy has over 212,000 lines of gcode.

The 3DBenchy finished. It looks really good – very little stringing and few other flaws. The new one is on the left and the first one I did (my second print) on the right.

img_4663

The notepad these are sitting on are my semi-detailed notes for printing. I’ve been documenting everything I’ve been doing so I don’t repeat something stupid I’ve done before.

The stringing test I just ran came out CLEAN! I think the Cura upgrade did some tweaking as well as some of my own. Anyway the string problem is solved at last.

I’m printing a Gearicon (7 tooth) in the MatterHacker blue to go with the one I printed yesterday in red.

I think that’s enough for today. I should post more often so it doesn’t end up so long.

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