Many have asked for advice to improve 3D prints and here we want to propose 7 tricks to improve 3D prints, to help you get the most out of it!
Improve 3D prints: 1) a well-maintained machine.
First of all, you can proceed with these little checks.
- A single drop of low-viscosity oil, such as the unscrewer, on each axis that has a smooth/threaded bar.
- Check that the various parts that run on wheels have no games.
- Keep the print bed clean of dust and old print residues.
- Make sure that the nozzle is clean on the outside and free on the inside for the passage of plastic.
- Check that the screws securing the pulleys are tight.
- Check the belts and make sure they are pulled correctly.
Improve 3D prints: 2) Use good quality filaments
The filaments are not all the same. A low cost, low quality reel generally does not produce the perfect quality prints as a good reel.
With the necessary exceptions you normally have for what you pay.
The filament should be stored in a dry, dust-free and cool place. The place where you print should also have these characteristics. A cold and humid environment is not good for printing, as all the filaments are more or less hygroscopic. So they absorb water with the problems that follow. If we notice that a filament deteriorates qualitatively and it is difficult to heat it, it might be a good idea to dry it, either through a dryer or through a home oven. The oven should be set to 60° with the door slightly open.
Improve 3D prints: 3) Filament diameter size
When dealing with poor quality filaments, there is often a variation in the diameter, taken at several points. If we do not know the origin and the goodness of a certain filament and it is not guaranteed by the brand we can advise to proceed with the sample measurement.
You must proceed to measure the filament by digital caliber, every meter for at least 20/30 m and note down the values. It is important that the measurement is made in the most precise way, keeping the gauge perpendicular to the wire, and not to apply too much pressure that can distort the measurement. It may seem trivial but it is a very useful test: even a very small difference can turn into over/underextrusion, a substantial difference will give more serious problems such as abrasion of the filament and clogging of the nozzle.
Improve 3D prints: 4) Lower temperature
Excess heat means that it will take longer to cool the plastic. And if you’ve read the overheating issue on this blog, you’ll know that proper cooling is often crucial to creating great prints.
In principle you should keep the temperature as low as possible, it will help the printing of small details and avoid the formation of strings, as described here.
It is not easy to find the amount of heat needed as it depends on how fast we are trying to extrude. The distinction is important so we have not talked about printing speed but extrusion speed. The extrusion speed in fact takes into account the thickness of the layers, the width of the nozzle and a temperature that works with some parameters is not sure that it will work when they are doubled.
It is obviously important to find the right minimum temperature way, which does not give problems such as stringing. That is not so inferior to the necessary to create probemes of underextrusion and separation of the layers. In the specific case of ABS. The color of the filament can also affect the extrusion temperature, which is why we recommend marking the extrusion parameters on the coil. Because it can be difficult to remember the ideal parameters of all our filaments if they are changed often.
Improve 3D prints: 5) Heated bed only when required!
The heated bed is great for keeping the parts attached to the bed and keeping them unaltered. But excessive heat can cause problems. Try, as in the case of extrusion temperature, to keep the temperature of the bed as low as possible to avoid affecting the shape of the lower layers. Too much heat can cause formation in the printing of elephant feet.
ABS needs the heated plate, and the heat diffused from the plate also helps the printing. Especially in the case of a closed chamber printer, to avoid delamination of the layers.
In any case, we recommend the use of hairspray. For both for the printing of ABS and for the printing of PLA.
The PLA in particular can be printed with a thin layer of hairspray without the need to add heat to the plate. And in addition to avoiding problems of non-cooling you will save on your electricity bill.
Improve 3D prints: 6) Minimize acceleration
When the extruder changes direction quickly, the direction is gradually slowed down and then thrown in the new direction. When the acceleration/braking is too abrupt or the printer frame is not rigid enough. Imperfections are found due to vibration on the surface of the print, next to the corners and edges. Even if you don’t have a printer with a very rigid frame, the decrease in acceleration will certainly help to reduce this effect.
The only contraindication of this corrective manoeuvre is the increase in the time to complete the print, which may be worth it because it will improve the prints.
Improve 3D prints: 6) Bed Leveling
A well leveled bed ensures that the first printing state is correctly positioned. The first layer, as already mentioned several times, is perhaps the most important stage of printing. We have explained in detail the leveling of the bed in this guide.
A good levelling of the plate is also essential for the correct adhesion of the print to the bed. In this guide explains what to do to improve adhesion.