Reply To: Results of printed parts



We also had problems with fit. All of the holes were too small. It is easy enough to drill out the bolt holes, but those for the conduit are a different story and we don’t have a good way to ream them. Looking into the problem, we found there were two main issues.

First, the filament we used (Makerbot PLA) seemed to have dimensional issues. In other words, it laid down thicker on perimeters and insets. We found better results with 3D Solutech and Hatchbox. Both appear to offer more consistent results at a 0.26 layer height. As an added bonus, they don’t peel away from the build plate during the print as much as the Makerbot either.

Second, our extrusion speeds were much too fast. The factory settings seem higher than reasonable (90 mm/s for example). This hurt dimensional accuracy as well. Ryan helped us clear it up a bit with some recommendations. For a 0.4mm nozzle, we settled on > Infill: 40 mm/s, Insets: 20 mm/s, Outlines: 20mm/s. Your printer may be different, but this is what worked best for us. It may also be worth mentioning that we bumped our active cooling fan speed up to 65% (from the 50% factory speed).

We had trouble with some of the parts pealing away from the plate as well. Adhesion is critical to accuracy! We used the following procedure to prepare our build surface.

  • Clean the glass build plate with 70% alcohol and let it dry completely
  • Lay down strips of blue painters tape (we used 1.5″ wide) on a diagonal (45 degrees to the build plate instead of parallel or perpendicular)
  • Use a flat edge to smooth it out and remove bubbles (we did this after every print)
  • Wipe the blue tape with 70% alcohol to remove any fingerprints, oil, debris, etc. (again, we did this after every print)
  • Do not touch the build surface tape after you have cleaned it! The oil from your hands may interfere with adhesion.
  • Level your build plate (we did this after every third print)

We hope this helps some of you.