If you are a new owner of a 3D printer or perhaps thinking of purchasing one, a new world of learning and discovery opens up to you. There are many lessons and new skills you will learn in the coming weeks and months.
OUR EXPERT'S TIPS AND TRICKS ON HOW TO 3D PRINT AND WILL HOPEFULLY HELP YOU GET STARTED!
Some tips along the way:
- If your platform isn't level it will cause you a lot of headaches and annoyance during prints, so it's something you need to check carefully. You can always test the platform using the “paper test”. Simply use a single sheet of paper to determine the distance from the nozzle to the build platform. Most printers have a sequence of procedures you can follow from the manual, but the result should be the same, the piece of paper should just touch the extruder tip in all four corners and in the center (at least), plus points levels and the better the adhesion to the plate will be!
- Keep your platform clean! Use rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol to remove dirt and oil that comes off your hands because if you don't, your prints won't stick to the platform.
- When using ABS, always make sure to preheat the platform to at least 110°C, this will prevent the edges from curling and will also make the ABS stick to the platform better.
- When using PLA, which does not require a heated platform, you must use another type of material to improve print adhesion. We often use regular painter's tape, this is cheaper and in most cases better when it comes to PLA printing.
- If you use a heated bed, Kapton tape is the best choice, Kapton tape material can withstand heating and cooling cycles, better than painter's tape.
- Have you encountered the frustration of your prints not sticking to the platform? Try using regular hairspray (extra strong), you will see much better adhesion between the printed object and the platform.
- If you are printing an object for the first time, do so on the printer's lowest settings - you don't want to find out after 10 hours of high quality printing that your printed object is 1mm too small!
- Make sure you know your filaments, as well as ABS and PLA there is a wide range of different filaments with different characteristics in terms of melting temperature, extrusion speed and whether or not to use a heated bed. In our filament section you can always get information on the specific characteristics of your filament or you can visit the manufacturer's website, they always have updated information.
Some glossaries from the world of 3D printing
- What is a "slicer"? The so-called slicer takes a 3D drawing (most often in .STL format) and translates this model into individual layers. It then generates the machine code that the printer will use for printing.
- G-Code – The common name of the most widely used computer numerical control (CNC) programming language, which has many implementations. Used primarily in automation, part of computer-aided engineering, G-Code is a language in which people tell computerized machine tools what to do and how to do it. The “what” and “how” are mostly defined by instructions on where to move, how fast to move, and through which path to move.
- STL File: Standard tessellation language or stereo lithography, STL is a native file format of CAD software created by 3D Systems. This file format is supported by many other software packages and is widely used for rapid prototyping and computer-aided manufacturing. If you visit Thingiverse.com you can download STL files created by others and then print them, easy.
- Raft? This is an expression you will encounter many times along the way. A raft is there to improve adhesion and is larger than the actual print, it also provides stability and your print is built on the raft, which you remove once the print is done.
- Support material? When you have a model with some overhangs or gaps you will need to apply some support. With SIMPLIFY3D you can do this very easily . The support material can be removed very easily once printing is finished.
More tips and tricks will follow, so be sure to visit our blog from time to time.
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