UPDATED: September 2, 2016
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS ONLY MADE, CURRENTLY, FOR THE SINGLE-HEAD EXTRUDER. WILL NOT NECESSARILY WORK FOR THE DUAL-HEAD EXTRUDER.
Read this entire post first before attempting to print using the GCodes provided or modifying your own files!
ABS Post: Here
PLA Post: Here
PETG Post: Here
Got problems with your prints?
Cracking, warping, bubbling, curling?
Did you calibrate your printer for that spool?
I could go into the physics and chemistry and the differences in materials and their respective make ups. But I bet you just want to know the meat of why it is important to calibrate the printer to each material, and we suggest, every spool you purchase (Excessive? Maybe, but you should at least calibrate for each manufacturer you change to for each type of plastic.). This will ensure you maintain quality prints without the above mentioned issues commonly plaguing our industry.
Blah, blah, blah... How do I calibrate my machine for each filament?
I will be posting the calibration tower (shown below) on the DesignFutures page with gcodes only at this time. The reason for that is because each set of gcodes is for different temperature ranges. Currently I have 2 sets. Both for ABS, but one for each of the manufacturers we use. Every 1cm increment has another temperature increase by 5 degrees Celcius. This will allow you to inspect and test each layer for the best possible temperatures. The print takes a few hours and uses a minimal amount of filament. We are not printing anything extraordinary, just want to see how it prints at different temps. Eventually we will be running this for our HIPS and PLA materials as well, and I will post those gcodes as well at that time.
That is pretty much it. Just print it with the material of your choosing and start the print with the lowest temperature the gcode is rated for.
Setup Your Printer...
Heat the bed to the temperature you are accustomed to (ie. ABS-100C, PLA-60C, etc. See your manufacturer's recommendations for their material.)
Heat the nozzle to the lowest temp the gcode states (CuboidNoFan215-255.gcode would be 215C to start)
Prepare your bed with ABS Juice or BuildTak or similar. ABS Juice or even ABS Glue may seem messy, but we have found it works the best for us when printing with ABS. For our recipe, See this link: http://ow.ly/R6t8H
Home the printer
Flush the nozzles a few times if it has been exposed to the room temps and humidity
Play the file as you normally would
Check the print...
Marked on the sides are the temp changes. The coolest temp will be at the bottom with the hottest at the top.
Look for cracks between the layers
Find the range where there are no cracking, bubbling, waves or any blemishes
Optionally, you can carefully cut with a knife or break off the layers at the marks
Check for stability between each of the increments
If you find an area that you are happy with, test it by squeezing the corners together
It should be strong in at least a 5 degree area (1cm segment) of the print. That segment is your best printing temp for that particular material from that particular manufacturer.
The test is now over and you now know your ideal temps for printing. This concludes the bulk of the post, but....
To learn how to modify your codes for temp ranges (in case I didn't provide the temps you want to test), read on...
Use this .stl for making your own gcodes. This, alone, will not allow you to calibrate for your filament. You will need to modify the gcodes in order to calibrate for a range of temps. This block is good for 9 different temps.
Standard recommended speeds found in the ZMorph manual (or other 3D printer manual, if not ZMorph)
To add your own temperature changes, follow these instructions, carefully.
- Export GCode file when you are ready to print.
- Open GCode file in Notepad (or Mac/Linux equivalent)
- Open the Find/Replace window (Windows = Ctrl+F)
- Search for "Z10" (Brings up the first instance where your Z-Axis has reached 1cm off of your print bed)
- Add a line above that line where "Z10" is located.
FOR SINGLE EXTRUDER HEAD ONLY!!
- Type "M104 S###" where ### stands for your desired temperature.
NOTE: This is your first temperature CHANGE. You must first set your printer to a lower temperature (5 degrees C, for this example).
- Here is an example of what your code should look like:
G92 E0.00000 (NOTE: Line above temperature input)
M104 S220 (NOTE: M104-Extruder 0 on Single-Head Extruder, S220-set extruder to 220C)
G1 X105.600 Y113.250 Z10.075 F7200.000 (NOTE: Moves head to new height)
The above 3 lines of code is from my Cuboid215-255.gcode file where I set my machine to 215C on the head and 100C on the bed. Notice the first change is 220C (S220). We are raising the degrees by 5C every 1cm increment. This ensures even and equal rising of the temps.
- Repeat steps 4-6. For your search, type "Z20" this time and follow the same pattern as before.
- Continue to follow the same pattern, increasing Z figure by 10 every time and this will perform a temp change every 1cm.
- Double check your work to ensure you don't have typos or anything that doesn't look like the example above minus the "NOTEs" in parentheses.
If you need help or additional questions need answered, reply to this thread and I or someone else would be happy to assist you.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Adjusting and manipulating your gcode files is for the tech savvy only. If you make a mistake, it could cost you down time, not to mention damaged extruders or print beds. Only do this if you understand the risks and feel comfortable changing them. I will be posting generic templates for ABS and PLA, as well as HIPS and maybe PVA. Look for those gcodes instead if you are unsure/not confident with performing these changes. AGAIN, this is only for your single head extruder.
I hope you all find this useful. We sure did. Hopefully, our mistakes will make you more successful.