Thursday, October 27, 2016

3d printing ups and downs.

The Halloween season is upon us. Now that I have my 3D printer mostly configured... It's only been two years... and I've started using pla instead of abs. I've had many successful prints in the last week.
The majority of my prints have been working towards my private hobby of board gaming. I have been on thingiverse and found a lot of pre-made board game organizers. To test the endurance of my printer I have been printing back-to-back projects and experimenting with speed and support structures.

Printed 4 pieces to Eldritch Horror. They all came out beautifully I have to take pictures of them later. And as it's Halloween coming up I thought I would print something thematic. So I found a really cool pre-made file of a mesh skull and decided to print that...

The skull set at 1.9 size in cura was set to take just over 16 hours. That's a good test for my machine because I haven't done a lot of long prints. this would be a print I would have to do overnight because I work from home and I have to answer the phones occasionally. The printer is loud so I I try to print around the time I'm on the phone.
So after I took lunch at work last night around 7 I set my printer to start because I don't take phone calls after that... I realized a couple hours into it that it's printing  supports  both inside and outside of the skull. I don't really think about  it's going to affect the final project . it printed into the night.

I woke up this morning and it was still printing. I went upstairs made breakfast took a shower came back and it was done. I pulled it off of the bed. I definitely noticed that the supports printed strangely... I guess not strangely they printed as intended. However looking at the project it probably didn't need support and it's kind of fragile so getting any type of Leverage to remove the supports is going to be difficult.
In fact removing the supports was very difficult and I ended up damaging the structure. I chipped off a couple pieces along the top. Also all of the spots where the structure was touching the object, you know all of the spots because it was supporting the object, end up getting a funky white stress mark that sometimes happens when you separate two pieces of filament. Not to mention all of the spaces in the mesh are filled with this structure filament so it ends up just being a total mess. Once I chipped off a couple of the pieces I knew it was basically a scrap project and wasted 16 hours of time.. Oh well lesson learned.

I was testing in Cura and after I turned off supports the print time went from 16 hours and change to about 8.5 hours so I decided to increase the size of the print from 1.9 to 2.5 and the time went up to 12 hours. So I'm going to try that after lunch today and let it print through the night again. The original file for the skull it was suggested not to use supports and as long as I set the printer to go slow enough I think I should be pretty safe.

That said, here are some pictures of the "failure" it would have been perfect if not for those supports!

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