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All Axes Out of Calibration
Hey Folks,
First I wanted to say that I bought the XYZ Da Vinvci because of the strong community and the ability to mod it, but I am in a catch 22 of of being a college student having limited funds for replacement parts. I am new to 3d printing but I like to think I am technically inclined. I am 2 weeks in to owning the XYZ Da Vinci 1.0. I think its awesome what this board is doing and I hope I can contribute once I get more experience.

Background to issue: While working on a tolerance for making mechanical snap together pieces (like legos) I noticed that my printer was printing circles/cylinders more like ovals. I have read that the x belt or the y belt maybe loose, but I wanted to start with something more simple and make sure my heat bed was calibrated. I went through the trials and tribulations of using the built in calibration to only start having bigger print issues. The melted filament wasn't sticking to the heatbed but becoming "stringy" and building up around the extruder nozzle. I figured the nozzle was getting clogged. So I tried unclogging the extruder without taking it out of the carriage but I ended up having to. I believe the reprap blog called it a "hot clog".

Issue: I was having trouble putting the extruder back into the carriage, but with my limited experience I believe it has been set properly. Now the X axis is too far right, the y axis is too far back, and the z axis comes up too far. I even had to stop the printer after it bumped the heat bed. When it returns home the extruder nozzle doenst even meet the self-cleaning device on the drip pan. I lowered the calibration on the heat bed (just enough using the manual paper method) for now so that it does not bump the extruder during tests. I still can't print because the filament doesn't stick to the heat bed..not even to the parameter lines before the base of the part.

-I would like to first get my axis calibrated (X Y and Z), then worry about the filament. I never adjusted the belts
-I thought about loading custom firmware and setting my own calibration, but waiting to make sure its not a mechanical failure.

I can provide pictures and more details if needed. I know this was a long post but I wanted to provide as much detail as possible.

Thanks again!
Sounds like a few issues.
1) remove and reinstall the extruder again.
2) before attempting to print perform a bed level calibration.
3) i recommend you wait on custom firmware until you are comfortable fixing the basic calibration issues. Simply put, custom firmware has a lot of knobs to twist so can be complicates in some ways.

Keep us posted.

Thanks for the advice!
I have made some progress through out the week. I am sorry that I haven't posted an update sooner. I'm an Undergrad for 2 degrees (comp math and aerospace engineering) and running quite a few projects. I have little time to sleep or eat..but my girlfriend hates that I always make time to print...Its pretty addicting.

I have been digging around for all the information that I could and this is what I ended up doing:
-Installed the custom firmware (totally and completely understand why your warning in 20-20 hind sight)
-Calibrated the bed (multiple times)
-Offset the x-y-z axes (many, many hours of testing. primarily because I did not see the setting for a dry run on repetier until 3 days ago, and I slowed the speed down considerably in caution of unwarranted collision)
-Moved my boundaries in repetier

My current calibration doesn't center on 100,100 mainly because of a serious deadzone on my print bed. it is in the back corners with the screws. The extruder house tends to bump the screws on entry movement if I didn't offset my values. otherwise it is pretty close. There was a tough learning curve with the calibration.

*Warning to those who have little experience with 3d printers. The measurements and values i found for software is from the extruder reference frame (not eeprom because from what I could tell was absolute to the origin of printer inertial frame).

I am still printing with caution.

Other improvements I have made to my system was to tighten the y-axis.

I am sorry I did this in such haste but my printer is crucial to one of my projects. We are trying to print an airframe for a heavy lift design-build-fly competition and I need to find the limitations of my printer as well as FFF printing before proceeding with the current course of action.

A little info on my findings/thought (which bewared aren't to mind blowing if you are an experienced printer):
-Build volume provides the quickest restriction
-Build volume can always be over come with the price of creating more connections
-Connections such as snap-fits require a tolerance +-0.2 to mm +-0.3 mm at a 0.1mm layer thickness (this is still a work in progress)
-Tolerating prints depend on hand full of environmental variable such as layer thickness, print speed, flowrate, extrusion temperature (algorithm tbd)
-Annular Snap-fits have a better promise with a convex male overhang than a concave annular overhang (results are still being determined)
-FFF has a tendency to break at the Layer bonds during tension
-This is always at the smallest diameter and always separates between layers

To overcome tension restrictions, we are seeking an efficient method to develop snap-fits layered vertically { || vs = } to put the tension along the layer than perpendicular to it. For those of you familiar the tension will be translated to be parallel to the build plane and not normal with it.

I say all this with much respect for what you are all doing/sharing and I would hope that if any of this is work is used credit you would also share your findings. I have not found anything along the lines of reference material for machine design of rapid prototyped parts but lmk if you find anything.
thanks again!

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