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Print quality went bad - what happened?
#1
Not sure what to thing here or what my next step is.

Info - DaVinci 1.0 running repetier .92 using Simplify3d. Printing Sainsmart ABS at 220/95 (tried 230/100 too).

Backdrop - having been printing successfully over the course of the last couple of weeks. This weekend I decided to flash to a more current version of repetier .92 (one week more current) and noticed right off the bat that my bed was too close and needed to be recaliberated. When I first flashed to repeteir a week ago, I did all manual bed leveling (didn't change any settings) using a sheet of paper and the manual bed level process in repetier. After this last flash, I also recaliberated just to be sure everything was ready. I can get prints, but they are not turning out like they used to. It's like the extruder is too close to the bed. The first level lines do not look uniform either. They look almost wavy. This is most noticed when I do an extrusion width (auto) of .048 and height of .04. When I change it to extrusion width of .04 and height of .03, you can still kind of see the lines not uniform but more importantly about 3/4 into the print I get a layer that sticks out of the wall just a tab bit as opposed to the rest of the print.

Also important to note is that I did have a couple of jams this weekend. Pretty sure this happened because I was printing too fast or had the filament temp too low (printing with white Sainsmart ABS). I did have to take off the extruder to unclear the jam on both occasions.
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#2
well issue should not come from FW as recent update were only focussed on LCD you can check history on github, you can redo a M502/M500 to ensure there is no EEPROM corruption on SDCard.
check if nothing change in S3D settings but if you said nozzle is too close to bed this is definitly hardware - if you got Jam it is possible your nozzle is dirty - I suggest you to put 230 and load filament during 20s to check is flow is correct.
Another thing is: if you removed extruder and put it back, you have 0% change to get same position as before, you may need to remove it again and check if it is properly fixed with the clip when you put back in carriage. and of course redo the bed leveling
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#3
Did you recently change slicers or gcode in your slicing app? I was dealing with the same thing lately after calibration and traced it back to switching to cura, which was missing the z offset I had set in Slic3r. In Cura I was doing the same via gcode but had a typo that wasnt lowering Z .2mm (for filament that expands quite a bit). Something to check.

For me, too close to the bed means Im going to jam. Too far away from the bed and I get almost zig-zag lines and filament following the extruder. Weird that you get wavy lines from being too close, unless you have a modified cold end that can push it through without gear kickback.
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#4
The more I think about this (at work and not by the printer at the moment), I have noticed that it has been harder to get the filament in for loading since I had the jam. In other words, when I fee it through the top and push it down, I normally could just pull the release and feed it in by hand another 1/2" or so. Since the last jam, it's a bit harder to do like it's not lining up. I'm now wondering if I don't have the extruder fully seated and that is what is causing the bad prints. I'll know more once I get home...
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#5
If you do a manual extrude and the filament tries to come out at an angle and not straight down, you still have a clog, or like you said, dont have the extruder housing lined up properly. Clog would also explain wavy lines. U could try the atomic method, but I usually feed craft wire all the way up to the feed gears until it comes out clean. Once I removed the heat break and could see inside the brass nozzle, I was a bit surprised just how much filament can get jammed in there.
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#6
Well, I tried taking the head out and re-seating it. Cleaned the nozzle by putting on the nozzle cleaner wire that came with it and even tried a different brand filament. Still not printing like it used too and it seems to be that first layer that has the most trouble. Maybe wavy was a bad description of what is happening. As it creates the infill for the first layer (this is where it is most noticeable), instead of having a nice uniform line, it seems to flatten out in the middle and bulge/bubble up. When I take the print off the printer and turn it over, I would expect to see nice lines going diagonal but instead I can see where bubbled. I can't feel it (smooth as glass for the most part), but I can see it. This is a problem as I am trying to make phone cases for the kids (already done about a dozen since I had the printer which turned out great) and first layer (or back of the case) is what is seen.

One thing I did notice is that when the filament starts to come out after loading, it does go to the left a little bit and will catch on the top of the heater creating a loop as more comes out. It will eventually pull that top piece down and then it looks like it is extruding straight. Could there still be a partial block in the there?

At this point I have already sent Amazon a notice that I want a replacement printer for this one (I have until the end of the month). Aside from this, I also have the issue with the heater connection (which I worked around) and recently one of the calibration adjustment studs seems to have come out of the bed itself. I could probably fix this by taking the whole bed off and screwing it back in but I think I just might be better off seeing if I can get one of the newer builds. I'm also thinking there might be a bigger issue with this printer as I still get the "sd card removed" and then "sd card installed" after about 15 seconds every so often after turning it on. This coupled with the initial issue that caused me to flash reptier (which I love) so quickly was that something funky was happening with the filament cartridges where I stuck a brand new cartridge in and it took on the status of one of my older cartridges (instead of 240 m left it only had 14 m left...the amount the previous cartridge had). This then transferred over to another cartridge that should have had over 100m left. Very weird stuff that seems to only be happening with this printer (I have seen no other issues like this on the boards). At any rate, I flashed back to 1.J and I'll wait for the new one to arrive.

Thanks for everyone's feedback/help with this.
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#7
Kevin, sorry to hear you are still having issues with this. Wire cleaning with the included tools are OK, but often times would just push the filament up into the heat break, only to get clogged again. Here is what I would do when this would happen to me. Take the extruder cartridge off of the carriage but leave the wires plugged in, or plug them back in after you have the extruder cartridge removed. Warm the extruder to around 250 degrees. Now this one may not be handy for everyone, I just happen to have alot of wire laying around from making e-cig coils. Take some wire that will fit into the extruder nozzle and push it up until you can see it clear the heatbreak. Either use a rag to wipe the filament it pushed up off, or cut the wire and pull it all the way through. Repeat this until you can push a wire into the extruder, and its clean when you pull it back out. Shine a flashlight through the extruder nozzle, if you can see the light at the end of the heat break you should be good.

If you dont want to be as risky as me (extruder could fall onto the bed) take the extruder nozzle and heat break off, heat the wire instead of the nozzle and do the same thing as above.

I personally wouldnt stick anything up into the extruder nozzle other than soft wire, as scoring the inside of the soft brass nozzle will just encourage more clogs in the future.
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#8
Quote:Kevin, sorry to hear you are still having issues with this. Wire cleaning with the included tools are OK, but often times would just push the filament up into the heat break, only to get clogged again. Here is what I would do when this would happen to me. Take the extruder cartridge off of the carriage but leave the wires plugged in, or plug them back in after you have the extruder cartridge removed. Warm the extruder to around 250 degrees. Now this one may not be handy for everyone, I just happen to have alot of wire laying around from making e-cig coils. Take some wire that will fit into the extruder nozzle and push it up until you can see it clear the heatbreak. Either use a rag to wipe the filament it pushed up off, or cut the wire and pull it all the way through. Repeat this until you can push a wire into the extruder, and its clean when you pull it back out. Shine a flashlight through the extruder nozzle, if you can see the light at the end of the heat break you should be good.

If you dont want to be as risky as me (extruder could fall onto the bed) take the extruder nozzle and heat break off, heat the wire instead of the nozzle and do the same thing as above.

I personally wouldnt stick anything up into the extruder nozzle other than soft wire, as scoring the inside of the soft brass nozzle will just encourage more clogs in the future.

Thank you for the feedback. I actually did spend some time last night heating the nozzle up and using the supplied wire to try and clean out. I think I made it worse and now do suspect it is a partial clog (as you have been saying) that is causing the bad prints. I can extrude but it does come out at an angle. The other thing I noticed with the extruded filament is that every so often it feels a little rough as I run it through my fingers (as opposed to smooth all the way through). I figured since it was extruding, it wasn't clogged, but obviously I am wrong about that. Still learning. I'll try your method, now I just need to find some wire that is less then .4 mm. I'll head to my local Lowes and see if I can find something today.

Thank you again for all the help.
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#9
I used kanthal wire for vaporizers, but I also found a spool of nickle at a local crafts store (michaels, JoAnns) that fit perfectly, for like a buck. Look in the jewelry making section.
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#10
Quote:I used kanthal wire for vaporizers, but I also found a spool of nickle at a local crafts store (michaels, JoAnns) that fit perfectly, for like a buck. Look in the jewelry making section.

So I ran to Michaels over my lunch break and picked up both .041mm and .038mm wire. I'll give this a shot when I get home.

Quick question, do I have to feed it from the bottom up to clean or can I feed it top to bottom (just like the filament travels)?
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#11
Kevin,

I went through the nozzle up to the stepper gears, but I dont really see any reason you couldnt do the opposite. Only thing I can think of would be the potential to drag filament from the heat break down into the nozzle, although Ive never personally witnessed filament stuck to the heat break walls. My complete routine was push the wire up through the nozzle, try to wipe off the filament that would be brought up and repeat. After I stopped seeing the wire coming out with filament on it, I would pretty much just back and forth the wire until I didnt see filament coming out the nozzle when i pulled the wire out. I had some pretty bad PLA disasters though, so hopefully you wont have to spend that much time on it. When youre ready to test, heat the nozzle, pull the extruder gear tensioner back and manually push filament all the way out of the nozzle, you should notice a pretty big difference in that the extruded filament comes out straight down, with a thicker diameter than what you would expect.

I just thought about something as I was about to hit Submit, coming from the top down, it may be difficult to hit the nozzle opening, because it is very tiny and the heatbreak wont help guide you there, especially with spooled wire that wants to curve.
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#12
Yep, that makes sense. Bottom up it is...I'll just stop drinking caffeine now so I'm not so dang shaky Smile

Can't wait to get home and verify this is my printing issue. My daughter wants me to make a phone case for part of a friends birthday gift. I finally have a job with this thing and can't deliver until I get it printing better :angry:

Thank you for all your help Nepenthy.
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#13
Man, my pleasure! If it wasnt for all the brains and experience on this forum, I would have drop kicked this thing 50 times by now. I had the same issue as you in the past and it ended up being what looked like a small metal flake, from the gears maybe, was stuck in there. The supplied wire would just push it up and drag it back down and never clear it. I finally figured it out by observing that every time i stuck the wire tool in there, the filament would come out at a different angle. I know youve got some birthday printing to catch up on, but please let us know how it works out.
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#14
Quote:Man, my pleasure! If it wasnt for all the brains and experience on this forum, I would have drop kicked this thing 50 times by now. I had the same issue as you in the past and it ended up being what looked like a small metal flake, from the gears maybe, was stuck in there. The supplied wire would just push it up and drag it back down and never clear it. I finally figured it out by observing that every time i stuck the wire tool in there, the filament would come out at a different angle. I know youve got some birthday printing to catch up on, but please let us know how it works out.

Nepenthy...we are cooking with fire!!! Ultimately, I ended up taking the wire that came with the da vinci and "uncurling" the curled part to make it straight so I could pull it all the way through. I tried the wire I bought but it was just too frail and kept bending/heating up before I could get it in the hole. I spent a good amount of time pulling it through to make sure it was clean. I also did another calibration on the bed. On the first load of filament, it came straight down!!

Now, I may have also had a compounding problems with a partial clog and settings. I have spent so much time tinkering with settings (between stock firmware to modded firmware with sli3r to simplify3d) that I might have tied myself in a knot. I went back to basics with default values for the da vinci with simplify3d and started tinkering from there. I also slowed things way down. I have the case printing right now and so far so good.

I'm going to have a big decision to make tomorrow as my replacement from amazon is arriving. If it's the newer model, I may just keep it and send this one back (not sure what new issues that will bring with it though). If it's the same model (1.0), I may just keep my current one and send the new one back.

At any rate, thank you again for all your help. There is so much to learn and without folks willing to lend out a helping hand, like yourself, this would be an unreal frustration.
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