3D Print Learning Series: Operations
This is an entry in our 3D Print Learning Series, focusing on 3D Printing Operations.
There are many aspects to 3D printing, and one of them is the discipline of operations, the act of running the machine to obtain a successful 3D print.
But that’s the difficult part: being “successful”. There are countless ways a 3D print job can go awry. I’ve often seen some complain about particular 3D printers because their print failed. However, in many cases it is not the fault of the machine but in fact is the fault of the operator.
Typically to succeed in 3D printing one must perform adequate preparation to ensure things don’t go wrong. Most problems are in fact due to improper — or even ignored — preparatory activities. For example, if your thermoplastic extrusion 3D printer’s plate is not sufficiently level, then you will never get a print to stick properly no matter what you try.
Once you are able to successfully complete 3D prints reliably, then there are some additional more advanced techniques that can be undertaken. These allow for interesting variations when printing.
The following posts provide plenty of information on how to set up your 3D prints to encourage success, debug print failures and experiment with some advanced techniques. Each article title is a link to the full post.
For other current entries in this series, please search for our tag, “learning series”, here. Search often, as we will be adding more periodically.
3D PRINTING OPERATIONS
Before you even consider starting a 3D print job, there are several things you absolutely must do. If not, you risk 3D print failure, wasting both materials and time.
While there are plenty of common 3D printing problems, this one is a scenario you might run into once and a while. Know how to recognize and fix it.
There are five key things to do before and during your 3D print that you must do to vastly increase the chances of print success.
When 3D printing, the print sometimes comes out wrong or has defects. There are many types of defects and each has its own ways to resolve the issue. This post lists several powerful troubleshooting guides so you can find and fix them.
One of the tasks involved in setting up a 3D print job is to set the object’s orientation on the print plate. There are several considerations in doing so.
Sometimes 3D prints are covered in strange “hairs” that are awfully difficult to remove — unless you use this rapid technique to get rid of them very quickly.
Sometimes 3D prints are components of larger structures, requiring ways to attach. A common method is to insert nuts and bolts; here’s a way to do so.
An advanced technique is to 3D print directly onto fabric to create unusual 2D, or even 3D aspects to cloth.
Does your print look crappy? Try these several techniques for making the finish better, right off the 3D printer.
If you don’t have a multicolor 3D printer, it is still possible to use several different colors in a single print.
Need a waterproof 3D print? Did you realize most 3D prints are NOT waterproof? This post explains how to get rid of leaks.
3D print jobs require you to select the infill percentage, but sometimes it’s a good idea to set it to zero.
There’s a very strange technique that’s used to 3D print vase structures that involves playing with the infill and top & bottom layers.
If you wish to push filaments other than PLA, ABS, PETG through your extruder, there are some considerations.
For other currently entries in this series, please search for our tag, “learning series”, here. Search often, as we will be adding more periodically.