This week the assignments were on 3D printing and I have print a flower vase I made in fusion 360. The condition was to print something that cant be made by subtractive method. The curves and the holes on the side of the curves and also the inner shell of the design makes it not possible to be made by subtractive method.
The design was made in Fusion 360 and it took few mins to design and I saved the stl file to make the g-code.3D stl file here
Every printer come with their own software for making the G-code for the printer. The printer I had at my lab here is called Julia and its made by a local start-up. The software they provide is called Fracktory and the version is 2.0. I have kept the setting to default that the software provided with normal quality. And it took 2 hours to print an object of 5cm by 5 cm at base to a height of 8cm.
Now its time to print so before starting, I checked the bed alignments and also checked if there was enough filament and in this printer there was an addition step of applying glue stick to the bed in the print area for stronger bond in the base which is not the case in all the 3D printers.
After loading the g-code file into the printer , now I just have to wait.
These is on of the most common problem I face. This is where the print base doesn't get attached on the print area. The reasons are because of temperature of the base has not reached to certain level which leads to the filament not sticking on the base. Some times the error is in the g-code depending on complexity of the design, where we might have missed the base by a degree or two. The solution is to check how you placed the design in the software and also set the proper setting in the 3D printer and also wait for it to reach to the ideal temperature. Now almost 3D printer are smarter so this issues are very less likely in much advance printers.
This is when the printer still continues to print without actually printing. The design is partially printed and than due to blockage in the filament nozzles, the printer just air prints. To me this is really one of the most frustrating issue as sometimes it would be the last stage of the print and we have to do it all again. It is therefore very important to ensure that the filament has no breakage in the midde of the roll and also ensure that there are no dust partcles around the nozzles as sometimes these small particle jams the filament. Sometime its due to teperature at the nozzle, such that the temperature is not enough to melt the plastic filament and gets jamed. This issue can be solved by checking if all thea setting are right.
Support is really important in 3D printing using the g-code technique though the new 3D printers uses different technology. There are certain angle(called 'offset') to which we print without suport which is less than 45 degrees in the printer I am using. Any angle more than 45 degree in the design requires support to print. Support are also requried in the hollow objects as after certain distance without support, the bond becomes weak between the plastic filament and the print fails. The solution is to insure support from the software of the 3D printer if the design is complex and might need it though smaller distance and angle less than 45 degrees is not required. support materials can be removed later and some printer offering two nozzle have PVA(polyvinyl alcohol) as support, this material gets dissolved in water in few hours and results in much cleaner print than printing the support from the same material as it leaves some mark behind.