I’m hoping some of you experts can help me understand what I’m doing, or at least confirm that I’m on the right track, before I spend too much time messing with settings!
I’ve nearly finished my first roll of Snapmaker filament, which I’ve been printing just fine with using standard settings, so have bought some new stuff, but another brand (Tucab Fil3D PLA), so figured it was time to up my game a little and try and make sure I’m printing the best I can. Also, the first thing I tried with it came out horrible, because I hadn’t realised that a firmware update had reset the extruder setting!
So, please bear with me, this might drag on a bit, as I’d like to just explain where I’m at and see if anyone has any ideas on what I should do differently.
First off, I’ve calibrated the extruder, and got that to near enough bang on 100mm.
Then, I printed a temperature tower, which came out like this:
I didn’t really see much difference between the temperatures initially, so stuck with 210º (the spec sheet recommends 210º ± 20º). But, then I noticed that it gets a lot glossier the hotter it was, and that down at 190º it is more semi matt, like the original Snapmaker filament was.
This is a sample of both filaments, and the tower against the roll:
So, I’m now thinking I should only be printing at 190º. Would that be right?
Then, I moved onto printing a small flow test cube to check the wall thickness. This was 2 walls at 0.4mm each, and at 100% flow the walls were coming out around 0.95mm (instead of 0.8mm). A couple of different rates were tried and at 90% flow rate, I got pretty damn close:
OK, actually, perfect! But, that was at 210º, so I guess if I do switch down to 190º then I should recheck this as I guess the flow rate will be different at a different temperature?
Next question is, is it normal for the first layer to be much wider? I always seem to get quite a noticeable lip on the bottom of a print, as you can see by the thickness of the bottom of the above cube:
It’s nearly twice the thickness of the rest of the print. Is that normal, or should I look at changing some first layer settings?
On the subject of first layers, a few bigger parts I’ve tried with this new filament seemed to be quite nasty on the first layer. Admittedly, this one was done at a guess of the flow rate at 85% before I rechecked it, but the skirt was almost non-existent in places and the actual part, well, you can see how uneven it is:
Could this have been because of the slightly underrated flow (not a massive difference, I wouldn’t have thought), or could it be because it was too hot? Or is there something else going on there?
The second layer seemed to be a lot better, and the finished print looked ok, although was a bit “holey” on the bottom:
All of the above was done with 55º bed temp. I haven’t started messing with that yet, because as far as I can tell, the prints are sticking just fine. I get the feeling it’s more about the flow and extruder temps. But maybe I’m wrong?
Final question for now - because of these very fine skirt lines, I have a lot of very thin residue on the print bed (which actually look thicker/more obvious in the photo than they actually do). Too thin to get the spatula under it, or scrape it, but too thick to be cleaned off with alcohol:
It goes against the concept of the sheet, but as new there is a kind of non-stick type texture to the sheet, which I’m worried about damaging by scraping too hard. You can see some spots are already turning shiny. Any ideas for cleaning these off? Or am I worrying about nothing, and it’s OK to just scrape away at it?
If you’re still with me, thanks in advance for any tips you can offer!