Stumped and tired

I’m just about ready to pull my hair out and get rid of this machine.

After nearly 1 1/2 months of trying to get a consistent print, I still can’t get the first layer to turn out acceptable, and the first layer is going to be the one seen, as a cap will go over the top layer. I’ve tried luban and cura both. I’m still getting gouging and holes in first layer. On the off chance that I do get a decent print, I immediately try to replicate it only to have the issue reappear.

I’ve leveled it several times using 5X5 (25 level points) and the included Z axis card, but it still the problem persists. This last time, the head actually appears to have imbedded the filament into the print plate, and this was after a rare successful print. I have been unsuccessful in removing this from the plate.

(apologies for the “sparkles” had a weird filter on the camera)

Sorry to rant, but I’m depending on this machine for very short run pre-production samples of a device I have created, and I’m at my wits end.

On the neat side, those rare good prints have elvish ruins imbedded in the first layer. Hope the machine isn’t cursed.

Is this a snapmaker support issue or am I just plain ignorant?

Not ignoring your question, but just an additional question: does a quick polish of the bottom with some 220 grit sandpaper fix it?

How big are the problems?

Is the concentric circle in the middle of the ring on the last picture expected?

I’ve gone up to 400 grit sandpaper, but it leaves the surface dull with no shine, and I’m not wanting to take it to 800, then 1200 followed by a buffing for every one produced.

It’s a pretty big problem as the surfaces cannot contain visible holes or gouges. I would have to sand off the entire first layer.

The concentric ring in the center is the result of using concentric lines for the first layer, and this is the portion of the layer that doesn’t fit nicely so Cura kind of zig zags it some there.

Here’s a picture showing the flaws.

It’s fairly common to use a filler on models to achieve a smooth surface.

It sounds like you need this to be printed on an SLA resin printer, I’m not sure the FFF process can produce the quality your are expecting.

Have you tried this on other printers? Do you know that this can be printed in PLA at the quality you want?

I guess I sorta agree with your very first statement. If it’s been a struggle this long maybe this isn’t the right tool for the job.

  1. consider a different PLA
  2. consider a smooth build surface like the energtic smooth plate, i get surfaces like this
    which is incredibly smooth

I’ve got an AnyCubic S resin printer which works great. Unfortunately there are no food safe resins. As for fillers, I’m afraid that the additional cost would put the product out of reach of the consumer.

I don’t have access to another FFF printer at this time, but the occasional good prints I get indicate that it can be printed at the quality I want.

Tried 2 different types and 3 different colors of PLA.

That does look pretty smooth. What’s going on with the corners where there are no lines?

The energetic smooth plate is only available, from what I can tell, from AliExpress, and with the shipping from China backed up the way it is, I can’t wait 2-6 months to get it.

Just for discussion, here’s a first layer I had

It’s not perfect. There’s a few divots on my print surface. But I would consider that overall to be high quality.

Regarding your question about areas that don’t have lines: when everything goes just perfectly the filament is still hot enough that it fuses together perfectly creating a single sheet of filament. As the travel length gets longer the filament cools and the hot adjacent filament cannot fully re melt it leaving the typical lines.

To get that surface even better I would probably slow the first layer speed down to no more than 10mm/s, but even that may not meet your required quality. I would still expect some smoothing to be necessary.

mine took 22 days to arrive, but i understand you cant live with the risk it doesn’t arrive in time, there are some on amazon us that are similar, not sure what they are like

i have strange bed levelling issues so inconsistent height, just means the nozzle was real close at that spot :slight_smile:

You’re expecting perfection out of imperfection. No FDM printer in the market can achieve what you’re expecting with PLA, PETG is very glossy but is not food safe. Why does it need to be so flawless? Also that sparkle filter on the photo makes it impossible to actually see the print quality.

Speaking of FDM, here’s an industrial providers short video about their process: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) Technology - YouTube.

Interesting because at the end (1:50) they offer hand sanding and painting for a smooth appearance.

another smooth surface alternate is this

you will need to do manual calibration but it doesn’t take that long and isnt hard

Thanks guys for your help. Certainly will watch the video. I did use a glass plate on my first solidoodle many years ago, and except for having to treat it prior to use, it did decent work. I’ll look into that too.

I redid the sparkle print with my cell phone camera this time. It’s showing how the filament is almost embedded in the print layer. I still haven’t been able to scrape it off as I don’t want to damage the plate any more.

Not sure if this has been asked on another thread, but you have updated your firmware?

Also, can you share some photos of your machine? (if you haven’t done this already)
Just want to rule out any problems with the assembly or the machine.
From front at bed level and looking down from front at height of z-towers at minimum.


I just checked yesterday and the firmware is up to date.

I’ll post some photo’s tomorrow.

I have a lot of experience with screwing up the default bed - what i believe you see there is a time when the hotend was too close and the heat of the hotend was able to fuse the PLA and the surface together. Effectively you had 180c device touching the bed and it can melt the surface.

This will leave artifacts on anything you print over these areas. you can see black and white filaments that have done this on mine:

also note that the default bed can be quite sticky for some (not all, depends on batch) and you may find you can lower the bed temps into the low 50s just fine (i can print benchys with a bed of 45 sometimes) and with PLA temps of 180 ish if it is a certain PLA. My recommendation is start low and move up to a high temp to get adhesion, not the other way around.

For example that white shit you see on my bed was a rainbow silk i printed at bed 60 and nozzle 190 - and it welded itself to the surface texture on the snapmaker default plate.

I am finding my new stock surface and the hatchbox PLA to be a VERY different experience…

I heard a rumor acetone might get it off, but risks also removing the PEI coating on the surface… haven’t tried it yet.

Post your STL, i will give it a go on my energetic bed and if i have time on my brand new stock bed…

Do the artifacts you have cause issues with printing?

bottom 2.1.stl (246.1 KB)

Just a general “trick” I use to help with the first layer is to print it wider and thicker.

So with a. 4mm nozzle I print it at 1mm wide and 0.3mm thickness in stead of the standard values. All other layers at normal values as well. This is significantly “easier” and more tolerant with regard to calibration, and imperfections in the buildplate or leveling.

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