Written by Bridget Butler Millsaps
As 3D printing catches on more and more in the mainstream, many of the issues makers face are coming to the forefront–along with solutions. While previously many users were just on their own or left to hope others in their circle of innovation had a clue when trying to suss out why prints were splitting and cracking or why an extruder was getting clogged, it’s not quite as difficult to find answers today.
So now, all those with questions: heed! Simplify3D is showing off their stuff and sharing years of experience with their users. Accelerating the troubleshooting process for everyone, Simplify3D allows users to benefit from knowledge of so many different printer brands from around the world. They’ve compiled all of the wisdom into one comprehensive tome, the new Print Quality Troubleshooting Guide, which is meant not only to allow you to figure out what’s going on and why, but also to give you more than one way to fix the problem.
No flash in the pan list of ‘how do’s’, the Simplify3D team has been working on their guide for quite some time and they recently told 3DPrint.com that they are very excited to be releasing and sharing the information which includes software settings that can often be used to fix issues, as well as offering a collection of images, giving visual cues to make the process of troubleshooting easier.
Each particular issue is provided with a thumbnail overview for speed in investigating all the different problems one may be experiencing or could come across in the future, as well as quickly finding an answer.
It should be a relief for many to see so many of these common issues being addressed concisely. For example, are your prints not sticking to the bed from the first layer on? If so, Simplify3D recommends numerous features to check, such as whether or not the print bed is level, temperature and cooling settings, and much more, along with offering information such as:
“Different plastics tend to adhere better to different materials. For this reason, many printers include a special build platform material that is optimized for their materials. For example, several printers use a BuildTak sheet on the top of their bed that tends to stick very well to PLA. Other manufacturers opt for a heat treated glass bed such as Borosilicate glass, which tends to work very well for ABS when heated. If you are going to print directly onto these surfaces, it is always a good idea to make sure that your build platform is free of dust, grease, or oils before starting the print. Cleaning your print bed with some water or isopropyl rubbing alcohol can make a big difference.”
Is your 3D printer not extruding enough, or extruding too much? How about checking to make sure you have the proper filament? What about increasing the extrusion multiplier? As the Simplify3D team notes, it’s really important to printing quality for extrusion to be precise, but there is often no way to monitor to this. They recommend several different settings you can check here, giving a great idea of what you can look forward to in this guide.
- No extrusion from beginning of printing
- Gaps in top layers
- Layer shifting
- Layer separation and splitting
- Clogged extruder
- Extrusion stops mid-print
- Weak infill
- Blobs and zits
- Small features not printing
With options to open up and expand on various issues and explanations, there should be more than enough information for you here, and even if you aren’t currently having problems, the whole guide is entertaining enough to read anyway, allowing you to ward off confusion or failed prints even.
Simplify3D is known for their offerings in professional 3D printing software which allow for streamlining and superior quality in fabrication. We’ve followed this company for quite some time now, as they are famous for and very active in working to unify processes across markets. We watched and reported as they’ve expanded, taken on partnerships, launched new products and updates, been the software of choice for seriously cool play rockets, and far more. With the release of their troubleshooting guide, however, Simplify3D is offering us all something we’ll refer to again and again–and gratefully so.