[Sticky] 3D Printing Support FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions for 3D Printing Support
- What material should I use to print with?
Most beginners will start with a material called PLA, and later on when you want to produce prints that withstand outdoor temperatures and have more strength they usually move on to PETG and ABS.
- Which brand of PLA is best?
This is very subjective and most people who 3D print have a different opinion. I started on several brands like AIO Robotics and Hatchbox; but now I mostly use 3DSolutech and Paramount3D from Amazon and they are ALWAYS consistent.
- What color filament should I use?
If you are planning to post-process with acrylic paints I suggest using a white base, but generally anything not being post-processed I always print in black.
- What settings should I use?
Every 3D Printing is different although we have some good starting points for several different printers, and with some simple photos and information we can help you get printing.
- Where do I find models and things to print?
We update our website with the most popular models and things to print monthly, and those files originate from Thingiverse. Thingiverse is a great community to download and share STL files which are used in a Slicer to produce 3D Print instructions called GCode.
- Which 3D Printer should I buy?
We suggest you read up on reviews and look at features you think you would want, and spend wisely. Don't spend at the very top of your budget, as you will need to save some cash for the accessories and filament. Creality is a VERY good brand for beginners and we suggest them to many people.
- Which slicer software should I use?
Most people new to 3D Printing will start with the Cura or Simplify3D slicer software. We suggest those to beginners and once you are a little more comfortable with the settings and how the change your quality; you can try PrusaSlicer which is a variant of Slic3r.
- First Layer Issues
The first layer of your print is probably the most important layer. As foundation to your whole print, it is essential in providing proper adhesion to the build plate.Many common 3D printing problems stem from a poor first layer. There’s a couple of things that can go wrong when printing your first layer.
Nozzle too close to the bed
Signs that your nozzle might be too close to the bed:
- Printed line is way thinner than desired. It might get so thin it turns transparent.
- Excess filament is squished upwards at the edges of the current printing line creating a rough surface and wavy patterns. (You can feel the roughness when touching it carefully even during the print).
- Filament is getting torn off the bed when the next neighbouring line is printed.
- Finished prints are hard to remove from the print bed.
How to fix:
Adjust nozzle to bed distance either by tightening the 3 or 4 levelling screws of your printer and using thicker paper stock for manual bed levelling or by adjusting your z-offset value when using a bed levelling sensor. Make sure you’re not pressing down on your bed when levelling it.
Nozzle too far away from the print bed
Signs that your nozzle is too far away from the print bed
- When looking at the bottom of your printed object, you can clearly make out individual lines with a noticeable gap between each line.
- During printing the first layer, the individual lines are not touching each other.
- There’s small gaps where the lines of the infill are not touching the outlines of the wall.
- The shape of the extruding line is very round. With the proper distance, extruded line is slightly squished, pancake shaped.
- Individual printed lines are barely sticking to the build plate.
- Parts are warping off the build plate or become loose during the prints.
How to fix:
Adjust nozzle to bed distance either by loosening the 3 or 4 levelling screws of your printer and using thinner paper stock (receipt paper is good) for manual bed levelling or by adjusting your z-offset value when using a bed levelling sensor. Make sure you’re not pressing the bed upwards while levelling manually.
- Print Not Sticking
Signs that your print isn’t sticking:
Your print is lifting off the bed, such as warping, or returning to your printer with a birds nest (as per image in ‘Print Not Sticking To The Bed’ section below).
Filament specific tips
- PLA likes to be squished more into the bed than other filament types to provide good adhesion.
- PETG usually prints better with a higher nozzle to bed distance to avoid the nozzle picking up filament that might drip on your print later during the print. Also, the extra distance helps prevent excessive adhesion issue that for example might occur when printing on glass or PEI beds.
- TPU and Flexible PLA will also adhere stronger than you might like if printed too close to a PEI or specialist bed surface (such as BuildTak).
- Ender 3 Fan Mod Speed Issues
After upgrading Ender 3 to 5015, 5025 or other Fans they run 100% all the time? This is a simple fix, as long as you are on custom firmware you can make one change and get complete control of your fans! Open your firmware in arduino, and go to the Configuration.h tab; perform a search for the FAN_SOFT_PWM option. Once you find it, you will remove the # and enable it. This allows Software PWM control of your fans, as long as you are driving them from the stock wiring. Otherwise, if you are hooked directly to 24v they WILL always run 100%
undefine FAN_SOFT_PWM in configuration.h to enable full speed control.
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