Going forwards with MakerWare. ReplicatorG is a headache (oh yeah and check your printheads)

Before I get onto the MakerWare issue i must say its become clear that the issues with lines going through the model, as seen in my last post, had little to do with the print settings.

How this discovery came about…

I made a trip down to the local University to see there 3D printing lab and spoke with the technician. I wanted to ask him about my misprinting issues. I was impressed by the workshop, and made the immediate observation that they only used MakerWare and never ReplicatorG. With 12 printers working away all the prints look like they where going well. This raised the suspicion that using ReplicatorG may be more trouble then its worth? But more on that latter.

One of the printheads became jammed and i could not  unloaded the filament, and so decided to take it  apart. at this point i released that both print heads had broken components:

2014-03-31 14.17.26 2014-03-31 14.03.05

These are the rollers that work in conjunction with the motor gear that grabs the filament. So its no wonder why i was getting lines in the print. clearly the print-head was not uniformly feeding the filament, thus the lines.

I can see now why my attempts to change the federate setting was misguided.  I believed that changing the feed-rate from 30 to 35 changed the extrusion rate. This was not the case (it  only changes the travel rate while printing.)

I swapped the internal roller parts over so they would be in effect fixed.  This did the trick and the feed now works removing the issue of lines in models. Using replicatorG, good models started to appear.

Until my first attempt to print a larger model. This happened:

2014-04-01 13.56.22On larger prints, after the raft had attached just fine, the first layers of the model, if comprised of a large flat layer, lift.

I contacted the aforementioned technician at the Uni, who said he had not seen this before either, but suggested i change a setting in Makerware (RaftModelspacing) to increase the value, thus reducing the space between the top of the raft and the model space.  I however was still using ReplicatorG. Thus i decided to move over to MakerWare.

I changed no raft setting, and just printed the model on the default PLA standard settings, and it worked just fine.  In fact the prints where coming out faster and at a better quality.

All i would mention is that, when compared to ReplicatorG, the raft holds onto the model too well, making it difficult to remove the raft from the model after printing. I have had better results with this issue by changing the RaftModelSpacing to 0.31 (from 0.21) which has made the removal of the raft,, from the model fairly easy.

I continue to experiment, but after reaching incorrect conclusions as seen in the previous post, is say what i about to say with reservations. However, if you are new to 3D printing, just use MakeWare, and leave ReplicatorG on the side lines at first. I did learn a lot via going through the finer details of ReplicatorG’s settings and g codes, yet i’m not sticking to makerWare. It seems to be so much less a pain in the head.

I would however leave on saying a point the technician said to me. He said MakerWare does not do well on high res (0.1) prints, where ReplicatorG copes better. We shall in time how this plays out.

2014-04-07 22.54.27

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