It’s here! The tried and tested simple guide to reliable PLA prints on the Wanhao Duplicator 4. Part 1

It been a while since the last post, But now you will be treated to a  3-parter!

You see, progress was stalling as I kept having the reoccurring problem of failed prints. I came to see that this was primarily caused but the PLA plastic flicking up of corners, so causing the print heads to catch on the build, either knocking the build off the print bed or causing the printer head to miss align.

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This error was kind of impressive. The architect who designed this building, was as amused as I to see who his previously square building suddenly gain much garden shade. The Y axes was knocked of alignment causing this phenomenon.

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I’m glad to no report to you all that these error are finally, after months of efforts, a thing of the past and now prints are coming out to a reliable quality.

So here are my prime tip and guides to getting your Wanhao printing to work great:

1 – Firmware upgrade to ‘Sailfish’

This upgrade is crucial to get a better quality of tool path during prints, allow for faster and better detailed printing, and also solving the problem of the build platform dropping at incorrect increments, causing interference with the build.  For those who are unfamiliar with firmware (which is the software in the 3D printer itself) as expressed on the display, here is a Makerbot guide intro:

Rather than I go through this step by step instead, follow this guide to install the new firmware. But make sure you do it to the letter!

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/wanhao-printer-3d/sailfish/wanhao-printer-3d/dU8M4Qy_3_s/k2nNjzfaThkJ

I highly recommend watching the 4 YouTube  videos in their entirety before going back and trying the upgrade  yourself.  If you use Makerware DEFINITELY install ‘Proftweek’.  It makes the g-code interface so much more manageable and is a no-brainer. Pay attention to his settings recommendations for PLA builds, they work well.

Don’t freak out when your Wanhao says it’s now a ‘Flashforge’ 3D printer.  It’s just had a new personality uploaded after all, with the extra added bonuses of informing you of the amount of filament used in a build, and simpler hand guided build plate leveling operation. The only downside I can see is that the jingle when you switch it on now sounds like the Sports Sunday opening theme (fellow UK readers may know what I’m talking about) Come on, us techy types don’t like sport. They should of made it play the Firefly jingle.

One tip, make sure you reset all the x and y coordinates to 0 to prevent the print head slamming into the side of the printer.

I hope you can appreciate the time and effort that goes into writing this blog, and of course the cost for my hosting, the materials, and parts for these experiments. So with this in mind, I would like to do a small plug for ‘Toptal’. They are a website who can supply you with a choice of the top 3% collection of professional freelancers for any kind of Software Engineering, Design, and Development you may need, big or small. Please follow this link to see check out the site. If you then wish to hire one of their great people please follow the link or click the banner at the top of the page. Not only do you get your perfect freelancer, but I am also happy to give 50% of my own commission back to you. This may be up to $1000! Everyone wins! – https://www.toptal.com/#hire-skillful-software-developers-now

Also, and particularly if you are reading this in the US, if you want to Wanhao 3D printer, follow this link and on your order enter the discount code “Charlie3” for $5 off any 3D Printer they sell. I also get a dizzying $5 for my efforts! – http://wanhaousa.com/

Part 2 coming soon – Print head upgrading and more! 

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