Diary of the noob - 3D printing


With first prints under my belt I was ready for new adventures in land of 3D printing.
The enlarged Martian lorry wheel was next, this time I opted for stand-up position.
Well, it was not as good as the first one, so for future printing of this object I would return to horizontal position.

All elements for Martian lorry were ready but I made a decision to print a house for my day job (I'm an a architect) before I proceed with my gaming 3D creations. The house consists of 3 parts - top floor, bottom floor and the shade.
Middle pillar is badly printed because support next to him got lose during the print
I printed top floor first, and I even had one support get loose, but the print looked OK. Because support got loose, one pillar was badly printed but not in the way that  made him unusable. There were some bumps on the roof above supports, so I learned to put at least 4 or 5  top layers. This print took almost four hours. The bottom floor is a box with few details, so I opted for 0.4mm layers to save some time. Until this print, I printed everything with brim. Print started OK, brim layer was perfect, but the first bottom layer refused to stick to hot bed, and it was more made of the ribbons than plate.
Good brim layer
Those ribbons started to curve. I hoped that second layer would even things so I let printer continue printing. but before second layer even started, curving of the ribbons was of such magnitude that it pulled up the brim and whole object got lose. It was late, so I went to rest and hoped another day will bring better luck. Next day I tried to print this object two more times with same result. I even increased the bed and extruder temperature for first layer but in vain.
Two started bottom floors of the house with 0.4mm layer thickness 

Then I switched back to 0.2mm layer, and print went just fine. I tried to find out why this happens on Internet, but did not come to a final conclusion. Best guess is that hot end was too close to the bed for 0.4mm layer so layers were over extruded (too thin). With brim, bottom layers practically bridged whole distance of base and with over extrusion they were too thin to stick to bottom and then curved.

Now I was ready to print the rest of the parts for Martian lorry. I exported all from CAD in .stl format, and imported one by one to slicer - Cura for Wanhao. Slicer is a program that turns 3D object in layers and lets printer know how he should print it (speed, temperature...) I started with undercarriage and proceeded with the rest of  parts. When I get to fenders, they didn't looked good in Cura, they where too thin. I went back to CAD and made the fenders thicker. Back in Cura I realized that few bottom layers are below plane of hot-bed and that they would not print. I tried to move object upward, but it just went back below. . The same thing happened with tires. Both objects had some elements that are very thin below main mass of the object, so maybe because of that, Cura just ignored those thin parts. Solution for this is to put the object on the raft. Raft is a solid plane below object that sticks very well to hot-bed. How printer makes object barely attached to raft is a mystery for me. But it works. Raft adds to filament consumption and printing time, but for elements that don't have big touching surface with hot-bed, it is a must. Rest of the printing of lorry went uneventful except that I wasn't satisfied with part of undercarriage so I printed it again. Bumper turned out to be too small so I enlarged it. Most prints were done with 0.15mm layer, except fenders, bumper and  top of the cabin that I printed in 0.06mm to obtain better detail/less visible layers on slope.
All parts printed

During the past year I supported few 3D printable terrain kickstarters, so now was the time to try to print some stuff from them. I started with some ruined walls from Time Warp, Europe and Americas by Printable Scenery. This is established firm with few kickstarters under their belt and a on-line shop, so models were expectedly good. Every piece of wall took between 3 and 4 hours with 0.2mm layers. Interestingly, when I started to print, 3 or 4 hours prints were unimaginable long for me. Now, they are standard. I just excepted that most thing will take 3 or four hours to print. The walls came out well. On one wall there were signs of "ringing"so for future prints I will adjust acceleration and jerk (wanhao wiki suggests that you do that straight away, but I was lazy).
Wavy pattern behind guy with two submachine guns is a sign of "ringing"
Now I came back to my own designs printing a Container (now it is known as small container). I will enlarge it by 5% but it must stay small to fit on the train. I will do a larger version later.
I tried to print barrels without raft, but contact element were too thin, and after about 20 percent of the print, object detached from the bed. I went back to CAD and made element thicker, and then print barrels with the raft. They came out well.
Fins on barrels were too thin, after all, thease are gaming pieces not diorama ones
Now I almost feel that I'm not a noob any more, but we well probably see each other again in