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how to get my printer up and running for 3D hubs?

Dear: Instructables

Last summer I had fixed my 3D printer. Since then I have been printing stuff, a lot of stuff. So anyways now I want to get a job for 3D hubs with my printer and my family says that I should probably get my printer printing more reliably and honestly I have to agree with them. I saw for the 3D printing class there were four classes on this site. I feel like I might do better taking the last class since I already know so much. I can print stuff the question is if it is of decent quality. Do you think it is a good idea to take the last 3D printing class or should I take all of them if it can get me ready for 3D hubs? Thanks!!!

From: Noah

If you are already "experienced" than I guess it is more a matter of finetuning and understanding how to work with different materials as well as how to optimise for speed and quality.
Let's make some assumptions first, I assume:
1. You have a well calibrated machine, meaning the extrusion and stepping settings for the motors are within very tight margins to the reality.
2. You already printed with different materials or at least batches of the same material from different suppliers.
3. You know how to use the many calibration models to finetune bridging, filling, walls and so on.

1 means your machine already does exactly what is ecpected, e.g. you manually extrude 15mm of filament and between 14.9 and 15.1mm are actually moved through your extruder.
Same for the motors, if you move an axis but 10cm then the result should be between 9.99 and 10.01cm when measured with calipers or similar.
2. means you already know how to properly adjust the settings for slight differences in filament diameter and what to do to make the extruder transport it with accuracy - e.g. increasing or decreasing the tension on the pressure plate.
3. means you have little to no problems calibrating the machine for a new filament in terms of speed, temp and support material.

If the above is all true you would be better off working on what you know troubles you.
If not try to select classes that give you the most benefit or seek one of the many forums specialised on 3D printing.
There you often find tons of info on how to tackle certain problems or what find out what other users as settings for certain materials.
As for surface quality and model stability when printed:
I "wasted" a lot of PLA in the color white trying to get a really smooth surface to avoid the dreaded sanding.
But no matter what I tried, icluding drying and pre-heating the filament the result was poor to say it nice.
Turned out that even from different suppliers the white was actually created by solid pigments and with that in the PLA the surface always looked more like foam than plastic - although it was really tuff and sturdy.
Got some crappy, black PLA that did not like high temps or high speeds but resulted in a very smooth surface.
Long story short: If you struggle to calibrate for a good finnish and think you got it all covered then please try some other filament before you waste hours and material to fix a problem that is not even on your end ;)

Otherwise feel free to ask specific questions about materials, finnishing or what you might need and I'll try to answer to my best ability.

nschreiber0813 (author)  Downunder35m15 days ago

Thanks!!! My machine works really well and is very fine tuned. The only problem I have to say is the layer height I just recently learned was too high resulting in overlapping perimeters. I think I can figure this out on my own because I know how to get my printer finely printing. The only problem is I hope it is reliable enough for 3d hubs. Thanks!!!