How to get better results from your UP! 3D printer. by Samuel Bernier

Picture of How to get better results from your UP! 3D printer. by Samuel Bernier
We love 3D printers. They can make DIY'ers life so easy. They can also make us really disapointed.  Here are some tips on how to improve your 3D printer's performances and how to build a temperature box.  

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Step 1: The UP!

Picture of The UP!
The UP! looks good,is easy to assemble and cost less than 3 000 $. You will find all the informations on how to get it started with the manual below. 

Step 2: First failures

Picture of First failures
Your first 3D printing tests will most likely look like that :

Here are some mistares you might have done.

Step 3: Problem 1 : Nozzle too high

Picture of Problem 1 : Nozzle too high
Your nozzle is too high. You should barely be able to slip a business card between the nozzle and the printer's table.

Step 4: Problem 2 : Surface not hot enough

Picture of Problem 2 : Surface not hot enough
If your object doesn't stick to the surface while printing, it's because your surface isn't hot enough. You should always preheat the surface before to start the printing. Some hackers will even use heat guns to help the process. (I don't) Think of hot chocolate poured on ice cream. It hardens really fast. 

Step 5: Problem 3 : The surface

Picture of Problem 3 : The surface
Still doesn't stick? Maybe your surface isn't prepared. I tried four different things :

PC Board : It will make your table higher (witch makes it easier to adjust the nozzle) and conduct the heat. I had problems with this one since I couldn't fix it perfectly to the table and it ended up curving because of the heat.

Green sticky paint : This substance actually comes with the printer. You have to apply a tin layer of this paint on the table and let it dry before to start printing. I found this method very ennoying because you'll have to repaint the surface often and it takes hours to dry. It also leaves a green mark on the part.

The MAGIC SUPER AWESOME blue painter tape : This one works perfectly. It might cost more than the two other solutions, but you can't miss with this one. You'll have to replace the tape once in a while, but it's worth it. 

A new trick given to me by Lamedust is Kapton tape!
A little bit difficult to find but heat resistant and gives a shiny face.

If you set the machine up correctly in the first place having read the instructions and looked on line you should not get any of these issues. I have changed my platform to a piece of glass, no lost prints. I have enclosed my machine in a box to maintain the heat, much improved large prints. Setting the platform height, use a dial gauge or as other suggest feeler gauges, more accurate prints.

The first picture shows the glass platform mounted on the heated bed.

The second shows my enclosure for the front, sides and top, which also includes my much improved spool holder made from rollers out of an old laminator and printed bearing supports.

Before anyone comments I know this is not an UP! printer (they are very over priced in the UK) This printer is excellent and cost less than £600 direct from the manufacturer!

Thanks for posting, I also had lots of issuses with the up! printer it took me 2 months to figger out what was going on, mine would start the print and everything would look good then about 1/2 way through the job it would knock the project off the platform, and you would get the big spider nest.
long story short It had something to do with the update for mac computers, I put a windows computer on it and it runs perfectly.
shenrie12 years ago
You spent $3,000 and recommend using a business card? -_- Go out and buy a $5 set of feeler gauges from an automotive store for some precision works...
juliadee2 years ago
There is some misinformation here. I've had an Up! since May 2012 and have had great success with it.

Firstly, suggesting a business card as a nozzle height setting gauge is a bad idea. I just measured some business cards and they range from 0.2mm to over 0.4mm. A doubled-over sheet of normal-weight printer paper tends to be around 0.2mm, which is about what you want the platform initial height clearance to be.

If your prints are not adhering to perfboard it is because your platform initial height is not set properly. It has nothing to do with the platform heater, which is to help reduce ABS warpage. True, ABS warpage can cause lift on large flat parts, but the platform heater does not affect adhesion per se.

The best way to see if your initial height adjustment is correct is to look at the first layer of the raft as it's being deposited. Most of the first layer should be getting pushed into the perfboard holes, not sitting on top of the perfboard. Don't worry about the holes being full of plastic from previous prints - the new print will re-melt the old stuff and it will weld together (an exception to this would be when printing PLA onto perfboard that's full of ABS. It's probably a good idea to keep separate boards for the two materials for this reason).

A heated enclosure can indeed help with warpage and delamination/splits, but the design shown here could result in overheating of the electronics, which in the Up! are contained in the printer's base. A better design would enclose the build volume but not the electronics enclosure, and ensure plenty of ventilation for the electronics.
JoeMurphy2 years ago
I've made all these mistakes. Nice post!
highball492 years ago
your pdf has no pictures with the writing.
Samuel Bernier (author)  highball492 years ago
Thanks for the notice, but I have no control on the PDF, it is automatically generated by Instructables. Why it didn't work? I should ask them.
welafong2 years ago
it cost $3.OOO ?
Samuel Bernier (author)  welafong2 years ago
1500$ only... While they still have this one left. The new ones are 3000$
Samuel Bernier (author)  welafong2 years ago
Not this version.
But there is not that many left.
mikeasaurus3 years ago
Thanks for sharing the process of your failures, I'm sure this information will help others!