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.
Step 1: 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
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
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
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
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.
Step 6: Problem 4 : Alcohol
You probably were drunk when you sent this one...
Step 7: Problem 5 : Screws
If you notice that the layers aren't aligned, make sure that the screw holding the nozzle to the frame is tight enough.
Step 8: Problem 6 : Accidents
Sometimes, the nozzle will accidently stick to the part while printing and melt a big ball of ABS like this. Make sure that your surface is complettly cleaned and leveled before printing.
Step 9: Problem 7 : Empty Spool
There wasn't enough material left in the spool. This one is predictable, but happens quite often.
Step 10: Problem 8 : Support
The part is too high above the table, resulting in an excess of support material. Just move the part closer using MOVE.
Step 11: All Star Solution : Temperature BOX 1 Pound Spool.
Now, if your part still doesn't stick to the surface, you will need to build a temperature box. This box is designed to keep the heat around the part so it doesn't shrink too fast. ABS is very sensitive to the temperature.
you will have to laser cut these six parts on 4.75mm thick acrylic sheets (or whatever works for you). I suggest you keep the top and the door clear so you can see inside at all time.
Then assemble and glue them. You can leave the top window unglued to have a second access to the printer.
I used Makedo parts for the door's inges. They look cool and are easy to install (like tie raps). I didn't include the holes or the handle in the model so you can feel free to use whatever you have at home. This box will significantly increase the quality of your 3D printing. A cardboard box would also work... but doesn't look as cool.
When you install the box on your UP!, make sure that the left side touches the spool and that the front touches the bottom of the printer. The dimensions are tight so if you don't do that, there will be some friction. Also, I made it for 1 pound spools. If you use 1 kg spools, the nozzle will touch the box while initializing. So, if you want to use the big spools, you'll have to scale the eps model.
Have fun with your UP!