3D printing always has the potential for error. Discover a few of the top 3D printing mistakes to avoid and some techniques to prevent them in the future. This article information is not affiliated with the Arlington Heights Memorial Library Makerplace at 112 North Belmont Avenue in Arlington Heights.
3D printing technology has come a long way since its conception. In fact, these pieces of equipment currently have the smallest margin of error in their history. However, even these devices have their limits, and it’s up to us as their operators to reduce the risk of malfunction during a print. These are some of the top 3D printing mistakes to avoid and how to do just that in a reliable manner.
Working With the Wrong Material
One of the most common mistakes made in 3D printing, especially by those who are new to the process, is to use the wrong materials for a project. From high-grade polymers to plastics, there are hundreds of different filaments used for 3D printing, and each of them has their own distinct characteristics and features. Because of this, using the wrong one can yield inconsistent results. Additionally, some resources vary in quality, making it crucial that you understand what makes a premium filament before you commit to a purchase.
Implementing Incorrect Slicer Settings
Beginners to 3D printing also make the error of implementing the wrong slicer settings during a print. These configurations provide your printer with the data it needs to work with the specific filament you’ve chosen. Information like the filament’s dimensions, extrusion rate, and required melting temperature all allow the printer to work most effectively. So, when these factors are incorrect, they can greatly alter the resulting model. As such, you should always adjust these settings when working with new materials.
Tangling Your Filament Reels
Accidentally tangling your filament reels can be an issue as well. Since the printer slowly unravels these materials as it uses them, each container must have an even coil. Otherwise, your printer could pull too much at one time, resulting in over-extrusion. For this reason, you want to make sure you’re handling these products carefully and checking for tangles before you start printing.
Not Leveling Your Printer Bed and Nozzle
Another of the top 3D printing mistakes to avoid is forgetting to level out your printer’s bed and nozzle components. For your printer to yield a quality model, each layer in its construction must rest at the same level. Otherwise, your result could look lopsided and unstable. Double-checking these components prior to printing can save you a lot of time and money on resources.
Failing To Monitor Your 3D Prints
Above all, the biggest mistake you can make is failing to watch your model as it prints. While you don’t need to watch the entire process, monitoring your printer as it works can help you catch malfunctions early. This allows you to fix them before your model comes out less than satisfactory.
Catching these mistakes can not only help you create better prints but also saves you money and time in the long run. So, don’t let these avoidable errors stop you from getting the most out of this process.
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