3D Printing tips for printing with the Prusa i3x Printer

I am adding a tips that I have come across of found out on my own while using my 3D printer. 3D printing is not easy and take time but it can be rewarding in the end.

  • Print about 4 to 5 loops to get the filament to start and to adhere to the heat bed. Not needed all the time, maybe for testing bed leveling. This may or may not be necessary depending on the type of adhesion that you are using on your heat bed. Personally, with PLA, I use blue painters tape and the purple glue stick. With ABS, I use ABS juice that I put together with ABS pieces and some acetone mixed into a glass or metal container. I read that you need to allow the ABS juice to dry during the heating process and the part will still stick. I will try that part out.
  • Make sure that the bed leveling is spot on. Some people use calipers, some use a ruler to measure the distance between the print nozzle and the heat bed while others use automated bed leveling. I normally use calipers to measure between the Y axis bed frame and the heat bed to get things levels.
  • Don’t over tighten your X and Y axis belt idlers. If you over tighten the idler, you will over tighten the belts which will cause tension issues with the motors and cause skipping in the printer and bad prints and eventually burn out the motors.
  • Make sure that you have extra parts on hand such as bearings, bushings, spare belt, screws, nuts, washers, etc.
  • Depending on what filament material that you will be using you need to make sure that you have painters paint, glue stick, ABS juice, anything else you may need to help the parts stick to the heat bed. Down this page shows some information about filament and includes a link to some other information.
  • Speaking of heat bed, you need to make sure that the temp of the heat is correct for the material that you will be using as well. For instance, PLA would work just fine between 55 and 65 degree Celsius on the heat bed and 230 to 235 degree Celsius on the extruder. ABS needs to be around 80 to 100 degrees Celsius on the heat bed and around 230 to 250 degrees Celsius on the extruder.  Below is an example of how someone of thingiverse users their printer with ABS filament.

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This is not mine, but I may have to try it out anyway.  😀

  1. I use a aluminium plate instead of the original glass plate, with same dimensions and thickness
  2. I heat up the plate to about 240F and spread the complete plate with a thin layer of hot glue. I use these sticks that are made for hot glue guns.
  3. I cover the plate with some piece of cardboard for about 10 minutes (or longer). This gives the glue time to spread evenly
  4. I start printing with plate temperature about 200F.
  5. After the second layer I reduce plate temperature to 70F. The model is glued to the printing plate very firmly, no warping
  6. When print is finished, I heat up the printing plate to 200F again – glue gets soft again, and I can remove the model.

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I found the following at https://filaments.ca/pages/temperature-guide which works well as a guide on what the temps should be. Keep in mind that not all filament are created equal so the temps will differ from product to product but should be very similar. Check out the URL above as there are other filament types to choose from.

 

Filament Type   |   Extruder Temp  |  Comments

 

PLA (Original & Creative Series) 215°C – 235°C
  • PLA can be printed both with and without a heated print bed, but if your desktop 3D printer does have a heated print bed it is recommended to set your print bed temperature to approximately 60°C – 80°C.
  • First layer usually 5°C-10°C higher than subsequent layers.
  • Glow in the dark use 5°C-10°C higher.
  • Sticks well to Blue painter’s tape.
  • Sticks well to extra strong hair spray.
  • Sticks well with “ABS Juice” (scrap ABS filament dissolved in acetone)
ABS (Original & Creative Series) 230°C – 240°C
  • Heated print bed recommended. Set your print bed temperature to approximately 80°C – 100°C. After the first few layers, it’s best to turn down your print bed temperature a bit.
  • Glow in the dark ABS use 250°C
  • Sticks well to Polyimide/Kapton tape, PET tape, Blue tape.
  • Sticks well to extra strong hair spray.
  • Sticks well with “ABS Juice” (scrap ABS filament dissolved in acetone).

 

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You know, where there’s a will, there’s a way. That holds true in 3D printing. If there is something that you are missing for a project, just make it and print it out. For example, I want to add dual extrusion to my printer. What this means is that I will be able to print with two different color filaments at the same time or two different types of filament as well. Now, the problem is that I do have two exact extruders but I am missing the bracket that holds them together in the mount. Well, there is a guy that I know on thingaverse that goes by his ham call sign of KB3LNN which created a dual extruder mount for the same extruders that I have and he created the mount bracket and add it because I said that I was missing it. That is awesome. He didn’t have to but did out of the kindness of his heart.

Now to print this bad boy out using my ABS filament. ABS is heat resistant and will allow this mount to work real well.

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1137154

There is also another mount which appears to be a good one as well. This set was created by a gentleman called lukie80 on thingaverse and has multiple capabilities. For this project, we just need the two sections below, the first link being the carriage system and the second one being the dual extruder mount.  I will still have to print the bracket from the project above but it will all come together real well.

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1670305

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1872555

 

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I need to come up with some changes for my Prusa i3x that works better on the Z Axis. One thing that is noticed since these are the acrylic frame printers, the weight is a little on the heavy side with the extruder in place as well. One thing that I was wondering is if it is possible to separate the motors placing them on top of the printer somewhere and placing the hotends on the extruder mount. There are printable parts to help fix the issues which if I print them in ABS, they will be strong enough to work for quite some time and actually be lighter than the acrylic material used on the printer to begin with. Some of things that I wanted to work on are the bearings or bushing to make sure that I have the right diameter ones. The X and Y Axis pulley bearings that keep wearing out. I have tried to go with printed parts for this and they work better than the microbearings that are added with the kits. I have gone through bearings like water going through me. LOL

 

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1532887

 

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1264451

 

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1850118

 

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2202854 – You may want to bookmark or download these

 

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1263145/#files

 

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1087111

 

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1775944

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