How To: Guide to Getting Started (with Troubleshooting Tips)

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Jules
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How To: Guide to Getting Started (with Troubleshooting Tips)

Post by Jules » Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:01 am

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Note: If you have the new M2 V4 Rev.E Printer, (shipped after 3/1/16), this guide is not geared to your printer. The correct guide for your printer is in the "How To" section.

M2 Rev.E Beginner's Guide: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3542.



If you’ve done this before, the little guide below will be broken into two sections – the Quick Start Guide lists the steps for getting started with the M2. A step-by-step “do-this-then-do-that” sort of thing. No details as to why you do it – I’m assuming that if you skip the discussion section you already know the basics of 3D printing.

If you’re brand new to the whole 3D printing thing (as I was, a few short months ago) and you’d like a bit more explanation as to why you have to do certain things, I’d recommend reading the second section as well. You’ll get a much better understanding of what is going on, and will find it a lot easier to diagnose problems that you might run into.



But first.......Some Tools that you will need to make life easier for yourself:

1. A set of Metric Feeler Gauges if you don't have one. They are invaluable in setting the Z-stop.
2. Set of Calipers. (Needed for calibrating the extrusion widths and heights.)
3. Buy a can of AquaNet Extra Super Hold Hairspray or Garnier Fructis Ultra Hold Hairspray, and an Elmer's Washable Purple School Glue stick. Any of these can be used to stick the prints to the bed and you might prefer one method over the other.
4. Sprue Cutters and Tweezer Nose Pliers, for removing support and cleaning up your prints.
5. If you have a Dremel tool, a good set of Burr Grinders is also great for removing junk.
6. Fine grade sand papers for smoothing.
7. Eye Protection. ALWAYS wear goggles when you are cleaning up a print - I got hit in the eye with a bit that flew off when it was snipped. (Thank God I was blinking at the moment.)
8. Gloves. Useful when prying a print off the glass. (You can cut yourself with the dull spatula when the print lets go.)
9. A small, thin bladed spatula for prying the print off the glass. Cricut makes a good one. (Amazon)
10. Optional: As opposed to the hairspray and spatula route, you might want to try an 8" x 10" Zebra plate from PrintinZ. I recently got one and it is well worth the $45 price tag from an ease of use standpoint. (Or you might want to wait and change it out later once you are more proficient - up to you.) Other folks have had good success with PEI surfaces, and after trying it myself, I believe now I actually prefer it to the Zebra plate for day-to-day prints. It releases easily and holds securely as well, without adhesive, and it tends to stay flatter (which can be easier for beginners) than the flexible Zebra. (About half the price of the Zebra too). And some people who print large surface area prints might prefer to have a MIC6 tooling plate cut - it distributes heat all the way to the edges of the plate for better adhesion on large prints, but it does require adhesive. Each method has it's quirks and benefits, there is a lot of research in the Modifications section of the forum that makes for great reading when you get ready for it.
11. Optional: It is helpful to have a narrow width 7mm metric wrench to deal with the initial tightening of the nut on the Z-axis bolt, but you can also use a pair of needlenose pliers successfully. After you get the printer running to your satisfaction, one of the first files you should print is this one, because it is beyond helpful:

MakerGear M2 z-axis bolt screw driver and counter nut tightener: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:198811

The Quick Start Guide:

1. Set Up the Machine:

Choose a solid, stable desk, table or workbench to set up your machine. These things vibrate when they print.

Instructions are included in the box provided by MakerGear, or are available as video here:

M2 Initial Setup:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCKDJlZKubA
MakerGear M2 Filament Feeding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ni7xN4616No
MakerGear M2 Z Endstop Calibration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0Cz6jPPECM

If you purchased the M2 pre-assembled, it has already been leveled. Do not mess with the level unless it is necessary. But if you need it:

MakeGear M2 Bed Leveling:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R53wWwktH0s
HowTo: Z-Stop & Bed Leveling: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2783

Also, read Jin's Github guide to using Simplify3D if you purchased it.
http://jinschoi.github.io/simplify3d-docs/


2. Prepare to Print:

1. Load the filament with the spool unwinding towards the back of the machine. Attach your filament dust wiper.
2. Prepare your plate with whichever adhesive method you choose. Let it dry. Clip it to the bed.
Note: If you added Kapton tape, blue painters tape or any other thick surface material to the plate before your first print, re-set the Z-stop before you run a test print. (MakerGear M2 Z Endstop Calibration above.)
3. Heat the nozzle to the temp necessary for your filament.
4. Extrude 100 mm or so to clear the nozzle and prime it. (Preferably in 20 mm or so batches, not all at once.)


3. Calibrate Your Z-Offset:
Do this once for each type of filament. (PLA, ABS, PETG, Flex, etc.)
This is one of the most critical steps, particularly if you are printing PETG.
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3124


4. Calibrate Your Extrusion Width:
Do this once for each spool of filament.
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1964

5. Calibrate the Tension on your Filament Drive Screw:[/b]
Do this once for each type of filament. (PLA, ABS, PETG, Flex, etc.)
Feed the filament in and retract it completely using the Jog controls in Simplify3d, then examine the end, and read the guide:
http://www.forum.makergear.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2694

6. Adjust your settings in Simplify3D (or Slic3r) for whichever filament you are printing.
There are starting points for PLA and ABS built into S3D. Tested successful settings for various filaments are in the Filaments section of the forum and many are also listed here:

Insta’s Filaments that Work with the M2:
http://www.forum.makergear.com/viewtopi ... =11&t=1951

(Keep in mind that not everyone has the same setup – use the settings in the forum as starting points only. Also keep in mind that different filaments have very different printing characteristics.)

7. Print!

Turn on the bed heater to let it preheat (saves time), import your file, slice it, and print that puppy! (Doing a little jig for joy is totally appropriate at this moment!) :D


Getting Started Troubleshooting Tips and Discussions:

Stop and think for a minute about what we are doing – to badly (mis)quote one of those earlier experts, we are “Squeezing a spaghetti strand of liquid plastic onto a plate and hoping it lands where we want it to.”
That pretty much sums it up. :shock:

So one of the first things that you learn is, you’re going to get close, but never exact. The various calibrations that you perform at the beginning are going to give you the best results possible. Without them, you will get a print, but it might not look so great, and if you don’t believe it, go take a look at some of the offerings on Thingiverse. (Not everybody bothers with calibration.)

But on the other hand, there is only so much accuracy you can expect from squirted liquid goo. (Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to get your measurements to within 0.02 of a millimeter, take a look at how small that actually is on your calipers, if you can get them to measure that accurately. I can’t with mine. :) )

Nevertheless, I’m constantly amazed at how accurately these machines manage to spit that goo, and with as few problems as it usually creates.

Most of the problems that beginners do see stem from only a handful of issues though, so to list them:

1. One of the most common mistakes that "everyone" makes at first is having the gap between the nozzle and the bed set incorrectly. (The Z-Endstop Calibration).

It has to fall within a very small range, (Ed's got a great visual here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3047), and frankly using a business card to set the gap when the nozzle and bed are cold makes it almost impossible to get right the first try. Business cards are not all the same thickness, and the bed shifts. Still, it’s something that most people have on hand, so that’s why they use one in the video, and it generally gets you in the ballpark.

A much more accurate method is to set the gap using a set of Metric Feeler Gauges. Ideally, when your machine is printing, the nozzle needs to be just under one layer height away from the bed, but that is while both the nozzle and the bed are heated to the correct temperature for whatever filament you are printing, and that gap can change quite a bit between different kinds of filament due to expansion of the nozzle and the bed at the different temperatures. What we do is set the Z-Endstop as well as we can, once, using the Z-Endstop Calibration, and then fine-tune the gap using the Z-Offset Calibration for each kind of filament.

If you set a larger gap with your Z-Endstop Calibration, you will use the Z-Offset Calibration to move the bed closer to the nozzle before printing. If you set a small gap, your Z-Offset calibration will move the bed farther away before the print starts.

I ran some measurements to see how the gap changed with different temperatures and i was surprised at how much the gap changed as the nozzle expanded. For instance with a nozzle and bed heated up to PETG temps (250°C/80°C) the measured gap was only 0.15mm (.006") but when the bed and nozzle cooled to room temps the gap changed to 0.356mm (.014"). So you can lose up to half of the gap due to heat expansion of the nozzle and the bed, if you set the gap while the bed is cool.

Most beginners prefer to have the gap be a little larger to start with in the beginning. If you are starting out with PLA, set the gap using a gauge of 0.15mm to 0.2mm at PLA temps (210°C/50°C.) It’s perfectly okay to use a thicker gauge and then fine-tune with the Z-Offset to move the bed closer to the nozzle when you start your prints. (Just remember, you will probably need to adjust your Z-Offset when you switch to printing another filament, like PETG or ABS, since the gap will be smaller.)

The gap does tend to stay fairly consistent with most specific filaments from a particular manufacturer (for instance all PLA from eSun) but it can vary by manufacturer and type of filament (PLA versus PETG, MakerGear versus eSun). So it’s a good idea to run the Z-Offset calculation once at least for each type of filament, and if you are really needing exact tolerances, you can measure it for each spool. (Doing the calibration for each spool is a bit of overkill, once for each filament type/manufacturer is generally excellent.)

Some of the issues that you will see with an incorrectly set Z-Stop gap are:

a. First layer smashed completely flat to a thin transparent ribbon – it means the gap is dangerously small, reset your Z-stop gap (The Z-Endstop Calibration) so that the nozzle has more room to print the first layer.
b. First layer not sticking – the gap might be too large. If the filament isn’t sticking anywhere, your gap might need to be closed in a bit by adjusting the Z-stop gap (The Z-Endstop Calibration). (Or it might be an adhesion issue, discussed below.)
c. First layer is squashed enough to create a sharp skirt on the calibration square, and the first layer is shorter than the other layers, but otherwise the print is sticking everywhere – fine tune the gap using the Z-Offset Calibration and enter the values into the Z-Offset slot in the G-Code tab of Simplify3D.
d. First layer is sticking well in most places, but not in a couple of spots – there might be a low spot in your glass plate. (It’s not necessarily a leveling problem, glass is rarely perfectly even.) This can be adjusted using the Z-Offset Calibration as well, to average it out.
e. Rounded threads on the first layer that do not bond to each other - gap is too large, use the Z-Offset to bring the plate in closer for the first layer.

2. Second problem – Bed adhesion.

The instructions that come with the machine tend to err on the cautious side of things, and while they might be good as a starting point, they are usually rapidly abandoned in favor of something that actually works. For instance, you will soon discover that blue painters tape is a royal pain in the tushie, if you try to print PLA on bare glass the glass has to be perfectly clean each time or the print might not stick, and cleaning it takes more time than the use of an adhesive, etc. etc..

There are different methods of keeping the plastic stuck to the plate, and they are different for different filaments. To get a successful print, the first layer has to stick everywhere through the entire print. But as plastic cools, it shrinks and warps, pulling away from the bed. So you need to come up with something that keeps a print stuck firmly to the plate while it is being printed, but then releases the print when you remove it.

In general, heating the plate slightly helps with bed adhesion, but there’s no need to overdo it. With a borosilicate glass plate, and an adhesive of some sort, PLA sticks fine in the 40-50°C range.

The adhesives most commonly used on the borosilicate plate are cheap hairspray (ex: AquaNet Ultrahold) or Elmer’s glue stick for PLA and PETG; ABS slurry or gluestick for ABS. The adhesive is applied in an even medium-heavy coat across the entire printing area of the plate, and refreshed between prints. It’s not necessary to clean the plate completely between prints, just give a light touch up spray or wipe with the glue stick, and clean the plate and refresh the heavy base coat every dozen prints or so, or whenever the surface gets uneven.

Removing the print should be done once the glass plate cools completely – and sometimes it is necessary to freeze the print off of the plate if it is stuck too securely. Let the borosilicate plate cool (off the bed) for a couple of minutes, then put it into the freezer with the print still attached. After about 15 minutes to an hour (depending on the size of the print), the print will usually pop off without damaging the glass. What is happening is the print is freezing and contracting faster than the glass, breaking the seal. (Trying to pry the print off while warm can pop a piece out of the glass, so let it cool.) And the borosilicate is designed to handle temperature swings.

The use of full sheet Kapton tape provides a bit of additional protection for the glass, and I do recommend it. (It’s rare, but sometimes with a large surface area print and high infill, you can still have a piece of glass pop off, even if it’s completely and correctly cooled. The forces on the glass are a lot higher than you would expect from something like hairspray.) You can apply your adhesive of choice directly to the Kapton tape, just like the glass. (Full sheet Kapton is just easier to apply and maintain than the narrower width tape that comes with the machine. That will also work just fine, and its why MG includes it.) Oh, and one other thing to realize, putting a sheet of Kapton on the glass is going to change the gap between the nozzle and the bed, you have to rework your Z-Offset calibrations. That goes for anything that changes the height of the gap. (Using a different glass plate, using some other kind of plate, putting tape of some kind on it - you always want to prep the bed before you run the calibrations. It might not be enough to change your print, but it might - there's not much room to play with in a 0.2 mm gap.)

Some of the issues you will see with failed bed adhesion are:

a. The corners of your print will start to pull away from the bed – this causes the print to warp up and eventually the nozzle might actually hit the print – knocking the print loose, causing misalignment issues, or even sticking the nozzle into the print. (You do not want that to happen! It’s a huge mess to clean up.)
b. Support structures might get knocked over, and if you don’t notice it, you’ll wind up with an air-printing situation later. (Bird’s nest - big mess also.)
c. The first layer isn't sticking in certain spots - this can either be because the gap is too large as outlined above, or because you don't have enough adhesive in that spot. Try refreshing the adhesive, and if that doesn't fix the problem with the next print, adjust your Z-Offset numbers.

3. Third Problem – Incorrect Filament Drive Screw Tension.


You just want the tension on the filament drive screw to be enough to catch the filament and guide it through, a lot of problems are caused by having that screw set too tightly. Once again, different filaments have different properties, and they need a tension adjustment, but not much of one.

PLA is a relatively stiff filament – you want to set the tension so that the “bite-marks” in the extruded end are about 10% to 15% of the diameter. It likes a very loose tension. PETG is a softer filament that deforms more easily – you tighten the tension by about a quarter of a turn to switch to PETG from PLA. Reset the tension when you switch between different kinds of filament.

Some of the issues you will see with incorrect Filament Drive Screw tension are:

a. Jammed and stripped filament – nozzle stops extruding accompanied by thunking sounds as the stepper motor skips and strips the filament. Once the filament is stripped the thunking sounds stop, but nothing comes out and several layers may skip before you notice it. Stop the print. (The thunking sounds will not hurt the machine.) Retract the filament – see if it is stripped, and redo your print. If the filament is not stripped, it might be jammed. Remove the fans and check around the extruder gear to see if there is a wad of warped filament wrapped up inside.
b. It’s very common to think that you have a clogged nozzle or hotend, when really all you have done is stripped the filament. Always check for stripping first.

4. Problem number Four – Clogged nozzle.

The easiest way to get a clogged nozzle is to switch back and forth between PLA, which is a low temperature plastic and one of the higher temp plastics like ABS or PETG without cleaning the remnants of the last filament out first. The higher temps for the PETG or ABS will cook the leftover PLA into carbon on the inside of the nozzle, and eventually it’s going to completely clog. If the remnant is PETG or ABS in the nozzle, it will not melt at the lower PLA temperatures, so again, you’ve got nothing extruding. Clogs can be cleaned out, but it requires either several hours of soaking in a solvent, or the careful use of a propane blow torch if you happen to have one on hand.

So to avoid this situation, we do a couple of things. One is to run a filament dust wiper on the filament before it goes into the clear plastic guide tube. There are several nice ones on Thingiverse that you can print quickly as one of your first projects. Or, you can just wrap a tissue inside a binder clip around the filament before it goes into the guide tube – it works just as well. That catches any dust that gets deposited on the filament during processing and keeps it out of the nozzle.

And for switching between types of filament, you always want to use some eSun Cleaner Filament before switching to a new kind. (Note: It’s really a bear to use, but it’s what is available. Be very careful with the rate of extrusion when using it – it has lousy diameter consistency, tends to strip out very easily and jams like the dickens, so watch the tension.)

5. Problem Number Five - Bed Leveling problem.


This is NOT a problem that you are likely to experience if you have just purchased an assembled machine - MakerGear has already expertly leveled your machine before you received it, the packaging for shipping protects it very well, and you would be well advised to not mess with the screws until you have eliminated every other possibility for your failed print. (The machines tend to hold their level for months of hard use, and making sure to take the plate off the bed before prying off prints extends that time.) But after using the machine for a while, you might start to see problems that indicate the level needs to be adjusted.

Some of the issues you will see with an unlevel bed are:

a. When laying down the first layer, you will see an extreme difference between printing on the right side of the bed versus printing on the left side, or between the front and the back. And you will see this on all your prints that are large enough to cover a wide enough area. (For example: the deposited thread in the upper left quadrant might be smashed into a thin transparent ribbon, with the first layer not sticking in the opposite quadrant, and the thread being okay everywhere else.) - Read the HowTo: Z-Stop & Bed Leveling that Steve wrote up, because you will need to do both to fix the problem.


6. And the final problem – Ugly prints.


This is more of an aesthetic issue; it isn’t something that is going to completely wreck a print. It just means you haven’t got the correct settings for that filament yet. Correcting this requires making adjustments to the S3D settings to make a particular filament do what you want it to, and that requires a basic understanding of how that filament prints.

Best way to do that is:

a. Print some and make adjustments until it does what you want it to. That takes time and patience, but it really does help you to learn what works and what doesn’t. And once you learn what does what, it makes it much quicker to learn to print a different kind of filament that you’ve never used before.
b. Use someone else’s settings as a starting point. (fff files). I generally don’t like to use someone else’s settings file - it doesn't really save much time, because whatever that person has done – it’s a guarantee that their setup is not the same as yours. You will still have to calibrate after you load their fff files, adjust for your filament diameter and extrusion multiplier, adjust the Z-offset to your number, change the temps to match your nozzle, etc.) But for certain things like retraction amounts, coasting, wipe, bridging settings – it can be helpful to know what other people have had success with. The Filaments section of the forum has a lot of useful information on printing just about everything, and that’s a good place to start.

Not going to go into all of the filaments here, it’s something you can look up easily enough in the Filaments section. But I will get you started on some tips for PLA. (Most of these are just basic Simplify3D settings, but I can tell you why you use a certain setting or not.) In addition, hovering the mouse over the value box of any setting in S3D will cause a description to pop up of what it does.

PLA is fairly stiff and it warps up as it cools. (Stick it down well. Use adhesive on your plate.)

PLA does not ooze much, you can get by with a Retraction setting of 1.0 mm.
You generally don’t need to Wipe or Coast.

Set your Extrusion Width to be wider than your nozzle hole size, to give the machine correct control over placement. (And since i forgot to specifically mention this, but Jin reminded me and it's important: the upper limit on the Extrusion Width that you should choose is the outside diameter of your nozzle. So keep it at or under 0.5mm for a 0.35mm nozzle.)
(Example: For a 0.35mm nozzle, use 0.4mm Extrusion width.)

For PLA, set your Layer Height according to the following formula :
Extrusion Width/Layer Height is greater than or equal to 1.8
(So in this case, with a layer height of 0.2mm the formula reads 0.4/0.2 = 2.0 which is greater than 1.8, or you could use 0.5/0.25 = 2.0, or 0.36/0.2 = 1.8) The reason for this is to give a slightly squashed layer to give better adhesion, and layer bonding.

(And if math isn't your thing - just remember to set your layer height to be half of your extrusion width.) ;)

PLA is terrible on overhangs, it sags and droops or warps up without support. Cooling it off quickly reduces that effect. (You will frequently see droopy overhangs on the sides of a print that face away from the bed fan.) Either print with Support underneath it, hit it with a LOT of cooling, or preferably both. I actually added a desk fan at first to print overhangs with PLA, but there is another trick that you can do that works even better. If you remove the fan guard on the bed fan, it increases the cooling power exponentially. Just be very careful to not let the filament get drawn into the fan when you are loading it – the curl in the filament tends to point it right towards the fan. (And remember to make an adjustment to your printing temp and bed temp if you remove the fan guard – it cools things off by about 10 degrees.) If you are printing something with an overhang, choose an Outline Direction of Inside-Out, otherwise use Outside-In. And if you can, orient your print on the bed so that the worst overhang areas point directly towards the fan.

You can reduce your First Layer Speed to around 60% or so to help with bed adhesion, and give the filament time to stick to the warm bed.

It’s always a good idea to print a Skirt around the object to be printed, 2-3 outlines, 1 layer, at a distance of about 4mm from your print. It gets the nozzle well primed and can show gap problems before the print starts, giving you time to stop it before you waste a lot of plastic.

Use a 1 layer Brim or a Raft if you have a tall object with a very small footprint, that otherwise might have trouble sticking to the plate. (Rafts are a pain to remove though, so not recommended unless you need it.)

Temperatures:
Start out on the low side of the temperature range with PLA. Many people print it successfully with 190°C extruder temp, I use about 205°C but I have the fan guard removed and use a Zebra plate and that cools things a lot. Bed adhesion was good for me at bed temp of 40°C (50°C without fan guard) with the borosilicate and Kapton tape.

Bridging:
PLA is fantastic for Bridging, (printing over open air between two level edges), you generally don’t have to make any adjustments to it.

One final note – it’s optional, but you can slow down the prints and get a much better print. With 3D printing, slower printing always results in better quality, and the default settings in S3D are high. I keep my Default Printing Speed at 4200mm/min (fairly slow for PLA).

Okay that should get you started. The rest you will pick up as you go.

If you run into a problem, ask a question on the forum – there are a lot of guys here who can talk you through it, and they tend to be quite friendly.

Try to be as specific as possible about the problem. Details help. (“My print didn’t work!” doesn’t tell us much!) Pictures are greatly encouraged, and are usually necessary to correctly diagnose the issue, but please resize them to about 650 x 500 pixels or so, the forum doesn’t resize huge pictures correctly. And be sure to tell what nozzle, bed type, etc. you are using to speed up the diagnosis.

Congratulations if you got through all of that - It's a lot of information, and just reading through it, it might seem rather daunting. The good news is, if you are consistent and careful about performing the Calibrations that are listed above in part 1, you are going to avoid all of the tedious little problems that appear underneath in part 2. (Get it set up right, and there aren't any problems to speak of.) 8-)

:D Welcome to the group! :D
Last edited by Jules on Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:27 pm, edited 38 times in total.

lem
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Re: How To: Guide to Getting Started (with Troubleshooting T

Post by lem » Tue Sep 15, 2015 1:50 am

What a great job. MakerGear should make this required reading. Hum, maybe print it out and stuff it in each box as it goes out the door.

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Jules
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Re: How To: Guide to Getting Started (with Troubleshooting T

Post by Jules » Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:21 am

lem wrote:What a great job. MakerGear should make this required reading. Hum, maybe print it out and stuff it in each box as it goes out the door.
Thanks! They're certainly welcome to it if they want it - it's all their tips and tricks. i just compiled it. :D

Bratag
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Re: How To: Guide to Getting Started (with Troubleshooting T

Post by Bratag » Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:07 am

Great guide. Calling for a sticky

jsc
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Re: How To: Guide to Getting Started (with Troubleshooting T

Post by jsc » Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:40 am

Slower printing speed helps with quality, but slower travel speeds do not. In fact, you want to move the head around as fast as possible without skipping steps when not printing to minimize oozing.

If you're going to use hairspray, I'd also recommend Garnier Fructis Extreme Hold. I've used Aquanet as well, but haven't done a comparative test.

The 1.8 width over height ratio recommendation isn't solely to give the first layer better adhesion. It is to give sufficient layer bonding in general. Also, you can't go arbitrarily wide with your extrusion width, the maximum is whatever the flat area of the nozzle bottom is (~.5mm). For beginners, I would just recommend going with .4/.2 until you have a few prints you're happy with.

I know you address this in passing, but it should be stated more plainly: regarding fans: always for PLA, never for ABS, almost never for PETG.

Excellent writeup, should be super useful for newcomers.

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Jules
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Re: How To: Guide to Getting Started (with Troubleshooting T

Post by Jules » Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:47 am

jsc wrote:Slower printing speed helps with quality, but slower travel speeds do not. In fact, you want to move the head around as fast as possible without skipping steps when not printing to minimize oozing.

If you're going to use hairspray, I'd also recommend Garnier Fructis Extreme Hold. I've used Aquanet as well, but haven't done a comparative test.

The 1.8 width over height ratio recommendation isn't solely to give the first layer better adhesion. It is to give sufficient layer bonding in general. Also, you can't go arbitrarily wide with your extrusion width, the maximum is whatever the flat area of the nozzle bottom is (~.5mm). For beginners, I would just recommend going with .4/.2 until you have a few prints you're happy with.

I know you address this in passing, but it should be stated more plainly: regarding fans: always for PLA, never for ABS, almost never for PETG.

Excellent writeup, should be super useful for newcomers.
That's who it's written for. :D

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sthone
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Re: How To: Guide to Getting Started (with Troubleshooting T

Post by sthone » Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:16 pm

BedSpider.jpg
BedSpider.jpg (74.29 KiB) Viewed 20749 times
Another tip (because I've made this mistake in the past and they don't mention this in the video).....

When setting your Z-stop height make sure your nozzle is exactly in the center of the bed. (I actually measure and mark the center point on the glass with a sharpie before starting. The reason why is the spider mounting plate is fastened at three points so it pivots around the center point of the bed (as shown above) if your bed isn't level and you try to adjust your Z-height with your nozzle anywhere but the center of the bed that adjustment might change when you go to level your bed because any part of the bed height can change during leveling except the center point. (well not enough to matter anyway)

Another thing..... When it comes to leveling everyone has their own way but I find instead of trying to measure at the corners like in Simplfy3d leveling tab or the diagram floating around here it so much easier to check your heights between the bed and the nozzle at center points along the bed (red and blue lines above) e.g. Center Front, Center Rear, Center Left, and Center Right because of the way the bed pivots with the three adjustments. I start at the Right side center and get the Left/Right (red) direction level first. This direction is pretty easy because there is only one screw for both the left and right side and with the pivot point in the middle and if the Z height is correct once the right side is set the left should be pretty close but always double check it and split the difference like mentioned in the video. After that the front and back are pretty easy to because they each have their own adjustments be keep in mind they still can affect each other so don't adjust either one too much but rather bounce back and forth between them and again split any difference. I have a calibration grid of 4 boxes (single lines) I print after I'm done just to visually check to make sure everything looks good.

Hopefully that made some sense.... :D

-Steve
____________________________________________________
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Jules
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Re: How To: Guide to Getting Started (with Troubleshooting T

Post by Jules » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:01 pm

sthone wrote:
BedSpider.jpg
Another tip (because I've made this mistake in the past and they don't mention this in the video).....

When setting your Z-stop height make sure your nozzle is exactly in the center of the bed. (I actually measure and mark the center point on the glass with a sharpie before starting. The reason why is the spider mounting plate is fastened at three points so it pivots around the center point of the bed (as shown above) if your bed isn't level and you try to adjust your Z-height with your nozzle anywhere but the center of the bed that adjustment might change when you go to level your bed because any part of the bed height can change during leveling except the center point. (well not enough to matter anyway)

Another thing..... When it comes to leveling everyone has their own way but I find instead of trying to measure at the corners like in Simplfy3d leveling tab or the diagram floating around here it so much easier to check your heights between the bed and the nozzle at center points along the bed (red and blue lines above) e.g. Center Front, Center Rear, Center Left, and Center Right because of the way the bed pivots with the three adjustments. I start at the Right side center and get the Left/Right (red) direction level first. This direction is pretty easy because there is only one screw for both the left and right side and with the pivot point in the middle and if the Z height is correct once the right side is set the left should be pretty close but always double check it and split the difference like mentioned in the video. After that the front and back are pretty easy to because they each have their own adjustments be keep in mind they still can affect each other so don't adjust either one too much but rather bounce back and forth between them and again split any difference. I have a calibration grid of 4 boxes (single lines) I print after I'm done just to visually check to make sure everything looks good.

Hopefully that made some sense.... :D

-Steve
It made a LOT of sense....and you should post it separately as a How To: Bed Leveling tip so "not-so-newcomers" who finally get to the point where they have to adjust the level on their beds can find it. It might get missed in the posts on this thread, and then we'll never find it again, when we need it. (I'm very unfond of the whole leveling process, and next time i want to try a different way.) :D

(If you do that and make it a separate thread, i can add the link into the Getting Started Guide.)

SgtFolley
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Re: How To: Guide to Getting Started (with Troubleshooting T

Post by SgtFolley » Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:02 am

Jules,

Thank you for this quick start guide, i just pulled the trigger on the makergear after having two dremel idea builders go belly up on me over the course of 6 days. Looking forward to trying out the steps, i will definitely let you know how it goes.

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Jules
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Re: How To: Guide to Getting Started (with Troubleshooting T

Post by Jules » Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:10 am

SgtFolley wrote:Jules,

Thank you for this quick start guide, i just pulled the trigger on the makergear after having two dremel idea builders go belly up on me over the course of 6 days. Looking forward to trying out the steps, i will definitely let you know how it goes.
Oh man! That's terrible! I hope you have a much better experience with the M2! (Actually, I'm sure you will - these guys, (MakerGear), take a lot of pride in their work. And if anything goes wrong, because sometimes things do, they will fix it!)

And do let me know if I've left something out of the guide, I can always make additions and fine-tune it. (Typed most of it up in the middle of the night and i was getting a little punchy there at the end!) :lol:

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