Traditional manufacturing processes are slowly being eclipsed in favor of 3D printing as the results are quicker and more cost-effective. 3D printing, however, does take some trial and error to master for most people. From using the software correctly to adjusting to the desired settings, there are plenty of mistakes novice users should aim to avoid.
#1. It’s crucial to the quality of the final print that the bed level height is adjusted appropriately for the materials and the design in question. There are four springs on the bed of the machine that are easy to adjust by moving the springs as necessary. Failure to pay attention to the bed height will cause the printer to miss fine details of the final product.
#2. Another common issue that beginners face when working with 3D models is simply forgetting to check the appropriate materials in the slicer settings. Before the model is sent to the printer, it’s crucial that the file is appropriately sliced. This is an especially important step for models that require the use of different materials during the printing process. Some materials require low temperatures for printing while others need higher temperature settings for accuracy.
#3. Tangled filament is a common occurrence for those that have never used a 3D printer before. Though manufacturers are often blamed, in actuality, the filament is tangled by novice users. All filament generally comes spooled, so the actual chances of the material naturally tangling is virtually improbable. The moment the filament starts getting tangled as it’s fed through the machine, it’s important to start rolling it back onto the spool to remove the tangle before it gets any worse.
#4. It’s important to start with basic tools and accessories when experimenting with a 3D printer for the first time. Many users wrongly assume that investing in extra upgrades is necessary, but in most instances, these additional tools actually hinder progress. For example, even employing too many fans can hinder the actual quality of the print. It’s best to avoid making any upgrades to a printer without having the appropriate knowledge of how it actually functions.
#5. The quality of the filament used does impact the final outcome of the print model. Cheaper brands of filament will often result in poor quality work that’s hard to handle. For the most part, trial and error does play a role in determining the brand of filament a certain printer does best with. However, it’s also crucial to read manufacturer instructions when implementing any new types of material.
#6. Many novice printers leave their machine unattended while they assume that the printing process is going according to plan. It’s crucial to the printing process to pay attention to what the machine is doing in the first five to ten minutes. Most of the time, model prints fail well before the first fifteen minutes are up, which is why close observation throughout the duration of the printing process is necessary.
#7. Certain models benefit from being printed in a different orientation than they would naturally face. This is especially the case with models that are top heavy or have varying lengths or widths. Choosing to forget about orientation is a major failure on the part of the novice printer. With enough practice, most people find that changing the alignment of the model becomes second nature.
Avoiding common printing mistakes is possible when the correct settings are used in a 3D printer and manufacturer instructions are followed to a tee. Many novice printers ignore the importance of investing in good quality filament or slicing their models, and this in turn is detrimental to the final product.
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