How to Ensure the Process of 3D Printing Runs Smoothly
When 3D printing an object, you can only get the best possible outcomes, right? That’s what everyone seems to think, but the truth is 3D printing opens up a world of possibilities… to go wrong. Just like any other technology, 3D printing isn’t immune to errors either. But luckily, most of them can be prevented if you are properly informed. To ensure that the process of 3D printing runs smoothly from beginning to end, here’s what you need to keep in mind.
Always Keep a Stash of Spare Parts
Remember that a 3D printer is essentially a machine. And just like any machine, it consists of a number of different parts that come together to ensure smooth operation. If even the tiniest part malfunctions, it will reflect on the printer’s ability to produce objects. And such defects can happen anytime you print. That’s why when doing important prints, it’s smart to keep a supply of 3D spare parts such as nozzles, extruders or heater cartridges, in case something goes wrong. Even the best 3D printers need to be regularly checked and receive new 3D spare parts when needed.
Update Your 3D Firmware
Just as the hardware of your 3D printer needs maintenance, the firmware also needs to be checked and updated all the time. The firmware is a bridge between the software and the hardware. By updating your printer’s firmware, you will be able to print the highest quality items available and avoid potential software problems. If your printer is wifi enabled, it should be able to automatically download and install any updates. If that’s not the case, remember to regularly check the manufacturer’s website for announcements.
Lubricate the Printer Regularly
If you notice small ridges or unwanted marks on the surfaces of your 3D printed objects, it means that your printer needs to be lubricated. To prevent this from happening, it’s recommended to put a few drops of oil on the axles once in a while. Though, it’s not advisable to use motor oil. Regular sewing machine oil can provide the printer with the smoothness it needs. And remember not to use too much oil as it can collect grime and dust and clog up the printer.
Use the Right Filament for the Job
The type of filament you use can make or break the quality of the printed objects. A higher quality filament will allow you to achieve the desired results and experience fewer problems, whereas low-quality filaments often come with impurities that cause inconsistent melting. Furthermore, quality printing materials are less likely to clog the print nuzzle or cause under extrusion. Additionally, different printers and printing methods require different types of materials. For instance, ABS filament is the most popular materials when injection moulding, but if you want to print a prototype, Nylon 12 filament can produce much better results.