jfjohnny5
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:18 pm

Beginner - Settings to Try Adjusting?

Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:33 am

Quick background: I've had my M2 for about a week now. It's my first 3D printer. I looked at slic3r and Pronterface before it arrived as I was doing my research. I read some great info about Creator and decided to just go with it from the start.

I've been working on trying to get the printer settings really dialed in by reading lots and lots and lots and trying various calibration methods and objects. I've been running into some issues and I'm just not sure *what* to try adjusting. I'm printing the 5 mm calibration steps http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:24238 and they look pretty good with the default M2 settings right out of Creator. http://www.flickr.com/photos/7943855@N05/8640772464/ The funny thing is - the very first print I made of these has been the best. Not terrific. But I was really happy with the results.

Then I tried to print this Heart Ring that my girlfriend saw and said she wanted. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:50123 It did not turn out well. It was just really ragged looking. I started making some adjustments like tightening up the belts, releveling the bed, etc. Then I started tweaking a few settings in Creator and printed the calibration cubes again. They were horribly ugly; up on the top especially. And the rest of the print was just as ragged as the ring. http://www.flickr.com/photos/7943855@N05/8639669715/

I did some more research and made adjustments again. Most notably, I decided to tell the heater bed to turn off after the first layer so it gradually cooled as the print went on. Though I was largely using the same default settings that worked so well the night before. Then I printed again. It was better, but still not very good. http://www.flickr.com/photos/7943855@N05/8639669681/ I mean I've seen a lot better come off of other M2's.

Also worth mentioning is that I noticed with all of the prints I've done so far, the first layer is "wider" than the others, creating a kind of "lip" on the bottom of all my prints. You can sort of see it from this angle: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7943855@N05/8640772400/


So, what I'm asking is: based on what you see here, what should I try adjusting? There are so many settings in Creator. And even though there are tooltips for every single one of them, it can still be a bit overwhelming for a newcomer. Now I'm definitely one to do my homework and research a lot. But as Creator is so new, it's proving a bit tricky to find info - outside these forums of course. Which is why I'm looking to the great community here to help guide me in the right direction!

mathisyourfriend
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:50 pm

Re: Beginner - Settings to Try Adjusting?

Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:41 pm

look for "my custom M2 settings" or close to that on this board. tomlombardi (and others I believe) posted his tweaked settings. I've looked at them longingly as I wait for my M2. Creator does look great compared to all that other stuff I will soon unlearn (repg,skein forge, etc.,etc.,etc.).

Chemicalcorrosion
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:42 pm

Re: Beginner - Settings to Try Adjusting?

Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:43 pm

@jfjohnny5

I have been getting amazing results from my M2. I will print the 5 mm calibration steps on my machine and compare and post the results. I will also post my fff settings for CREATOR. I'll also post some "hints and tips". From my experience, everything begins with having a level build platform. I have mine leveled to within .003 of an inch! I'm a former machinist. I used a dial indicator to level my bed. I suppose I should make a video on bed leveling using a dial indicator. Laying down that first layer is also important. I now have my "go to" process for that.

Trust me, I pulled out ALOT of hair when I first got my M2. After alot of patience, experimenting, and finally using Creator, I am printing with a smile. I would like to share my process with everyone. Enough blabbering. I'll do some prints and make a post soon. With the right procedures and settings, you'll be getting awesome results!

Dave

jfjohnny5
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:18 pm

Re: Beginner - Settings to Try Adjusting?

Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:47 pm

Thanks guys! And Dave, I'll be looking forward to seeing that post with your pics and tips! My dome's already pretty chrome-y, so I appreciate anything to avoid pulling out a few more hairs. :D

For what it's worth, I feel like I'm getting better results overall with tomlombardi's profile, but the top cube of the calibration cubes continues to look pretty bad. I feel like the plastic isn't cool enough when it starts the layer above it, so it kind of drags the still semi-liquid plastic around with it. I found the settings in Creator for Speed Overrides, but I'm not sure how it works. I feel like what I want to say is "if a layer takes less than X seconds, do not start the next layer until X seconds have passed" Is that possible? Is that even really my problem? I feel like I'm getting there. Slow process for sure though.

Earsmith
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:07 am

Re: Beginner - Settings to Try Adjusting?

Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:30 pm

Chemicalcorrosion wrote:@jfjohnny5

I have been getting amazing results from my M2. I will print the 5 mm calibration steps on my machine and compare and post the results. I will also post my fff settings for CREATOR. I'll also post some "hints and tips". From my experience, everything begins with having a level build platform. I have mine leveled to within .003 of an inch! I'm a former machinist. I used a dial indicator to level my bed. I suppose I should make a video on bed leveling using a dial indicator. Laying down that first layer is also important. I now have my "go to" process for that.

Trust me, I pulled out ALOT of hair when I first got my M2. After alot of patience, experimenting, and finally using Creator, I am printing with a smile. I would like to share my process with everyone. Enough blabbering. I'll do some prints and make a post soon. With the right procedures and settings, you'll be getting awesome results!

Dave
I would like to see you post on bed leveling with a dial indicator and you fff settings, your post would be greatly appreciated. For me it would give a higher level of confidence and less guessing when trouble shooting.

Simplify3D
Site Admin
Posts: 304
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:28 pm

Re: Beginner - Settings to Try Adjusting?

Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:53 am

Just so you know, you can switch between the default_035mm_PLA.fff profile and then back to the MakerGear_M2_PLA.fff profile at any time to restore the default M2 settings. If your first print was the best, I would be tempted to just go back to that and then make changes 1-by-1, testing each one as you go. Some of the settings are fairly sensitive, so a few wrong changes here and there can cause big issues.

I'm sure Chemicalcorrosion's comparison with his calibrated M2 will be really useful for you to compare with, but let me offer a few suggestions for that top cube. I think you're exactly right, it appears that the layers haven't cooled enough before starting the next layer above it. Creator lets you automatically adjust both printing speed and fan speed based on an estimated layer time which is meant to combat this. Essentially, if the layer time is below XXX seconds, it will slow down the printing speed and turn up the fan to help cool the part. In general, that does a pretty good job, but for really small parts, you can still have issues. I might try turning down the temperature a bit for those top layers and see if that helps. You can go into your Temperature settings tab and add per-layer temperatures so the lower temps would only kick in at the highest layers where that smallest cube begins. So your per-layer temperatures might look like this:

Layer Temperature
1 190
135 180

That will use 190 degrees for layers 1 through 134, and then at layer 135 it will switch to 180 degrees. And we typically run the fan speed at 100% for the entire build using PLA (minus the bottom layer for adhesion reasons). I believe that is already the default though.

Hope that helps!

jfjohnny5
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:18 pm

Re: Beginner - Settings to Try Adjusting?

Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:45 am

Simplify3D wrote:Essentially, if the layer time is below XXX seconds, it will slow down the printing speed and turn up the fan to help cool the part.
A question on this. The "minimum speed" setting related to this feature. It defaults to 20% - is that saying it will slow the speed down TO 20% of the default? Or it will slow the speed down BY 20%?

And I actually tried taking it back to 1st base and reloading the Default M2 profile last night. It did work pretty well for a larger print (I was getting tired of those calibration cubes), but I'm seeing some odd alignment issues along the X axis. The Y axis is fine - the layers line up very straight and the result is very smooth. But in the X direction the layers sort of stagger back and forth: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7943855@N05/8643129804/

I'm also pursuing a solution to that problem through the MakerGear Google group where the suggestion is that it's not hardware, but a software setting causing it. Which kind of circles back to my "what to adjust" question.

Simplify3D
Site Admin
Posts: 304
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:28 pm

Re: Beginner - Settings to Try Adjusting?

Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:52 am

It slows down the speed BY 20%. This is usually a better choice because it lets you maintain your other speed relationships between infill, outline, bridging, etc.

And was your M2 built from a kit or pre-assembled? If it was a kit there might be some tightening needed to avoid any skipping that might cause layer misalignment, but it sounds like that's already on your checklist.

And maybe this is just my personal preference, but it's also a little hard to diagnose transparent PLA. Any chance your have an opaque color? ;)

jfjohnny5
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:18 pm

Re: Beginner - Settings to Try Adjusting?

Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:29 am

Thanks for clearing up the speed setting.

It was a kit. I've been trying various degrees of belt tension. It's rough when the only guidance is "not too tight and not too loose" but I'm working on it.

I agree on the transparent PLA. I knew the M2 came with a roll of "natural" PLA - which I thought would be opaque and maybe a cream color. Once I saw the transparent PLA I went ahead and ordered a roll of white and a roll of black. It's in the mail. I hope to get it early next week.

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