Sunday, June 3, 2012

SUMPOD Printing

This weekend I finally got to do a proper test-run on the SUMPOD (total printing time around 7-8 hours). After using most of last week to trouble shoot and figure out usable settings I stumbled upon Airtrippers excelled Skeinforge settings. Since he already has his SUMPOD up and running and having excellent results, from what I can see, at least I knew these were going to work.

After browsing Thingiverse a bit I ended up on the "Mustache Ring" for my first, proper, test. It has some nice detail and doesn't take too long to print so one can experiment a bit.

First proper test object. Mustache Ring.
If you look closely you can see that there are gaps and that the layers don't fill properly.

So far I haven't had any big issues getting the plastic to stick to the printer bed, but changing the filament and using the new Skeinforge settings apparently made a huge difference. All of a sudden it wouldn't stick at all. At first I though I needed to up the temperature in the print head, but that only made it worse. I also played around with the height of the nozzle over the print bed. Supposedly you should have the nozzle touch, or even press a bit into, the blue masking tape, but that just made the PLA bunch up around the print head. Reducing the temperature back to 185 degrees C in addition to increasing the distance a bit  did the trick - although now it almost stick too well and I have to rip the masking tape off of the bed on larger objects. I doubt that is right.

I soon realized I was going to need something to help unwind the filament from the spool since I can't go over and unwind a chunk every 15-20 minutes on multi-hour prints. Yet again Aitripper saved the day with his design for the Pocket Reel Roller. He also lists his settings for printing this, but I needed to change those around quite a bit before I had something passable.

Mainly I had to change "Speed -> Object First Layer" (all to 0.2) and "Fill -> Infill Solidity" (to 0.9). Print time was around 2.5 hours.

Third print of this part. 
With roller bearing installed.
Not exactly pretty, but I think it will do the job. The last part actually came out worse, but I think that's because the belts have gotten a bit of slack. I'll tighten them up a bit and hopefully that'll do the trick.

All installed - turns pretty easily as well.
I still has some way to go to get the quality up to the level I like, but playing around with the parameters in Skeinforge has a lot of potential - I only have to learn what causes what and that's not something that's done over night with the amount of parameters you have access to.


Anonymous said...

Hi. How is the Sumpod printing going now. Do you have it working well yet?

Atle Krogstad Berg said...

I'm still working on that part. The printer performs consistently and when I finish the heated platform I think I'll have the physical part of the build nailed - then it's just tweaking the software parameters left :)