9 Common Mistakes to Avoid in 3D Printing
3D printing, a rapidly evolving and rewarding technology, needs rigorous attention to detail as well as comprehensive knowledge of common mistakes and solutions. This guide aims to provide an objective overview of common mistakes encountered in 3D printing and how to avoid them.
1. Don't Touch the Build Plate
Touching the build plate directly, especially with dirty hands, may have a detrimental impact on print adhesion. It is advisable to use tools to remove prints and avoid physical contact with the build plate. Just be careful when using the sharp metal tool because you don't want to ruin your bed. And if you have touched your 3D printer's bed too much and there's a lot of grease on the build plate, use warm soapy water to clean the build plate is recommended for effective cleaning. Although some users prefer textured PEI build plates, you may still have to use a glue stick to get the best bed adhesion.
2. Don't Ignore Bed Leveling
Bed leveling is an important step in 3D printing, especially for beginners who are utilizing printers that do not have automatic bed leveling. There is a widely accepted method for manual leveling, namely, using paper technique, which means adjusting the bed until a piece of paper can slide with slight resistance under the nozzle. Printers with automatic bed leveling can make this operation easier, improving the user experience.
3. Don't Printing Too Fast
When operating 3D printing, it is important to weigh the output quality against the printing speed. Although sophisticated printers may operate at faster rates without sacrificing quality, it's usually advised to begin with the default speed settings provided by the manufacturer. As consumers get more experienced with the capabilities of their printer, they are able to think about gradually raising the speed.
4. Don't Use Incorrect Material Settings
Incorrect printing settings for various materials might result in unsatisfactory prints. For instance, PETG requires higher printing temperatures than PLA, and using PLA settings for PETG can affect extrusion quality. Users should refer to the recommended settings for each filament type, and newer printer models with automatic material detection offer additional convenience in this regard.
5. Don't Neglect Print Orientation
Print orientation significantly influences the strength and appearance of the final print. For example, printing an L bracket horizontally rather than vertically can result in a stronger and faster print. Additionally, considering the visibility of layer lines on curved surfaces is important for aesthetic quality.
6. Don't Overlook Filament Storage
Proper filament storage is crucial to prevent tangling and moisture absorption, which can degrade print quality.This problem can be avoided by simply threading the filament end through a hole on the side of the spool. Furthermore, there are numerous inventive alternatives available to help avoid your filament from being wrapped.
7. Don't Just Increase Infill
When attempting to strengthen a 3D print, increasing the number of walls rather than only the infill density is generally more useful. Higher infill contributes to a stronger print, but it comes at the expense of using more material. For initial prototypes, fewer walls and lower infill are usually sufficient. However, depending on how strong you need the print to be, you should consider changing these parameters for the final outcome.
8. Don't Default to Isopropyl Alcohol
The choice between isopropyl alcohol and warm soapy water for cleaning the build plate depends on the type of residue present. While isopropyl alcohol can be effective for certain types of cleaning, warm soapy water is generally more effective for removing grease and dissolving PVA-based adhesives.
9. Don't Rely on PLA for Outdoor Projects
While PLA is a popular choice due to its low melting point, making it easy to print with, it's not ideal for high-temperature conditions as it can warp or deform. For outdoor applications, it's wiser to opt for materials like ASA, which, despite being costlier and more challenging to print, offer better durability in such environments. Alternatively, PETG or ABS can be used, though it's important to note that ABS may degrade under UV exposure.
10. Don't Over-Adjusting Slicer Settings (Alternate)
While experimenting with slicer settings sometimes provide desirable outcomes, over-adjustment can cause unintended issues. Adhering to the manufacturer's default settings is often a reliable starting point, especially for those new to 3D printing.
By recognizing and addressing these common mistakes, users can enhance their 3D printing experience. This guide briefly summarizes some common mistakes beginners make in 3D printing and offers practical solutions to enhance the overall printing experience, allowing both beginners and experienced users to achieve more consistent and high-quality results.
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