At the beginning of the year, these pages were full of posts on 3D Printing. It was a fun learning experience but, alas! ’tis not my sole responsibility. So for a long while now, I’ve touched the printer but sporadically. Now, though, I have a few quick updates to pass along. Naturally because something when wrong.
The cubify software seems to require regular updates. 3D Systems makes it really easy to upgrade. A dialog box pops up, you click the download button, and then run that exe. You may also have to close the software during install but really that’s all I ran into. Until the last time I tried.
The update went a-ok but when I tried to send something to the printer, I got a compatibility issue. The first thing that came to mind was the printer’s firmware. So I went through the menus, found the firmware option, and downloaded the new firmware. Presto Change-o all is well.
Moral of the story: take care when you update the software. That takes only a short amount of time, the firmware takes considerably more.
The leveling best practices state you should auto-level the plate every 10 objects. I ignored that for months. But when a print job started not actually, y’know, printing, I figured I had went to the well one too many times. So I auto-leveled the plate and z-gap. They worked just fine. But my problem didn’t go away. But that may not be the case for you. So I’d urge you to level your print plate on a regular basis. Schedule some time once a month, it only takes 5 minutes. That way it’s on the books every month and you can ignore it once in a while but if you’re anything like me, the fact that you have to keep ignoring it will drive you to actually do it once every couple of months or so.
Our print plate looks as if a rabid wolverine used it for a chew toy. There are dents great and small all over the plate. The sidewalks and supports seem to be the biggest culprit but larger heavier objects seem to leave their marks as well. I look at it every so oft and grimace. I keep waiting for the day when I just can’t get something to print because the plate made like a golf ball and is riddled with dimples. So far, though, taking the sandpaper to the plate seems to even things out enough to avoid that issue.
Moral of the story, don’t be afraid if your plate looks like rubbish. So long as you are faithful to your use of sandpaper, looks can be deceiving.