My First 3 Days with the M3D

I received my 3D printer from kickstarting the M3D and wanted to start documenting my experiences both failed and successful after the first 3 days.

I received my M3D on Wednesday Night (3/18/15) and immediately set it up and plugged it into my Windows 7 Laptop. I set up HIPS white M3D filament that was included with my kickstarter backing and started to print this print bed scraper off thingiverse. For 2 reasons it failed. 1st was the HIPS filament would not stick to the bed causing the raft to lift up which in turn caused the whole print to be off and the nozzle pushing the print around. The second reason was I had no way for the spool to come out with out getting tangled up. 

Fixes

makeshift-spool-holder.jpg

I fixed one of these problems by Jerry-rigging the spool onto my old school hole puncher using the paper end adjuster to hand the spool and tried printing again. the print botched up for the first reason.

scapperI then read somewhere on the M3D forum that the HIPS was not working very well with the current software. So I decided to try the also Included PLA M3D filament. I again tried the scraper with what turned out to be both a success and a failure. A failure because I printed it hollow which does not seem to work that well. A success because it still is usable for removing prints from the bed. You can see from the picture that the design on the handle didn't print correctly. it is overall pretty flimsy. The Raft still lifted from the bed but not as bad as with the HIPS filament.

Failure

failed-spool-shaft.jpg

I then had a string of failures that resulted in many failed prints all stemming from the prints not sticking to the bed. After the scraper I tried printing the 3 parts of this spool holder from this thingiverse. I printed the spool shaft with solid fill on medium quality and the raft lifted from the bed again. this time it caused the print to be accurate on one end and warped on the other. As you can see from the picture. I thought it might still be usable as only the one end was messed up. So I confidently tried printing another part from the spool holder. this one messed up the worst yet. I left it going overnight and woke up to see it had shifted in a very strange way. one half of the raft was completely detached from the bed. My guess would have been from the nozzle rocking whole print back and forth.

print-fail.jpgWith a bit of disappointment I went to the M3D forum to see anyone else was experiencing the same issue as me. and sure enough a lot of people were having the same issue. One user had a solution that turned out to be a really good one. He had covered the 4 sides of the printer with saran wrap. This helped the printer keep its heat in and my guess would be the bed as well. In that same forum and apparently a 3D printing standby one user had covered his bed in Blue Scotch Painters tape. I tried this out as well as adjusting the temperature of the printer by 10 degrees(210 degrees C.) I then printed a ring twice but it failed, not because of the raft not sticking to the bed but I now believe just a botched design. I then tried the shaft again at solid fill and high quality and my printer stopped mid print of the raft leaving me only to unplug it and start over. I thought maybe the temp might have been why it stopped so I put it back to 200 degrees C and tried prining once again in solid fill with medium quality. This time it worked. The shaft looked accurate to the design. I then printed one of the arms of the spool holder with the same success. I was on a roll. I then tried the ring again confirming that the design was not going to work on the printer.

Success

After my second real successful print I decided to try something more fun and detailed so I found this Magic the Gathering: swamp manna token on thingiverse. More success at solid fill medium quality, I was surprised how it picked up on the details in the skull. I then printed the other side of the spool holder and could retire my hole puncher from it's 3D printing duties.

good-prints.jpgA couple other things I have printed all from thingiverse:

  • bottle opener - I printed it on low fill and medium quality. 
  • The Nintendo 64 symbol - printed at half scale, low fill and medium quality.
  • A chess rook - printed at half scale low fill and medium quality.

These all turned out really well and I am excited to do more except for I am getting low on Black filament so I might have to make my first purchase. I will report back with more and maybe attempt the HIPS soon.

Overall Tips and Tweaks

spool-holder.jpgNow that I have found a way that works using these 3 tweaks I am excited to try the long list of projects I have. The 3 major things I needed to do before I got decent prints were:

  • Cover the printer on 4 sides in saran wrap to isolate it from the outside air.
  • Tape the print bed with Blue Painters tape.
  • Print out a spool holder to keep the spool from tangling.