Printer Operation and Testing
For testing the printer, I picked a challenging model from GE, as well as a 3D object testing template that will push the printer to its limits.
First, I wanted to show off a print that came out excellent the first time. The GE Build Your Own Jet Engine is a series of 14 STL files that produces parts for a model GE jet engine.
Not all of the pieces could fit on the bed. The total print time was around 18 hours.
The finished product came out really great, with the exception of the base that didn't fully stick to the platform because I didn't clean and re-apply the glue stick. I didn't sand anything down, and I didn't polish the model; I only used some acetone to melt some pieces together in lieu of glue.
All of the pieces came together with precision, and it spins freely. I printed this at 0.2mm resolution; you will see the difference between 0.1mm and 0.2mm below with our very hard test print.
This is the 0.2mm test print, and you can see that I didn't use any rafts or supports, which is why the overhang doesn't have a nice top section. This print takes about 2.5 hours to complete. It prints three walls with different thicknesses, circular holes, balls, overhangs, and a wall with voids. Nearly everything came out very well, with the exception of the overhang print at the top, and the single layer middle wall.
I printed this test print twice, once at 0.2mm, and again at 0.1mm to see the difference. The resolution at 0.1mm is much better; here you can see all four holes, while on the 0.2mm you can barely see the tiniest.
While there will always be layering, it is less noticeable with the 0.1mm. However, the overhangs are a bit better at 0.2mm since the layer is a bit thicker.
The 0.2mm print overhang screws up towards the top since I didn't add any supports. I accidently broke off the top of the 0.1mm, and I had to cancel the print before it printed its 5th overhang.
PSA: Don't stick your hand in there while the printer is on to see if it's sturdy.
The difference is negligible between the thicker walls in 0.1mm and 0.2mm; however, the thinner walls are much better at 0.1mm. I don't think you will ever print single layer walls like the middle wall in the picture.
The ball is really where the difference between 0.1mm and 0.2mm is apparent; the resolution at 0.1mm really helps with making a nice ball.
Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:33 pm CDT
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