Printer Aggravations #aneta8

Printer Aggravations

So I did a thing. You may remember that I was beginning to work on printing minis with the 3D printer. Well, I’m starting to figure it out. It’s a process for sure and there is always something new to learn. But its getting there.

In my quest to find all manner of new files to print (game related stuff of course), I stumbled across some files for Orks. These are not the standard variety fantasy style orks. Nope, what I found were the orks of the future. And enough of them to build an army or two.

Printer Aggravation

See, there are those in the community who print off specific models to be used as proxies in the games we all play. These happened to be orks that could fit in well with a specific space conquest game. (Going nameless to protect the innocent). Of course, the main reason for stuff like this to me is baddies to be thrown into Shadows of Brimstone. We’re talking a game designed around rifts that touch on an infinite number of worlds. It stands to reason, that some of those worlds might contain creatures that love to group together and invade all the other worlds.

Granted, a number of people that I play different games with have also been pushing me to get into stuff like Kill Team (squad based combat in the Warhammer universe). I have resisted for so long because I know myself. If I start getting into the games, I will end up buying everything possible to buy. You gotta know your limits. If not, hobbies like this will drain you of everything.

Printer Aggravation

And so I started printing my ork army. And I found more files of even more orks. And I printed some more. And its funny, the only reason I’m not printing minis right now is because of a mechanical issue with the printer.

I discovered it while printing out one of the longest prints I have ever done (roughly 24 hours just for the main body. Total took me close to a day and a half to complete). I had one last original bushing on one of the slide arms for hot bed carriage. It finally died. I had noticed a squeal every now and then when the carriage was moving.

The original bushings had bearings embedded within the self lubricating material. On all the other original ones, something happened to cause the small metal beads to shift within their confinement. Prints were destroyed amidst much wailing and gnashing of teeth. This time might not have been much different.

But it was a long print and I didn’t want to stop it if I didn’t see anything wrong with it. Failure after 18 hours is something no one wants to go through. But you see, with the tree support wrapped around the figure, I couldn’t see anything going on underneath. I figured if I wasn’t seeing random stringing as the filament shot out all over the board, it couldn’t be too bad.

As it turned out it wasn’t all that bad at all. The underside of the warbosses gun arm hadn’t formed correctly. But it was mostly cosmetic. All other areas of the model had printed decently enough. And thankfully, the underdeveloped area is actually on the underside of the model. You can’t see it just by looking at the thing.

Printer aggravation

A few models I had printed after this one, even after switching out to a new bushing, didn’t fair as well. The new bushing worked quite well but apparently some of the others were going to pot as well.

I ended up shutting everything down as I await the arrival of some new parts. And of course, the lesson learned is if I am going to switch out one bushing, I may as well switch out everything. No sense in guessing which one has gone bad in the process of printing. They are inexpensive enough that even if I don’t stock up on them, I shouldn’t have to wait too long to get replacements.

And in the blink of an eye, several days have passed…

So here’s the thing, when the new bushings came in I started to rip things apart to get to the bottom of it all. Of course, this isn’t the problem. Everything that should be moving is moving smoothly. I run a print and still have issues.

But this time, I think I have the matter in hand. I had lowered the print temps to try and fix some stringing issues I had been having. The filament had started dead zoning in the nozzle because it wasn’t quite hot enough (I was thinking). The observation came when I had preheated to ABS temps (about 240C vs 200C). Things were flowing again.

So now I slice a few prints at a slightly higher temp in an experimental fashion. I got a couple good prints and then boom I am suddenly back in the same issues. Basically, the last print I tried, had not only blocked and only half printed, but the filament had broken away from the feed tube.

The problem is more likely wet filament. Yeah, I had bought a different brand from what I had been using. It’s inexpensive enough that you can get some experience working with different manufacturing processes in materials without breaking the bank. I ended up pulling it off the stand and throwing it in a plastic storage bag with some silica. My hope is in a few days the silica will pull the moisture and allow me to get back to printing.

It’s all a work in progress. Some people question why I am not trying to create my own prints instead of looking for prints I can attempt online. Yeah, that’s still part of the learning curve. Right now, I am trying to trouble shoot through the actual printing process without fighting extra variables. The hope as always is the prints I am picking up from others are ones that actually work. But no matter how you look at it, it’s still a crapshoot. And you never know what might happen, at least until you do.

As a side note, if I can’t get this PLA working, I will avoid this brand again in the future. Bad materials make for bad builds. That is our lesson for the day.


If you enjoy these stories, consider leaving some coffee money in the jar or you could buy a book or two. Either way helps keep the stories flowing.

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