So a few day ago I printed a couple of parts with this new marble filament for a client in California. It’s pretty cool stuff.
So great, these parts get done. Then it happens. That moment every person who makes things for others when nothing works. Suddenly the printer wouldn’t print. It would move around but nothing was coming out. I do everything I can, make sure all the settings are right, make sure the filament isn’t stuck in the guiding tube, then I find out it’s down to being clogged in the Nozzle. Ok, so I clear that out….it prints a bit then stops again. I cleared the clog once more but now it’s still not helping.
Fine, I’ll replace the nozzle. I really don’t have time to keep messing around with this As the nexts parts will take 2 days to print. A grand total of 7 hours went into trying to get this to print and guess what…..still didn’t print!
I give up for the day and just go home.
Next day, let’s try it again. Let’s try to be a bit more methodical in my approach. I go to learn some new tips about setting up the machine. That was actually useful And yet….still not printing.
I try to do some digging and can’t find any answers on my particular setup. It’s not that it’s utterly unique…..it’s that it’s apparently utterly unique. Every solution kept saying to use a method that I can’t use. Even then, there was a critical piece of advice every, single, person left out.
One of the things I was trying to do was set the nozzle space from the glass bed it prints on. A common thing to use is a piece of paper, because it’s so thin and should get you in the general area. That has worked out fine for me for the last 4 months but not today.
Ok, so then there is this offset number I can use to make adjustments. Problem is that number is nowhere to be found in the stock firmware of the machine. There is only an adjustment but does not give you any feedback. The theory is that you just need to hit a +/- button. That doesn’t work because it is utterly tedious and ridiculously long process. Even still, I set it once….too close. I hit the adjustment button once to make the gap bitter…..not it’s too far! There was literally no in between I could make it, which it seemed is what I needed.
I was getting so frustrated that nothing was working. I was taking notes, just to make sure I was following some sort of procedure so that I wasn’t merely repeating myself.
I found a manual command I could issue directly to the machine. And that was not working after awhile. I was so angry and frustrated it wasn’t even funny.
I do some Journalling through an app called GoodNotes. I manually write things out because I’ve been anting to improve my handwritiing. It has worked but it’s a slow process. Which is fine because it’s not a critical thing because the other reason to hand-write things out is to slow down my thinking and be more aware of what I am writing. All that went out the window in my notes. I really didn’t care, I just needed to vent. So here is what they look like. And you’ll see exactly what I discovered by doing this too….
Yup, after some initial adjustments, I started mixing up two numbers and then wondered why nothing was working. Despite the digital nature of the writing, I left in all the scribbles and angry scratches as part of the venting process.
Ok, so I realized my big mistake. Then I finally started to see some progress and actually getting something to print out in this test file I was trying to do.
So yay for progress. Not perfect, but it’s better than literally nothing printing.
So then I started the client;’s print job. It was a 57hr print job. The first layer was really too thin but as long as it’ didn’t scrape, I was going to let it go. If it just printed fine, the rest will go well. At least that was the plan.
See that horizontal gap there. Yeah, it’s not supposed to be there. That means overnight, something happened and cause it to fail. Definitely not happy but at least I wasn’t stressed as I had told the client and he was super chill and in no rush. So today I took off. My family wanted to celebrate my b-day on Sunday instead of the Monday because it was easier. I didn’t even go into the office to try start it again. I’ll do that tomorrow. Starbucks gives you a free drink on your birthday. I’ll definitely hit there first before going to the shop and starting again.
With all this, I might test out another idea and see if going back to using some sort of bed adhesive will help with the offset issue I was having. If it fails, I’ll go back to this and maybe just do one of these parts at a time. Sometimes if a part cools down too much, layers get a little weird.
So yeah…3 days and nothing printed. Oh the joys of dealing with sub-par equipment at times.