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Robot Chicken's PILLAR OF AUTUMN Build - 3D Printed

Discussion in 'Halo 3D Modeling' started by RobotChicken, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. RobotChicken


    Actually, Mass Portal has data for 0.01mm layer height using PolyMax PLA, so I hope to be able to print super-fine details and have no print lines on the larger surfaces. At the moment, though, the printer is having extrusion issues that I'm still trying to figure out with kaween's help.
    TurboCharizard likes this.
  2. TurboCharizard

    TurboCharizard RMO 405th Regiment Officer

    Is it purely extrusion issues or could it also be bed adhesion at such a fine layer height? The finest detail I've ever gone with a 0.4mm nozzle is 0.05mm layer height which pretty much demanded an increased flow for the first layer.
  3. RobotChicken


    Yes, it's extrusion. Bed adhesion is fine, printing straight on heated glass with a 0.4mm nozzle, layer height only 0.1mm. Filament jams in the hot end causing the extruder drive gear to grind into the filament (and of course, no filament coming out of the nozzle). I'm now printing one the printer's sample models and so far it's printing fine, so that tells me I've got something not right in my gcode.
  4. RobotChicken


    Can't figure out proper gcode settings for MatterHackers PRO filament to not jam in the hot end partway through a print (filament randomly stops flowing), so I've instead been using the sample PolyMaker PolyMax filament which came with the machine. On a deadline to get parts made and just don't have the time to tinker with the settings for getting the other filament to work, if it even will. Here's the progress on this year's Halloween props:





    Anybody with experience with verified filament brands filament I'd appreciate hearing what you have to say as I'm now shopping for better filament to use with the printer. So far PolyMax specs seem to yield the highest resolution but they don't offer many colors. ColorFabb has a lot of colors but only has 0.2 maximum resolution. Input is appreciated.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2017
  5. RobotChicken


    Alright, I think we're set for Halloween this year. Got the SGC patches applied to his shirt, got this prop finished...


    And I'm feeling a little accomplished with this next one. I drew up the model in 3 days, printed it in 2 days, and assembled it in 2 days. Wow...



    It's got separate switch controls for lighting the buttons and screen independently. I'll get a pic up of the whole outfit later in the week, and then it's back to the Pillar Of Autumn work.
    mblackwell1002 and SI3RRA 117 like this.
  6. RetiredClone

    RetiredClone New Member

    Wow, the Zat looks great! Nice work! Any plans for one that opens and closes?
  7. RobotChicken


    Nope, it was just a quick and dirty Halloween prop for my kid.

    I continue to get filament jams and failed prints with the Mass Portal printer. Very disappointing considering the machine's cost.
  8. Kusak3


    This is going to be long sorry my brain tends to ramble on the subject and my opinion is purely based on my experience.

    I have both a mono price maker select and a HIctop kit printer that I run. One of the issues I keep seeing on a semi regular basis is when I am printing at .1 resolution I have to truly watch my bed leveling to keep the nozzle from contacting the bed. Reason it is puts wear on the nozzle tip and eventually will deform the tip and then material does not want to flow properly and or with one of my other nozzles it deforms it and blocks it. One of the signs that it is jamming and not feeding is the popping sound. It is actually the extruder gear jumping on the filament. My Hictop had a terrible time with that out of the box. And when I ripped it apart to resolve the issue I found that is had a brass extruder feed gear and that it had actually worn and was no longer getting a solid grip. Also the monoprice had a plastic extruder feed assembly as does the hictop but the assembly was also semi warped out of the box and the spring tension was not what it needed to be.

    The issues would manifest in the form of weak layers and or simply missing layers and or terrible layer adhesion. The Monoprice had a MK6 feed gear which I want to say is a 32 tooth gear. I upgraded the extruder gear to a mk7 mk8 40 tooth extruder gear. A tad bit more expensive as in 2 for 9 dollars versus 4 to 5 of the 32 teeth ones for the same price. That in and of itself was enough to make the HICTOP go from printing like a piece of junk out of the box to being a good printer. The mono price was a bit more intensive. because the extruder feed assembly was a cheap abs and was warped with poor spring tension I replaced it. Went over to a MICRO Swiss all metal extruder assembly about 40 bucks in that and being I was getting annoyed I swapped in Micro Swiss MK10 all metal hot end. The mono had a composite hot end that had a teflon tube inside the melting chamber. Over time that tube will degrade and if you are running abs and the such will eventually break down. The end result is the material will not melt correctly as it is extruded as in incomplete melting which blocks your nozzle and causes the spotty printing until it manages to completely melt and push the block out of the way. The all metal hot end also ran me about 40 dollars the down side of it is you have to get your nozzles from MICRO Swiss and a replacement nozzle runs about 16 dollars for one. While most others you are paying that for 4 to 5 of them at a clip. Positive side of that is. Micro swiss has better precision and quality control. I have had nozzles out of other companies that were basically junk out of the package. I get about x2 to x3 times the life I get out of the brass ones and the Micro swiss nozzle provide much better print quality. I have had 2 extruder barrels on the hictop that the teflon tube has melted out of them in 2 rolls of material and I have had to replace them to fix the layer issues. And that is on the HIctop. The mono price with its all metal hot end is simply a matter of yank the nozzle and replace the feed gear. again about 20 dollars worth of parts.

    Nozzles and extruder barrels are parts that myself being I have 2 printers and I use them to make money I consider them expendable material. They simply wear out. If your leveling isnt correct and they are touching the bed the tips deform over time. And even if your leveling is perfect if the bed gets ideas about uneven warming due to heat issues it warps and the nozzle will make contact here and their. Also the simple act of running places wear on the nozzle tip causing it to eventually deform. The teflon tubes degrade and break up in the hot ends. so on so forth. As soon as I start to see consistent printing layer issues it is a simple matter I take an hour. I pull the extruder barrel and tip and replace them. If I am noticing a lot of popping from the extruder assembly I pull and replace the extruder gear as well. Could it still be good yes. But it is 15 to 20 dollars worth of parts and an hour of my time to install and relevel the bed. Print an alignment cube to check and then put the printer back to work. so counting my time as dollars I have 40 bucks in that process and the printer is back running. Is all of the parts I am yanking bad. Probably not to be honest. Only one of them may be bad. Or all of them could just be worn. My printer heads are easy to get to I have an open machine they are both Prussia configs. And they all use parts that are easily available on Amazon and from my perspective cheap. When I start considering spending 3 to 5 hours just playing around to change one part and then run a print find out it isnt correct go back trouble shoot some more. ETC ETC. 20 dollars of parts and and hour about every few months and I am done printers are back working and I can work on something else.

    Do I know everything about 3d Printing. NO most definitely not I am an idiot in a land with many experts. Here is what I can tell you with certainty of my own personal experience. Software makes a difference. Simplify 3D I will shout it praises from the rooftops all day long. I have run cura I have run Repetier I have run slicer3r. Printers would run but quality sucked. I went to simplify 3d and it loaded optimal setting for both printers on the spot. They went from okay prints to WOW prints that fast. Proprietary printers dont waste your time. If you have to buy all of your parts from them ITS A TRAP. :p (if you get the reference). Choose a brand and color of filament and stick to it as much as possible. I have had to tweak settings even for the same manufacture to get different colors to print well and I have seen colors such as hatchbox and esun natural white that simply do not print well ever it seems. And some printers are picky. My friends printer does great with hatchbox it takes a lot of tweaking for him to print with esun. And when it comes to extruder parts they start acting up I go straight to replacement. my time is precious to me and I really hate loosing a 20 hour or so print due to one part. Parts break on 3d printers. My printers run constantly I am going through a roll of material on each one every week more that that if I am actually off my normal job and home to keep them running non stop. Currently at that load I replace the extruder gear and hot end and nozzle every 2 to 3 months on the hictop with the cheaper parts and I have replaced the nozzle and feed gear on the monoprice with its Micro swiss hot end once in 9 months
  9. RobotChicken


    Hey, thanks for the novel! :) It is not a slipping extruder gear nor a damaged/blocked nozzle. This is an $8,000 printer with metal drive gear and lots of teeth. It's got 3 extruders and they all work fine - it's the hot end (not the nozzle) causing the problem. The printer auto-levels itself, and after removing filament from the hot end and reloading it, everything's fine - same nozzle. We believe what's happening is heat creep (you can look it up). The drive gear slipping on the filament grinding a rut doesn't happen until AFTER the filament has jammed in the hot end since the extruder is no longer able to push filament through. MatterHackers had the exact same issues when they tested a Mass Portal printer and chalked it up to a funky custom hot end assembly with goofy radiators that overall isn't a good design. After filament is removed and the swelled tip cut off, the machine works fine until some random point while printing the next part when filament jams in the hot end again. Believe me, many emails and phone calls with Mass Portal and MatterHackers for different temperature tests, different speed tests, different filament tests - this machine seems to work only with "premium" filament despite their claim of "open materials". In my opinion, these types of issues should NOT be happening with a machine in this price range. I've already got a different printer that I'm much more excited about, and yes I've already been using Simplify3D for almost two years now and it's great compared to other slicers out there.

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