Print it right
Whether your a veteran print-master or someone about to print their first Benchy, there's probably something here for you. Below you'll find some of our most useful tips for getting a strong and beautiful print!
Getting it to stick
Without a doubt, the first layer of any print is the most important. If your first layer does not stick well to the print surface, it is very likely to detach later in the print and cause the print to fail. Make sure to watch out for:
Increase your bed tempurature. If you have an enclosued build chamber, use it. Try to avoid printing sharp lines/corners on your first layer. Try a brim, skirt or raft.
Make sure there isn't debris or plastic residue on your print surface. Wipe clean with alcohal after every print for best results.
There are lots of different build surfaces out there as well as adhesives. Glass, PEI, buildtak, hairspray, 3D gloop, magigoo, and glue stick are just some of the options. It mostly comes down to a matter of personal preferance, with the correct settings and proper first layer, most anything can work!
ITS TOO STUCK
This can happen with PETG and other "goopy" filaments. Our best advice here is to be patient. Hastily scraping or chisseling away at your print bed can damage it.
We recommend using a flat razor with a handle or sharp scraper blade to get under the corners. Applying hairspray or glue to the print surface can actually keep it from adhering too well to the build plate!
OOZING & BLOBS
This is usually caused by the extruder stopping and starting again when moving to different areas of the print. Common solutions include increased retraction, as well as optimizing exactly how and where these retractions are happening. Every slicer is a bit different, but there should be several settings that can help this issue!
WEAK LAYER ADHESION
More often than not, this means you're printing too cold. Keep in mind that your hot-end thermistor may need calibrating! Check the cooresponding products page for our recommended tempurature settings.
If you're finding little "spider webs" between parts in your print, you're suffering from stringing! Some filaments (like PETG) are more prone to stringing than others. Increasing retraction, turning on "coast" and "wipe" features, and lowering tempurature slightly can help tremendously. If you are still seeing small strings, removing them is easy- just briefly expose them to a flame and they're gone!
WAIT THERE'S MORE
Simplify3D has a great Print Quality Guide. It covers everything from under-extrusion to dimensional accuracy. We highly recommend it.
HARDEN YOUR NOZZLE
Most nozzles are brass, which can be worn away over time by abrasive filaments. If you plan to print materials like carbon fiber, glow-in-the-dark, or steel-filled PLA, make sure to get a hardened nozzle than can handle it.
3D PRINTERS & FOOD
The FDA (and therefore Push Plastic) do not recommend using 3D printed items to handle food. There are lots of nooks and crannies in a 3D printed object that can harbor bacteria. That being said, if you want to try it, use uncolored PLA or PET only. For repeated use, sand and coat with a food safe epoxy to fight bacteria build-up.
Some materials will naturally absorb moisture from the air. Though Nylon is more sensitive than PLA or PETG, we recommend storing all your filaments in an air-tight container with dessicant. A filament dryer is a good tool to have as well!
INFILL V. PERIMETERS
Using 100% infill is almost always unnecessary. Instead, use more perimeters/shells and 30-60% infill for an ultra-strong, light print.
Choose the right material
The following are technical data material comparisons based on our material's physical properties. The testing specimens were 3D printed with a 0.4mm nozzle, 0.2mm layer height, and 100% infill. They were printed flat (XY) on the build plate with temperatures according to each material's print settings. You can download a PDF version of this information here.