Setting Build Plate Size on a Printrbot

If you’ve installed an upgrade on your Printrbot, been playing around with your default settings, or the auto-leveling process isn’t working quite right for you, then you may have to adjust some EEPROM settings. Checking Your Current Settings The first step is to confirm what your current settings are. A factory reset may not bring you back to a usable condition if you make a mistake so it is always a good idea to know your previously set settings. To check your current settings you will need to pull up your G-Code input screen. This can be done by opening Cura and using Pronterface UI with a plugged in printer. You will need to put a STL on the build plate and then bring up the controller. Once the controller is open you will see a text input box on the right, this is where you will input the G-Code commands. … Read more

Greasing a Replicator 2 and 2X

The Replicator 2 and 2X both require minimal maintenance to keep them performing at their best. Every 50 hours of printing a small amount of grease should be applied in two locations. If your printer is squeaking, applying grease in these locations generally will stop the squeaking as well. Applying this grease is done to keep them quiet and prevent excess wear on parts such as the Y-axis secondary. When we are greasing a Replicator 2 or 2X we use this PTFE Grease. The first point we apply grease to is the Z axis threaded rod. This is the one that controls the height of the platform and is pictured below. The method to applying the grease to this threaded rod is to raise the platform all the way up and apply a small amount of grease below the platform. After that lower the platform and put grease above it … Read more

Filament Comparison: PLA, ABS, HIPS & PVA

Pinshape has posted a guide to help clarify the differences between some of the main plastics currently used in 3D printing. If you are curious why some materials get used in one application versus another, this Filament Comparison Guide is worth checking out. The most commonly used plastics overall are ABS and PLA. We have found HIPS to be the go-to support material over PVA as it isn’t as moisture sensitive.

Acetone for Gluing and Finishing ABS Prints

Acetone is one of the most versatile and useful things to have around when you have a printer that uses ABS such as the Replicator 2X. It serves as a great way to clean off your build plate as well as to promote adhesion between your part and the kapton tape. Acetone also happens to have a few more uses with ABS. First off you can use it to glue multi-part prints together. This is incredibly useful when you want to either make smaller more manageable prints out of a bigger print, or if you want to print something bigger than your build volume. To use acetone as glue for ABS you simply brush it on each side of a joint and press the parts together and it will become somewhat stuck fairly quickly and fully dry in about a day. Acetone can also be used as a method to … Read more

The Effects of Print Orientation on Strength

When you are slicing your 3D model for printing, the first focus is often on how to most easily get the print to stick to the platform. This is very important to consider but generally it is possible to get a model to properly stick in almost any orientation. As such it can be very beneficial to plan your orientation of the print in such a way to maximize the strength. Generally the Z axis of a print is considered the weakest. This is because on the Z axis there is the possibility of separation between layers, while the X and Y axis are composed of much more continuous beads of filament. This means if everything else is equal, the print is most likely to fail between each of the layers on the Z axis. The degree of the difference in strength between the different axes will depend on the printer and the … Read more