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  1. #1
    3D Printer Noob
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    Getting a rough first layer

    Hello all!

    So I just got the Cube 3 as my first 3D printer about 2ish weeks ago and so far have had a lot of success! I have printed a Ghost from Destiny and most of the Pokemon Gym Badges. But I have noticed on most of my prints that the first layer looks like it extrudes waaay more than it should and it creates a rough first layer. I have to use it with only one nozzle installed at a time or the nozzle that isn't printing drags across and mars the layer. I have tinkered with the z-gap on it but no dice! (other than a few pockmarks from a z-gap that was too close :s) Any suggestions to make my life a little better? Treat me like I know nothing lol. I've read a lot, but I consider myself a novice 3D printer.

    Using the Cube Print program on firmware 1.13. I haven't flashed the firmware yet to use any filament. I need to print one more piece of the FTF build before I'll mess with it.

    Thanks!!
    -Ap0c

  2. #2
    Administrator bolsoncerrado's Avatar
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    Perhaps your nozzle is too close to the bed and thus "overextrudes" the built up pressure inside the nozzle....

    Got pics?

  3. #3
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    I couldn't get the forum to upload the pic from my computer, but here is a LightScribe link to it! As you can see, some of the bottoms are smooth as they should be while others are all funky. The tops of all of them, and all of the prints I have made, are in good shape and look like they should. It is just that first layer.

    So far I have tried a z-gap where the gauge has some resistance (that pockmarked my print table) and I have tried it with veeeery little/no resistance. Think I should step it up a bit more?

    http://prntscr.com/hajp73

    Thanks!!

  4. #4
    Administrator bolsoncerrado's Avatar
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    Yep looks like you overextrude and the pressure makes the filament pop "up" towards the piece creating this waffle surface.

    Nice gold color! Which filament is it?

  5. #5
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    Gotcha!! So I guess that means to widen the z-gap a bit more?

    And that is the stock gold PLA cartridge from 3DSystems and it s RAPIDLY dwindling. I haven't been able to find another gold yet that looks like this one does when it prints and that makes me sad! I really like this gold!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ap0c4lyptyc View Post
    Gotcha!! So I guess that means to widen the z-gap a bit more?

    And that is the stock gold PLA cartridge from 3DSystems and it s RAPIDLY dwindling. I haven't been able to find another gold yet that looks like this one does when it prints and that makes me sad! I really like this gold!!
    Definitely looks like it needs more of a gap.

    As far as the gold, I like the 3DS gold. Mine was ABS gold. I do NOT recommend Inland gold PLA. It is more translucent and doesn't look at all like gold. It also is more hard and brittle and jams up in the Cube 3 really bad. I like the other Inland PLA's but not the metal or glow in the dark ones. The glow in the dark one has a bumpy texture and also jams in the Cube 3.

  7. #7
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    I will try that next and see what it does for me.

    I really need to find more of this gold lol. Doesn't look like 3DSystems even sells it anymore. At least not on their site anyways. If anyone knows a gold that prints like that please let me know!

    Thank you all!

  8. #8
    3D Printer God(dess)
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    How insanely coincidental that your parts have the same phenomena I am chasing now.

    I suspect it is a piece of Teflon that made it to the nozzle.
    The tell-tale is the "splitting" of a single line just past the beginning of the layer being put down.

    I'm not talking about the squirmy stuff in the 1st layer although this is an artifact of "not sticking"...
    which is related to the "nozzle clog" I am suggesting.

    What I am looking at is the stripes that begin nice and flat single track... but they go into a "split track" about 1/4" from the edge.
    That is -not- normal pattern that is created due to gap issues.

    I will be cleaning my nozzle tonight to see if it clears up after that.
    This is also causing stick issues on LokBuild with a filament known to work otherwise.

    One of the problems with this feeding system hacking is contamination in the feed lines.

    With a stock cartridge, this throws a monkey wrench in the observation, but maybe you can tell us if you messed with the cartridge.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    3DS Bronze is chocolate brown... no hint of bronze whatsoever. Are you sure this is 3DS filament?

  9. #9
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    For sure let me know if that helps yours and how you did it! I will see if it helps mine any.
    --------------
    I have taken the cart apart to fix broken filament and re-run it through the tube so it is possible I messed something up!
    --------------
    Here is a pic of my gold cart too!

    https://prnt.sc/hal8ah

  10. #10
    3D Printer God(dess)
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    Oh ya... carbon lumps!

    I thought it may be a sliver but when I cleaned the nozzle, it was bits and bits!

    My best guess is that dust getting on the spool makes it into the nozzle and begins to build up carbon as the organics burn off.
    Good argument for those little "scrubbers" along the filament track.

    carbon_lumps.PNG

    How to clean:

    I use a bit of solid copper wire... something in the range of 28awg. Mine is diameter 0.29mm.
    You can find this in just about any stiff power-cord.
    If you can poke the wire through the nozzle hole from the outside without it folding up, it is the right size.
    That is -after- you warm up the filament.

    Be very careful with your butane torch when you try cleaning your nozzles. A little to much heat and you get a puddle of aluminum (right Bo )?
    I normally just hold the nozzle in my left hand at the push-nut since that doesn't get very warm.
    Then I spin the nozzle while using a regular cig-lighter type torch moving it back and forth along the length of the aluminum tip.
    After a few seconds I try to push the wire through from the outside. If it doesn't go in very far, I reheat some.
    Eventually, you will be able to feed the wire through and the wire will drag blobs of filament with it.
    In most cases where there were no contaminants, it may or may not completely clean out the nozzle. Not that this in itself is a problem.
    But with be best of luck, you can see light through the tube when done.
    Don't go ninja on this as you could harm the polished final section of the nozzle aperture.

    Now for the challenges; Many nozzle had some kind of very gewie-gluie paste added to help 3DS manufacturing assembly the cartridges.
    Sometimes it is just filament that has worked its way past the end of the tube coating the sidewall with filament.
    I use a 3mm drill bit to clean out tips when I convert them being very careful not to drill into the aluminum tip.
    I have a little mark on the drill-bit for when to stop.

    Anyway, this is a new one on me. I hope this tip isn't damaged beyond repair.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Pairing nozzles...

    One of the hardest thing to achieve on the Cube 3 is pairing the nozzle to exactly the same height.

    Not only are the nozzle inconsistent with where they seat in the heater core which is adjustable, but they are inconsistent in length.
    That is one of the wonders of making "permanent" nozzles that can work in concert with each other rather than knocking down your structures due to inconsistencies.

    I paired two sets because I have enough tips and it came about through more than a dozen rebuilt cartridges.
    And this is because I really don't want to manage the setting provided by 3DS to do this.

    But if you absolutely limited in tips, you can go in an tweak the angle of the head (left to right).
    There are 2 screws that hold the head in slots pointing from the front to the back.
    These need to be loosened the make the adjustment, but only enough to maintain some drag.
    There are also little setscrews that may or may not have blue Loctite on them accessible from the bottom of the X-track (left to right).
    This is where 3DS has ruined many a printers but shipped them anyway*.
    Anyway, these two setscrews help to align the two heads level with the build plate.
    Once set, you lock the position in with the other two larger screws in the slots. Recheck your clearance.
    This setting should also manages the print-head to be just above the wipers (unlike mine where the wipers remain bent when the head is parked).
    Again, I really don't want to mess with these, but that is what they are for. If dual filament printing is important to you, this balance will need to be obtained.

    * 3DS cracked a lot of the white housings at the insert for the setscrews. It appears they tried to keep adjusting even if there was no adjustment left... -or- they tightened the larger screws and still tried to set the set screws. I've had one replaced for this, and I have one other that has this issue.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    And I take it back.... yes, you have insufficient gap.

    Ignore my LokBuild issues with this filament (hit and miss), but this is a good and bad gapping side by side.
    left is good. It doesn't squish the 1st layer and it has great definition.
    The one on the right is only 20um closer and the variation in the LokBuild surface level is quite evident.
    The distortion is simply from the bead moving from side to side.

    It really is a delicate dance.

    However, the finish on the top-side of your parts is better than most.

    Are you using glue or another build plate cover?

    The gapping gauge supplied by 3DS is 0.23mm thick. If I get a good hold with LokBuild, I gap at ~0.26 (free-running gauge under a clean nozzle).

    Good thing is, my nozzle definitely had issues, just not as bad as I thought.
    But the LokBuild doesn't like this material anymore, at least where the first rectangle of the test print want to be.

    good_bad_ugly.PNG

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