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  1. #61
    Regular 3D Printer
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    Sep 2017
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    I have an idea. Let's have some fun. How about we have a print off ? Everyone who has a Cube 3 or an Eco can participate.
    Every Firmware has the Test Print.

    First, set the Gap to .23mm, start the print and stop after the first layer. (Don't want to waste filament) Repeat with a Gap of .03-.04.
    Then everyone who participated can post their results and preferences.

    This is in my opinion, more constructive then trying to frazzle, dazzle with pontificating arithmetic.

    What say ya'll?


  2. #62
    Regular 3D Printer
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    Jan 2018
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    G70, thanks I appreciate the feedback. Keep in mind it's based on collaboration and help from you and MegaloDon along with all the other hard work by people on this board and OpenBuilds which encouraged me to attempt such a large endeavor. I see this ability to use other slicers/other materials properly and to be able to truly understand the machine code as one of the last missing pieces of the puzzle.

    I'll package up my latest code and profiles and post them hopefully this weekend.

    TommyDee, don't focus too much on the outer edge because each slicer makes assumptions on the toolpaths to end up with the correct outer dimensions as an approximation which varies based due to a finite extrusion diameter. Instead look at the raster it does for a solid infill (not the 2 outer perimeter rings) and you'll see that it's 0.5mm dead on (to at least 4 digits to my recollection).


  3. #63
    Super Moderator
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    Nov 2016
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    I understand what you are saying Tim.
    I am characterizing the Cube 3 slicer, not the setting for other slicers or printers.
    I will confirm the infill too. Just hadn't got there yet. I
    Also want to investigate the same offset for the ID traces.
    Maintaining inside dimensions is a real problem area for 3DS on smaller holes.

    I can get a perfectly flexible sheet at 230 microns that is bendable and has no splits.

    I will never gap to 30 microns. That is nearly 4 times thinner than the Mylar part of the gauge!
    Is it not you that recommends not going past the recommended settings?
    If you have thin prints and need 30 micron gaps, you have a flow problem, Buddy.

    This is what my first layers look like at 230 microns... bent! Directly from the Cube3 slicer.

    3D Solutech... current spool
    layer1bent.PNG 230microns.PNG

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Inland gray and white... a bit thin nice definition.

    3D Systems; very old neon green and old white... same settings.

    This one is nice in general. Adhesion issue on the S.

    What a difference 20 microns makes. Of course, your build surface will induce imperfections too.
    3D Systems Dark Gray

    This one too just came out nice too; PrintRBot translucent yellow (seasonal)

    Little bits of various colors loaded in the Bowden tube. Included since this side felt left out.

    Early test prints barely allow the legible reading of the 3DS logo when I was gapping on the plastic part of the test gauge.
    Finally 3DS posted the video showing specifically that the label was under the nozzle. Notice that today's video, they obscured the label.
    However, it was that video submission that has yielded these results.

    .Since I've been gapping at the label, these have been my results.
    Every new printer is tested the same way and set the same way. For me, I want to see the details in the 1st layer.

    And apparently everyone here has to put their personal disclaimers on these posts so as to not upset the norm by stating facts about everyone else's printer... so here you go... this is MY experience ...on MY printers ...and MY way I want the printer to function. YMMV

    Funny, I don't see this on anyone else's posts that claim to be experts... And I never claimed to be one to begin with.
    But I can show you what works which is more than I've seen so far from a couple of loudmouths.

    Where's yours, JO?
    Last edited by TommyDee; 04-11-2018 at 12:29 AM.

  4. #64
    Expert 3D Printer
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    Jan 2017
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    My cat's breath smells like cat food.

  5. #65
    Regular 3D Printer
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    Feb 2018
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    TD - Are you saying you set the Z-gap at .230 mm?
    I don't have the official 3DS mylar gage, so I've been using a sheet of bond paper - about .004 inch/.100 mm. (That's what the 3DS customer support tech told me to use.)
    Too thin??
    Does the correct Z-gap change depending on the characteristics of the particular filament?

  6. #66
    Super Moderator
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    Nov 2016
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    I am saying I want to read the 3DS logo on the test print.
    The gap is always 200um or greater.
    I know that if I can read the Logo in the test print, I don't get elephant foot (still love that term!) in my prints. Holes don't fill up on layers 1 and 2. Holes aren't burned into my build plate. And there is more.

    The pair of gray prints above are a comparison of changing MY ideal to 20 microns less gap (IIRC) <= THAT'S A DISCLAIMER IF ANYONE MISSED IT!!!

    I have not changed the gap for any specific filament. As you can see above, I can tolerate a good range of deviation. LokBuild gets a lot of credit for this.
    However, blue tape will run a close second.

    The single layer cyan test submission above was 200um at 1 layer. But do know that the test print is not from a Cube 3 slicer IN MY OPINION! Since it doesn't wipe the same nor does it follow the outside trace first. AND THIS IS ME JUST SPECULATING... that this test print could be as old as the original Cube.

    The last measurement I got from my stock gauge was 110um for the Mylar and 200um for the Mylar and the label together. I know I've measured more before but this is the measurement I can get today. When optimized, I only get a whiff of resistance if any between the gauge and the label. If I need a decorative face, I'll add 30 microns above a setting at the hint of resistance. AND I KNOW THIS CANT BE QUANTIFIED ... I don't know of a better way to describe it, but most that experience it once will know it from then on.

    Sorry for all the yelling but I need to be sure that people that like to confound my efforts HEAR ME LOUD AND CLEAR!

    This is from the bottom of a tall ABS print from this evening...

    I know, ugly, right?

    - - - - - - - - - -

    I know this is far from the BFB thread this is intended to be so the "contest" probably should be elsewhere.

    Let it serve that my submissions here is to say that there is something wrong with a 30 micron Z-gap for development purposes ...IN MY OPINION!
    I find pause with the newly provided evidence by way of a 3DS Article regarding gapping that is at odds with previously posted information... MY OPINION!


    ...other than the fact that I'd really like Simplify3D to make the Cube 3 a plug and play device. I have a $149 right here if they can give me productivity out of the box.
    I made prints with the Cube 3 the day I received it. That is how things should work when you pay good money for them. They should have a vested interest for all the Cube|Pro owners out there. Mythandar, you are still a hero in my eyes for your high degree of professionalism regarding your efforts to make this real.

  7. #67
    Regular 3D Printer
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    Jan 2018
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    Hi all,
    I think there is some debate about gap settings. Gap fixes only first layer and there are more robust ways to fix this with the BFB tweaker python code working on top of S3D profiles. Also all of the prints I'm seeing are definitely fixable with the BFBTweaker python code configuration files by material that can modify by layer, and feature type. Fixing these these issues by tweaking the gap will be obsolete.

    For the profiles/BFB tweaker infrastructure to work we must be consistent or else we are creating confusion and it would be counter productive. We need standard gap settings, no exceptions. Similar to the fact that we should use the same toolpaths between slicers, and if you are using a heated bed then you can't help us develop configuration files for new materials. I don't think the build surface should affect material configurations dramatically BTW. So when it comes to setting the gaps (as well as other minutia), it must be done by the book and everyone should follow that verbatim. This will facilitate collaboration instead of competition.

    In the spirit of collaboration instead of competition, debating whether to post details here or OpenBuilds because although OpenBuilds has less drama, I think there's also less interest and I'd lean toward posting here but under some restrictions that we follow standard procedures for consistency and work together for efficiency.

    For now let's cool our jets and rest assured things will be more clear once you see these things in action.

    Quote Originally Posted by MegaloDon View Post
    My cat's breath smells like cat food.
    Don this is perhaps the best post I've seen in any forum! Appropriate, succinct and makes a clear point.

    Options are:
    1) Set a larger gap- this is a remedy, not a cure
    2) Give your cat a toothbrush- corrective
    2) Feed your cat baby food (without onion powder)- more preventative

    Anyway thanks for making me laugh!


  8. #68
    Super Moderator
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    Nov 2016
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    What gap would you propose as a standard?

    I can measure a gap gauge to be 110 microns with a decent set of Brown & Sharp calipers.
    They say to let the gauge fly loose (paraphrase!) so I would vote for using the non-label part of the gauge.
    A few collaborative measurements of other gap gauge Mylar thicknesses should settle this with ease.
    I vote for 120 microns if this will get things moving.


  9. #69
    Regular 3D Printer
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    Jan 2018
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    Yes I'd think gap gauge non-sticker portion for those that can't do autocal is the right starting point.
    Everyone else that can get autocal to work should be able to use autocal.
    I think that is how 3DS engineered the autocal to get to the same z location.
    Also, I don't expect there to be a big variance of mylar thickness and autocal from machine to machine.

  10. #70
    Super Moderator
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    Nov 2016
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    The machine itself demonstrates nearly a 20 micron repeatability tolerance when setting the gap. <<== MY FINDINGS FROM EXPERIENCE - HAPPY TO BE SHOWN OTHERWISE!

    Interesting find between ABS and PLA prints.
    You've probably already noticed but the starting position for PLA, 200um or 70um, starts at Z0.250 per the .cube3 file (bfb)
    Looking at the ABS file, the initial gap is reduced to 0.220 (30 micron change).

    Here is how I read the gap function gleaning the actual print and all this BFB information:
    You set your gap which becomes the system's zero.
    When a new print start, the gap is actually increased by this first layer z-setting.
    All the subsequent Z-positions are cumulative from the 1st based on the header references.



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