4 Common 3D Printing Problems And How To Fix Them

8i3D printing ensures pinpoint accuracy, enables mass customization and gives you the ability of handling almost any level of complexity. With this technology we can literally say that you are limited by your imagination. While the printing technology is awesome, it comes with its fair share of negatives. Here are 4 common 3D printing problems and how to fix them:

Warping

Warping is when one or more corners of your printing machine lift up until the base of the model is no longer at level with the print platform. This results to horizontal cracks in the upper parts of your machine.

The problem comes about when the plastic of the first layers of your machine cool down thus start shrinking.

To fix the problem you need to identify the cause of the problem. One of the ways of fixing the problem is heating the platform in order to keep the plastic at a temperature that is below the point where it solidifies. This keeps the prints adhered to the bed.

Another way of fixing the problem is adding a thin layer of glue to your platform. There are many ways in which you can do it. One of the most effective ways is using rafts which give the print a larger surface area at the base.

Stringing

If you have been using your printing machine for long you must have come across this problem. Stringing happens when you have tiny little hairs between the gaps of your print.

The problem results when some filament drips from the nozzle when the print moves over an open part.

Stringing is a problem that fixable. One of the ways of fixing it is enabling retraction. Retraction is a feature on your printing software. When you enable retraction the printer retracts the filament in the nozzle before the travel moves. This ensures that no surplus plastic drips from the nozzle thus producing strings.

Cracks

Cracks are common on tall, thin models. The cracks and gaps are found in the sides of the model. The cool thing with the problem is that it’s easy to fix. One of the things that you need to do is increase the extruder temperature in 10 degree increments. If this trick doesn’t work increase the bed temperature by 5-15 degrees.

Under Extrusion

Under extrusion is when the printer fails supplying the needed material as fast as it’s required. This results to thin layers.

The problem is brought about by many factors such as: failure of the diameter of the filament to match the diameter set in the slicing software, faulty slicer software settings and presence of dirt in the nozzle.

One way of fixing the problem is ensuring that the filament diameter matches the one set in the slicing software. You should also check the nozzle and remove any dirt that might be there.

Revolutionizing Manufacturing

7g“3D printers”, the term defines itself. The first 3D printer was introduced in 1980 and at that time it was known as the rapid prototyping apparatus. It was named so, as the process was relatively fast and cost effective for creating prototypes. In 1986 the complete patent for the 3D printers was issued to the stereo-lithography apparatus by Chuck Hulls, who later on founded the 3D systems cooperation.

In simple words, a 3D printer creates a three dimensional object by using 3D models of the object to be formed & by using different types of raw material depending upon the type of object to be prepared.

The most common type of 3D printing technique is called stereo-lithography which uses a vat (container) of photo-polymer resin. During the process of manufacturing the liquid polymer is exposed to light, where the UV laser light draws the cross section of material by hardening it, layer by layer and repeats the same process to forma complete 3D structure or a prototype.

The designing process is called bottom up, i.e. pulling the object out of resin. This creates some space for the uncured resin at the bottom of the container which then leaves some scope for the formation of the next layer of the prototype.

Along with stereo-lithography many other 3D printing techniques are incorporated in the field of 3D printing nowadays.

Application Areas:

3D printing can be put to use in various areas such as Food, Manufacturing, Aerospace, Oil and Gas, Pharmaceuticals, Footwear, Medical, Electronics, Toys etc. Since a 3D printer can create three dimensional objects, it can be used in any product manufacturing area.

Industrial Impact:

3D printing might trigger another industrial revolution as it will tremendously affect the manufacturing world, both technically and economically. The concept of ‘Distributed 3D printing manufacturing’ also offers the promise of a lower working capital as it eliminates the need for large stocks of raw materials, semi-manufactured parts and labor costs.

Manufacturing near the point of demand makes the supply chain and logistics very simple and much more efficient, only the raw material needs to be transported. Also the waste product is nearly zero so there is no harmful impact on the environment which has become a great cause of concern in today’s world.

Future Advancement:

Although many advances have already been made in the 3D printing domain and it also seems to be a very advanced piece of technology, but soon 3D printing will become an obsolete concept and would then get replaced by a relatively new concept that is 4D printing.

Although there is very little that the inventors have achieved in the field of programmable matter and 4D printing, a lot of research & innovation is getting carried out. One of the patent documents, US 20150158244 A1, explains the concept of 4D printing in a thorough manner.

4D printing will become the continuation of 3D printing in which an additional ‘time’ dimension will get added in combination with the other 3 dimensions, which are already present and getting used in 3D printing.

The main concept of this technology is that the object which is printed in 3D is capable of transforming into different shapes with time and so, this way, it gets its predetermined shape.

After all many researches have been done and are still happening in the field of 3D printing due to which we can say that 3D printing is a big step in revolutionizing the Manufacturing world.

Why 3D Printing Is The In Thing

53D printing technology is trending and there is a burst of peoplez getting 3D printers for their personal use of business use. Using this technology shapes you can grow shapes layer by layer without going through the tedious and long manufacturing process. It is amongst the most empowering process that entrepreneurs can get and if you are creative enough, you can become your own boss by investing in a 3D printer and pushing your creativity. But what really makes this kind of printing so popular today?

1. This printing technology allows rapid testing of ideas. This is quite beneficial to engineers, architects and eve entrepreneur because it saves them time they would have otherwise used testing the same ideas using the traditional manufacturing process. 3D printing allows the quick development of prototypes to assist in the execution of ideas.

2. It allows you to stay ahead of competition as a business. This is because of the quick turnaround when working on ideas. You will close in on your desired results and at the same time manage to lower the operating costs. 3D printing makes it possible for you to move in fast and beat competition so you are able to stay afloat as a business.

3. This kind of printing saves money because the prototyping costs are not as high as when going the traditional manufacturing process. The materials needed to make a part are affordable and it does not take anything more to get down working on and producing your prototype. When you choose 3D printing, then you can save up for the actual manufacturing process when you are happy with the prototype. A few dollars is all you need for your prototype compared to the hundreds of dollars traditional prototyping would require.

4. It offers the much needed flexibility in manufacturing. This is because with 3D printers you can perform multiple iterations to your design and also test out the different ideas you have without putting your company account at any sort of risk. All this you can do and at the end of the day still get professional and durable parts. You get to use real PLA and ABS materials to get real parts that you can actually test and fit. They include living hinges, snap fits, clearance fits and dove tails among others.

5. It makes teaching and learning so much easier. This is because teachers are able to physically show what they mean using an inexpensive functional model. The same goes to students who are able to actively think about the things they learn in the classroom by physically putting them together. Iterative designs are able to be achieved because the students get to know about changes that need to be made to improve their designs.

6. 3D printing reduces the costs of mistakes. When designing something, a small error can cost you heftily but when using a 3D printer, you have the freedom to learn by trial and error without any worries. You do not have to worry about costs even when you make mistakes in the design.

5 Ways Of Improving The Quality Of Your 3D Prints

63D printers allow you to see all the angles of your product. While 3D printers are known to give high quality prints, this isn’t always the case. The cool thing is that you can improve the printing quality of your machine if you aren’t satisfied with it. Here is a guide on how to go about it:

Get a high quality machine

In most cases the poor quality of your prints is due to a poor, cheap printing machine. There is nothing that you can do to improve the quality of the prints other than replacing your current machine with a new one. Older machines also give poor quality prints. If you aren’t sure of whether you should replace your machine, ask a professional to help you out.

Center the build plate

The center area of the build plate maintains the set build temperature while the edges of the plate get cold. The center is also wrapped and accurately leveled. Since the edges of the plates get cold with time, prints made at the edges are usually warped. To avoid this you should place the printing parts at the center of the build plate.

Install pads

If you have been using 3D printers, you must know that warping is one of the major problems with 3D printing. When you are able to prevent it, you will greatly improve the quality of your prints. One of the ways of combating warping is adding little pads on the areas where warping occurs. You can use any size and shape of pads, but experts recommend that you use pads that are at least 100mm in diameter and 1-2 layers thick.

Make use of ABS glue

ABS glue has many applications including:

  • Improving the surface finish of your prints. You only need to print out your item and dip it into the glue
  • Mending cracks on your items. This is when you don’t want to reprint or redesign your material
  • Bonding small parts together in order to create intricate or larger parts.

To prepare the glue you need to mix ABS and acetone. There is no perfect ratio at which you should mix the two. Use less ABS to make a thinner solution. For a thicker solution use more ABS. Thicker solution is important when you want to bond or mend parts.

Tighten the drive belt

When the printing machine has worked for sometime, it’s common for the drive belt to get loose. This results to the dimensions of your prints getting smaller than they should. The sides of the round object also tend to be flat.

To fix this problem and improve the quality of the prints you should tighten the drive belt. All you need to do is find a puller and fix the belts. If you are unable to tighten it, hire a professional to help you out.