Chapter 14

Understanding, Using, and Servicing 3D Printers


Bullet Looking at thermoplastic extruders

Bullet Comparing syringe and paste-based extruders

Bullet Setting up for multicolor 3D printing

Bullet Explaining extruder operation and upgrades

In this chapter, I mostly focus on the 3D printer's thermoplastic extruder and hot-end, since understanding (and learning more about) the process your 3D printer is using to melt and extrude plastic out of a small nozzle are by far the most important things you can do to keep your machine in good working order. Things can get really frustrating when you just don't know why your 3D printer is not performing correctly. Quite often you can trace problems back to extrusion issues. In this chapter, I describe how an extruder operates and show you how to service it. Here, you find advice on keeping everything working well as you print. I also cover alternative materials and explain how you can print with them on your desktop 3D printer. To finish things off, I show you how to perform multicolor printing and even describe some tricks that make it easier to ...

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