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Maintaining and Troubleshooting Your 3D Printer

Book Description

Maintaining and Troubleshooting Your 3D Printer by Charles Bell is your guide to keeping your 3D printer running through preventive maintenance, repair, and diagnosing and solving problems in 3D printing. If you�ve bought or built a 3D printer such as a MakerBot only to be confounded by jagged edges, corner lift, top layers that aren�t solid, or any of a myriad of other problems that plague 3D printer enthusiasts, then here is the book to help you get past all that and recapture the joy of creative fabrication. The book also includes valuable tips for builders and those who want to modify their printers to get the most out of their investment.

Good fabrication begins with calibration. Aligning the print bed to support deposition of medium in three dimensions is critical. Even off-the-shelf machines that are pre-built must be aligned and periodically realigned throughout their life cycle. Maintaining and Troubleshooting Your 3D Printer helps you achieve and hold proper alignment. Maintaining and Troubleshooting Your 3D Printer also helps with software and hardware troubleshooting. You�ll learn to diagnose and solve firmware calibration problems, filament and feed problems, chassis issues, and more.

Finally there are regular maintenance and enhancements. You�ve invested significantly in your 3D printer. Protect that investment using the guidance in this book. Learn to clean and lubricate your printer, to maintain the chassis, and know when realignment of the print bed is needed. Learn ways to master your craft and improve the quality of your prints through such things as post-print finishing and filament management.

Don't let the challenges of 3D printing stand in the way of creativity. Maintaining and Troubleshooting Your 3D Printer by Charles Bell helps you conquer the challenges and get the most benefit from your expensive investment in personal fabrication.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents at a Glance
  6. Contents
  7. About the Author
  8. About the Technical Reviewer
  9. Acknowledgments
  10. Introduction
  11. Part 1: Getting Started with 3D Printing
    1. Chapter 1: Introduction to 3D Printing
      1. Getting Started
        1. What Is 3D Printing?
        2. How Does FFF Work?
      2. 3D Printing Software
        1. Computer-Aided Design
        2. CAD Software Choices
        3. Blender
        4. OpenSCAD
      3. Thingiverse: An Object Repository
        1. Computer-Aided Manufacturing
        2. CAM Software Choices
        3. MakerWare
        4. Slic3r
      4. Filament Properties
        1. Firmware
        2. Firmware Choices
        3. Printer Control
        4. Pronterface
        5. Repetier-Host
        6. 3D Printer Hardware
        7. Axis Movement
      5. Minimum and Maximum Endstops and Crashes
        1. Stepper Motors
        2. Extrusion Mechanism (Extruder)
        3. Build Platform
        4. Electronics
        5. Frame
        6. Filament Types
        7. ABS vs. PLA: Which Is Best?
        8. Switching Filament
      6. What You Can Expect from a 3D Printer
        1. Ease of Use
        2. Print Quality
        3. Reliability
        4. Maintainability
      7. Summary
    2. Chapter 2: Getting a 3D Printer
      1. Classes of 3D Printers
        1. Professional Grade
        2. Consumer Grade
        3. Hobbyist Grade (RepRap)
      2. Sourcing Your Own Printer Kit
        1. Make a Plan
        2. Rules of Acquisition12
        3. Danger Ahead
      3. 3D Printer Features
        1. Build Volume
        2. Filament
        3. Hot End Types
        4. LCD Panel
        5. SD Card Reader
        6. Filament Cartridge System
        7. Network Connection
        8. Wireless Support
        9. Adjustable Print Bed
        10. Filament Cleaner
        11. Filament Spool Holder
        12. Heated Print Bed
        13. Cooling Fans for the Print Bed
        14. Electronics Cooling Fan
        15. Auto Bed Leveling
      4. Build or Buy?
        1. Reasons for Building Your Own 3D Printer
        2. Reasons for Buying a Ready-to-Print 3D Printer
        3. How Do I Decide?
        4. Buying a Used 3D Printer
      5. Summary
    3. Chapter 3: 3D Printer Building: Tips for a Successful Build
      1. Tools and Skills Required
        1. Tool Quality: Does it Matter?
        2. Tools
        3. Skills
      2. 3D Printer Kits Revisited
        1. Complete
        2. Parts Only
        3. Component
      3. 3D Printer Build Tips
        1. General Notes
        2. Frame Components
        3. The Moving Parts
        4. Electronics
        5. Preflight Checks
      4. Summary
    4. Chapter 4: Configuring the Software
      1. Setting up and Configuring the Firmware on Your Printer
        1. Choosing Your Firmware
        2. Getting Started with Marlin
        3. Arduino Tutorial
        4. Downloading Marlin
        5. Prerequisite: Do the Math
        6. Configuring Marlin
        7. Compiling and Uploading
      2. Project: Customizing Marlin
        1. Adding Custom Menu Items
        2. Displaying a Welcome Message
      3. Installing Software on Your Computer
        1. Choosing Your Printer Controller
        2. Installing Repetier-Host
        3. Connecting Your Printer
        4. Running the Preflight Tests
      4. Project: Building a 3D Printer Print Server
        1. Raspberry Pi Tutorial
        2. Setting up the Raspberry Pi Hardware
        3. Setting up the Raspberry Pi Software
        4. Connecting and Using OctoPi
      5. Summary
    5. Chapter 5: Calibrating the Printer
      1. Setting the Endstops
        1. X-Axis Endstop
        2. Y-Axis Endstop
        3. Z-Axis Endstop
      2. Calibrating the Stepper Drivers
      3. Calibrating the Axes
        1. Tools Required
        2. X Axis
        3. Y Axis
        4. Z Axis
      4. Calibrating the Extruder
      5. Leveling the Heated Print Bed
      6. Frame and Chassis
      7. Summary
  12. Part 2: Troubleshooting
    1. Chapter 6: Printing for the First Time
      1. Preparing the Printer for Printing
        1. Preparing Your Print Surface
        2. Setting the Z-Height
        3. Slicer Calibration
      2. Printing Your First Object
        1. Printing Process
        2. Calibration Prints
      3. Finding Things to Print
        1. Getting Started
        2. Searching
        3. Downloading
      4. Summary
    2. Chapter 7: Solving Hardware Issues
      1. Troubleshooting Techniques
        1. Create a Baseline
        2. Observe and Record
        3. Consider the Possible Causes
        4. Choose a Cause and Implement a Strategy to Correct
      2. Hardware Problems
        1. Filament
        2. Extruder and Hot End
        3. Adhesion
        4. Axes and Chassis
        5. Electrical
      3. Summary
    3. Chapter 8: Solving Software Issues
      1. Slicer
        1. First-Layer Adhesion
        2. Print Quality
        3. Scaling
        4. Orientation
        5. Filament and Extrusion
      2. Printer Controller
        1. Communication Failures
        2. Axis Crashes
      3. Firmware
      4. Summary
  13. Part 3: Maintenance and Enhancements
    1. Chapter 9: 3D Printer Maintenance: Inspection and Adjustment Tasks
      1. Getting Started with Maintenance
        1. Keep Your Area Clean and Free of Clutter
        2. Organize Your Tools for Quick Access
        3. Unplug Your Printer
        4. Take Your Time
        5. Record Your Observations
      2. Basic Maintenance Tasks
        1. Inspection Tasks
        2. Adjustment Tasks
      3. Summary
    2. Chapter 10: 3D Printer Maintenance: Preventive and Corrective Tasks
      1. Preventive Tasks
        1. Cleaning the Printer
        2. Lubricating Moving Parts
        3. Replacing Worn Parts
      2. Got Spares?
        1. Printing Spares
        2. Recommended List of Spares
      3. Corrective Tasks
        1. Clearing a Clogged Nozzle
        2. Replacing Broken or Worn Plastic Parts
        3. Repairing Broken ABS Parts
        4. Replacing Extruder Gears
        5. Replacing Belts
        6. Bearings, Bushings, and Rods
        7. Replacing Filters
      4. Summary
    3. Chapter 11: 3D Printer Enhancements
      1. Types of Enhancements
        1. Farkles
        2. Quality Enhancements
        3. Feature Upgrades
      2. Upgrading Your Printer: Getting Started
        1. Do Your Research: Finding Upgrades
        2. Set Your Goals and Expectations
        3. Check Your Calibration
        4. One Upgrade at a Time
        5. Generic Upgrades: Your First Upgrade
      3. Printer-Specific Upgrades
        1. Printrbot Simple
        2. Prusa Mendel i2
        3. Prusa i3
        4. MakerBot Replicator 1 Dual
        5. MakerBot Replicator 2 (and 2X)
      4. Summary
  14. Part 4: Mastering Your Craft
    1. Chapter 12: Working with Objects
      1. Creating Objects
        1. OpenSCAD Tutorial
        2. Example: Creating a Thread Spool
      2. Modifying Objects
        1. Modifying OpenSCAD Files
        2. Object Mashup
      3. Post-Print Finishing
        1. Preparation Is Key
        2. Painting
        3. ABS Acetone Vapor Bath
        4. Assembling Multipart Things
      4. Summary
    2. Chapter 13: Taking It to the Next Level
      1. Contributing 3D Models
        1. How We Share
        2. Sharing Etiquette
        3. Example: Uploading a Thing to Thingiverse
      2. Ideas for Using Your 3D Printer
        1. Spawning a New Printer
        2. Practical Household Solutions
      3. Summary
    3. Appendix: Common Problems and Solutions
  15. Index