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Videos / 3D Printing Cheat Sheet

Wouldn't it be great to have a single image, that encapsulated a tonne of handy 3D printing tips and information to hang on the wall behind your 3D Printer? Well, we agree so much so that we've gone ahead and created this infographic/cheat sheet hybrid that jams as much information as possible in.

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Hey there, Aidan here from Core Electronics and today we're going to take a look at our 3D printing poster which was an infographic style cheat sheet style poster that we put together for FDM 3d printing. So what we're going to do is just go through and look at all the different elements that are on the poster and give you a bit of a backstory as to why they're there.

So we'll start off with our useful links section so up the top here I put down all my favorite links, granted two of them are from myself that I've put together, but if I was getting into 3d printing I think these are the these are the core things I really want to know about at the start on the, at the outset. So we've got the remote printer control setup which is using OctoPrint and how you can set up a Raspberry Pi to control your printer over a network and if you type in this TinyURL here to an internet browsers URL bar it'll just take you straight to that tutorial with a video alongside it, just explaining the whole process start to finish, so that's a great one to use. We've also got the 3d printing Printing community if you're just getting into 3d printing these guys are going to be great, a great help there's a whole subsection of Reddit sub Reddit to do with 3d printing as well that you can find on the sidebar on the 3d printing Reddit community and I really recommend that you at least take a look at those ones at least once. The next one is a guide to perfect prints which was put up by a guy on the Lulzbot forums and it was his process of starting his printer, getting the perfect settings, all that stuff, start to finish, again, a really good read if not follow along with he says to do and you'll learn a lot about printing in that process.

Next we've got the Lulzbot assembly guides, which is their open hardware assembly instructions, so anything that you need to repair or modify on your 3d printer there will be instructions right there on how to do it step-by-step with pictures things like changing our tool beds even changing the PEI sheets, things like that, Lulzbot have you covered there.

So the next one in all this would be our online printing workshop which was something I put together and that goes through step by step how to get started with 3d printing from a beginner's point of view that's something that you should definitely check out if you're just getting started.

Another thing would be the pictorial troubleshooting guide from the guide at all3DP. They have put together a really good thing that goes through they've got pictures of what the problem is and then they give you steps on how to get that problem which is a really good tool that I still use pretty often myself.

Next up which is worth a mention I think all the time it is the 3DBenchy, which is just a little boat that you can print that tests a whole different, a whole different selection of settings on your printer and it's a really cool little print to do just to see what the finished product looks like so you can test different filaments test your printer take a picture and share it, see what it looks like.

And finally we've got the replacement parts and designs, as Lulzbot printers are made with open-source Hardware in mind you can actually download any of the parts that are on these printers, and print them yourself or create them yourself in any way it's the same sort of thing so that's that one on one there.

Moving on we've got a side view of a 3d print and I've just labelled all the important things that I think might pop up in maybe a slicer, that you're not really sure how they relate to your model and I thought it would be a good way to just do that. Next up we're going to take a look at this element here which is the side view of a 3d print so essentially I've just made a really basic model of nothing in particular and I'm just going to point out all the different slicer settings in relation to what it actually means on a 3d print so far the layer height because that's one that you know or most people would know starting off with in FDM 3d printing and that's just one single layer on this image, now if you look at the bottom and top thickness you can actually see that they branch out and included a selection of layers now the bottom and top thickness is usually set as a joint setting in this slicer software and it refers to the number of solid layers at the bottom and top of your print and it's usually a multiple of your layer height doesn't have to be, it usually is. Finally you've got overhangs which are usually the parts that you would print supports on so this is an overhang beam and remember that overhangs are usually measured in a degree so you'll say oh it's a 45 degree overhang or it is a 60 degree overhang and we're always talking about from Z being zero degrees out to that point so 45 degrees would obviously be about here and anything past that we look at 55 60 degrees depending and I'd say for this overhang you definitely want to print supports so yeah that's the side view taken care of.

Next up we've got the G-code section, down the bottom here so this is the G-code view of a 3d print and this is a pretty slicer specific thing but if you're using Cura (Lulzbot edition especially) this is what you'll see if you will look at the bottom layer of a cube print for example. So like I said before the bottom and top thicknesses are usually solid so there's been a bottom layer because the inside of it is actually a solid if you were looking at the middle layer of a cube with a certain infill percentage, you'd actually see a cool yellow crosshatch pattern here because it would be giving you those crosshatch infills with a bit of air in there as well but we'll go through each different part so this is the light blue sections on any of your slicer g-code views refer to the tool head movements where it's printing removable parts so if you're printing skirts, brims, rafts, supports anything that you will remove at the end of the print it will actually appear as a light blue color in the down the g-code view. Next up you've got the infill material which we just went over which is the yellow stuff in the setup and like I said this is representing a solid print on the outside of the print you've got a green and a red, now this is the inner and the outer shell so the inner shell is obviously the green one and the outer shell is the red one it's interesting to know too that the inner shell is usually joined to your infill so there's always a setting somewhere you can say I wanted to be joined by 10% or 15% and it will actually press being filled into that you know in a shell by small amount which helps it all fuse together really nicely. Another interesting thing is the perimeter, any of the perimeters you do, will usually be a multiple of your nozzle width, so the nozzle width being 0.5mm you would usually see, well for this one in particular, it is 2.5 side-by-sides that would be a 1.0mm perimeter or shell thickness, so the shell thickness refers to both the inner and the outer shell put together. And finally we've got some dark blue lines just across the printing and they actually refer to travel movement so that's when your printers tool that is actually printing anything it's just moving from one part on the same layer to another part to print again. So usually with travel moves, if they're over a certain amount, you'll need to retract your filament and go again that's what that's all talking about so now you might be able to look at the g-code view of a model and know what you're looking at a bit better.

Down the bottom up in a little table like a little quick access table of the 8 most popular filament types I've seen used and on that table I've included the quick names in the name that you'll see people refer to it does so for poly lactic acid they're going to say PLA, you've also got the full name which is Polylactic Acid and then you've got the nozzle temperature for that filament, that's a rough estimate usually you can go plus or minus 5 degrees of these values and get a similar print and the bed temperature, which is if you've got a heated bed on your printer which all the Lulzbot printers have you'll be able to use that value there and it will cover you quite well for most of these prints. Now that's not super important when you're using quick print profiles but if you were swapping between filaments that is going to be awesome to have.

Next up is the E-step table which is this part here now when you have a Lulzbot 3d printer you have the modular tool head design which is a great aspect of the printer itself, but one thing I've noticed when I've changed them out, and if I'm not using the same version of cura over and over again like the same PC with Cura installed I might be using a laptop here and desktop there you'll notice that you have to remember the E-step value written on the rear side of the tool head work before you install it. So you'll have to note that down, you'll install the tool head attach all the wiring and then when you're installing it to your slicer settings you will have to replace that E steps value down, and if you've forgotten it, then you will have to go and remove that bolt and check it again which I've had to do once or twice so I thought it would be handy to just have a little table written on my Poster if this thing is going to be hanging up behind my Printer up I'll be able to just write it down in there and I always know that my you know my Dual tool has these two values for its E steps, which is just handy to have.

And finally I put, I've put some useful print tests down the right-hand side of the page essentially if you're going to test out your Printer you're going to do one of these things, maybe there are some other ones out, if you go on Thingiverse and type in 3d printing test you'll see all sorts of crazy ones but pretty basic ones that sort of test one thing at a time, I'm just going to go through the basics of what they are. So essentially a Cal Cube you're just going to be testing the dimensional accuracy of your printer, so this cal cube, in particular, has an x, a y and a z on the three different faces, you orient it on the print bed in two types of settings so they correlate to the right ones and then you print it, you grab out some calipers and you measure the actual dimensions of the cube because it's a 20 by 20 by 20 cube in the software, you want to see what it actually prints as, so that's one.

The next one would be a negative space test, this is a pretty cool one. So essentially negative spaces are reliant on the tolerances of your printer and your filament different filaments behave in different ways so you can print one of these which is about three or four grams of filament it's going to print essentially like this one the bed and on the front of your model you've got some of the measurements so a .2mm gap all the way up to a .6mm gap and that's between this part, the little cylindrical part and the little hole. Let's just talk about the gap in between the two, how it was designed and you can see that this print, printed on the Lulzbot Mini, is okay until it hits .4mm and then once it hits a point four little gap the plastic starts to fuse we just press that one out so it's almost the perfect fit I go any further I can't remove that one from the print, so that's a cool one to do just to knowing how you can design your part flush when they're printing.

The next one up would be an overhang test, now this one is going to be printed with this flat square part on bed, like this, and you'll be measuring how the printer prints overhangs which has been parts here we'll take a closer look at that it got them written on the front there and on the side view you can see that it slowly increases, so it goes from 30 degrees here all the way up to 70 degrees there and looking at the results the prints are printed at 30 and 45 really well it didn't have any issues and then you start seeing some weird behavior happening especially up around the 70 degrees mark that's a quick way to test what overhangs are possible with that filament - these are unsupported by anything sometimes you'll have a part of the model that comes out that can actually hold the overhang steady which is a different test altogether this is an unsupported.

Next up would be the stringing test so we've talked about retraction we talked about stringing before essentially when your printer is printing multiple parts on the same layout and they're not joined together it's kind of have to retract filament from the tool head move and then print again so this is a really quick little model that you can print and it will show you how your retraction settings are holding up for the filament you are using and what you don't want to see if all those little cobwebby looking strands of filament between those posts, now you can remove them you can just pull them away but you can also go into your slicer settings, go into your Advanced Options and you can change the different amounts of retraction and the speed of retraction which is why which might be something that's really worth doing especially if you've got a lot of retractions going to model so it's a quick and easy way to test whatever settings you have once you've dialed them in and record them for that filament and use them every time.

And finally it will take a look at a temp tower, so essentially this tower out is separated into blocks of 10mm increments, which are all numbered you can then go ahead and using a plug-in within your slicing software to change the temperature at different heights of your print so because it like this and you're just going to be changing say like a 5 degree change every 10-20mm and then you can take a look at the difference in print quality at the end of the print and then you can pick the one that looks the best essentially.

So that's pretty much the basis of our practical printing poster I should mention that all those STL models that I've just shown you all available at this tiny URL so that is coreelec.io/30, go ahead and type that into your URL bar, have to download that ZIP file and try all of those prints yourself. So thanks for watching, I hope you enjoyed your practical printing poster video, there's a PDF available in the download links below if you wanted to grab it and get it printed at Officeworks or something it'll print out your own copy to print up what to hang up in your workshop, have a great day guys.