Monday, 11 December 2017

Christmas Advent 3D Printing advice #Day 10 ColorFabb Woodfill

December advent calendar - modular Christmas tree
3D Printing advice #Day 10

For the background and introduction - Day #1 Post click here

Christmas Advent 2017 Download on Thingiverse here - designed by Tom Van den Bon  With some help for each day by the South African Makers team.


It's time for Day #10, and today the gift is designed by Michael Scholtz -  It's a Manger.

Manger in Colorfabb Woodfill.

Day 10 is a Manger (A structure to hold animal feed - Wikipedia). It's traditionally going to be made out of a wooden material. I did think about using Bamboo or maybe even Cork for this one, but it's unlikely Mangers would have come in those options. Back in the day in Nazareth you probably had a choice of 'light wood' or chopping down a tree to make your own.

I often use Colorfabb Woodfill, It's light coloured and as I only had a small amount remaining, so it's just about perfect for a small Manger.

Colorfabb Woodfill. One of the lighter wood filaments available, low smell and a real woody feel.


I was slightly unsure what orientation to print this model, but then realised it just needed to be printed upside down. No bridging or support required.

That was simple. it's an easy material to use and can have some really neat uses.


*Just a small detour to explain about some other material testing*

Also, there is a story about the tree sections for Days 10 &11 - If you remember I was wondering what material to do them in - lacking in greens at the moment...
Tridea 100% recycled PET - nice looking green, really complex material properties (interesting).

I was testing out a new 100% Recycled PET filament from Tridea - It's proving to be very challenging to print with. But an interesting material because of the way the plastic can transform (I'll explain more on this soon). I had some failures, and success, but there is a lot more work to do in testing this material. I'm paused testing for now, but will do a separate blog post, now I have worked out what's going on and how to print with it. (Shout out to Greg at E3D for confirming my findings - and being the only other person I could find who had any Tridea filament) - Thanks Greg.

First problem - the filament has a lot of moisture, but that's easily fixed by drying.

(But it's so much more complex than this... It'll just have to wait for it's own blog post.)

One of the reasons I persisted was the fact it was a really nice shade of green. But in the end I had to go to my fallback option of using a 'special roll' of custom 'LulzBot - Lime Green' nGen that ColorFabb kindly sent me for TAZ6 based projects earlier this year.

nGen saved the day (literally Days 10 and 11).

Not wanting to use up such an exclusive roll of nGen, I used it just for the top filled part of tree 10 and 11 and used Black nGen for the bulk of the print. It'll be hidden inside the tree, and it actually gives it a dark (inside the middle of a tree) kind of look to it.

Because this ColorFabb nGen saved the day on the tree sections, it made me think of using up the last of my Woodfill material. Otherwise you may have got Laywood in this blog post. I'll try to find another object for Laywood advice soon.



Print advice - (Colorfabb woodfill)

What settings did you use? - You can use normal PLA temperatures , I use 195 Degrees C for Woodfill. Don't go over 210 Degrees C. The hotter you go, and the slower you go the darket woodfill will apprear on the finished print.

If you find that the tops of your print are darker (especially if they are small features, where the nozzle flow has slowed doen) Set a minimum speed and also set normal print speed to be somewhere similar, so the overall speed is about the same.

I often use 0.2mm layer height (It helps the wood-grain look) and a 0.4mm nozzle or larger - don't use really tiny nozzles under 0.4mm, they will clog.

Use a higher number of top/bottom solid layers (I use 5 @ 0.2mm) to give a good finish.
Print speed - it's good as 20-120mm/sec - Set minimum speed to be 10mm/sec because like many wood filaments it likes to expand and ooze out of the nozzle. You can combat some ooze by lowering temperature, but watch out for lower layer bond strength or weak extruders jamming (use a good extruder, geared preferably).
16% infill and two perimeters for this model.

Why use it? - It's the easiest to use wood filament (in my opinion), looks good and can be sanded, drilled, tapped, even stained after printing. It has a very light wood finish, unlike most other types that are often darker or showing less grain finish.

Is it strong? - When printed it has good layer bonding strength, it's slightly weaker to handle than normal PLA and be careful with the filament - especially in 1.75mm it can snap if not handled carefully and spooled nicely into the machine.

Is it easy to use/print - Yes, it's about the easiest to use wood filament.You will mostly have to combat stringing on most machines, do this with extruder retraction, lower nozzle temperatures and high speed travel moves.

You will also need to increase your extruder feed rate by around 15-20% I use 20% extra - (120% in total).

This is one of the very few filaments I do not use Z-hop to print with. It's enabled for almost every other filament I use. (Top-Tip - always use Z-hop / Z-lift at 1 x your print Z height setting)

Do you have to dry it before/after use? - No - Keep it dry and sealed in the bag, it will take on moisture and that will affect print quality, fine angel-hair like stringing, gaps and generally more ooze if it's not dry. I have not dried any woodfill filament before.

Do i need a 'special' nozzle? - No, it's not abrasive, just remember to use a 0.4mm or bigger nozzle. It will work fine with Stainless, Hardened steel, Copper, Ruby or Brass nozzles. Many filled filaments can tend to collect debris and runny material around the nozzle, so clean before and after use.

Does it smell when printing? - No,  it has a very light odour, but it's not like most woof filaments that smell like burnt MFD (wood fibre board) It's one of the few wood filaments I can stand to be in the same room as when printing.

Does it come on a eco friendly spool? - No :( it's using the normal Polycarbonate Colorfabb filament spool.

Conclusion for Colorfabb woodfill - Excellent, wood finish, no problems or failures. Just work on tuning so you get limited stringing, that's the key and it'll print really after that.
I always clean the nozzle after using filled filaments (especially wood), inside and out with a section of Nylon at a higher temperature. It will have some resin-like sticky residue after printing, so get it cleaned ASAP.

Day #10 Is Completed. That was a bit of a close one, didn't think I would get it done in time.

The story for today is that there is more than one type of wood filled filament available, experiment with them, and see what works best for you. Do try Bamboo and Cork - they are really fun and look fantastic - Corkfill from Colorfabb is one of my all time favourites. (Yes, cork is a sustainable product).

Join me next time for Day #11

Thanks for reading.

Rich.

Please join me on Twitter @RichRap3D

My profile and posts over on Google+

Files and designs shared on YouMagine

Files and designs shared on GitHub

Files and designs shared on Repables 

My Youtube channel is here, all 3D Printing and Hi-Def video content.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Christmas Advent 3D Printing advice #Day 9 PolySmooth *Glitter*

December advent calendar - modular Christmas tree
3D Printing advice #Day 9

For the background and introduction - Day #1 Post click here

Yesterday - Day #8 Post (BEMO - Handheld game station) was printed in 3D4Makers Facilan C8 and a Translucent 'clear/milky' PLA from Pongostore - being used as an LED light guide.

Christmas Advent 2017 Download on Thingiverse here - designed by Tom Van den Bon  With some help for each day by the South African Makers team.


It's time for Day #9 already, and today the gift is designed by Candice Howe -  It's a trumpet.

Today is all about the glitter.

The first thing I realised when I spotted this trumpet for day 9, was that I had no gold filament at all :(

I considered other metal filled materials, then quickly came to the conclusion this was the perfect model to demonstrate another use for PolySmooth - *Giltter*


First I cut the model in half again. No point in making this a really tricky print, especially if it's going to be covered in glitter :)

The two printed parts are together, now we need to get it glittered.

Jam-jar (empty of jam) full of 100% IPA.

Use a different filament type (not polySmooth) to make a dipping hook. Then dip and wait about 3-4 minutes for the plastic to sticky up.

It will have 'smoothed' and also have a sticky film all over it. 
Touch it if you need... but it's sticky, trust me.

Now, go crazy with the glitter. move it around and cover everything (not the room).

Shake it off a little, I whacked it against a cardboard box. And then let it dry for 1-2 hours.

When dry, brush off any loose glitter - the rest will be really well stuck on to the PolySmooth object.

Makes for great Christmas decorations. 

We have about 5 inches (or more) of snow here in the UK. So we are going out to do some sledging.

The tree is looking splendid.


Using PolySmooth with glitter - advice.

If you need to know my settings and thoughts on using PolySmooth, take a look at the Day3 Advent, where I used it for a Christmas rubber ducky.

Can't you just use ABS and acetone + glitter? - Yes, you can, that's another way to do it. Some glitters do melt using acetone, so try it out first before dipping your part.

Why use glitter? - Why not? It's the only way to get a glitter finish. Obvious really.

Does the glitter stay on the model? - Yes, It seems to bond well, when dry you need to brush off the loose stuff, but after that it seems to stay stuck.

Why not just use glue? - You could, but it's a bit boring isn't it? - We had fun with PolySmooth and have done quite a few different models like this. It works really well.

Can I use X type of glitter? - Yes ;)  - just try it, it's fun.

Isn't glitter bad for the environment? - Yes, if it gets into the water system / ponds / sea. Don't waste it. I still have some in the house and the Kids enjoy using it, we will use responsibly.

Day #9 Is Completed. Glitter things up, you know you want too.

The story for today is simply about having fun (and making a bit of a mess).

Join me next time for Day #10 - I don't have the tree sections 10 or 11 printed yet, or a good looking green material to use... so wish me luck.

Thanks for reading.

Rich.

Please join me on Twitter @RichRap3D

My profile and posts over on Google+

Files and designs shared on YouMagine

Files and designs shared on GitHub

Files and designs shared on Repables 

My Youtube channel is here, all 3D Printing and Hi-Def video content.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Christmas Advent 3D Printing advice #Day 8 3D4M Facilan C8 and Pongostore PLA

December advent calendar - modular Christmas tree
3D Printing advice #Day 8

For the background and introduction - Day #1 Post click here

Yesterday - Day #7 Post (water bottle rocket) was printed in Prusa research Easy ABS-T and Filamentive Recycled RPLA.

Christmas Advent 2017 Download on Thingiverse here - designed by Tom Van den Bon  With some help for each day by the South African Makers team.


It's time for Day #8, and today the gift is designed by Rick Treweek -  It's a Bemo.

BEMO (handheld game station)- Read below - I make him come alive with a flickering LED...

For Day 8 is made sense to use a new material called 'C8' - Facilan C8 is a material you probably will not have used. C8 is a new (Nov 2017) I was sent a pre-production roll for testing and feedback to the manufacturers 3D4Makers.


Another reason for using C8 to print this model, is that I have found C8 manages to translate to the print a lot of detail from the 3D file. The finished output quality is quite unlike any filament you will have used before. It's a combination of a matte finish, smooth, an almost silky touch surface and optically it has an almost magic ability to hide layer lines. Sounds interesting. (the camera catches them more than in real-life with your eye)

First I must just say the pre-production roll I was sent was out of tolerance, so the quality should actually improve even more than these images below. I have calibrated the diameter (it's low ~1.6mm) for each model, but because this was a prototype batch run it drifts a little and that gives tiny (and I mean tiny) surface / perimeter drift over layers.


3D4Makers have a full production line setup now for C8 and they are busy manufacturing it - Their website as of today states an end of December 2017 shipping date.

One last thing before we move on - The filament feedback form from 3D4Makers for C8 was the very best I have ever been sent - it was encouraging all feedback on every single aspect. Tips, advice, improvements and general comment sections on every area. I will at some point post the entire completed C8 feedback form on here, in the hope that more manufacturers do a similar thing.
Top marks for 3D4Makers here. They didn't just assume it was going to be an awesome material.

For this model I have also used a really nice semi-transparent/translucent 'clear/milky' PLA from Pongostore. This is for the optical light guide (Face of BEMO) that's using a flickering LED powered by a 3v lithium battery cell.

Finally found a new source of LED light guide filament (PLA) for optical electronics projects.

Excelvan PLA - also really great for LED light-guides.

Before finding Pongostore translucent PLA this year, I was using Excelvan PLA (see above - see eBay if you are lucky) It was very tricky to get hold of! I was often shipped the wrong colour / material / size (from eBay sellers - it was the only place I could source it). Eventually the supply dried up completely (at any price). This is my last spool, when that runs out at least I now have Pongostore for a very similar type.

Lets get on with Day 8 - 

First tip starts straight away with what to do if you have a plate of model parts in one STL file? - you may want to print these parts in different colours, but it's just one model file.


This is an easy one, but I still get people asking me how to do this.

Load the plate of parts into netfabb (it's free) and use the cut options to chop up the plate into separate parts. Above I'm cutting in Y. Then export the model top left by right clicking and save to STL.


Then delete that part (it's important to do that). And you can do the same on the X axis to cut out the base and head parts. Repeat as required to get all the individual parts separated.

I have modified the body section to add a 5mm flickering LED and 20mm Coin-cell battery.


Now you can print out just the parts you want, in various colours/materials. Above is the body and base printed in C8. You can see above the hole for the LED and a step to hold the BEMO face away from the LED light so we get a diffused glow.


Using an LED that flickers (like a candle) is one of the easiest ways to light up a model like this. all you need is a 3V CR2032 Lithium battery - one leg of the LED goes under the battery, the other on top and the printed 'strap' holds the connection.

Faclian C8 material also likes permanent Sharpie pens. It's a quick and easy way to colour your model, instead of using the filament-swap method we did in Day 4.

You can get helpers involved too :) - You can see the LED in this image above.

But not the fury kind. Tiggy was trying to help!

Almost completed - adding filament for legs and arms. The Pongostore PLA face is also now fitted.


She's Alive!

The flickering LED effect really makes this an interesting object for our advent tree.

Print advice - (Facilan C8)

What settings did you use? - You can use Faclian C8 like PLA. I use 214 Degrees C and a heated bed of 55 Degrees C.

I found that another +20% of extruder retraction was required for the best results (at 214 Degrees C) you don;t need quite that much at 200 Degrees C - but that will depend on the speed you are printing.

Why use it? - C8 is new, it seems to be an almost ideal filament for anyone that does not like ABS or wants to move away from using ABS. It has many of the same properties of ABS and it's easier to print with, no warp or de-lamination.

Is it strong? - Yes, It's a strong and tough plastic (stronger than 'normal' PLA). It has good impact resistance and layer bond strength is very good. Just not quite as good as PETG, but it's better than PLA, and most ABS materials.

Is it easy to use/print - Yes - My only real issues were the filament size and tolerance - that should not be a problem when they are in full production.

Do you have to dry it before/after use? - No. Just keep it sealed in a bag with desiccant as normal.

Do i need a 'special' nozzle? - No, it's not abrasive, I have used it with all different sizes of nozzle from 0.25 to 1.6mm - It will work fine with Stainless, Hardened steel, Copper, Ruby or Brass nozzles. 

Does it smell when printing? - No. I can't detect any smell at all using it at any temperature from 200 to 222 Degrees C.

What's exactly in C8? - I can't say, but 3D4Makers do state it's a 'friendly bio-plastic' blend.

Does it come on a eco friendly spool? - No, :( It's on a generic virgin plastic clear ABS reel. With a recycle logo.

Conclusion for Faclian C8 - For the price (39 euro for 750g) it is probably one of the very best and easiest to use materials I have ever used. I plan to use more of it, and it's a Bio-plastic, so I may never need ABS again...

The Pongostore PLA materials are really good and easy to use too, I just don't have a lot of other advice other than you can use 'normal' PLA settings.  As you can see, the Translucent material is fantastic as an LED light guide.

Day #8 Is Completed. I hope you try adding some simple electronics / LED's to your 3D models.

The story for today is about helping 3D printed objects come to life with simple electronics and Optical parts for LED fun. - also keep cats away from 3D Printing :)

Join me next time for Day #9

Thanks for reading.

Rich.

Please join me on Twitter @RichRap3D

My profile and posts over on Google+

Files and designs shared on YouMagine

Files and designs shared on GitHub

Files and designs shared on Repables 

My Youtube channel is here, all 3D Printing and Hi-Def video content.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Christmas Advent 3D Printing advice #Day 7 Prusa Easy ABS and Filamentive RPLA

December advent calendar - modular Christmas tree
3D Printing advice #Day 7

For the background and introduction - Day #1 Post click here

Yesterday - Day #6 Post (Christmas Stocking) was printed in Chroma Strand Labs INOVA-1800 and Filamentive Recycled RPLA colours.

Christmas Advent 2017 Download on Thingiverse here - designed by Tom Van den Bon  With some help for each day by the South African Makers team.


Day #7 is with us, and today the gift is designed by Andries Smuts-  It's a water bottle rocket.

Water bottle rocket (modified for easy print) in Prusa - Translucent blue glitter 'Easy ABS-T'


For Day 7 I would like to see some blue start to appear on the advent tree. I also wanted an easy material, but not just PLA. So this little rocket is printed in glitter-sparkling translucent Prusa Easy ABS-T material.


I don't usually like using ABS material. The smell/fumes are very uncomfortable for me. But I have found that Easy ABS-T from Prusa Research does not cause any problem for me at all. It has almost no smell and is easier to print than 'standard' ABS.


This particular ABS-T filament also has a few special features you don't often find in ABS materials, it's translucent (light blue) and it has glitter sparkle.


Printing advice - (Prusa ABS-T)

My first step of advice here is to make life easy for yourself. Just because a model has been designed and intended to be printed in a single part, it does not mean you should try, or struggle to print it like that.

This original model has a very small surface contact area with the build platform. You can use rafts, and a brim along with support material if you need. 

Original Rocket design has a tricky first layer with minimal contact area.


Model cut in half. This will be a much easier print.

My outlook with 3D printing is always to make things easier, so I just cut it in half and I will bond back together at the end.


There you go, a much easier print, just what I needed after yesterday.

I'm still using a brim of 4mm around each part, this is just good practice for ABS materials, even small parts.


You will see in the image above I'm also printing onto a section of tape. This is a small length of PET tape stuck onto the build surface. Just for ABS printing. 

The heated bed is running at 100 Degrees C, but even with that, you may have some difficulty printing onto different print bed surfaces.


This particular ABS (and others too) does not like to print onto a PEI build surface. ABS materials may also not be happy with a glue-stick coating or Magigoo. I know the only surfaces I can use successfully are PET or Kapton tape for this ABS-T. 



Still use a brim as this is quickly removed after printing and will get you a good first layer bond.

Glitter in the 3D printed layers stands out well, quite tricky to photograph.

If you do have adhesion problems, you can consider using a raft. As I don't use ABS very often I prefer to use PET tape, you can also peal it off and use again, and again.


When the print bed cools down, the model will just lift off. You then need to remove the brim (and raft if you decided to use it).


I flame the edges to remove white 'bruise' marks from ABS brim removal.

ABS can get white bruise marks when you peal away brims, or bend parts. My next top-tip is a quick and easy fix for removing any remaining white marks or sharp edges after brim removal.


One of the reasons I did not want to just enable support material was that this particular ABS (being translucent) will show up any marks of support removal on the surface of the finished print.

I simply use a flame / lighter very quickly move around the edge, this will slightly melt and remove white bruise marks. 


Parts after 'flaming' ready to be bonded together.

I slightly overdid the flaming in this image (I was trying to take the photo and do it at the same time).
But don't worry if you slightly round the edge, the next step will correct most of that.
Now I need to bond the two parts together. You can use superglue, but I use acetone applied with a tiny paint brush.


Two parts bonded together with acetone and a small brush - don't touch and let it dry.

Paint on the acetone (Nail varnish remover if that's all you can get) to each surface. Wait a few minutes and place them together. Hold for as long as you can until you get bored.

The two parts should bond and you can run an acetone dipped paintbrush around the join, ideally around and across the print layers to help 'weld' the two surfaces.


When dry the finished part should be strong and maybe slightly more glossy because of the acetone 'wash'. ABS can be smoothed with different acetone processes, but I'll leave that up to you.


Obviously do be careful if you decide to do any of this, acetone / nail varnish remover is flammable. Always wear gloves and eye protection. The 100 Degrees C heated bed for ABS printing is a higher temperature than most other materials require. Take care.


Now we have the finished parts for Day 7 in our advent tree. 

Was it easier than trying to print it as the single original design? Yes, for me even with the extra steps, it was.


What settings did you use? - Use For most ABS materials you need a 100 Degrees C heated bed, some even higher (120/130/140) Be careful! 

This Easy ABS-T is actually quite happy at lower than normal ABS temperatures (220+ Degrees C) 

I print this ABS-T range at 245 Degrees C (you can go slightly lower, but I would recommend 220 or more - up to 255).

Print speed was slowed down for this model (30mm/sec) because it has a number of tiny features. ABS is quite good at hot layer-on-layer printing. PLA for example is more likely to turn small features into blobs, if printed too fast without adequate cooling. - This is the reason I selected ABS for this model.

Why use it? - This is the most easy to use ABS I have ever discovered. To be honest I'm not exactly sure why. I have never directly asked the Prusa team (how/why/what), but it's my choice whenever I do decide to use ABS.

You can also print quite big with this ABS, some other ABS materials will warp and de-laminate badly with objects ~60+ mm wide

Is it strong? - Yes, It's a strong plastic. It has a higher glass transition temperature than PLA, and it has very good impact resistance. ABS plastic is often used in many objects. 

Is it easy to use/print - Yes - as long as you test and make sure you have a good print bed surface, sonething that this ABS will stick too. Then it's plain sailing. Use just a little fan cooling, (or none) it's really not required for most/all objects.

Do you have to dry it before/after use? - No. For some reason this ABS does not seem to have any problem at all with moisture. Drying it out would not hurt and may give even better performance, but I just keep it sealed in a bag with desiccant as normal.

Do i need a 'special' nozzle? - No, it's not abrasive, I have used it with all different sizes of nozzle from 0.25 to 1.6mm - It will work fine with Stainless, Hardened steel, Copper, Ruby or Brass nozzles. This particular reel has glitter so do remember to use a 0.4mm nozzle or bigger if it's loaded with sparkle.

Does it smell when printing? - No. I can't detect any significant smell at all using it at any temperature from 220 to 255 Degrees C. It also does not make me feel sick (other ABS brands do).

Does it come on a eco friendly spool? - No, :( It's on a generic virgin plastic reel. No recycle logo and no marking of material type. 

Conclusion for Prusa Research Easy ABS-T (Glitter) - It's the only ABS I can use without discomfort. It also happens to be really easy to use (I guess that's why they named it Easy ABS) and it's well priced too.

Day #7 Is Completed. That was easy, I hope you learned something new?

The story for today must be about making 3D printing life easier, for both you and your 3D printer. If it looks tricky and you don't want to risk supports, then chop it up into easier to print parts. Simple.

Join me next time for Day #8

Thanks for reading.

Rich.

Please join me on Twitter @RichRap3D

My profile and posts over on Google+

Files and designs shared on YouMagine

Files and designs shared on GitHub

Files and designs shared on Repables 

My Youtube channel is here, all 3D Printing and Hi-Def video content.