Page 1 of 1

Some issues printing PLA

Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:27 pm
by myxibrium
I already own a Makerbot 2x that I use for printing ABS, and I purchased the Up Mini exclusively for PLA (so that I don't need to replace the dreaded Kapton tape frequently. I tried printing PLA three times. The first time it didn't stick to the build plate, so I applied some Painter's tape and the second time it printed pretty well - for about halfway through the print before it just stopped printing completely. So I took the filament out, gave it a clean cut, and reloaded it. It seemed to come out okay, so I tried another print. This time it didn't even start printing.

The software doesn't help much. I think the biggest problem is that it takes so much time to even start a build. First of all, I need to re-calibrate the extruder height every time I replace the painter's tape (maybe I need to be more careful). Then I need to click the print button, which slices, uploads, then prints. I can sit there and wait like 20+ minutes for a small print to even start. And this whole time the extruder is hot, which isn't optimal for PLA. Plus I can't find any option to adjust the extruder temperature (besides choosing ABS vs PLA).

Also I'm annoyed by the constant beeping. Can I turn it off? Also, aren't there LED's in that thing? Why do they never come on?

Thanks
-James Watkins

Re: Some issues printing PLA

Posted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:32 am
by scubamatt41
Hi,

Print to large maybe but even than it should not take 20+min

Did you do the platform calibration? Nozzle to bed height should be 0.1mm or the thickness of a piece of paper.

There is NO temp control but there are good mods out there.

Double click the on/off button and the led will turn on.

Try printing the UP! / Afinia Speaker Cover by Walter http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:31957 or stick some tape on there.
P11_7069_preview_featured.jpg
P11_7069_preview_featured.jpg (196.6 KiB) Viewed 14598 times

Re: Some issues printing PLA

Posted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:17 am
by D3rax
20+ min for slicing and uploading is indeed way to long. It might be that it is a complex model and when you set it on high detail there are many layers to slice and upload, so it is possible but at average prints it should take a few minutes max.

Anyways your PLA problems have nothing to do with the above issue. Also when the print starts a few minutes after hitting print you will see that halfway printing stops. Printing PLA on the Up! is a bitch, you can check the forum and find some nice reading material....There are some brands of PLA that do print well though, the types with a high softening point.

Re: Some issues printing PLA

Posted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:18 am
by D3rax
20+ min for slicing and uploading is indeed way to long. It might be that it is a complex model and when you set it on high detail there are many layers to slice and upload, so it is possible but at average prints it should take a few minutes max.

Anyways your PLA problems have nothing to do with the above issue. Also when the print starts a few minutes after hitting print you will see that halfway printing stops. Printing PLA on the Up! is a bitch, you can check the forum and find some nice reading material....There are some brands of PLA that do print well though, the types with a high softening point.

Re: Some issues printing PLA

Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 1:05 am
by myxibrium
I disagree. The PLA getting stuck could be due to the fact that the extruder is hot and idle for an extended period of time while it slices and uploads.PLA gets soft at a relatively low temperature, and with the UP software I'm not able to tweak the temp. So I'm assuming it's too hot because this has happened to me before when I printed PLA on my Makerbot. But at least then I had control over temperature settings.

Ok, so maybe 20 minutes is an exaggeration. I was printing this actually:
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:408157
So it is a "simple" shape but actually quite high polycount, also times 3 (printing 3 at a time). So yeah it did take a long time to slice. But upload? Directly over usb? 2Mbps minimum. Are the files really that big?

Re: Some issues printing PLA

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:48 pm
by myxibrium
I hope the moderators don't mind me bumping this thread. The UP Mini is advertised to print PLA and this is the sole reason why I bought the printer. Can anyone else comment on this? Am I the only one with issues printing PLA? Any advice on getting it to work?

Re: Some issues printing PLA

Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:34 am
by Tiertime-Roman
Hi myxibrium

For the temperature issue, did you select PLA mode when you add one new roll of PLA material?
myxibrium wrote:I already own a Makerbot 2x that I use for printing ABS, and I purchased the Up Mini exclusively for PLA (so that I don't need to replace the dreaded Kapton tape frequently. I tried printing PLA three times. The first time it didn't stick to the build plate, so I applied some Painter's tape and the second time it printed pretty well - for about halfway through the print before it just stopped printing completely. So I took the filament out, gave it a clean cut, and reloaded it. It seemed to come out okay, so I tried another print. This time it didn't even start printing.

The software doesn't help much. I think the biggest problem is that it takes so much time to even start a build. First of all, I need to re-calibrate the extruder height every time I replace the painter's tape (maybe I need to be more careful). Then I need to click the print button, which slices, uploads, then prints. I can sit there and wait like 20+ minutes for a small print to even start. And this whole time the extruder is hot, which isn't optimal for PLA. Plus I can't find any option to adjust the extruder temperature (besides choosing ABS vs PLA).

Also I'm annoyed by the constant beeping. Can I turn it off? Also, aren't there LED's in that thing? Why do they never come on?

Thanks
-James Watkins

Re: Some issues printing PLA

Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:02 am
by jackmarshall
I was not aware of the UP printing PLA - if it does it will be the same as the ABS, you will need to buy their brand to get reliable prints. With ABS they do this by selling ABS with a high melt point and making the machine run hot to match. I would make sure I had some UP branded PLA to start with.

Re: Some issues printing PLA

Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:30 am
by roller
The moderators ... are barely existent here. To your issues I suggest you trawl through all the previous discussions on PLA... I've made lots of previous explanations as a long time printer with PLA before coming to an Up and having had both a Mini and a Plus. Use google to search the forum as the forum search will ignore common terms like PLA (stupid phpBB default setting)

In summary:
- direct extruders get too hot to print most PLA - it will start to soften too early during long prints and you need to chill the extruder motor/drive gear. One way around this is to use a high end PLA with a high softening temp (above 50C). I use Colorfabb PLA and have no issues without need any cooling mod. All my normal reprap PLA will fail on any print longer than 30 mins.
- a great cooling mods is drews air injector ... essentially a fish tank pump ($10 off ebay) blowing air direct into the ddrive gear area. With it or similar any PLA will work fine.
- you prints lifting issue - start your print a little lower so it smooshes more into the board. you want it so close you get the occassional click (sound of extruder jam from being too close) but not many as PLA will strip and the print will fail. You dont need to fuss with painter tape.
- When you are going to print firstly start the platform heating so it gets good and toasty before you start.
- consider a temp mod (i make a nice thumbwheel one if you want a decent option though there are plenty of US sources you might think more useful). With the temp mod you will get better PLA results by being able to fine tune your temp to suit your filament giving you good peel away support (the best Up feature). I actually print using the ABS mode and the temp mod cos I prefer the results.

When you print with PLA print with the lid open and the wind barrier (little door on the extruder assembly) open.

The claim that PLA works with this printer is really referring to PP3DPs own PLA. Similarly, result with regular ABS are also substandard unless you add a temp mod.

Look back for more details on solutions.

Re: Some issues printing PLA

Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:28 pm
by myxibrium
Yes, I did chose PLA when loading the filament. And I check that it says "PLA" whenever I upload a model to print.

Roller: Your advice was very helpful. It's unfortunate that I need to mod the printer to get good results. I was sold on this printer for how "smart" the design was. Really starting to feel buyer's remorse now. But at least you've given me some hope that perhaps I can salvage the situation.

Re: Some issues printing PLA

Posted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:45 pm
by roller
myxibrium wrote:Yes, I did chose PLA when loading the filament. And I check that it says "PLA" whenever I upload a model to print.

Roller: Your advice was very helpful. It's unfortunate that I need to mod the printer to get good results. I was sold on this printer for how "smart" the design was. Really starting to feel buyer's remorse now. But at least you've given me some hope that perhaps I can salvage the situation.
Don't feel too disheartened. Although there are inherent issues with poor upfront disclosure with these printers, once you either mod your way to using aftermarket filament or accept using only Up OEM filament you will find the bang for buck with these printers is really unsurpassed. I have worked with almost every single printer at this price point and built oh so many printers for people and I still come back to my Up as my favourite printer. It is by far the simplest to produce good results with complex models. So you made a good choice ... you were just not handed the facts you deserved before purchase. The community here is also very active and will help you with any issues you have ... just be aware help may not be very fast from us.

Re: Some issues printing PLA

Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 1:43 am
by myxibrium
roller wrote:... It is by far the simplest to produce good results with complex models. So you made a good choice ...
I'm not so sure about that. Among my concerns: requires computer tethering, requires long slice procedure before each build even if u want to print the same thing multiple times, closed source as to prevent tinkering, doesn't print PLA as advertised, and loud beeping; only the beeping problem has been solved (and not very well I might add). Sorry to be such a party pooper but "simple" and "good results" just don't seem to apply here. You must have some really bad 3d printers if you think this one is your favorite.

Re: Some issues printing PLA

Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:27 pm
by pp3dp.nl
myxibrium wrote:
roller wrote:... It is by far the simplest to produce good results with complex models. So you made a good choice ...
I'm not so sure about that. Among my concerns: requires computer tethering, requires long slice procedure before each build even if u want to print the same thing multiple times, closed source as to prevent tinkering, doesn't print PLA as advertised, and loud beeping; only the beeping problem has been solved (and not very well I might add). Sorry to be such a party pooper but "simple" and "good results" just don't seem to apply here. You must have some really bad 3d printers if you think this one is your favorite.
- It doesn't require computer tethering, only while slicing (the fastest I have seen - please name one faster I would like to know) and sending data the USB cable has to be attached.

- You don't have to slice every time, the last print job if needed multiple times can be restarted by selecting ''Print again'' in the menu or by fast double clicking the Initialize button (on Up plus, not Mini)

- Closed source is not a problem with this type of quality so I don't see that as a disadvantage

- It does print PLA if you use their product, I never had problems with PP3DP PLA or ABS (or lower temp PLA)

It is by far the simplest to produce good results with complex models I find completely true! I only know of one competitor (name starts with the last letter of the alphabet) but I think and hope the Up! coming Up-box will be even better :D