In 3D printing there are always a series of factors that depend on the user, which often cause a print to be satisfactory or failed. All factors are collected in the print profile that each user uses in each 3D print.
In the 3D FDM printing profiles, an infinite number of parameters can be modified: printing temperatures and speeds, how to manufacture the internal and external parts and all the rest of the parameters that influence 3D printing. For this reason, the most important information is discussed below when creating a print profile.
Aspects to consider
Before beginning to modify printing parameters, a series of factors that will directly influence must be taken into account:
Geometry of the piece
The shape and thickness of a part directly affects the printing parameters such as speeds and layer thicknesses, since if a part has areas of reduced size, the print profile must have lower manufacturing speeds, to ensure quality of the piece.
As all users already know, each material has a range of temperatures and speeds recommended by each manufacturer, it is advisable to stay at those values to avoid possible problems, such as the appearance of calcined filament particles in the nozzle due to excess temperature, which subsequently cause the filament to jam in it.
Within the FDM 3D printers there are important differences. One of the differences that most influences the configuration of the printing profile is the type of extruder, direct or bowden, since very different values are needed in the sections of print speed, speed and retraction length and even in the flow.
Something that few users take into account is the environment where the 3D printer is located. Temperature, humidity or the existence of air currents are factors that directly affect the printing profile and in some cases the surface finish of the pieces.
Objective of the piece
One of the many advantages of 3D printing is that the same piece can be made with infinite different configurations: better or worse surface finish depending on the printing time, more resistance on one surface or another, etc. This is achieved by adapting each profile to each particular case.
5 key tests
Once all the above is clear, it is time to configure the profile and for this Polymaker has developed PCP (Profile Creation Process), five tests for all users to achieve the ideal print profile:
Test 1: Extruder flow
The first step is to find the ideal temperature for the material that the user needs to use. It should be started using the lowest temperature recommended by the filament manufacturer and increase it until the flow is continuous and there are no jams in the HotEnd.
Image 1: Extruder flow. Source: Polymaker
Users who wish to perfectly adjust the temperature, can perform a temperature test, such as the test in the following image.
Image 2: Temperature tower test
Test 2: Flow Management
This section should correct printing errors caused by to bad flow configuration. This mismanagement can cause irregular flow due to excessive extruder pressure or filament debris across the entire surface of the part due to the wrong retraction configuration.
Image 3: Flow management. Source: Polymaker
Test 3: Cooling fan (layer)
The layer fan is one of the most important components of a 3D printer, since with it you can get more complex geometries and higher quality surface finishes.
The following scheme shows the forces that act at the junction between layers. "F1" is the force of lifting of the material when it is in cantilever and "F2" is the force of contraction caused by the tension of the upper layer. The value of these two forces must be approximately zero to maintain mechanical and geometric stability. To achieve "F1 = 0" the layer height, the angle of overflow and the extrusion temperature must be reduced; or increase the speed of the layer fan. In the case of "F2", the force value can be minimized by increasing the extrusion temperature or reducing the extrusion speed.
Image 4: Importance of the cooling fan. Source: Polymaker
Test 4: Delamination (warping and cracking)
Something that usually occurs when using filaments such as ABS or ASA is delamination between layers (cracking) or between the first layer and the base (warping). This occurs during printing due to the accumulation of stress between layers, caused by the action of the strength of the polymer itself (F2) and the action in the opposite direction of the adhesion of the lower layer (F1.2) or of the base itself printing (F1.1). When the forces involved in the union are not balanced, delamination occurs, as shown in the following image.
Image 5: Delamination (warping and cracking). Source: Polymaker
To avoid this, the user must find the ideal base temperature and have a closed 3D printer when the material to be used requires it.
Test 5: Fine Details
Finally, to ensure that the entire surface of the printed part has a perfect finish, including the finest parts, the user must adjust the flow and cooling through the layer fan. The adjustment of the two parameters must be carried out by carefully modifying the values so as not to pass, since this can cause errors mentioned above.
Image 6: Fine details. Source: Polymaker
All the detailed information in this article is intended for a user to get the print profile of any material, taking into account that the 3D printer is capable of offering the necessary printing parameters.