3D printing refers to an upgraded form of printing that entails producing three-dimensional objects directly from a digital file. This is often a result of what’s known as an additive process, whereby successive layers of the material are laid down to come up with the final object. Each layer in this additive process is viewed as a cross-section, or thinly-sliced version, of the object itself.
3D printing is most often used in the manufacturing industry to come up with prototypes, designs, and other complex materials. The more accurate and concise your 3D printing results are, the better the overall outcome will be for your business.
If you’re keen on improving your 3D print quality, take note of the following tips:
1. Practice Good Bed Leveling
Good bed leveling is one of the most important techniques you have to master in your pursuit of improving your 3D print quality. All the other layers of your 3D print are dependent on that first quality of your print, so it’s essential to get this right.
You can think of this process as that of laying the foundation of your home. While all subsequent layers may turn out alright, it’s still a prudent measure to ensure that, right from the very beginning, your bed is leveled flat enough,
Here are some tips to achieve this:
– Keep the X-axis squared to the frame. If the bed is leveled with a skewed axis, the result may also be misaligned, and the layers aren’t going to be perfect.
– Practice auto bed leveling. If you can use a 3D printer with more advanced functions, then go for that option. An auto bed leveling will enable you to come up with better 3D print quality, even if the surface itself is uneven as well.
2. Keep an Optimum Nozzle Temperature
One of the most important 3D printer parts is the nozzle. As you do every printing batch, make it a point to also check the nozzle’s temperature regularly. It’s important to keep an optimum temperature, as the extremes can affect your print’s quality. For instance, if the nozzle is too hot, it may leave results like strings of filament between the separate parts.
As you ensure an optimum nozzle temperature, be sure to pair it up with the right bed temperature as well. Controlling the bed’s temperature can help with better print adhesion, which means the right stickiness for all the layers to be glued together properly.
3. Use Varied Building Plates to Come Up with Different Results
If you’ve been using one plate for different results you wish to achieve with your 3D prints, then you’re not maximizing your 3D printer’s capacity for top-notch quality prints. Different building plates should be used to come up with different print textures and 3D fonts.
– Polycarbonate sheets or painter’s tape can leave a matte finish for your 3D prints;
– Glass or Kapton tape can come up with a smooth finish.
When you use any spray on the surface you’re going to layer, apply texture, or print on, be sure to use just enough to cover the plate you’re working on. Anything more than what’s needed will also lead to poor quality of work.
4. Keep the Belts Tight, But Not to Overtighten It
Another mistake commonly done with 3D printing is overtightening the belt. The optimum tightness you should achieve for your belt should be just enough so as not to let the belt slip from the motor pulleys and have the belt stretched too much. Otherwise, the belt may leave marks, which can be unsatisfactory to the overall result you’re after.
5. Keep Your 3D Printer Well-Maintained
When you’re in the manufacturing industry wherein a 3D printer is one of your most valuable equipment, that should be reason enough to take good care of it and keep it well-maintained. Have a proactive approach to ensuring you’re on top of all the needed maintenance and repairs before a problem even arises. Otherwise, the problem in your machine might escalate to the point of no repair.
A telltale sign that should warn you to maintain or have your 3D printer repaired has to do with a sudden change in print quality. If you’ve kept the settings the same and the print quality has drastically changed compared with a previous batch, then you need to give that printer a break.
Maintaining or repairing it can restore it to its optimum condition, where the print outcomes are also at their best.
In closing, these are only some of the best tips you can apply to improve the overall outcome of your 3D prints. The whole point here is to ensure that, whatever prototype or product you come up with from your prototypes, the results are nothing less than the best.
With the increasing demand of customers to come up with better-quality, more precise products for the same period, all the more that an effort has to be made to improve your 3D prints’ quality. Applying the tips above can create that impact in your 3D prints.