Well and truly run in, life so far.

Discussion in 'BigBox General Chat' started by Dr Jeep, Jun 11, 2016.

  1. Dr Jeep

    Dr Jeep Well-Known Member

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    I just thought I'd summarise life with the BB for a few people building theirs at the moment, it takes a while to get the thing dialled in but my best advice is be very patient and methodical when working through the final steps of the build (assembling the axis movements and the calibration/alignment).

    Pretty much you can take your time here and get it as close to right as you can from the start or you can spend 5x the effort redoing it after failed prints....do NOT rush through the alignment section (it's hard because it's right at the end and you want to see the printer printing..but think how nice it will be when the first print you do is looking great)

    Manually level your bed as best as you can, yes the printers have autolevel/mesh levelling but this is an addition to starting with a level bed not a substitute. my printer is running so level that I don't need them, takes 10 minutes to get this right.

    I wish octoprint also recorded filament usage and hours for aborted prints.
    In terms of finished prints I am at 110 hours of printing and just over half a km of filament, no mechanical or electrical breakdowns so far.

    Build success rate I am running at 76% but not really doing anything that adventurous at the moment (apart from dabbling with woodfill). no print has been worse than my old K8200 could do and the vast majority are noticeably better, I still think I can make my Z axis better.

    Ergonomically there are a few frustrations, default power switch location, spool location and filament loading in general are all worse than my old printer.

    Octopi is worth it, you can't be in the room with your printer printing all the time, even if you don't like the workflow of running prints through by uploading them via Octopi and would rather work from SD, having a cam feed and a remote abort button is handy. A work project needs some 3D printed parts and I had the fit slightly wrong, tweaked the design and put it in the queue and had a replacement waiting ready for me when I got home. I leave my printer with the bed clean and some filament loaded so if I need to use it remotely I just have to call home and ask someone to switch it on (remote power switching on the todo list)

    S3D I think on balance is worth it, I don't like some of the things about the company (daft licensing terms around sharing of gcode, unsigned installation, slow update cycle rather than short sprints) but their support seems responsive and for me for the most part it seems to slice better than anything else I have used.

    Bed coating, I have bought PEI sheet but not fitted it yet, PLA works for me with just a clean glass bed but I am pretty much just using an almost invisibly thin coat of glue stick for PLA and woodfill and getting great results, I let the bed sit at the set temp for 10-15 minutes before prints start if starting from cold (because it takes a while for the surface of the glass to match what the thermistor is seeing).
     
    Pierce, Hans C. and Alex9779 like this.
  2. Alex9779

    Alex9779 Moderator
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    Nice to have someone reporting that it works if done thoroughly and not only telling what does NOT work and what is so bad...
    Like it!
     
  3. fpex

    fpex Well-Known Member

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    Where did u buy pei sheets?
     
  4. Dr Jeep

    Dr Jeep Well-Known Member

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    EBay UK, it wasn't cheap
     
  5. mike01hu

    mike01hu Well-Known Member

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    I support @Dr Jeep 's analysis and can confirm perseverance with levelling really pays dividends but I do use mesh levelling as I am happier with the results. My success rate is near 90%, although I admit that a couple of prints would be rejected for quality of finish due to blobbing and this caused the couple of real failures I had. Although I have a dual hybrid I am only printing with one nozzle at the moment as that is where my needs lie. My first layers are excellent due to the good levelling, also through zeroing Z effectively by levelling with a 0.02mm feeler gauge, NOT a piece of paper or card, as this is too thick and means having to fiddle with Z offset. Top layers are smooth due to being careful with extrusion width through testing to ensure no "hedges" occur and each different filament (colour or type) is tested before use, there are no shortcuts. You can see my results in the "Show off" threads.

    I have used PVA juice for all my print needs from PLA though Ngen to Carbon Fibre and have had no release problems although Ngen did prove trickier to get off. I am currently on stock bushes and these appear to have bedded in well on the X and Y carriages but I do have 8 Misumi bushes waiting in the wings for the next big service interval, possible when I get around to upgrading to @Chase.Wichert 's super carriages.

    I am slowly coming around to S3D, after 6 months of use, and agree that most slicing has been very good and the ability to use different processes in the same print is a real advantage. Coming to grips with all the variables has not been a big problem, as I have experimented with many settings through a series of test pieces, which I would advise is good practice, particularly with infill and perimeter overlap that has a real influence on mechanical strength, as I found out to my cost in the early days of using S3D, lovely exterior finish but poor or non-existent infill to perimeter connection. I am still a bit confused on factory files and profiles but that's just me and I think I am getting clear of that issue but there are quirks of S3D that still get up my nose.

    I am not an expert or perfectionist but do work to get an effective engineered product while a pretty finish is only secondary and to this end the BigBox has proved a real success and worth the effort, pain and cost of buying and building it. This is not a beginners' project and despite being an Engineer this forum has smoothed the way for me and many others with the support from E3D and the BigBox Team being very good.
     
    #5 mike01hu, Jun 11, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2016
    Hans C. and Tom De Bie like this.

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