Most common 3D printer part failures and ways to fight against them

World Maker Faire

Chris gives a workshop to about 80x Maker Faire event goers. Awesome experience and it was great to meet and engage with all of those who came. Until the next Maker Faire!

Here is the PDF link to the Common 3D Printing Failures and How to Fight Against Them talk by Chris McCoy at the World Maker Faire in New York on September 20, 2014:  140919-common-3D-printing-failures-wmf-2014-NYC-v02

Did you not receive a “Wedgie” at the talk?   Download and print your own today!! http://www.bit.ly/wedgieSTL


Buy Tickets to Maker Faire Today!

Here’s a link to Chris’s presentation information.

In this article, I hope to give everyone general strategies to resolve the following issues (mainly for FFF-style 3D printers):

  1. Part delamination from build plate
  2. Mis-registration in your x and y axes
  3. Many extruder issues (clogging in nozzle, clogging in feeder, filament breakage, filament tangling, poor extrusion, inconsistent extrusion, etc.)
  4. Part warping
  5. Frozen or stalled 3D prints
  6. First layer issues
  7. Risks of leaving your printer alone (filament jams, tangled filament, etc.)
  8. Bed leveling common pitfalls
  9. Saving a print that’s had issues

Overall, these problems are an artifact of early-adopter-version 3D printers.  Manufacturers of these machines are now very aware of some of these issues and are taking proactive steps to reduce these issues with innovative design.  We’ll talk about the ones we’re familiar with and as usual, we’ll post links to the relevant sources for help we got, solving the many problems we’ve identified with all of your help.

The final results of this study will ideally be presented in September 2014 in NYC.  More details to follow.

If you’d like to help or participate in this study, please don’t hesitate to contact me at chris at you3dit dot com.

Preschool teacher designs her own personalized jewelry…A+

Preschool teacher Kate Brehob is wonderful with kids.  Everyone who has met her knows this.  What we didn’t know–possibly herself included–is that she can also design sweet customized jewelry that is ready to 3D print.

Showing how her new personalized earrings will look.

Showing how her new personalized earrings will look.

The back story:

My cousin is naming her second baby for my grandmother. She named her first child after her mom so now there is going to be a new generation of sisters with these same names. I thought it was such a sweet idea and I wanted to give her something she wouldn’t find anywhere else that also had meaning. I decided to create stud earrings with each daughter’s name on them. I also thought they would be cute as stud earrings because both names have four letters each. The next step was just to figure out how to get tiny custom stud shaped names! 

-Katherine, San Francisco, CA

Using TinkerCAD–an entry-level computer-aided-design (CAD) software–and the You3Dit network, Katherine was able to quickly able to make the earring parts which she then cemented to blank, earring studs.  We sent her this CAD tutorial from Hands-on Rapid Innovation to help her get started.

“TinkerCAD was pretty easy to use, but I’m not used to working in millimeters” said Brehob.  Most engineers and scientists prefer the metric system and regularly push using these units (as demonstrated in TinkerCAD), however, people living in the U.S. are typically more familiar with the inch, pound and quart units of measurement.  Thus, if you’re struggling to figure out the size / scale of your project, consider downloading and printing one of these “to-scale” rulers. Additionally, we worked with Ms. Brehob to tweak the z-dimension height so that the earrings came out a just the right thickness so simply work with your designers.

“The first set turned out pretty good, but I think I’m going to add hearts or something to hide the backing of the stud” said the preschool teacher.  This observation was made after she had received the first set of prints.  “This is exactly the benefit of quick & easy access to rapid prototyping tools like 3D printers” said Chris McCoy, co-founder of You3Dit.  “3D printers unlock creativity via rapid iteration” which allows for faster convergence on final solutions and allows the mind to explore many solutions without a lot of cost (time, money, effort).

3D printers are not the end-all, be-all solution for everything–we know this.  But if you show people their potential and how easy it is to get started, people can start to see their real value beyond just a mini widget factory.  Since people are not yet used to having extreme personalization in their lives, they don’t add 3D printing to their solution set for problems.  This is one of You3Dit’s main goals: highlighting the potential of desktop manufacturing, educating people about how the technology works and then, providing people access to these machines that can help bring their ideas to life.

 

3D printing helps fix a design flaw in aftermarket wheels

So as we often explain the myriad possibilities of 3D printers for an uncountable number of potential applications, we reel in our audience’s minds by grounding our expectations with “well, I’m not about ready to 3D print my car axle…but there are tons of applications…” While I didn’t 3D print my axle just quite yet, we did 3D print some rim spacer clips in order to eliminate slop between the brake disc and the rim’s decorative center piece.

Why was this even a problem?  No one looks cool driving a car that has wacky noises coming from the vehicle.  Vehicle sounds are a big part of the driving experience (ask Tesla motors) and while no one should define themselves by the car they drive, no sense in letting it be when the You3Dit network has design and 3D printing resources to easily resolve the issue.

The workflow was pretty simple:

  1. A thin ring that would fit between the wheel hub and the decorative piece
  2. Measure the critical dimensions of the wheel
  3. Transform the sketch into a CAD model (a process called solid modeling)
  4. Export design to STL
  5. Slice and drive 3D printer using Repetier
  6. Test spacer ring on vehicle
  7. Modify dimensions as necessary
  8. Repeat

Once we iterated 2-3x, we had a part that worked. The first two were too thick.  We made the ring into a “U” shape to allow for slop in wheel dimensions, increasing the likelihood that the part would solve the problem.

How the Rim Spacer Ring fits onto the rim and decorative piece.

How the Rim Spacer Ring fits onto the rim and decorative piece.

A screenshot of the Solidworks CAD model we used to print the ring.

A screenshot of the SolidWorks CAD model we used to print the ring.

If you yourself have the same problem with a pesky aftermarket rim, or you’d like to use this file for any other purpose, we’ve uploaded our SolidWorks and STL parts to Thingiverse.com.  The rims featured in this video were purchased from Pepboys are 1097 Proline Wheels.

UPDATE (May 30, 2015): 

So the rims and tires handled just perfectly for the last year with the 3D printed rim spacers as designed…and as expected.  However, it wasn’t until the service guy rotated the tires when they fell out and the wheels were re-assembled without the spacers.  Houston…we have a problem?  Or do we?  Not really, because the wife of the old man who owns the truck has a 3D Printer–A Printrbot Simple Metal!

So with the help of this article (and Thingiverse’s kind gesture of hosting the files), she was able to re-download the STL and 3D print another set.

Rim-spacers to eliminate rattle from wheels.

These were the replacement rim spacers 3D printed by a rather handy grandmother and mother of a 3D printing enthusiast (Chris–the co-founder of You3Dit).

 

So, just when you thought these 3D printing machines were just for younger kids great with computers, think again (note: the woman who did 3D print these is pretty amazing and is pretty darn resourceful for someone of her generation…especially with respect to technology).