2014
05.11

Continuing from the previous installment

Even after thoroughly cleaning out the problematic support nozzle with appropriately sized tiny drill bits from either end, the nozzle would still clog and jam.  I did indeed have a single spare T12 (0.012″ orifice) nozzle, and installing it exorcised the demons that have plagued the machine for the better part of a year.  *sigh*  It’s always the last thing you suspect.  Frankie notes that when he had nozzle clogs, he used a torch on the nozzles as a ‘take no prisoners’ approach to cleaning out foreign matter.  I think I’ll have to try this method if for no other reason than to exact thermal revenge.

Last week, after verifying that both nozzles were feeding without any jams, I started a test print as a good ’shakeout’ of the system.  Printing Duchamp chess sets are all the rage right now (more on that in an upcoming blog post), so I thought it would be a good inaugural print.

When I stopped in at the Makerspace the next day, I was relieved to see that the print had completed successfully, and I didn’t have a chamber full of ‘3D printer barf’.  The print quality isn’t as good as I’m currently getting with my FDM 1600, but that’s to be expected since I have to fully calibrate the XYZ location of the support nozzle in relation to the model nozzle.  There’s also a fair bit of rippling in the prints that I think may be due to a slightly loose drive cable.  Finally, the layer adhesion is quite poor, but this is standard P400 ABS, not the MG94 (P430 ABS+) from Coex that has me absolutely spoiled (yet another upcoming blog post).

9 comments so far

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  1. YESSSSSS! I see chess pieces!!!!

  2. Looks better than my FDM2000 that’s still waiting for head repair ;(

  3. I picked up a Prodigy Plus for $1K on eBay and had some questions about your experience with the FDM2000. Would you mind shooting me an email? Thank you.

  4. Nice Work man!
    I recently bought a not working fdm 3000, I change the asymtek controller thanks to your information. So I’m in debt with you man…
    I have now some question on where you find the foundation foam (here in Italy seems that no one have it) or which alternative of foam do you use…
    I hope you like beer because I have to offer you many…
    I wait for your e.mail!

    Thank you VERY MUCH !!

    • I have a few extra foam bases, so I probably won’t need any more for a while. As best as I can tell, the foam is General Plastics Last-a-Foam FR-7104: https://www.generalplastics.com/fr-7100.html

      However, I’m currently experimenting with some foil-sided PIR foam sheet intended for building insulation – it’s about the right density and I have high hopes for it. It’ll be the subject of an upcoming blog post, I’m sure.

      • Ok, I’ll try your solution.
        Now I’m testing with polystirene x-foam used in building insulation and using HIPS as support material but I have problems extruding HIPS. When I manually extrude it, no problem, but when I start a job it extrude very very slow and the torque is very slow, I think I can’t find the correct temperature or the correct material. Can you suggest me right materials and temperature please? Thank you one more time… PS: if you need some test with my machine I’m ready to do it!

        • Polystyrene foam won’t work – it will start to melt from the heat of the nozzles. You’ll need PIR or polyurethane foam for the base.

          The extrusion speed doesn’t depend on the material or temperature – the head uses gearmotors with encoder feedback. Temperatures should be right around 270 C. You’ll want to adjust the feed override for the support material nozzle as well.

  5. I have an FDM 8000. I can get the printer to extrude both model and support material in “load” mode, but I can’t get any model material to come out when the machine is actually running. Support seems to come out fine though. Is there a manual flow setting somewhere in FDM status or Insight? I had the head recently retrofitted to water soluble support material, and I don’t want to bother Scott too much.

    Thanks, Joe.

    • I don’t know of any flow settings on the software side (unless you start messing with flow curves), but I’ve had some success overriding the flow settings on the FDM itself via the hidden menu: http://haveblue.org/?p=1600