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Repairing a 3D Printer

Last Update: Jan 12, 2022

Jan 12, 2022
Good news: Ultimaker Cura works on my Macbook Pro now after I updated the OS to macOS Monterey, the latest update Version 12.1.

I attempted to print a motor housing for my Week 10 assignment and after many attempts to fix the printing quality, I am so .. so relieved to say that the printing is working great! (it's still going as I'm writing this). Here are the settings I have used to make this happen:

Printer: Creality Ender 3
Bed Treatments: Added Scotch Glue(stick) to center area where print was focused on

Tune & Control
    Speed: 80
    Nozzle Temp: 240
    Bed Temp: 25
    Fan: 85
    Flow: 100
    Babystep Z: 1.199

Motion > Velocity
    Vx = 345
    Vy = 345
    Vz = 12
    VE = 120

Motion > Acceleration
    Accel = 1200
    A-retract = 1200
    A-travel = 1300

Motion > Jerk
    Vx = 1
    Vy = 1
    Vz = +000.19
    Ve = 2

Motion > Steps
    X = 80.00
    Y = 80.00
    Z = 400.00
    E = 93.00

The primary thinking behind this was to increase the heat of the extruder and slow down the print. I also cooled down the bed temperature to let the glue adhesion stay on for longer; when it was at 50 degrees, it dried out very quickly and had no effect on keeping the filament attached.

Nov 29, 2021
Today I used a clear filament instead of the old gray one and changed other settings:

Bed Temp: 70 deg F
Nozzle Temp: 240 deg F

I also applied gluestick glue onto the bed of the printer. This yield the best print result so far though improvements can still be made...

The bed_level_print file below only prints a 2D plane of concentric squares.

The next attempt is to print a taller and fuller object. Only problem right now is that my Macbook Pro doesn't seem to be able to run Cura or Creality Slicer to convert any .stl file to .gcode.

Nov 23, 2021
When I realized that their was a huge clog and jam in the nozzle hot end, I purchased new nozzle parts to assemble and re-insert filament through. I also noticed that a screw was loose where the filament feeder was so I tightened that up.

This only lasted maybe 5 minutes worth of printing. Turns out the problem was the filament and how old it was (approx. 2-3 years old at least).

November 11, 2021
I obtained a 3D printer from a friend who was no longer using it because of multiple printing issues - both related to the printer itself and the filament.

I had never used this machine on my own before so as soon as I got home I immediately started playing around with it, trying to get used to working with the filament path and navigating the machine menu.

In the end, I watched several tutorial videos on how to set up the printer from the beginning.

I also downloaded the following .gcode files to help test the bed level. I put these files in an SD card that was then inserted into the machine and accessed through the navigation menu.

Bed Level Check
Bed Level Print

How I navigated the menu to get to these files

How I checked the bed level

Last update: 2022-02-08
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