Sorry if someone has already asked this question before:
Are there any suggestions for recommended additional equipment that one might require to both look after their printer, filament and finished items?
As I have recently entered the world of 3d printing, I have now been pointed in the direction of extra tools (by the Lulzbot support team) that I might need to maintain my printer, and on doing research come across possible solutions for things like storage of filament and alike.
Would anyone like to suggest tools that they have picked along the way, or point towards additional equipment bought online?
Sorry if someone has already asked this question before:
Get a good tool to remove stuck on prints. I like the second tool from the bottom in this set. The wide thin blade helps to get under the print and slide around the edges. The longer triangular tools help with leverage once you get the removal started.
Green scrub pad to clean the bed and abrade the PEI for better adhesion.
Sandpaper to clean up prints… also a fine grit to revitalize the PEI.
I’ve looked at that set and its only available on Amazon.com not Amazon.uk- which in my part of the world makes better sense with import taxes etc, However I found that set would be quite helpful as some of my later prints are becoming more difficult to remove from the PEI. I’m sure I can find a similar set on the UK site- many thanks for the suggestion.
The Lulzbot support team suggested i use 2000 Grit Sandpaper and Isopropanol to clean the PEI and it did a wonderful job on my TAZ 6! Only they didn’t tell me how often i should do it?
Still learning and building up my tool kit as i go along.
Any more suggestions from members of this forum for noobs like me?
Doing a wet sanding on the PEI with a 1500-2000 grit sandpaper only really needs to be done when you are having problems with prints not sticking to the bed. Another tool you may want to look into is a putty knife. If you have a putty knife and sharpen one side of it, you can place the flat side on the bed, to help hold the PEI down and use the sharpened side to gently slide under the print, and usually they break free with a gentle tap. You might also want to get some scotchbrite pads for cleaning the nozzle, as well as some steel wool, for cleaning the smooth rods. A can of compressed air can also be handy.
One thing to take note of, is to never use anything metal or conductive when cleaning the nozzle, because it can short out the RAMBo board that is used to run the printer.
The Buildtak par remova tool works very well.
Other tools to have on hand:
A good pair of needle nose pliers to grab fillament strings and things, a #4 leather edger for brim removal (I use a Tandy leather #4, but they don’t seem to be available over there), A shaviv Mango II deburring tool also for brim removal https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shaviv-90094-Mango-Set-M-Handle/dp/B003JY7MDW/ref=sr_1_1?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1518297383&sr=1-1&keywords=shaviv+deburring+tool A good part trimming blade ( I use a leatherman charge TTI) A soldering iron and tip for installing heat set inserts (I get mine from mcmaster carr, no idea if they ship over there) , an engineer PA-09 crimper for crimping pins https://www.amazon.co.uk/Universal-Micro-Crimping-Crimppins-Engineer/dp/B002AVVO7K/ref=sr_1_1?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1518297573&sr=8-1&keywords=pa-09+crimper , Maybe a USB infrared camera? A point and shoot thermometer of some sort, a set of digital calipers, a multimeter, etc.
Yeah the knives seem like a good idea- although as you pointed out they do need to be much thinner on one side to get under the print, that brim removal tool is a good idea, not sure about the crimper? I don’t do any electronics.
And yes I know about switching off before cleaning the extruder with anything made of metal, like a metal brush of some sort- did my homework on that one.
I’ve got a good set of pliers, no problems there- never heard of a leather edger? might go on amazon to see that one? I’ve got a soldering iron- haven’t used in years and all the stuff with that. Although what’s a “heat set insert”? not come across that one so far…got the digital calipers on order and a type of height and depth gauge ruler thingy for calibration of the Z Axis binding- which I’ve had problems with and readjusted with the Lulzbots support teams help.
Not sure I need to go as far as getting a USB infrared camera? although it would nice if the printer would say its going wrong instead of printing out a cowpat every now and again- and finding it when its too late to rescue it- usually after its done over 3 or 4 layers late (like it did after 9 hours into a 12 hour print on Sunday!- oh that annoyed me!)
All good ideas- I’m still buying bits and building up my tool kit- oh one thing everyone forgot-as I discovered: “A first aid kit”- nipped myself cleaning up a part the other day- perhaps I should have been wearing a pair of workman’s gloves- my fault- noob me.
Many thanks for all the advice.
I like using a 2 ounce ballpein hammer to - gently! - tap the handle of the spatula when removing a stubborn print. It reduces the chances of gouging your print bed or your hands. I’ve posted a video demonstration at https://youtu.be/9zNqeQmeFKg.
I recently bought a set of Mini Brass Wire brushes with plastic (non-conductive) handles, for cleaning the outside of the extruder nozzle. Prusa recommends them for cleaning their i3 MK3 printer nozzle, and they seem to work well on my Lulzbot Mini. Heat the nozzle to the wiping temperature (for example, 140 degrees C for generic PLA), then use a brush to wipe off the flecks and blobs of filament from the outside of the nozzle. A dirty nozzle exterior can mess up your auto-leveling.
A few months ago I bought a Raspberry Pi 3, loaded OctoPi/OctoPrint on it, connected it to the house’s wifi, plugged the Lulzbot Mini into it, plugged in a Logitech usb camera, and voila! I now send gcode files to the printer instead of walking an SD card around the house, and can watch the print progress from anywhere in the house. See https://octoprint.org/download/. It was ridiculously easy to set up, following a video I found: https://youtu.be/_XACqEA1hHU
I don’t know where I found the Lulzbot Mini profile for OctoPrint, but here is what I use:
Name: Mini (you could be a lot more creative than that)
Identifier: (the first printer profile is named “_default” by… default)
Model: Lulzbot Mini
Under Print bad and build volume:
Form Factor: Rectangular
Origin: Lower Left
Heated Bed: Yes
Print volume: X 152, Y 152, Z 158 mm
Under Axes’ manual control speed limits:
X: 6000 mm/min
Y: 6000 mm/min, INVERT control
Z: 200 mm/min
E: 300 mm/min
Under Hotend and Extruder:
Hozzle Diameter: 0.5 mm
Number of Extruders: 1
FYI for our printers we recommend never using any kind of wire brush or letting any kind of metal element come in contact with the nozzle.
With the way our auto-leveling works the nozzle is electrically connected to the mini RAMBo board making it susceptible to electric static discharge damage through the hot-end/nozzle.
We would recommend using a non-conductive Scotch Brite pad to clean the nozzle in the future.
Bins and desiccant for keeping your filament dry. Several types of filament can absorb moisture from the air, which can cause irregular extrusion. RepRage has a good post on the effect, at https://reprage.com/post/3D-Printer-PLA-moisture-problems-and-storage-solutions.
I bought a set of Ziploc WeatherShield 44 Quart Storage Boxes, and a few Eva-dry E-333 Renewable Mini Dehumidifiers from Amazon. The dehumidifiers are cool because they contain rechargeable desiccant: once the desiccant turns green, showing it’s absorbed as much moisture as it can, just plug the dehumidifier into the wall socket for a day and it’s as good as new. By the way, each box can store around 7 reels of 1 Kg of filament.
I always store filament in the Ziploc boxes when I’m not actively using it to print, and I haven’t had any problems with wet filament. If you look around, you can find designs for Dry Boxes for filament, that let you keep the filament dry even while printing.
Wow! Thanks for the tip, Zachah. I had no idea that the Nozzle is an ESD path to the controller. (Naively, it sounds like a job for 2 diodes, but I understand how hard ESD protection can be.)
Thanks again for the warning; you’ve likely saved me from accidentally blowing up my Mini. I’ll now treat the extruder metal as if it’s part of an ESD-sensitive board.