Sad Octopuses

Though admittedly a bit overwhelmed at first, I managed to get my new Taz 5 set up, calibrated, and leveled to the best of my ability and was ready to join the exciting world of 3d printing.

First I followed the included instructions and used Pronterface and the sample piece of green ABS to create a very sad looking octopus (240/85).

After moving Tazzy to a table with a sturdier base and repeating the leveling process, I tried again, this time with a spool of white PLA (205/60). Unfortunately, George the ugly green octopus now has an equally ugly shiny, white friend.

At this point, I’m not quite sure what to do. I’ve read through several posts that lead me to think it may have something to do with heat or fans, but I’m not trying to do anything fancy… Just print the first sample straight from the setup instructions.

I also tried one other print just to see what would happen and I’m attaching photos of that one as well in case it helps diagnose the issue.

I really appreciate any guidance anyone can offer.


Well, the green octopus in ABS I can answer a couple possible questions. It looks like you were too close to the bed for the starting layer. when you are too close you end up with that lumpy looking forst couple of layers that eventually evens out. It also looks like you are slightly overextreuding. Usually that means that your fillament diameter settings in your slic3r or cura profile is off slightly. Fillament varies in width quite a bit depending on manufacturers and quality. It’s not unusual to have a roll anywhere from 2.65mm to 3.12 mm in diameter, and it makes a huge amount of difference to the final quality of the print that you have it set right. Take your calipers, measure 3 spots on your fillament and take the average, then use that as your starting fillament diameter and see how it goes.

PLA, it looks like you have some temperature control issues there, but I don’t print with it often so I’ll let someone else cover that. One thing to be aware of is that when switching from a higher temperature plastic ABS) to a lower temperature one (PLA) if there is any leftover ABS at all in the melt chamber, you might get jams or blockages unless you bump the temperature up to 230 and do a bit of a purge then let it back down to PLA printing temperatures.

Thank you, piercet!

I know I should just change one thing at a time, but I couldn’t help myself :confused:

First I raised the z trigger end stop a smidge, based on your comment about the head being too low. I need to buy some calipers, but I read that overextruding is typically caused when the filament diameter is set too small, so I thought I would change it from 3mm to 3.05, but I couldn’t figure out how to get the change to stick in Pronterface, so I switched to Cura and was able to change it there. Then, just for good measure, and because it’s late and I’m tired, I also reduced the hot end temperature from 205 to 195 and slowed down from 150mm/min to 100mm/min.

Something must have done the trick. I’m pleased to introduce Raphael, the happy octopus…

I think the next order of business is to learn more about all of the different settings and how each impacts the end result of my print.