What a day! My first successful 3d print – 2 gears!

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Well it took a bit of fiddling and I used the original Sprinter file from Richard, Sumpod with ReplicatorG and Airtripper gcode file from the forum.  There is an improved firmware update being worked on by forum members so it can only get better.

My main lesson today was that the line between success and failure is very small! I organised myself by listing each trial and the variables used. It took to trial 4 before I got success.

first ever successful 3d print, 2 gears!

first ever successful 3d print, 2 gears!

The first one failed because the heating block was two close to the nozzle tip. The extruded filament was catching on the kapton tape. Also when running Replicator and pressing 'Build', a warning came up that the settings would be too fast and did I want to continue? Each time I ignored the warning and continued.

The second failed when the thermistor was dragged off. Also, the filament that was extruded was not sticking to the blue masking tape. I let the hot end cool down and readjusted the position of the heater block further up the nozzle (approximately 5mm from tip) and repositioned the thermistor to the rear of the heater block.

For the third trial I positioned the X and Y axis to be at front left (this will vary depending on each Sumpods set up) and the Z axis was approximately 10mm from the nozzle tip at the start. The filament this time formed squiggly lines but still would stick to the table.

Trial 4: First success:

I wondered following trial 3, if the filament was coming out faster than needed hence the squiggles. So this time I tough I would use the live tuning to increase speed for this trial.

Set the temperature to 220 degC (My temperature meter was showing a lower temperature at the nozzle than the software). The table position to front, left. The Z to 10mm from nozzle (by eye). As soon as the print started I moved the Z axis up to be very close (maybe => 1mm) and increased the speed on live tuning to 258%. I was surprised (more amazed since nothing near a print had happened yet) to see straight lines being laid down on the Kapton tape (I removed the blue tape). I was even more surprised to see it continue to outline the gear!

After all this time I have to admit it was something akin to shock not pleasure, to see it continue at speed to produce a lovely gear (see video). Recovering, I went mad and decided to see if I could repeat the feat, but in a different colour. So I went with purple and it didn't work :( I then went to pink and again no good. now I was worried that I would not be able to repeat the feat, so went back to clear to see if perhaps there was a difference between the colours? As soon as I went to clear it was simple to produce the second with no drama at all!

Whether it is something to do with colouration or not I don't know. What I can say is that 2 out of 2 trials with clear were successful! Bear in mind this was with the 'old' software so I am looking forward to seeing how I do with the upgraded work and also refining the process. The pink did start to print, and it may be a very slight adjustment, so I will try again. I also will measure the filament travel and log it. I did a very rough test by means of a simple mark on the filament (see video) and fortunately for my pocket, it moves slowly.....or slower than I thought it would.

More tomorrow with luck, after loading new firmware (Marlin) and also Printrun instead of ReplicatorG I shall be interested to see if I can progress further, perhaps one of the many items I am waiting to printout. Exciting times!



  1. amelia freeman says:

    Very impressed,look forward to next try.

  2. Congratulations Mike on this first result. I admire your dedication to the task. My only question is why would anyone want pink gears????

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