3D print arch
fdm - How to print an overhanging arc
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I am designing a part that has to clamp around a 11mm bushing, and due to other design constraints, it has to be printed with a semicircle-shaped overhang:
This is proving very challenging to print. Two copies of this part have to clamp tightly around the bushing in all directions. Support material is rather hard to remove from the very top of the arc (where the overhang angle is the highest) and I often end up removing just too little of the support material (so the part doesn't fit around the bushing) or too much (and the bushing can wobble around).
Is there any way I can modify the design of this part (bearing in mind that it absolutely has to be printed in this orientation) to make it more tolerant of my inaccuracy when removing supports, or is there perhaps some way to manually design supports that are easier to remove (Simplify3D and Cura both don't quite cut it)?
You could modify it as shown in my picture. I added lines tangent to the 11mm circle and in this example I set them to a 40 degree overhang which should be fine, the top line is also tangent to the circle and in my experience it's easier to bridge a small section rather than do a bunch of small overhangs like an arc would do. You still end up with quite a bit of contact but also easy to print.
I did something similar to this on my printer where the smooth rods enter horizontal holes.
I think a lot of this depends on the slicing engine you're using as to what options you have. I use MakerWare (now MakerBot Desktop) which has many options for the support scaffolding as well as other useful settings for your situation. As someone else stated, adjusting the distance (even slightly) can make a world of difference in how easy the supports are removed. Also bear in mind that supports can be more difficult to remove with larger layer heights, so try printing in a lower layer height.
Often times, you shouldn't need to use support structures for a feature like this. I might suggest printing without supports at a reduced speed and lowered nozzle temperature. This will help ensure that the material hardens quicker, which becomes helpful higher along the arc.
Related to the suggestion above, you can focus your slicing setting on better bridging. This should give better control on feeds/speeds while "bridging" a gap between overhanging features. Some slicing engines allow you to specify a different layer height for these areas on the print.
So, I would try printing with reduced print speed, nozzle temperature(s), and layer height with supports. My machine has a range of 0.1mm to 0.3, but I've had more success printing between 0.12mm and 0.15mm layer height with scaffolding in mind.
Last suggestion (when absolutely all else fails) purchase some sort of dissolvable filament (ie PVA - water soluble) and set your scaffolding-to-part distance really close and print. Obviously this only works if you have a multi-extruder head or a lot of time on your hands to swap the materials and adjust the nozzle temperature for each layer (please don't do that...)
If your printer is printing support material that is too strongly attached, you can increase the space between the support and the part in some slicing softwares. On Cura it is located in the "expert settings" menu (you can open it by pressing Ctrl + E), under the "Support" text. Try fiddling with the "Z distance" setting until you find the right setting. You can also change the type of support and support infill amount and see if it have any positive or negative effect.
Edit : I think you should also redesign your part : it seems that it cannot lock the bushing on. The semicircle should be a bit smaller to have a bit of space between your two parts. This way the bushing will be secured firmly by the tightening force of the screws and precision should be less of an issue.
I believe the post by @tbm0115, covers many of the general options. However, I would also consider installing additional fans to improve cooling of the model during printing.
As pointed out by this excellent article, installing a fan can significantly reduce issues the from printing overhangs. Regarding the type of fan to get, they stated that:
It seems that the fan shroud you choose is less important than the fan type. The blower fan was consistently weighted above the stock 40 mm fan regardless of shroud. Using a blower also gives you the best possible airflow through any shroud you decide to use.
In addition - in my experience - adding having two or more fans blowing on the model from different directions will further improve overhang performance. This is because all parts of the print are less likely to experience lack of cooling due to wind shadow - or drag.
Here are all the ways I can think of:
Turn the temperature down just a little, which may reduce sagging
Crank up cooling, like bigger fan(s) aimed at the print, so it solidifies faster
Change orientation when possible (not in this case)
Use soluble support material, and wash it away afterwards (requires 2-head printer)
Pause the print as you go up, and insert support material manually (ick)
Omit support material at the very top
Machine out the support material afterwards with a more precise tool, like a drill or sander the same diameter as the bearing. I'm eagerly waiting for a BoxZY printer that can swap in a milling head in place of the extruder.
Remove support material as now, but if you remove too much, fill the gap after installing the bearing to prevent wobbling -- epoxy, hot-melt glue, melted PLA, etc. might work, depending on how the part will end up being used.
Add a set-screw to secure the bearing
Of course, these all have tradeoffs; but I hope at least one of them might help.
if I printed it in a different orientation it would delaminate too easily
If you flip it around, the orientation of the layers would be the same, except that you would print from top to bottom instead of bottom to top.
With the arch opening to the top, there would be no overhang. Without overhang, you don't need support structures (red). The holes for screw heads have flat roofs (green) that the printer should be able to gap by moving over them quickly.
Here's an image that shows the original orientation at the top and my proposed flipped orientation at the bottom. The blue lien is the print bed.
I had to design something rather like this, but I made the part that wraps around the pipe (pipe in my case - bushing in yours) into a separate piece that slotted into the main arch.
That way, the main arch could be printed with poor precision on the overhang, and the sleeve was printed on its side. It took a little work to make the slotting system fit well, but it was fine. The two arches screwed together to grip two sleeve sections. It also meant I could print the big parts quickly because their precision was less critical.
If - as you suggest - you absolutely have to print it this way, then how about pulling the top of the arch up a little; make it a bit "gothic" if you see what I mean. This is a variation on tjb1's idea above, but rather than have a flat at the top, organize it so there's a gentle point. That way, the printer isn't trying to draw a critical fitting over empty space, and the area that prints poorly is away from the bushing. You might have the slack to put supports back in.
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3D printer light. Variants and implementation
3DPrintStory    Reviews     3D printer backlight. Variants and implementation
Have you ever got up in the middle of the night to check how 3D printing is going and frantically illuminated with a flashlight from your mobile? Or do you want your 3D printer to look cooler in the dark? The backlight can illuminate the entire 3D printer, workspace, or even the printhead, so there's room for your creative choices.
Aside from aesthetics and better visibility, another benefit of proper lighting is webcam accuracy, which is essential for programs like The Spaghetti Detective to track 3D print failures.
In this article, we'll look at a few different lighting options for your 3D printer, print head, or entire desktop. However, before we present these options, let's discuss some of the specifics of your lighting setup.
What to Look for When Choosing a 3D Printer Light
There are several factors to consider when deciding which 3D printer light is best for you.
- Placement and Orientation: If you direct the light towards the center of the 3D printer, it will illuminate the area of the printed model. If you place the backlight outward, then this illumination will be enough not only for your part, but for the entire 3D printer.
- Power: 3D printer backlighting can be implemented through the printer's power supply or take a separate power supply. If your printer uses a motherboard that supports backlighting, such as the SKR Mini E3 V2 or MKS Robin E3D, you can connect a compatible light source (same voltage) directly to the printer. However, if your motherboard does not have this feature, you can power the lighting from an external source, such as a computer or wall socket.
- Color: If you need different colors, look for RGB (red, green and blue) lights that can produce any color. If you want a plain white light, we recommend that you choose a richer white color (brighter and whiter) for better illumination.
Now let's look at the options! Please note that although some of the suggested options are for the Ender 3, it is not difficult to change them for your specific 3D printer.
Illumination of the extruder zone on a 3D printer from profiles
The first option involves attaching an LED strip to your 3D printer's horizontal portal profile. Many 3D printers use aluminum V-groove profiles as part of the frame and gantry design, making them a great option for mounting LEDs. There are a huge number of options, it all depends on the number of tapes and your desires.
In essence, this lighting option for a 3D printer comes down to mounting an LED strip on a profile with a V-groove. Implementation may vary, there are many mounting options. For example, you can use mounting strips printed on a 3D printer and attach the LED strip to them already. Or mount the tape directly on the profile without using additional parts.
There is an interesting way to illuminate the extrusion zone with a flashlight. The Thingiverse link below will have a fastener that you can print and mount to your frame if you are using an Ender 3 3D printer. to the body, you can do it in other ways. There are many standard fixtures for lighting fixtures, so there are many options. As a general rule, these mounts are fine if you have a closed-case 3D printer.
You can 3D print fasteners yourself. For example, here is a variant of fixtures for LED strips. You can use screws or glue for fastening. The fasteners are pretty versatile.
There are options for more specialized LED strip fixtures for a specific 3D printer. For example, here is a mount for mounting on the body of a Prusa 3D printer. For example, these 3D printable models are designed to fit on the frame of a Prusa 3D printer.
3D Printer Arch Light
Another cool option that will take a bit more effort but will work great for lighting your 3D printer is the arch. After installing this arch with LEDs on your 3D printer table, you will be able to monitor both the 3D printing process and, in principle, use the large illuminated area for soldering and repairing small parts and assemblies. To make an arch, you will need a lot of 3D printed models and a rather large piece of LED strip, but the result is worth it.
3D printer light on print head
If you want to light the 3D print area directly, you can add light on the print head. This performance will help you directly illuminate the area of the current 3D print, as the source itself will move with the print head. Please note that due to the increased weight of the print head, additional noise and vibration may be generated, which may adversely affect the quality of 3D printing.