After some month of use of the Tobeca printer and a lot of time spent to find the right settings, this post is summarizing my experience. I mostly worked with PLA because I was not really fan of using acetone and abs+ acetone mix on a 80°C heating plate, so I’ll not yet detail how to setup ABS, but why not later. So this post is about PLA, about temperature, about adherence and Repetier settings.
I had lots of difficulties to work with my first white PLA, after changing it for another it worked really better. So as a conclusion, do not choose any low cost PLA ; it is really better to select a PLA brand you know and you trust and order that one. A low cost pla will save a little money but will cost a lot of time. The one I ordered here is the good one.
PLA and temperature
Basically PLA is printing at 220°C with a heating board that can be ambient ; my problem was that on ambient temperature the PLA never adhered to the board. My big mistake was to higher the board temperature from 50 to 70°C, this solution is really good to get the PLA adhere to the board but by doing that, the object will be distort. The following picture shows you how your object look like if the board Temperature is too high :
So my settings for my PLA are now Head temperature : 225°C and board temperature 35°C. This gives me the best results. like this :
PLA and adherence
That’s said I still had the problem of making the 3d piece to adhere to the board, with a Temperature of 30°C for the board, the PLA do not adhere. I’m using the classical 3M blue adhesive but it is not working as easy as this. I found a solution on Internet : clean the adhesive with acetone and use hair spray. This is working very well.
The only problem is that hair spray adhere only a few time (I mean the one I ue is like that) so you need to spray it just at the start of the print and you need to put a lot on the board to ensure it will make 1 minute to be dry and not adhesive anymore.
If any of you have a product to recommend, I would be really happy to know ! leave us a comment !
By-the-way, the more important thing to get you PLA adhere to the board is to have a distance from head to board well configured. Since I did this I do not need to use hair spray anymore, to be clear my PLA is now really hard to remove from the blue adhesive !
The solution was, first to drill the setting screw hole a little bit larger than they are initially just adding a millimeter other wize the plate movement are limited and the setting difficult. Once done, put the head of the printer on the 4 corner and set the screw to only have the height of two paper sheet between head and board as explained in the manual. The result I obtained by doing this is drastically different from my first print.
Another problem I got was on the print of the first layer where the quality was really bad. You can see how it looked like :
You can see that the different net are not really parallel, you have holes and mountains, the result is not really nice. My mistake was to try to print in High Quality with 0.1mm layer ; here the net are too small and not really touching each others they are not adhere correctly to the board and I assume, as it is not easy to calibrate the Z axe, too far of the board for the first layer.
Finally I’m getting really better results when printing in Quick mode where the precision is 0.3mm as this way nets are collapsing and correctly adhere to the board.
I assume there is another way to do it (not yet tested) : in the Slic3r configuration tool, your can change the print setting
You can set a specific height for the first layer. Here it is 100% ; so equal to others ; but your can change it of 0.3mm when it is set to 0.1 for the others. By doing this you can solve this problem and get better result like this :
On the left you can see a 0.3mm first layer ; on the right a 0.1mm first layer.
The skirt is a necessary thing to ensure the PLA is ready to print the piece as the first centimeters can be in trouble. The problem is as the PLA is not fully ready, it adhere not really well on the board and at the end, the skirt can be in the middle of the piece itself. I used a Makerbot and the skirt was far away from the piece and not around the piece (it was in a corner) which was really good ; I never found how to setup slic3r for this (comment welcome) so I changed the distance with the piece to put 15mm with only 2 loops. The result is better regarding my tests.
Hope these different elements will help you and save your time. As 3d printing is a never end setting experimentation, your feedback are welcome and this post is subject to updates !