Sudden Problems With my Printer

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awake

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I use a very lighth coat of plumber's silicone grease applied to and then wiped off of the outside of my nozzle to minimze plastic globbing.
Interesting idea - I'll have to give that a try!
 

CFLBob

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Looks pretty good at a glance.
How is the adhesion?
.
Not perfect but still much better than a couple of days ago.

I have the Z offset set to .07mm, which means I used my .004 feeler ga. and put the nozzle .001 lower.

This whole issue with not getting good adhesion is new. It's in a room with an air conditioner and isn't really far away from it. I think it's possible that air currents are cooling the filament more than it can handle. I should try a print before I turn the A/C on.
 

Rb72

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I replaced the bed leveling springs with the yellow springs. Seemed to help and maintain the bed level longer.
 

CFLBob

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I replaced the bed leveling springs with the yellow springs. Seemed to help and maintain the bed level longer.
Do you what the mechanism it fixed was? I mean, are they taking out backlash while adjusting the knobs or what?

It seems hard to imagine the plastic would weigh so much that it compressed the springs.
 

Rb72

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I upgraded them based on others stating it helped maintain the leveling. I have to really fight to get my prints off the blue tape I use. They are flat on both ends so they appear to even the tension out on the adjusting wheels. They only cost $5 so if it helped a little it was worth the investment.
 

CFLBob

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I upgraded them based on others stating it helped maintain the leveling. I have to really fight to get my prints off the blue tape I use. They are flat on both ends so they appear to even the tension out on the adjusting wheels. They only cost $5 so if it helped a little it was worth the investment.
Thanks.

I'm about to do my experiment of not letting any fans or the air conditioner in the shop run. Those sound like something to keep in mind.
 

CFLBob

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Thanks.

I'm about to do my experiment of not letting any fans or the air conditioner in the shop run. Those sound like something to keep in mind.
Turning off all fans and A/C not only didn't work, it was worse than yesterday. The print level adjustments were all way off. Filament stuck to the bed a little but not everywhere and the extruder swept up filaments as it went by.
 

gunna

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Just looking at those test print squares, have you tried turning the mat around 180 degrees front to back and printing again? My Ender 3 has developed a low spot on the mat right in the centre, not low enough to affect adhesion but enough to prevent a flat-bottomed item to be printed there. If your problem spot moves to the front right then it is the mat, if not, then ignore my pondering!
Ian.
 

CFLBob

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My printer's bed is glass. It's over something else, but the surface I work on is glass.

More about today. When I first tried to print the same file as yesterday, the print was almost invisible. Very thin. I aborted the print and redid the bed leveling with my .0040" A&W root beer can feeler gauge. All four corners were too high and I couldn't squeeze the feeler under the nozzle. How does the clearance go down overnight?

I think the head got lower. In frustration, I decided I'm dumping the open source software and getting the latest version from Creality (mostly since I didn't keep a copy when I upgraded to Jyers' SW last week). Do the update and it comes up in Chinese on my display. After spending a half hour looking at ways around that online, I stumbled across a way to make it display in English on its little controller. Then I find it won't even home the Z axis It goes over to the center right of the table and stops with extruder about 2" above the bed. In frustration, I had to go back to the Jyer's build. Nothing works as well as it did a few weeks ago and I have no idea why.

A few people have mentioned having an Ender 3 or 3V2. Does anyone have a build of firmware for the printer that works well?

The software I switched to last week is widely recommended,
and the exact package I've been using is:
E3V2-Default-v4.2.2-v1.3.5.b.bin
 

RM-MN

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i have an Ender 3 that I upgraded to a glass bed. I have to occasionally clean the glass surface with rubbing alcohol to get the filament to stick. Then I have to wait until the bed cools at the end of the print to get the object off as it sticks so well.
 

dsage

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I have the Ender3 V2 using the firmware below.
I set the bed leveling at 3thou with a feeler gauge but a tight-ish slip of paper works ok too. Multiple go-rounds required.
I found the center of my glass plate bed a bit loose but I ignore it without issue.
For PLA I set the extruder temp at 200 and the bed at 60.
I use the defaults in Cura for everything except I set the temps as above in Cura.
BTW if you are setting the temps manually via the front panel preparation, the Gcode will override them so be sure they don't change when you start to print.
The prints stick fine to the supplied V2 treated glass plate (with the pattern on it) for PLA when cleaned with alcohol.
But if I flip the plate over to the plain glass side (and re level) and use glue stick the prints stick too well and I can't get them off even when cool without a lot of prying (too much stick).
I found the plain glass plate and glue stick necessary for ABS. Which is a whole other issue. ABS would not stick to the Ender prepared side of the plate.
I assume your extruder is heating properly or you'd have extruding issues. But it might be worth checking the bed temperature for accuracy.
This firmware works for me but your results may vary. The only reason I upgraded it was that my printer was shipped with a version less than 1.0
This one reports V2.0.7.2 in the info menu on the front panel.
 

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CFLBob

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Thanks, @dsage. I think that was the software I was running before all this started. My printer (I bought it in early January of this year) also came with relatively old SW and I updated it once before I even started trying to print anything. It might be grasping at straws to think the problems out of nowhere come from software, but it all started when I changed to the Jyers SW.

I have to say that I like the Jyers software, and some things seem hard to blame on the SW, but it's the common thing. I swapped the filament from the PLA+ I started having troubles with back to plain PLA and that made no difference. SW is the next thing to try.
 

dsage

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The one I sent can not be the same as any one you already had?
Because I gave it that name so it wont be the same as any others I was trying at the time.
I gave file name the date and exact time I compiled it so it wouldn't be the same as one I had tried a few minutes before.
Yes I compiled this one with Platformio from what was the latest version available at the time rather than use someone else's version. There are a ton of options in the compile files (and a real pain) to get it correct. I just used the basic printer defaults.
I guess you realize that the name of the binary file must be different every time you try to load a new binary to the printer otherwise it will not load. I believe it will just ignore the file and continue with what is already on the printer without any comment.
Good luck. As with standard troubleshooting procedure - step back to what used to work and don't change more than one thing at a time before you go forward.
 

awake

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Bob, a couple of thoughts. One is that the bed leveling procedure with the feeler is primarily a leveling procedure - the goal is to get the bed as close to level with the print head as possible. Yes, depending on the type of z-axis limit (microswitch, inductive sensor, etc.), this may also let you set the z-axis distance - but keep in mind that switches and sensors may give slightly different results at different times, as a function of ambient temperature, dirty contacts, distance from the edge of the bed (for inductive sensors), phase of the moon ...

Thus, I would recommend using the bed leveling procedure just to level, and then work on setting a z-offset to adjust the actual distance to the bed - and this can and often will need to be done experimentally with a few test prints. I am not familiar with the particular version you are running, but I run stock Marlin on my printer. There is a z-offset setting that may be accessible from the front panel menu - on my setup, with the particular display and options I have, it is under Control->Motion->Z-probe offset.

I have also seen / read people talking about dialing in the offset "on the fly" as the first layer is printing. I've never tried this, but those who do it seem to talk about it as a normal part of the printing process.

On edit: since you were getting good results until recently, I'm wondering if your printer uses a microswitch to determine the home position for Z. If so, I wonder if the switch may have some dirt or corrosion in the contacts that is making it inconsistent. Might be worth spraying some contact cleaner in and working the switch several times - ?
 

CFLBob

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The one I sent can not be the same as any one you already had?
Because I gave it that name so it wont be the same as any others I was trying at the time.
I gave file name the date and exact time I compiled it so it wouldn't be the same as one I had tried a few minutes before.
Yes I compiled this one with Platformio from what was the latest version available at the time rather than use someone else's version. There are a ton of options in the compile files (and a real pain) to get it correct. I just used the basic printer defaults.
I guess you realize that the name of the binary file must be different every time you try to load a new binary to the printer otherwise it will not load. I believe it will just ignore the file and continue with what is already on the printer without any comment.
Good luck. As with standard troubleshooting procedure - step back to what used to work and don't change more than one thing at a time before you go forward.
No such sophistication about the file. I was just going by the date in the file name. Not like I don't change filenames all the time myself.

It actually works well and looks like the SW I was using. Looking at the Creality support website, my guess is that at some point right after I got the printer, I probably got the January of 2021 update.
 

CFLBob

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On edit: since you were getting good results until recently, I'm wondering if your printer uses a microswitch to determine the home position for Z. If so, I wonder if the switch may have some dirt or corrosion in the contacts that is making it inconsistent. Might be worth spraying some contact cleaner in and working the switch several times - ?
That's a good thought, and yes, it's a microswitch. They're on all axes. Having worked with them, I have to say at least some versions aren't very repeatable. Maybe higher priced switches in the product line are better than the ones I tested. The two major things I've done since the first time I set up the printer and got it going is that I moved it from one bench to another in my shop and this leveling with the software update.

I was looking at the specs on the printer yesterday and I noticed it specified X/Y precision of 0.2mm. There's no equivalent number for Z. I don't think that means 0.2mm per step, but rather total repeatability. When you consider the .004 feeler gage I'm using is 0.1mm, it doesn't give me much confidence it gets there repeatably. Which makes your observation of doing a live, manual setting of the Z offset every time you start a print make a lot more sense.
 

dsage

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You can easily test the Z microswitch repeatability / accuracy. Write yourself some Gcode or connect to the printer with something that can send Gcode. Send the Z axis home command or move the Z to zero (where it will touch the bed or be a particular distance) and then send it repeatedly up some fixed distance and then back to zero. It should repeat. Microswitches are normally VERY repeatable.
BTW. I found almost everything that was assembled at the factory needed going over with a machinist square and the allen keys. Perhaps moving it threw something off?
Something binding.?
I tested mine with a 123 block to be sure it would accurately move the commanded amount.

Did you try / confirm the temperatures I suggested and use the 3thou feeler gauge?
Bed adhesion is most often the zero height of which bed leveling is only one part and the temperature and condition of the surface plate.
 

Outback

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Bed must be cold to remove parts, I usually give the bed a good wipe with IPA thats rubbing alcohol not Indian Pale Ale unless after 5pm. I then rub a bit of glue stick in a zig-zag over the bed. Next pour a big mob of IPA on the bed a use it with a paper to spead it around. Bung the heater on and your good to go. I assume its the coated glass side we are talking about.
Brian
 

CFLBob

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You can easily test the Z microswitch repeatability / accuracy. Write yourself some Gcode or connect to the printer with something that can send Gcode. Send the Z axis home command or move the Z to zero (where it will touch the bed or be a particular distance) and then send it repeatedly up some fixed distance and then back to zero. It should repeat. Microswitches are normally VERY repeatable.
BTW. I found almost everything that was assembled at the factory needed going over with a machinist square and the allen keys. Perhaps moving it threw something off?
Something binding.?
I tested mine with a 123 block to be sure it would accurately move the commanded amount.

Did you try / confirm the temperatures I suggested and use the 3thou feeler gauge?
Bed adhesion is most often the zero height of which bed leveling is only one part and the temperature and condition of the surface plate.
I hadn't thought of going over everything again for fastener tightness, and ensuring it's all square, but I used a machinist square while I was putting it together.

The move itself (carrying from one bench to the other, so maybe walking 8 feet) was last April and I've printed many things with no issues. The oddities I started seeing last week that led to this post showed up then. I can think of one print that had a corner that lifted a little but was still usable.

It occurred to me after that post that the microswitches I tested at work were (1st) a different model - the ones with a roller on the end - and (2nd) the production several years ago. Although I still wonder at it, this Christmas is my sixth full year of retirement.

I haven't measured the bed temperature, but have one of those IR sensors. My feeler is a slice of A&W root beer can that my micrometer says is .0040" thick. I've tried the software that @dsage offered, above, and had my best results of all. I then switched back to the Jyers software and printed a set of those bed level-checking squares and had some issues in spots. In some corners, there's too much plastic, a small blob. In other spots, it still didn't adhere well. That was while using the "purple school glue" on the bed.

I should point out that the filament I'm using, eSun PLA+, says that the bed doesn't generally need to be heated and I've done several prints without having the bed heat on at all.

I've cleaned the bed with water, isopropyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, and acetone, though not all at once (that was a joke). For removing the school glue, I find plain water works better than all of them, but I really go through paper towels with it.

I suppose my biggest question at this point is what exactly the Z offset in the Jyers software should be used for. While the .004 gap is almost 0.1mm exactly, I've had better results setting the Z offset a little lower than that, like .08mm, which is bit under a full thou less than .004 (.003150).

And that's all I can think of.
 

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