STEPS TO FOLLOW BEFORE 3D PRINTING…

For the best possible 3D printing experience, it is good to know how to start the 3D printing process in the first place. Some things may seem too basic, but as long as you stick to them, you will definitely get a perfect 3D model from your 3D printer. Are you interested in the most important steps to follow before 3D printing?

Koraki pred 3D printanjem

DESIGNING A 3D MODEL

Once a model is finished in 3D design software, it still needs to be prepared using a special kind of software, called “slicer”, such as FlashPrint that translates the model into the script of machine instructions. After importing your 3D model to the slicer, you can adjust the settings to meet your requirements. You can use the slicer to set many important parameters, such as 3D printing speed and temperature, wall thickness, infill percentage, layer height, and many others.

The resulting file represents G-code, the “language” of 3D printers and CNC machines. G-code is essentially a long list of instructions that the 3D printer will follow to build your model.

FlashPrint slicer
FlashPrint slicer

PREPARING THE SUPPORTS TO 3D PRINT THE MODEL

For a high-quality final 3D model, it is often necessary to add supports for overhanging parts. One of the main functions of the “slicer” is to analyze the model and determine whether it should create supports or not. It allows you to choose where to place the supports and how densely they should be placed. Some even offer users the option of choosing different types of support structures, usually made of PVA or HIPS material.

Podpore za 3D printanje

3D PRINTING FILAMENT STORAGE

Filament storage is one of the important aspects of 3D printing, especially if you have several spools opened, which can absorb too much moisture. It is best to use the opened filament as soon as possible, otherwise, store it in a vacuum-packed package or a Filament Drying Station. The latter was made precisely for these purposes.

FlashForge Drying Station

PREPARING YOUR 3D PRINTER

Like all devices, 3D printers also need regular maintenance to run smoothly. It is necessary to follow a few steps so that the 3D printer is ready to work properly.

1. Build plate cleaning:

After 3D printing, it is always recommended to wipe the build plate well. If there is glue on it, feel free to use a kitchen sponge, soap, and warm water to try and get rid of it. If available, make sure to follow any instructions from the printer manufacturer.

Koraki pred 3D printanjem - čiščenje delovne podloge
Koraki pred 3D printanjem - čiščenje šobe

2. Nozzle cleaning:

Simply clean the nozzle before you start 3D printing. This ensures that there is no solid filament stuck in it, which may cause trouble with future prints.

3. Removal of the excess filament:

Most 3D printers use a small amount of filament to prime the extruder and drop it through the nozzle onto the build plate before starting on the first layer. The extruder must be ready to extrude the filament before printing begins. Before you start 3D printing the first layer, remove the excess filament to keep the work surface clean.

Koraki pred 3D printanjem - odstanjevanje filamenta
Koraki pred 3D printanjem - nalaganje filamenta

4. Loading filament:

The loading process begins by heating the hotend to the melting temperature of the filament, which is usually above 175 °C, depending on the type of filament. It is best to manually insert the filament into the extruder to ensure that it will start to melt and flow into the nozzle.

5. Build plate leveling:

In order for the printer to accurately extrude the filament and make the object, the build plate must be leveled. Calibration is done before using the 3D printer for the first time. It can be done manually or automatically, depending on the 3D printer.

Koraki pred 3D printanjem - nalaganje filamenta

NOW YOU ARE READY FOR 3D PRINTING…

Now you know the most important steps to follow before 3D printing. By following them, you will certainly be ready for 3D printing. Well, your 3D printer will be. Many times it would be faster to skip some steps, but for a really high-quality final product, it is recommended to stick them.