FAQ

FAQ: Technical Issues

3D Printing
Leveling
Designing and Slicing
Filaments

3D Printing

I keep finding holes and gaps in the top layers of my models

  1. - In your main console or in the software rendering check the top/bottom thickness and raise it. 
  2. - Check your fill density and try rising it to reduce the size of the gaps
  3. - Make sure that your nozzle is an appropriate distance away from the bed to avoid any blockages that might occur.
  4. - Infill percentage is too low (try to keep it around 25%)

What to do if my layers are shifting or misaligned

  1. - First check the speed that your printing at, you may wish to slow it down to 50mm/s
  2. - To avoid the layers shifting try tightening the belt and screws on your bed / synchronous wheel.
  3. - Replace the motor or motherboard.

Stringing or oozing

  • 1. The movement speed on your printer is to fast or slow (strings for fast, ooz for slow)
  • 2. The Temperature on the machine is too high melting the filament to a point where it can’t solidify fast enough to make the print.
  • 3. Retraction speed
  • 4. Retraction distance
  • 5. Long movements over open spaces (you should naturally see a string or two there you can just remove them later).

What is the hotbed made out of?

Most hot beds are made from PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) or Aluminium

Where can I find the manual for my printer?

Right on the SD card that came with your printer, if you can't find it on there, please download on the product page or email us at Info@mechsolutions.com and well send you the manual through email.

How much infill should I set my slicer to use for my prints?

Infill can be low most of the time, like 10%. Unless you need something solid because it will be squeezed between fasteners keep my infill low. Play with it in layer view to see where the internal support lines will be as it can affect the top layers of your model. Infill can be low most of the time, like 10%. Unless you need something solid because it will be squeezed between fasteners keep my infill low. Play with it in layer view to see where the internal support lines will be as it can affect the top layers of your model.

When I print my an object it appears in the center of the bed in my slicer software but it prints in the front left corner of the bed, why?

Make sure "Machine center is Zero" is unchecked in your Cura printer settings. On the CR-10 the 0,0,0 coordinate is the front left corner of the bed.

Stringing or oozing

  • 1. The Fan isn’t working
  • 2. The printer has been running for too long
  • 3. Your printing too quickly
  • 4. You are printing at to high of a temperature
  • 5. Trying to print multiple parts at once.

The fan on the front of the hot end is on all the time but the one on the right isn't spinning, is that normal?

Fan in front should be on when the printer is on. Fan on the right is only on when told to turn on, by the gcode, when printing. If you have the opposite then it means your fans were switched when they were plugged into the control board. It has happened to others before. Just open up the case, locate the two sets of fan wires and unplug/switch/replug them on the board.

I've ordered the printer, what should I do/get while I wait for it?

-Get a micro SD card extension cable. The microSD slot on the printer is fragile and you want to minimize the wear and tear on that part.

-Get a few 1kg spools of PLA, what comes with the printer isn't much.

-Get some decent 6 or 7 inch tweezers for when you need to grab a glob of molten plastic off the hot nozzle.

-Consider getting Raspberry Pi 3b to run Octoprint if you have Wifi at home, it really is more convenient.

What's the max temperature my printer can go up to?

All printers are different, be sure to check the product discription page to see what it's maxium temperature is.

My motors skip steps at even the littlest resistance.

If you notice that your aixs are skipping steps very easily, there is a high probability that the stepper motor driver current is not set properly causing the voltage given to the motor to be to low. Please contact us and we will walk you through the process of tuning your stepper motor drivers in according to the stpepper motors installed.

My Motors are running hot after a few miniutes.

If your motor is extremely hot after less than 30 mins of operation that could mean that you might need to adjust the voltage on the stepper motor drivers because it might be too high. You also should also print a calibration cube or any model of your choice to confirm that the print is accurate or not.

I printed a model I found or made and all the layers are shifted, what can I do.

There is a multitude of scenarios that can cause these issues. But we will start with the simplest possible solutions. The first step we are going to do is to check all the belts and make sure the tension is adequate along all the axis that use them. If after tightening all the axis the problem persists you might want to check the preload on the derlin v slot extrusion wheels and make sure that they are not held too tightly against the v slot extrusion. If your printer does not use the v slot extrusions for the axis movements but instead uses chrome plated linear shafts and linear ball bearings you should check the integrity of the linear ball bearings to make sure that they are not damaged as running prints with damaged linear ball bearings can also cause the linear chrome plated shafts to become damaged. If this problem still presists after following the steps listed above please consult us as you might need to recalibrate the stepper motor voltage.

My LCD does not show anything ?

If your LCD does not show anything then there a multitude of things that could be the issue. The first step is to check the connection from the motherboard to the LCD screen. Please make sure that the exp1 on the motherboard is set to the exp1 on the LCD screen and the same goes for the exp2 option on the lcd screen. If the problem still persists try to connect to the printer from cura or other well known slicers and send simple commands such as auto home, move x axis 10mm , etc to check if the printer is functioning properly or not. If those commands are okay on the printer most likely the LCD is damaged, if so you can contact us for a replacement part or if your product is no longer under warranty please contact us regarding which LCD screen you need to purchase for the applicable model. If commands are not being executed on the 3d printer then that means you board could also be damaged. Please contact us if the problem still presists.

My temperature is fluctuating, what should I do.

If your nozzle or bed temperature is fluctuating please follow the steps below to trouble shoot the issue.

If you have recently changed the thermistor or the heater cartridge, please make sure that the replacement part matches the specification of the one the printer came with.

If you still have the orignal thermistor that came with the printer, you might need to replace it as it might be damaged.

If you have recently updated the firmware please try reverting it back to the a older version of the firmware or contact us or the manufacturer for the firmware file.

If all this still does not fix your issues please contact your retailer or manufacturer for a replacement board as your board might be damaged.

Leveling

How can I get my bed leveled?

First level the bed using a sheet of paper as described in the manual (you read it, right?). Remember to do this while the bed and hot end are both at the temperature you plan to print at. Use little adjustments of 1/8 to 1/4 turn and go round and round the four corners several times until every corner feels about right, using the paper method. Once you have that you are in the ballpark of level. Next print the version 3 bed level calibration file found here http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2188146

Print the file then look at each corner. Ideally you want it so that each line of filament in the square it touching its neighbor so that they form one flat surface, not a bunch of disconnected bars. That means you have enough "squish". Next feel the top of the squares so that they are relatively smooth. If they feel ridged and you can see scars where the nozzle traveled across them then you are squishing too much and the nozzle is extruding more plastic than there is room for. Depending on what you find in each corner I adjust that corner up or down and print again until you have nice squares that are neither ridged nor loose bars.

 I still can't get my bed level, at best I get the corners printing well but the center is too close/far. Help!

Lots of people report this problem with the original glass that comes with the printer. For many that glass is not of even thickness which causes the center to bow or sag. Try flipping the glass over and re-level to see if one side is better. Make sure to mark the sides with tape or something so you can tell which is which later on. If neither side gives good result then get yourself a new piece of glass. Get a piece cut at a local glass shop, buy a mirror tile of the right size, or cut a mirror or piece of glass to the right size. Some advocate borosilicate glass while others have success with plain mirrors so read up on it and decide what you prefer. For many people that were having levelling problems changing the glass made all the difference.

The center of my bed is sagging all the time, what can I do?

You can add support and a leveling point near the center of the bed using http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2168244 Be aware this adds a fifth leveling point so level your corners first then in small steps use this wedge jack to support the center until it is level.

What should I have as a surface to print PLA?

Tons of options and preferences. You can use tape, tape washed with isopropyl alcohol, 1:10 mix of white PVA glue with water applied as a thin layer, dissapearing purple glue stick applied as a thin layer, super hold hairsray like Aqua Net, a sheet of PEI glued to glass, plain glass, glass that has been roughed up with sand paper, commercial build surfaces like BuildTak, Zebra plates, and more. There's no one answer but try the ones you want until you find what works best for you.

I can't get my print leveled at all in the centre, what should I do.

Sometimes the glass provided by Creality3d is bowed from the centre during the manufacturing process. This can some times be fixed by flipping the piece of glass and retrying the leveling procedure. and If you experience this issue please contact us and we will be able to tell you if it is eligible for a replacement.

Designing and Slicing

What layer height should I use?

In general the thinner the layer the better the print resolution which means your print will look better. It also means the print will take longer. For example a print using 0.2mm layers will take twice as long as a print using 0.4mm layers.

Other than quality and speed you also need to factor your nozzle diameter. For best accuracy you should keep your layer height between 1/4 and a bit over 1/2 of the nozzle diameter. In addition to faster print speed with thicker layers you also get comparatively stronger layer adhesion (layers less likely to split apart when under stress). This gives you a spectrum of choice from slow with fine details to fast with less details but stronger. In other words use thinner layers for pretty prints and thicker layers for functional prints.

Finally the CR-10 has a four start, 2mm pitch, 8mm lead screws which means that for a full step of the Z stepper motor the Z travel is 0.04mm. Although our printer can certainly hande 0.01mm Z steps it is most accurate on full steps. At full steps the stepper motor can hold/lock the Z axis better and there is less chance of a slight Z shift while the print moves around in the X and Y (which causes shaking). Because of that you should get maximum precision on the Z axis when your layer height is an even multiple of 0.04mm. Use these values with the stock nozzle for layer height for best print quality, regardless of your choice of thin or thick layers. 0.12mm 0.16mm 0.2mm 0.24mm

What software should I use to print?

We advise using Cura, although many other slicing software’s work with Creality printers.

I found something online I want to print, how to I get my printer to do it?

The files you get online are most often in the STL format. You printer works by following instructions in a Gcode file. You need to use a slicer program to process the STL into Gcode for your printer. In other words STL = blueprint. Gcode = Instruction. Feed the blueprint to the foreman (slicer) to produce instructions (Gcode). Then feed the Gcode to the worker (printer). Read more about slicers here https://pinshape.com/blog/3d-slicer-settings-5-things-you-need-to-know-about-3d-printing-software/ The most popular slicers are Cura, Slic3r, and Simplify3D. The first two are free and the third is $150 USD. They each have their advantages and you will get good results with any of them.

What software should I use to design my own models.

You can use any CAD software to generate your own models. You can print them as long as your CAD software supports STL files as an export option. Some commonly used softwares are Solidworks, Autodesk Inventor, Fusion 360 and Tinkercad.

Where can I find free online models to print

We highly recommend Thingiverse for cool 3d printing projects that you can print. Thinigverse is a community driven online platform that lets users share their 3d printing creation.

Filaments

My Printer isn't extruding at the start of my print.

If your filament isn't flowing at the begining of your print there are common issues that might be affecting it. 

1. The Extruder was not preheated before the start of a print

2. The extruder itself is clogged.

3. The filament has been broken by the drive gear (meaning the drive gear was to tight and damaging the filament)

4. The nozzle was too close to the bed causing the filament to shoot back up into the extruder.

Where can I find things to print?

*) Thingiverse - http://www.thingiverse.com/

*) YouMagine - https://www.youmagine.com/

*) STLFinder (search engine) - https://www.stlfinder.com/

*) Yeggi (search engine) - http://www.yeggi.com/

*) Shapeways (can also 3D print for you) - https://www.shapeways.com/

*) My Mini Factory - https://www.myminifactory.com/

*) Cookie Caster (create custom cookie cutters) - http://www.cookiecaster.com/

*) Image to Lithophane - http://3dp.rocks/lithophane/

Why is my printer only extruding tiny amounts of filament?

There are two reasons that can cause your extruder to only put out a little bit of filament at a time.

1. The Settings on your GCODE have the wrong nozzle size (have a 0.4 mm nozzle but told Cura that you were using 0.2)

2. You need to increase the extrusion multiplier so that enough filament gets extruded.

3. There is a large blockage in your nozzle that’s stopping the filament from flowing.

The nozzle is not extruding filament? What's wrong?

The extruder motor will not turn when your nozzle is not at 100c or higher. This is a safety feature to protect the nozzle from having cold hard filament shoved into it.

Make sure that in your slicer settings your filament is set to 1.75mm and not 2.85mm or 3mm.

Your nozzle is clogged or the filament has gotten clogged somewhere in the heat break.

Stop the print. Heat the nozzle 5-10 degrees hotter than you were printing then pull the filament out (by holding the extruder open with one hand and yanking with the other. If you're lucky you'll pull the whole thing out in one go. Let's assume that happens. You'll see that at the end of the filament is a wide bulb like part. This is the part that got too wide to fit into the nozzle. This can happen when your retraction settings are too high and/or your filament stalls because the spool locks up (knots in the filament for example).

Now cut off the end of the filament to remove the bad part. Inspect the filament for areas where the extruder may have ground away parts of the filament when trying to push past the clog and make sure you cut away to above those parts. Make cut diagonal to make it easier to feed the filament back in.

Open the extractor and insert the freshly cut filament back into the bowden tube. Make sure your nozzle is at printing temperature. Push the filament in with your hand until you feel the resistance and start seeing plastic come out of the nozzle. Keep pushing until the plastic comes out nice and straight and clean. You're ready to print again!

Can I use 2.85 mm or 3 mm filament with 3D Printers using 1.75mm filament?

You cannot use filament other than 1.75 mm unless you do substantial modifications to the extruder, bowden system, hot end throat, and nozzle. These are not trivial modifications so unless you are prepared to modify most of the parts that handle the filament then you would be better to stick with 1.75 mm filament. That being said there are modifications out there that use the E3D volcano that get you most of the way to being able to print 2.85 mm filament. Do your research if you want to go this route.

My extruder is making clicking noises what should I do?

If you experience clicking noises coming from the extruder while it is printing that means that the path of the filament is being obstructed. This can be caused by a multitude of issues which include but are not limited to un-leveled bed, clogged nozzle damaged PTFE tubing or a un-calibrated extruded stepper motor.

There is a poping noise coming from the printer during the printing process

The poping noise normally comes because there is too much moisture in the filament being extruded. This happens especially if the filament has been outside its vacuum sealed container for too long. This causes the moisture to seep into the filament which will ruin your print quality. Please store your filament in a cool and dry place, preferably in a box along with silica gel to absorb any moisture. If this was a brand new roll of filament please contact us as the vaccum sealed package might be damaged.