Settings + Printing

These  are our recommended settings, tips and tricks for PLA printing for our Revolution i3 3D Printer:

Your machine will come calibrated but it is an ongoing process throughout the life of the printer so we have listed the calibration process and the build documentation in the resource section.

Start with settings and printing techniques and calibrate further if needed.

Settings

Print Bed Adhesion:

  • Heated Bed:         Heat Bed Set for 60 °C 
  • No Heat Bed:        3M’s Scotch Blue Painters Tape 3″ For Mulit-Surfaces #2090.   3 Layers of tape, no overlap.  Tiny gaps are better than having overlap.

Extruder Temperature:       

  • 185-210°C PLA       *Note extruder cannot exceed 235°C

Pronterface Settings: 

  • Baud Rate of 250000
  • Leave the print speed at the default and let slic3r control the speed

Slicer Settings: 

  • First Layer Height:      Fine Detail 0.24mm | Very Fine Detail 0.14mm
  • Layer Height:                Fine Detail 0.20mm | Very Fine Detail 0.10mm
  • First layer width extrusion muliplier should be left at the default 200%

Printing

Getting The First Layer Right

The first layer is the most important part of any print.  There are a few things you need to do to get the first layer to stick well.

  1. You need the print bed (or print surface) to be level.
  2. You need the extruder to be homed to the correct height from the bed.
  3. You need a good base material for your PLA to adhere to.

 

Printing On Blue Tape

Blue Tape has been found to adhere well when using 3M’s ‘Scotch-Blue Painters Tape for Multi-Surfaces #2090′. This tape may be found in two inch rolls, or three inch rolls.The PLA will adhere to multiple layers, so it is advised to place down at least three layers of tape, before printing on a surface, to prevent damage to the print bed.

Blue Tape, or Painters Tape, is one of the easiest and fastest ways to get a great print from PLA.  Here is a quick checklist of things you want to make sure you are doing.

1  Check that the Blue Tape creates an even layer. Don’t miss any spots.  Don’t overlap the edges. it is better to have tiny
gaps between your strokes of masking tape, rather than having overlaps
2  Lay down front to back, not side to side.
3  Don’t heat the bed when using Blue Tape, it will not stick well to your PLA
4  Replace any tape strips that get damage when removing parts.
5  Replace the tape after 5-10 prints or when parts stop sticking.
6  If your first layer is not sticking – make sure the print head is close enough to make a nice squished line of PLA. If that doesn’t take care of your problem, you may want to increase the ‘first layer temperature’ 5 to 10 degrees (start with 5 and increase if necessary).

Blue Tape is not perfect but it is very easy to use and generally gives great results.  However, sometimes your parts can pull the tape up off the glass during printing, and you will see some warping when that happens. To reduce the Blue Tape from pulling up, we have had great results putting Blue Tape on top of PET tape.