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3D Printer Re-calibration

It’s been six months since we moved to Seattle, so I thought it was finally time to get my 3D printer out of mothballs. Well, at least that giant box full of Styrofoam peanuts.

I hadn’t left it in a great state the last time I used it. ABS plastic had gotten stuck in the nozzle, and heated to the point where it was a bit crunchy. So, first I had to burn the ABS out from the brass nozzle, using a propane torch (but minus the alcohol bath, because I’m really not fond of unnecessary fireballs).

After cleaning out the nozzle assembly, I screwed it back into the MakerGear GrooveMount and it was a little tough going, so I used a wrench to tighten it some more… and promptly cracked the entire GrooveMount in half because I torqued it way beyond what it was designed to withstand.

Oops.

So… enter a week of waiting for my shiny new GrooveMount.

Got that in an mounted last night, and started trying to print some calibration objects, and immediately ran into a temperature problem. Let’s back up.

I had installed the latest version of the Marlin firmware, and am now using Repetier-Host (Mac) to run the printer. However, the PID settings I had pre-set for the hot end were resulting in the temperature never actually hitting the target, but hovering about 10ºC below. Thankfully, I found out that the Marlin firmware now auto-calibrates PID settings, which gave me much more accurate temperature control. After about 4 minutes of setting the target temp, my hot end now settles in with only fluctuating within a degree or so of the target.

Now, I’m back to following the calibration advice here, here, and here, to get things back in ship-shape.

More to come once I get everything re-calibrated.

You should check out my podcast about movie magic and VFX: The Optical.