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Using the printers

Hevo

Hevo is a custom printer built by us in the Skystone 2019-2020 season. It features a 230x290x300 dual-sided glass bed and very precise direct drive extruder. It is mostly based on the Hypercube Evolution 3D open-source printer.

It’s running the Klipper firmware and Mainsail web interface.

Pre-print

Before printing, make sure that the nozzle is clean, free of any debris from previous prints. If the nozzle has plastic on it, heat up the printer to the material’s temperature (see table above) and clean the debtis using metal tweezers.

Depending on the material you’re printing with, use the right bed surface. There is a table below.

Material Surface
PLA, ABS Use the BuildTak surface (rough, black side of the glass). Clean the surface before each print.
PETG, PC Use the glass surface, sprayed with Syoss Shine&Hold hairspray. Please reapply hairspray before each print.

Always calibrate the bed after each build plate swap. To calibrate the bed, ensure that the nozzle is clean. Enter main menu (press LCD knob once), navigate to the Calibration section, then hit Level bed. The printer will heat up the bed and probe a 10x10 matrix of points. This procedure will last about 15 minutes.

Cleaning the BuildTak Surface

  1. Take the plate off the printer
  2. Clean the surface using a rag and isopropyl alcohol.
  3. Mount the plate back into the printer. Don’t forget to secure the plate using clips.

Always calibrate the bed after cleaning the surface.

Applying the Syoss Shine&Hold Hairspray

  1. Take the plate off the printer
  2. Clean the bed using soap and water. You may need to scrub the old spray from the glass. Use a sponge.
  3. Reinstall the glass plate into the printer and heat up to 60C. After heating, take the glass plate out.
  4. Spray from 10cm away from the plate.
  5. Mount the plate back into the printer. Don’t forget to secure the plate using clips.

Always calibrate the bed after applying hairspray.

Printing

Watch the first layer while it prints. It may be the case for the first layer not to stick, or to be too squished down.

In such cases, we can adjust the height in realtime. Enter the main menu, navigate to Tune section and adjust the Offset Z parameter. Negative values move the nozzle towards the bed, positive values move the nozzle away from the bed.

Maintenance

Hevo is a bit rough on the maintenance side of things. Loading and unloading filament can be slightly dauting at first.

Unloading filament

  1. Heat the printer to material’s temperature
  2. Use the Unload Filament option in Filament section
  3. Pull the filament out of the bowden tube
  4. Cooldown the printer
  5. Unscrew the orange nut that keeps the spool holder locked and take the spool out

Loading filament

  1. Put the spool in the holder and secure it using the orange nut
  2. Cut the end of the filament into a sharp bit using pliers or angle cutters
  3. Heat the printer to material’s temperature
  4. Push the filament in until it reaches the end of the tube and cannot be pushed anymore
  5. Use the Load Filament option in Filament section. Keep pushing the filament until the printer catches it and pulls it on its own. It might help to lift extruder’s lever arm and manually insert it into the hotend.
  6. Cooldown the printer

Calibrating BLTouch probe Z offset

To be written

Prusa (Envy, Malice, Spite)

Pre-print

Printing

Materials

Here we have a list of materials that we have in our workplace. There are diffrences in required printing temperatures for each printer.

Note: The slicer profiles for Prusa’s has ready-made presets for each material. Prefer using the builtin temperature preset instead of the ones on this page.

PLA

PLA is a hard, britle material that is very easy to print, as it does not have any thermal shrinkage. Altrough it seems like a resistant material, it softens quickly at around 60C. This makes it very hard to drill into or cut using power tools, as the material melts into a gummy substance.

We currenty have Prusament PLA and Devil Design PLA.

Pros:

  • Easy to print
  • Hard and tough
  • Does not warp or shrink
  • Good for decorative parts

Cons:

  • Low temperature resistance (softens ar about 60C)
  • Softens when drilled and processed with power tools
  • Brittle
  • Not UV resistant
Printer Extruder temperature Bed temperature
Hevo 215 60
Prusa 215 60

PETG

PETG is our favourite material to print with. It’s strong, durable, has minimal amounts of warping and is also resistant to temperatures up to 70C. It rarely breaks, instead keeping its form and bending. Parts printed in PETG are less likely to crack during use.

It has the tendancy to ooze a bit during printing, making it unsuitable for small parts that might be knocked off the build plate.

We currenty have Prusament PETG and Devil Design PETG.

Pros:

  • Easy to print
  • Strong and durable
  • Does not warp or shrink

Cons:

  • Slight stringing and oozing
  • Not suitable for small parts
  • Poor bridging
Printer Extruder temperature Bed temperature
Hevo 240 73
Prusa 250 80

PC Blend

Polycarbonate the right material for strong and durable parts. It is tougher than PETG or ABS and more temperature resistant, up to 110C. These advantages come with a tradeoff, as it’s far more challenging to use due to the high temperatures needed.

We don’t reccomend printing PC on Hevo as the bed can’t quite reach the needed temperature without an improvised enclosure. If you really need to print PC on Hevo, ask someone with experience to help you build an enclosure. We have successfully used the glass side of the bed, treated with hairspray for small parts.

When printing PC on prusa, you can use both the smooth and textured sheet. However, it’s required to spread a separating layer of paper glue on the bed. After printing, be sure to clean the sheet thoroughly with isopropyl alcohol. Avoid cleaning the textured sheet with water as it can lead to rusting.

We currently have Prusament PC Blend.

Pros:

  • Very high temperature resistance
  • High impact and wear resistance
  • No deformation over time
  • Low warping

Cons:

  • Large models can warp
  • Requires high temperatures
  • Slight smell during printing
Printer Extruder temperature Bed temperature
Hevo 280 100
Prusa 280 110

ABS

ABS is a material that is both cheap and has excellent mechanical properties. It can handle temperatues up to 90C. It’s used in all kinds of plastic parts, including: Lego parts, cars, phones, cases. Almost all store-bought plastic parts are made of ABS.

While a very good material, printing ABS is a royal pain. It has significant warping and requires a an enclosure to ensure that parts don’t naturally crack or lift off the buildplate. It generates dangerous styrene fumes while printing.

When printing ABS, don’t use a cooling fan. Disable it in the slicer. Printing with a cooling fan may cause ABS to crack.

We do not print ABS unless extremely necessary. The fumes emitted are dangerous and can lead to breathing problems.

We currently have Vellmann ABS and Plusivo ABS

Pros:

  • High temperature resistance
  • High impact and wear resistance

Cons:

  • Warps a lot
  • It’s hard to get it to stick to the buildplate
  • Requires an enclosure - ask for help
  • Potentially dangerous styrene fumes
Printer Extruder temperature Bed temperature
Hevo 255 100
Prusa 255 110

Slicer

Our preferred slicer is SuperSlicer.

To install on Windows, head over to the GitHub releases page and download the latest windows archive. Unzip in your preferred location and run the superslicer.exe executable.

To install on Linux, use your package manager (Arch, Manjaro, AppImage)

After installation, import the config bundle. Download the configuration (right click here, save as) and import it in File -> Import -> Config Bundle

Filament Settings

Prusa’s already have filament profiles in the slicer. It’s best to use them instead of manually editing the settings.

For Hevo or other printers, here you can find what settings to use.

Filament

These two settings should be set according to the material’s properties. See the section about materials.

Extruder Temperature Set this according to your material’s extruder temperature
Bed Temperature Set this according to your material’s bed temperature

Cooling

These settings control the fan speed.

We usually run 100% speed for all materials. ABS is an exception: ABS should be printed with the fan turned completely off.

Perimeters & shell

Perimeters A model’s wall is printed by making loops of material. This setting controls the numbers of perimeters (“loops”). The more perimeters, the thicker the wall and sturdier the part.
Solid layers The number of solid layers to print on the bottom and the top of the model.

Layer Height

Base layer height This setting controls the height of a single layer. We usually print with a layer height of 0.1 to 0.3. The layer height should not exceed 80% of nozzle diameter. Layer heights lower than 0.1mm might only print well on Prusa using PLA. Smaller layer heights take much longer to print.
First layer height You might want to print a thinner first layer for better adhesion. A good value is 75% of base layer height

Infill

Higher infill usually can lead to a stronger part. Going above 30% Gyroid isn’t really useful. To get really strong parts, use 3-5 perimeter walls.

Fill density The relative density of the infill. This setting is not a percentage nor of mass or volume, just a measure of how full the part will be.
Pattern The pattern to use. We encourage you to experiment and see what each setting does. We mostly use Gyroid or Grid
External Patterns (Top) The pattern for top solid layers. Rectilinear is reccomended.
External Patterns (Bottom) The pattern for bottom solid layers. Rectilinear is reccomended, but Hilbert Curve can give a unique look.

Skirt & Brim

A Skirt is a loop (or more loops) of material done on the buildplate, away from the object, to purge old filament from the nozzle.

A Brim is a few loops of material sticked to the model’s exterior. It can greatly help with bed adhesion when the object does not have enough surface area or has very sharp corners.

Loops The amount of loops to do around model. Usually 1 is enough.
Draft shield Build a tall skirt, as high as the object. Useful only when printing ABS, as it traps the heat inside.
Brim width The width of the brim. Larger values can lead to more bed ahdesion, in special cases.
Brim ears If checked, prints brim only around sharp corners, preventing them from lifting up.

Speed

We don’t reccomend changing the speeds and accelerations. These are already tuned for each printer.

Prusa’s speeds should not be changed as they are factory-calibrated.

For Hevo, the maximum extrusion speed at 0.3mm layer height is 120mm/s, but this makes a big compromise on quality.

Width & Flow

Extrusion width is set as a percentage of the nozzle diameter, thus there is no need to change it on none of the printers.

Slicer Profile (right click here, then save link as)

DragosDC, over and out.

Technical information for Vertex (subject to change)

LCD pinout. Display side up.

D6     RS E Click      
GND 5V   D5 D4 D7