We wanted to share an update on our ongoing 3D printing adventures.
Here’s the smaller part I mentioned before, the one that came out perfectly using PLA at 15% fill on the printer we’ve been working with all along. Here it is from above (left) and on its side (right):
However, we’re still having cooling/contracting problems with the previously attempted parts (discussed in the last post), seen here an attempt to print at 15% fill:
On a positive note, these made it a lot further in the process (all the way past the second bore hole) before things went bad.
Changing another variable
Apparently, the biggest danger with the cooling/contracting issue is that the raft anchoring the piece — which is made of the exact same material — begins to bow, so that it no longer sits flat on the table. As you can image, that makes it pretty easy for the filling process to knock the piece around, and then nothing lines up properly anymore.
Jeremiah conjectured that this bowing effect in the raft was worse here because of the regular, unbroken footprint made by the rectangular bottom of the piece. Compare that to the open, irregular footprint of the piece in the first picture above.
So the next time he tried to print one of the pieces, he altered the design (and the STL file) so that the piece lies on its side, which is not rectangular, as you can see here:
That seems to have done the trick. Of course, the other possibility is that simply printing one piece at a time, rather than four, decreases the probability of something going haywire.
At any rate, we look forward to sharing pictures of all the pieces — and assembled! — when we get to that point in the process.