Maintaining and Troubleshooting Your 3D Printer

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Maintaining and Troubleshooting Your 3D Printer by Charles Bell is your guide to keeping your 3D printer running through preventive maintenance, repair, and diagnosing and solving problems in 3D printing. If you’ve bought or built a 3D printer such as a MakerBot only to be confounded by jagged edges, corner lift, top layers that aren’t solid, or any of a myriad of other problems that plague 3D printer enthusiasts, then here is the book to help you get past all that and recapture the joy of creative fabrication. The book also includes valuable tips for builders and those who want to modify their printers to get the most out of their investment.

Good fabrication begins with calibration. Aligning the print bed to support deposition of medium in three dimensions is critical. Even off-the-shelf machines that are pre-built must be aligned and periodically realigned throughout their life cycle. Maintaining and Troubleshooting Your 3D Printer helps you achieve and hold proper alignment. Maintaining and Troubleshooting Your 3D Printer also helps with software and hardware troubleshooting. You’ll learn to diagnose and solve firmware calibration problems, filament and feed problems, chassis issues, and more.

Finally there are regular maintenance and enhancements. You’ve invested significantly in your 3D printer. Protect that investment using the guidance in this book. Learn to clean and lubricate your printer, to maintain the chassis, and know when realignment of the print bed is needed. Learn ways to master your craft and improve the quality of your prints through such things as post-print finishing and filament management.

Don’t let the challenges of 3D printing stand in the way of creativity. Maintaining and Troubleshooting Your 3D Printer by Charles Bell helps you conquer the challenges and get the most benefit from your expensive investment in personal fabrication.

What you’ll learnAchieve proper calibration through aligning your print bed in three dimensions

Choose the best filament and media to use in different types of projects

Diagnose software issues such as problem STL files and calibration errors in firmware

Extend the life and accuracy of your device by keeping up with regular maintenance

Contribute your own, successful 3D models back to the community

Enhance quality through filament management, the addition of hot ends, and more

Who this book is for

Maintaining and Troubleshooting Your 3D Printer by Charles Bell is aimed at owners of MakerBot and similar 3D printing devices. If you own such a machine, and especially if you’ve ever been frustrated in getting it to perform and deliver on a design that you’ve created, then this book has been written with you in mind. Maintaining and Troubleshooting Your 3D Printer is written to help you troubleshoot and diagnose the many problems commonly encountered in the field of personal fabrication.

Table of Contents

Part One: Getting Started

1. Introduction to 3D Printing

2. Building a 3D Printer

3. Configuring the Software

4. Printer Calibration

5. Printing for the First Time

Part Two: Troubleshooting

6. Solving Hardware Issues

7. Axis and Chassis Problems

8. Solving Software Issues

Part Three: Maintenance and Enhancements

9. Regular Maintenance

10. Periodic Maintenance

11. Enhancements

Part Four: Mastering Your Craft

12. Working with Objects

13. Taking it to the Next Step

Appendix: Common Problems and Solutions