FDM 3D Printing Guide to Avoid 10 Common Errors

With the amount of 3D printers on the market, getting started with one can be daunting and leave a lot of room for error. Follow this guide to see the 10 common errors with FDM 3D Printing and make sure …

Neil Sewell

September 22, 2020

With the amount of 3D printers on the market, getting started with one can be daunting and leave a lot of room for error. Follow this guide to see the 10 common errors with FDM 3D Printing and make sure that you don’t fall for any of the common pitfalls people face when starting.

FDM 3D Printer Software

1. When adding support material an easy mistake to make is adding too much. Try not to do this as consequently it will reduce the quality of the print on the edges where you have to remove the support material later.

2. Don’t fall into the trap of printing with the default max overhang angle of 60 degrees on all of the FDM slicer software. The optimal max overhang angle is 45 degrees; a way of deducing if the model needs support is to follow the YHT rule. This rule is explained here.

3. Having the wrong file size is an error that can be easily avoided. Just make sure that all of the dimensions are correct before and after exporting; also make sure the resolution is right in the slicer.

4. If you have the wrong material properties when your model is printing, it is going to fail. Make sure all of the properties (e.g. temperature) are correct before printing. Also make sure that the wall thickness is correct otherwise the print could fail due to deforming.

Operating Software
Software In Use

Operating FDM 3D Printer

5. Setting up the bed correctly is a key part of the set up, as if you make a mistake it can cause issues with the print such as warping, deformation etc. Incorrect nozzle height can also cause these issues. Here are the links for how to level each machine:

6. If the printer is at the incorrect temperature it is not going to be able to print as the filament will not be able to fit through the nozzle. This is because the filament needs to melt before it goes through the nozzle, so make sure the printer is up to temperature before trying to print. Having a heated bed can help depending on the print and what you are printing.

7. Another common error is not applying glue to the print bed before printing. Glue provides more adhesion so that the part will stick to the bed more securely; failing to do this can lead to problems such as warping.

8. Another problem that can slow down extrusion is having sharp bends in the feed tube. Therefore make sure that before printing the feed tube feeds into the machine nicely before each print.

FDM Filament Care

9. Make sure to check that the filament wire is not tangled before starting any print. If the filament becomes tangled that means that there will be no more extrusion, as a result making the print fail. Cut the end of the filament at 45 degrees to aid the filament through the extruder at the start of the print.

10. A common error is to leave the filament in an area which is not dry enough. This causes the filament to absorb moisture which in turn leads to stringy, failed prints. If using Markforged filament make sure to keep it in the dry box and only ever use Two desiccant packs.

3D Printer Filament
Extra Tip

Whenever the 3D printer is in use, always make sure that it is operating properly and don’t leave it running all by itself. Make sure that you stay there until the first layer has been printed so that you can verify that it has stuck to the print bed securely.

Final thoughts

Solid Print3D is here to help you make the right decision with your next 3D Printer purchase. For more information, please call Solid Print3D at 01926 333 777 or email at info@solidprint3d.co.uk

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