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CR-10 3D Printer

JimCR120

Got Lobstah?
Site Moderator
#1
I've started this thread since my initial post in the general 3D printer discussion thread to exchange ideas specific to the CR-10 3D printer. As of recent I now own one yet know so little. I have reviewed some threads on printers and filaments to get myself up to speed on this. That is still a work in progress.

It's a HicTop CR-10 which seems to be a rebranded Creality.
image.jpeg
I found a nice demonstration on the RC Groups since posting this. I figured it would be a good go to for someone who might want to check it out.
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/sho...1bb0fc90549_1256x480.jpg&utm_campaign=nov3 17

Thoughts/guidance for success is welcome. I will certainly be sharing from my end as a 3D newborn. And I will try to organize posts and information to minimize the necessity to dig through information to find current solutions.
 
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JimCR120

Got Lobstah?
Site Moderator
#2
The photo from the post above is one pulled from the internet. Here is mine below.

IMG_1788.jpg

Assembly was much more simple than I expected. It came double boxed with ample foam protection. I wasn't impressed with the instructions provided in the box (a friendly greeting on a sheet of paper and a micro sd chip with a few short and disorganized pdf's, mp4's, and wdm's) and although I see in hindsight that I would have been mostly fine without them having them nevertheless would have been reassuring. Thankfully there are numerous YouTube posts that address this specific printer. I found one to be especially helpful though a bit long, about an hour. Other videos pretty much covered the same things.

Later I found on the HicTop website some useful information. I recommend checking the short assembly assembly video and reading the pdf's on unit assembly and platform adjustment.

Here is an outline of the main points of assembly and the order I would recommend doing them.
1. Unboxing - Always the best time to verify a complete and undamaged kit.
2. Adjust print platform - There are 6 rollers below the print platform that should be checked for good contact. If too loose the platform will lack stability and if too tight will cause excess load on the Y axis motor.
3. Assemble base and vertical frame - X, Y, & Z motors will be to the rear and the extruder will face you. The T-nuts on the T-braces work ok but I recommend tightening the middle one 1st so you can ensure security. The others can be visually checked for proper rotation in the frame.
4. Check X & Z stability - Adjust as with the print platform (Y axis).
5. Connect controller - Verify voltage setting.
6. Assemble filament parts -
7. Check nozzle/platform spacing -
 
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LitterBug

Troll Spammer
#3
So, did they not have a CR120 so it would align perfectly with your JimCR120 handle? What kind of goodies you have planned for printing?

Cheers!
LitterBug
 

JimCR120

Got Lobstah?
Site Moderator
#4
I made my first few attempts at printing last night. The test file was a shamrock shot glass on the SD card. Here's what I've learned so far.

IMG_1797.jpg
This attempt show what happens when the glass is not clipped. In little time the glass started sliding which results in a 3D "scribble".

IMG_1798.jpg
With the glass secured to the print platform the printed figure initially stuck to the glass but in little time started to slide around resulting in another scribble.

IMG_1799.jpg
With a couple of strips of provided 2" masking tape in the print area I achieved this. This print took just over 1.5 hours.

Other things I noticed were how unexpectedly loud the fan is and a slight odor that wouldn't pass the wife test for the living room. I'm also curious if this white PLA can be painted. Incidentally, I noticed yesterday HK has lots of filament on sale.
 
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jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#6
Some PLA will stick to plain glass, but I find a touch of hairspray makes ANY pla stick great ;) It also gives a smoother polished looking surface on the base compared to tape...but tape works in a pinch as well.

I actually like the smell of PLA, it reminds me of cotton candy :D It's very faint and all but undetectable on most PLA's but some definitely have a stronger smell.

If you wife doesn't like PLA definitely don't try ABS though! That stuff stinks. Some more expensive ABS doesn't stink as bad but it's definitely there.

PETG is very low odor (usually none) as well and one of my favorites to print with. It's not as stiff as PLA but it's stronger than PLA. It's also denser so for RC parts it's not as nice since it's heavier.

For the fans look into swapping for a noctura fan - those things are remarkably silent...not cheap but worth the cost if the fan's bother you.

PLA can usually be painted, I've never done it though so can't offer much insight.

I've heard mixed things about the HK filament. In general I'd advise staying away from the super cheap filaments until you've got a good bit of experience with your machine. They can almost always be made to work...but getting good prints with quality filament is much easier than with cheap filament. I'd suggest the hatchbox from amazon or inland from microcenter (if you have one near you) as a good reasonably priced but quality filament. Makergeeks.com also have good deals if you don't care about color - their grab bags can be very affordable...but I've fund their PLA doesn't like all metal hot ends very much unless you oil it with a touch of vegetable oil first (not an issue on your machine unless you upgrade the hot end!)
 

JimCR120

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#7
Photos should be good now. I'm not sure why that happens from time to time.

Though I sort of had been planning to get a 3D printer I really hadn't jumped at it yet because of cost and lack of justification. All of that of course doesn't apply when you get one as a gift. Looking at the reviews I find, my son picked out quite a good printer.
 

JimCR120

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Site Moderator
#8
I don't think the smell is awful but my wife has a keener smeller than I and though she's not complaining she might when she returns in 2 weeks. Once I get it figured out it'll be more at home in my workspace downstairs anyway. Cotton candy???

Regarding tape, my next try will be a smaller strip of tape. I'm thinking if I anchor down some key parts of the print, it might be good enough.

Thanks for the fan recommendation. I'll probably hold off since I find expense less appealing than the noise. And thanks for warning me off about cheap filaments too. I'll look into the Hatchbox from Amazon. A variety would be ideal of course. How much depends on the prices. I saw one YouTube post where a guy had a wood filament and the print looked pretty good. I've also been rereading your thread on filaments.

Like you said, I need experience. So today I installed the Cura softeware on my iMac. I wasn't sure what type of printer mine is so went with the RepRap. All the other parameters I only changed if I believed I knew what I was doing, which isn't much. I just learned that .stl files alone aren't shoing up on the print menu on the controller, hence playing with Cura. I think I successfully converted a test print but then had to stop it as it was printing out on end (as it was shown, shoulda figured). So I also learned about rotating it. Fairly intuitive. The printer just kicked into action. I think this one will take a bit longer than the shamrock cup.

Once I get past this phase I will want to learn how to generate my own drawings/sculptures or whatever you call them. Everyone seems to brag on Fusion360 so I guess that will be my next stop. I took the prints (the success and failures) in to work to share with my coworkers. One said her husband replaced a broken piece in their washing machine using their 3D printer and something about scanning in the part needed. Another friend says they use huge 3D printers in ship building to save on testing whether large heavy pieces will fit by printing lighter pieces of the same dimensions.

I just restarted the test print. Looks like the single strip of tape was inadequate so I put in 2 more, one on each side. I'll borrow some of my wife's hairspray for the next go around and see how that goes. I've also heard glue sticks being suggested. What are your thoughts about that? Uh oh, way past bed time. It's late. At this rate it'll be printing when I leave for work. Thanks again.
 

LitterBug

Troll Spammer
#10
My Monoprice Select mini V2 came today and came with some sample filament and a sample print file. Turns out happy kitty can be used as a shot glass too...
HappyKitty.jpg

ShotglassKitty.jpg

Cheers!
LitterBug
 

LitterBug

Troll Spammer
#12
LB, if you still have some of that clear filament, your second print should be a new taller control knob. The stock knob is just too tiny. The clear filament lets the blue LEDs shine through.

https://www.thingiverse.com/search/page:1?q=Monoprice+mini+knob&sa=&dwh=445a21613ef2bfd
Not sure about that. This is a V2 and the knob seems to work fine. My 2nd print was a filament guide so I could print with TPU. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1883929 There was only enough filament to print one happy kitty and two filament guides. I have tons of other filament already since this is my 2nd printer.
TestPrint.jpg
Cheers!
LB
 
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French

Construire Voler S'écraser Répéter
#13
The V1 knob is nearly flush with the panel and too slippery to grab and twist. There are little nubs on the knob, but they are insufficient imho. If the v2 knob extends enough past the face of the panel enough to really grab onto it and spin, then thankfully they made that improvement.

I love my mini v1, just wish it had a larger bed.
 
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rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#14
When you're ready to try hairspray, they are not all equal for 3d printing. It's not just about having something tacky on the build plate, but about having a specific chemical compound that will bond gently with both the glass and the PLA.

From reading up on this over the years, it seems the key ingredient is the polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP). So you're looking for either a hairspray or hot glue stick that uses this compound as the primary adhesive agent. PVP is not a very common ingredient in hairspray brands which is why you'll hear a bunch of people say hairspray doesn't work. PVP is more common in glue sticks which is why people who just grab whatever is already in the junk drawer commonly have success with these. PVP is almost always found in hot glue sticks, but that's not going to work for 3d printer build plates :)

The product I've found easiest to use is Aquanet unscented super hold - https://www.amazon.com/Aqua-Net-Extra-Professional-Unscented/dp/B002K33AFM

I just like doing a quick spray more than rubbing the glue stick around and worrying about little bumps I leave, or discovering I didn't put the cap on tight and now my glue stick is dried up. Or that I pushed too hard with the glue stick and knocked my bed out of level. Your mileage may vary, but I'm still using my first big can of Aquanet I purchased 3 years ago.
 

JimCR120

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#15
Just as 2D printers have test prints to show precision in color and plotting I thought the same could be done with a 3D printer. I found plenty examples of what seems to my inexperienced mind a good test to see what my machine can do and also serve as a diagnostic tool.

Here are the results.
image.jpeg image.jpeg
image.jpeg image.jpeg
image.jpeg image.jpeg

Some things I noticed with my untrained eye under training...

I started this print a couple times. One because the print was coming out standing up on end. Was it right to place it flat for a more solid base?

The print came out much more porous than expected. I suppose textures might be difficult to show in a simple drawing. I don't know. I also think the porosity might increase the difficulty of the print as I'm supposing good prints depend on adhesion to supporting structure and the ability to stop printing cleanly. How do I change print density?

There are a few caramel-brown spots on the print. Might this be filament that stuck to the nozzle for an extended time, got toasted, and later came loose?

The lattice base allowed the print to adhere in place while still not getting stuck. It came right off and the tape remains in tact on the glass.

I want to do another test print, maybe a simple circle or square with cross hairs in the middle a couple mm in thickness just to check for print bed level.

I have no other filaments and am considering some black Hatchbox PLA which is currently about $23/kg from Amazon. Does black smell like licorice? Just kidding. I'm going to look and see if small amounts of other filaments (a sample pack) can be purchased so I can know before plunking down the dough for larger amounts.

Thoughts/guidance on any of this is welcome.
 

LitterBug

Troll Spammer
#16
JimCR',
One other thing you can do to help tone down any vibrational noise is put some soft material between the printer and the table/desk. You can see in the picture I posted above that mine is sitting on a 2'x2' interlocking kiddie floor tile.

Cheers!
'Bug

EDIT: Those test prints can be used to fine tune extruder heat and rates. When you get holy prints like that, it is an indication that you are underextruding. That can be from running the hotend too cold, or not using a high enough extrusion multiplier. Sometimes trying to print too fast can produce those results too if the filament flow can not keep up with the motion.

Cheers!
LB
 
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JimCR120

Got Lobstah?
Site Moderator
#17
Aquanet! That stinky stuff my mother used so liberally decades ago was good for potato guns too. I'll see what my better half uses for her hair. I don't think it's that brand butI'll check if it has the PVP. Does it matter if I get a pump or aerosol? Do you apply it before every print or just once in a while?
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#18
I'd advise against using tape in only certain spots. Tape may seem thin, but it doesn't take a lot of height difference to mess up a first layer. I usually use a piece of paper to set the height of my first layer, and most tape isn't much if any thinner than a piece of paper. So you're talking about creating enough variation in the base to account for the clearance usually left.

I second that aquanet RB posted, I bought one can a few days after getting my printer and two years later it still feels like I haven't used any. I use three coats on a fresh sheet of glass. I put them on very light and give them a minute or two to "cure" before putting on the next one alternating the direction I spray (First layer I spray vertically, second horizontally, third vertically again.) I actually use mirror tiles instead of normal glass...because I have a bunch of them on hand. When sprayed I can still see reflections in the mirror but they look a little hazy.

If I'm doing big critical prints (like when I printed my MPCNC) I put on a light top-up coat each print. But for day to day use I only top it up when things stop adhering well or when I notice it starting to get thin (shiny spots showing through) or dirty (from dust and such collecting.)

When it gets dirty or thin I clean it off with windex or rubbing alcohol then do a fresh three coats.

That test print looks like you've got some serious underextrusion going on as Litterbug mentioned. Could be a number of things. Clogged nozzle, too cold, bad settings, filament slipping in the extruder (loose idler), gear on the stepper in the extruder slipping on the stepper shaft (really common on some machines - especially if the stepper shaft doesn't have a flat so the set screw is all that keeps the gear from rotating.)

I'd start by checking the mechanics of the extruder - make sure the drive gear is tight and the idler is creating enough tension.

Then I'd so some calibration tests.

First check is that your extruder steps are correct, here's a blog with details on how to do this: https://northwoods3d.weebly.com/blog/filament-calibration-part-1

But the short version is you make a mark on your filament 100mm above the extruder then tell the printer to extrude 100mm (you'll need the hot end heated up) The mark should now be at the top of the extruder. Since you're underextruding it will probably not go that far but instead be somewhat above the mark. So you can measure the difference and adjust a firmware setting on your printer to correct. Wash/rinse/repeat until you get 100mm of filament extruding when you tell it to extrude 100mm.

The next step is why I don't like Cura. It won't slice single wall prints and deals with perimeters differently. So instead of using a print with a known thickness wall you have to slice a solid cube and tell it to print it with just one perimeter and no top to do this. But basically you want to confirm that you're getting extrusion of the correct width. In general you'll want your extrusion to be 120% larger than your nozzle so with a common 0.4mm nozzle you'll expect your extrusion to be 0.48mm thick. So the basic idea is to print something with just one thickness of extrusion and measure it to confirm you're actually getting 0.48mm. If not you then adjust your extrusion multiplier and repeat until it is. Here's another article from that same blog explaining it in more detail:
https://northwoods3d.weebly.com/blog/-flow-rate-how-much-plastic-is-coming-out

That second step is optional unless you really want accurate parts. For me...accuracy is important so I do it for every new filament and setup a custom profile in slic3r for each filament.
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#19
Oh yeah, speaking of vibration silencing....then fans are still the biggest noise source IMHO but I was shocked at how big of a difference this made:

20170612_214714 (1).jpg

Look under the printer, these are the miracle workers:

20170611_205737.jpg

Just some cheap foam practice golf balls ($2.50 at walmart IIRC, I got the cheapest ones.) and a few printed bits to keep them under the printer.

I honestly thought my printer was pretty quiet...but on a whim did this and was shocked at how much quieter it got.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#20
Everyone is spot on with the calibration steps above, but there is one more that's easy to check and often the culprit with 'budget PLA' - measuring the filament diameter. The printer is expecting 1.75mm PLA - but if your PLA is actually 1.65mm you'll get under extrusion too. There is a setting in the slicer program where you can put in the exact measurement - or you can bump the extrusion multiplier up or down to get the same effect with a little less precision.

I find this less of an issue since I switched to MakerGeek PLA, but when I was buying rolls on eBay it was a frequent problem. I even had times when the diameter changed enough from the beginning of the roll to the middle of the roll I had to recalibrate.