I am assuming that when you buy a 3D printer that advertises an out of the box experience that you don't need to calibrate said printer? I wonder. I know of someone who got a demo high end printer, one of the resin based units capable of super high precision, and they never got it to work. If a printer in the 10-20K pounds can not work then I would be interested to know if paying a couple thousand quid really does get you a true out of the box experience with all the details and bridging and dimensional accuracy working at one?
Expect some Calibration to be Needed
In any case, I did not expect this with the Wanhao and so have not been surprised to be spending quite a bit of time perfecting its output. I am also looking for a pretty high standard and have some challenging requirements that entail a lot of bridges. Bridges being what really challenges a printer like either of mine.
In fairness to the printer most of the time that I have spent frustrated has been with Simplify 3D which continues to battle me for supremacy. Once I got the software talking to the hardware I was able to make some pretty much right out of the box prints that were of pretty darn good quality. In fact I have a little test print that I have been doing that came out of the box looking about as good as the one from my Prusa I3 and was printed in almost half the time.
Calibration for General Quality and Bridging
At the moment I think that the printer is pretty well calibrated for general quality (as opposed to dimensional accuracy which is next). The major changes that I made to the defaults given by Simplify 3D were:
- Set ABS to 210C and PLA to 185C as the lowest temperatures where filament would still be extruded reliably (I can probably go a little lower on my both temperatures but I am concerned that Sailfish undershoots so badly on downward changes....and....I have been having trouble getting Simplify 3D to handle multiple changes). If I were able to go lower the need for the fan is postponed.
- Adjusted bridge parameters to
- Extrude less plastic (50%)
- Move much more slowly (10%) than default.
- Increased perimeters rather than gap fill for thin walls (better bridges on those thin walls).
- Increased the minimum time on a layer to 20 seconds.
- Added a fan highly directed at the print area (more on this in a later post).
My next calibration challenge will tackle dimensional accuracy. The printer currently fails even the easiest dimensional accuracy test so some work lies ahead.
Images of Selected Calibration Prints