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First Build - 2.4 - 350


TheGrandGesture
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Building My First 3D Printer  

 

I got my first 3D printer back in January and upon research it was almost impossible not to come across the name 'Voron'  Besides the fact that red is one of my favorite colors.  When I saw the Stealth Burner for the first time I thought "I have to have that!"  The dual fans looked so functional and the placement seemed well thought out compared to the run of the mill print heads.  At first I didn't know Voron was an open source project.  When I searched google I found some kits and the hefty up front cost prevented me from looking into them any further.  I figured it was best to focus on getting the current printer I had to work to the best of its abilities.   

After a few months and a few spools of a filament I felt I was reaching the limits of printing quality and I wanted to try and cut down on the print times.  For the Qidi Tech there wasn't much out there for aftermarket or even printable upgrades aside from getting a different mainboard.  So I picked up an Ender 3 Max instead.   Boy, what a headache that has been LOL.  The E3Max has been a love hate relationship.   I got it brand new for a great deal but that didn't come without issues.  Some of the wires were sliced.  The Extrusions where not machined square.  The Y carriage ears were bent where it bolts to the build plate. AND I let the magic smoke out of the mainboard 😳  I replaced that with an SKR E3V3 and the USB port decided it didn't want to be connected.  It ran pretty quickly and smoothly with Klipper before I decided to be lazy and not check my wires before hooking up a second Z  🤦‍♂️  I have it running via USART but still after all that I really wasn't 100% satisfied with the Ender even after upgrading to linear rails, DD, and a dual Z.  

Frustrated with all of that I decided it was time to re-visit the Voron.  I went to the website to see what made these things so fancy (I still didn't know it was a print it yourself kind of deal LOL)  Once I went through the configurator and found the sourcing guide my eyes lit up.  I finally realized how to get a Voron. I can build it!  I loved this idea.  Something I could build myself with a proper BOM to go with!   After downloading the build, I opened the assembly manual to see what kind of printing instructions there were.  The first thing I saw was ABS.  I thought crap.  This ain't gonna work.  The fanciest filament I have ever printed with was PETG and all the stories I hear about printing ABS are that its a PITA to print.  The manual mentions not to deviate from this and I have to agree considering the temperatures an enclosed 3D printer sees.    Then it dawned on me.  I remembered that my Qidi Tech manual mentioned something about the MAX printing temps being higher than average.  I check the manual and sure enough the printer is capable of printing at 280/130!  Cool! Now to find some filament🤔  Well I'm a car guy so some type of carbon fiber was on my list of filaments to try.  I came across 3DXTech who had some ASA-CF that looked pretty.  So I ordered a .5k spool and thought I would use that to get the ball rolling.  Bonus part is they are a Michigan company!   

Well as many of the experienced users may know.  Ya can't just grab a roll of ASA/ABS throw it on the spool holder, crank the heat and go to town.  Lets just say I had to create my own "lessons learned" document for this LOL.  I couldn't figure out what was going on!  At first I thought I wasn't getting up to temp.  I wasn't skipping on the filament but when I watched it extrude, the filament appeared "chunky" So I turned up the heat!  That seemed like it made things better when it got up a few layers but the first few were still horrible.  

3DXTech recommends their ASA-CF filament be dried at 80c for four hours.  The way I was drying the filament at first was by using the printer enclosure and placing the filament in a box with some desiccant packs and turned the build plate on with the box propped up on the build plate.  Since I had no idea how warm it was really getting in there I let it dry for about +6 hours lol.  After that I did another print and it came out 100x better.  With those findings I decided it was time to build a dry box. 

I took apart an old space heater and took the ceramic heater out and used that with the mechanical thermostat it had for my heat source.  I screwed the heater to a board then screwed the board in place inside a tote.  At first I just tossed the filament in the box to see what the temp would average.  The temp gauge I had was reading around 60c consistently so I left it that way for a few hours.  I come back to check on it and the temperature gauge had shut off.  I opened the box to check the filament and boy was she warm  I picked up the temp gauge and it warped to where the battery cover popped off 😳 When I checked the filament it had even warped the whole side of the spool!  When I moved the box the spool leaned up against a heat shield I made.  It didn't turn it into a melted mess but the whole side of the roll was warped lol.  This was pretty much a brand new spool 😭  I was able to salvage most of it but lost a good chunk too.  I shared a photo of that mess too. So for a spool holder I just drilled a hole through each side of the tote and shoved a wooden dowel through.   The tote is wide enough to accommodate either 2x 1k spools or 4x 0.5k spools.  Drilled a couple of holes in the lid and stuffed some PTFE tubing in them and ran that to the extruders. Done. LOL.  Its very crude but works very well.  Ill add some photos of that as well. 

 

Now I finally have the filament and printing temps figured out so I am ready to start this journey.   

I plan to self source everything I can but may purchase a bundle such as a frame kit or hardware kit if its the more economical option that wont sacrifice function or quality.

I will be using 3DXTech ASA-CF for the primary color and 3DXTech ASA Red as the accent color.  The red has a nice matte finish to it that I really like.

I plan to print everything on my Qidi Tech 1 dual extruder, with the micro swiss upgraded all metal hot ends and A2 nozzles.  Hopefully the build space is big enough 😅

To start off I'll share some photos of what I learned and the test prints that didn't work out.  

 

I still need to buy everything else for this build but I figured the printing was gonna give me the most trouble. 

So here we go!

 

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Baptism by fire? I had similar reservations regards ABS before I started out on my Voron journey (sic really hard to print, finicky) and started with an Amazon thermal enclosure (aka large left-over cardboard box). It's a great start and a great share. It's always good to see people actually working through a problem, diagnosing it and thinking about things rather than instantly going for an off-the-shelf-modularized-pre-made thing-in-a-box.

I see you're upgrading the nozzles anyway, but I was wondering how you were finding them holding out with the CF? I've never used a CF filament, I know they wear but never sure of the rate.

6 hours ago, TheGrandGesture said:

may purchase a bundle

Perhaps, it's easier to get things in small quantities in the States (compared to the UK) but I would recommend getting the fasteners (bolts and what not) as a kit (watching for the 2.4 R1 and 2.4 R2 differences) otherwise having to buy large quantities of things you only need a few of racks up pretty quickly.....unless you plan to build many, many Vorons 🤪

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Thanks for the post and THANK YOU for showing the failed attempts. So many time people are not willing to share their mistakes and seeing this will help others realize - it's not always smooth sailing.

Really looking forward to this build diary!

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19 hours ago, smirk said:

off-the-shelf-modularized-pre-made thing-in-a-box.

I see you're upgrading the nozzles anyway, but I was wondering how you were finding them holding out with the CF? I've never used a CF filament, I know they wear but never sure of the rate.

Perhaps, it's easier to get things in small quantities in the States (compared to the UK) but I would recommend getting the fasteners (bolts and what not) as a kit (watching for the 2.4 R1 and 2.4 R2 differences) otherwise having to buy large quantities of things you only need a few of racks up pretty quickly.....unless you plan to build many, many Vorons 🤪

Yeah I tend to DIY a lot of things lol.  Think I get it from the old man cause literally anything we needed or wanted, he built it in the garage lol.  Now he has a pole barn house that's off the grid with a small machine shop on the main floor.   So whenever I run into the situation of needing to buy or upgrade something.  I always think if its something I can build first LOL.  These days there probably isn't any cost savings to building certain items yourself unless you have parts laying around already.  On the other hand, build and manufacturing quality have taken a huge nose dive the last 3 years so the extra cost of DIY is almost worth the peace of mind knowing things will be machined, milled, assembled correctly lol. 

 

At first I got the regular "plated" nozzles that they sold with their upgraded hot end kit.  After my test prints and cleaning the nozzle a bunch I reached out to MS to ask how many spools they would guestimate that I could get out of the plated nozzles.  They said 1k then they would recommend to change but to definitely watch the prints as it got towards the end of the spool.  They recommended upgrading to the A2 nozzles as they would last much longer but didn't give me a definite answer.  We will see how it goes LOL

I actually just realized my company has bolt bins that are always "open" I'm not sure if we would have any of the M3 stuff as that's too small for any of the stuff we build.  But the M4/M5 we would have 🤔  I might still go with the bolt kit though because I know we do not use T-nuts of any kind or threaded heated inserts.  Hopefully there are kits with regular steel bolts instead of the stainless 😬  I think I have only seen the stainless steel hardware kits so far 🤔 The local hardware stores are a ripoff for nuts or bolts, like $1each 🤬  I can order online from a couple other places but they're quantities of 100x mostly at $10 a pack and I don't plan to build a 2nd machine anytime soon lol.  

13 hours ago, Demosth said:

Thanks for the post and THANK YOU for showing the failed attempts. So many time people are not willing to share their mistakes and seeing this will help others realize - it's not always smooth sailing.

Really looking forward to this build diary!

Oh I'm sure there will be plenty of more failed photos to come LOL  I haven't tested out the red yet 😬

Edited by TheGrandGesture
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Awesome start to a build diary! That's a very informative post.

I know what you mean with bolt purchasing. Local stores have small quantities at eye-watering prices. I ended up going to Grainger since they are local so I could will-call and the prices were reasonable. I have extras, but then I have stock for future projects. I ended up getting stainless, in part because I prefer the look and in part because they were actually cheaper than black oxide.

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16 hours ago, claudermilk said:

I ended up getting stainless, in part because I prefer the look and in part because they were actually cheaper than black oxide.

I hear ya.  I do like the look of the black stainless..  Typically when I build something I do a lot of fitment checks.  The stainless hardware that came with my ender was pretty much junk after rebuilding it a few times.  I expected the aluminum threads to give out before the bolt heads lol.  

There's a "nut n bolt' shop back in my home town I need to call up to see what their prices are like these days.  I remember back when I still lived there they were the only place anyone would recommend for fasteners of any kind. 

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Update - 7/25/2022

 

This weekend I was able to get a few items knocked out on the print list.   Mainly starting out with the smaller items that had a shorter print time.   One thing I will note is that the Voron assembly manual recommends 0.2 layer height with 0.4 walls.  Attempting to print at to these requirements I ran into some nozzle clogging issues on my ol Qidi Tech where I was experiencing extruder skipping 😬 and even lost a couple of prints. I tried turning the heat up to remedy the issue but that only caused other problems 😅 To be fair to all parties, 3DXTech does recommend a Min. layer height of 0.24 With that said I ended up bumping my layer height up to 0.24 and my wall line width 0.5  At the moment the only issue I see when deviating from the recommended layer height & Line width will be in the thin wall areas, and Voron logos. So we will see how well it does when printing the extruder 😬 Since I am printing it on my Qidi Tech I do not have high expectations in surface quality to begin with. lol.   At the moment I am printing at 260c after drying for at least 4hrs.  Judging by the surface quality I think I need to lower the temps some more and adjust some of the retraction and jerk settings I have set in the stock slicer.  I've tried using Cura but wasn't a huge fan paired with this printer the stock slicer seemed to produce better results so that's why I stuck with it.     

I did try out some of the 3DXTech ASA Red filament for the accent parts.  I am really liking the color and matte finish!  I am able to print this filament at the recommended 0.2 layer height and 0.4 line width. Now I just have to figure out where the sweet spot is temperature wise.  The over hangs are looking a little rough LOL.  I don't have the best part cooling system on this machine either.  Some of them should still work though.  3DXTech has the same set of recommendations in regards to drying the filament at 80c for 4hrs.  I decided to start my prints with the same temps as the ASA-CF. That was waaay too hot lol.  I ended up backing off on the temp all the way down to 225c 😬 The lower temps did appear to help with some of the issues I was having in the over hang areas.  I sent an email to 3DXTech to ask what they thought regarding layer adhesion while printing at those lower than recommended temps.  I might need to print a new part cooling fan.   

 

The ASA-CF I am printing at 260c but will lower that to 255c for my next round of prints.  Printing from dry box @ 80c

The ASA RED I am printing at 225c and waiting to hear back from 3DXTech regarding temps.  Printing from dry box @ 80c

Here some photos of how its going so far!  There are definitely` a few parts that I am going to have to re-print LOL

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7 hours ago, TheGrandGesture said:

At the moment the only issue I see when deviating

Looking good, I suggest try printing some of the Voron test pieces just to make sure that everything is going to fit nicely. I didn't the time I printed my first set of Voron parts, and I ended up with a bunch of parts that were poorly fitting as I hadn't tuned well enough (flow rate in my case).

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4 hours ago, smirk said:

Looking good, I suggest try printing some of the Voron test pieces just to make sure that everything is going to fit nicely. I didn't the time I printed my first set of Voron parts, and I ended up with a bunch of parts that were poorly fitting as I hadn't tuned well enough (flow rate in my case).

Not gonna lie.. When I first checked the 'Test Print' folder I thought they were test prints for AFTER you got your printer together LOL.   I'll have to print the filament card and threaded insert file later.   I did have my flow rate increased as well but then dropped it back down when I was getting nowhere with the higher temps.  When I drop the temp again for the test prints I'm gonna bump the flow too for a comparison.  I think the prints that came out decent could use that bump in flow. 

I was trying to take advantage of the dual extrusion setup and have one nozzle printing the ASA-CF and the other nozzle printing the ASA red.  They need different nozzle heights though.  This printer is a pita to get the nozzles aligned to begin with lol.  Lots of lessons learned regarding dual extrusion with this one 🤦‍♂️  I might just have to print all of one color first then pull the nozzle to print the other.    One of the other issues with this printer is the build plate seems to have a lot of movement when it heats up. I am always having to check the level every heat cycle it seems.  I took the aluminum build plate off and stoned the face of it.  It was pretty flat aside from the color marks from machining.   For the build surface I'm using a magnetic spring steal with PEI.  I never did mic up the steel spring plate or magnet for that matter before installing.  

 

I'll have to get the frame and motion parts ordered so I can test fit some items.  I do have a couple of MGN12H blocks laying around but non of the MGN9H.  I think I am going to Cerakote the linear rails though.  Still undecided on a color.  I thought red would be cool but also thought it could be a little much.  Ill have to do some samples or just color them in the CAD 😂.

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2 hours ago, claudermilk said:

Cerakote sounds interesting, though I wonder how it will affect smooth movement of the carriages.

Well I reached out to Cerakote to ask what their thoughts were if they recommended their Elite Series coatings or the Micro Slick that they also have for something like this.

They said they have never tried this or heard of any of their other customers doing this but the recommended testing with the Elite series as that is the thinnest application. 

I have some leftover E series in a tester and some spare blocks/rails I'll test out. 

 

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I read so many things, I dont know where to start... lol!

With printing ASA, dont think about your part cooling, you hardly need it, put it on 20/30 max.
ASA should be easier than ABS, and thats why its more expensive I guess... and yes, the matt finish it why I always print ASA.

The filament you are trying to print with, holy crap, just throw it away, it sounds like a freaking nightmare!! I have never dried a spindle or heated it up before a print.
Ok, I am not living in the Amazon, but still... you should not want this... maybe in very exceptional filaments, but certainly not with ASA, maybe with a FLEX.

To me overall, looking at your prints, it seems like you have parts of extruding problems, big chunks of missing filament, I think its slipping sometimes.

Maybe its the photos, but some pictures looks like the top layers are higher than the bottom layers, but this can be illusion of the photo.
If not, PID your bed and to be sure, PID your nozzle.

The collapsed corners and so on, I have no idea, but maybe you are printing it way too hot, ASA advises 260C I know, but I often print it on 240C and sometimes.. (what a bad boy) even on 236C!! The bed around 110C is good. 105/110.

Are you using SuperSlicer? need a profile to start out from?

 

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On 7/20/2022 at 9:31 PM, TheGrandGesture said:

Building My First 3D Printer  

 

Welcome aboard, your patience is astounding. I have never had to dry filament either. Have you tried other brands? I print ASA too Nozzle : 255 Bed 105 Chamber 60 No cooling fan at all and 'Dove Extra Hold Hairspray' for adhesion.

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