Oct 27, 2015 | By Kira

Aside from cost, one of the greatest barriers to access when it comes to desktop 3D printing is technological know-how. Even the most well-trained 3D printing expert has to deal with a seemingly endless number of calibrating options, software and printer settings, and print bed levels, and various 3D printers and materials themselves each with their own properties and nuances, with even the smallest miscalculation leading to print failure. This can be especially frustrating to new users, who might get discouraged and give up altogether. Well my 3D printing friends, your days of exasperation just might be over: 3D printing software developers Simplify3D have just launched an extremely user-friendly tool called the Print Quality Troubleshooting Guide, that promises not only to identify the problem, but offer solutions and suggestions to solve it. Available online today, the Guide appears to be a veritable manifesto for the modern maker, giving them more control over their desktop 3D printers once and for all.

Given their years of experience working with various 3D printer companies from around the world, the team at Simplify3D has been steadily gaining a wealth of insider-knowledge. Rather than hoarding that information or trying to monetize it, they’ve decided to create a free, accessible, and valuable resource for the entire 3D printing community.  “We work with 3D printer companies from all over the world to optimize the output from their machines,” said Simplify3D CEO Clayton Webster, “so we have a deep understanding of the typical problems people encounter. We’ve worked with an extensive list of printers and filaments, and we know how to coax quality to the highest possible levels. We realized that our knowledge of troubleshooting could be a huge help to the broader community.”

The guide is laid out in a visually appealing and intuitive grid, and lists twenty-three common print quality issues, with multiple solutions offered for each. First layer not sticking to bed? Maybe your build platform isn’t level. Finding gaps in your top layers? You might have to up your infill percentage. Some of these tips might seem common-sense to experienced makers, but others are truly useful—since the guide was designed with all levels of 3D printing expertise in mind, and with the sole purpose of helping users optimize their print quality, no issue is too big or too small.

Some of the twenty-three common issues covered on the Guide include Stringing or Oozing, Layer Separation and Splitting, Layer Shifting, Stops Extrusion Mid-Print, Clogged Extruder, Inconsistent Extrusion, and many others. Each issue is accompanied by a helpful thumbnail image, so even if you don’t exactly now how to describe those weird ‘blobs and zits’, troubleshooting won’t be a problem.

The website also includes very clearly-written, detailed explanations of just where those ‘blobs’ are coming from. The explanations are helpful and educational, rather than patronizing, and very informative even if you aren’t having that particular problem you could stand to learn something new. The company is also already working on expanding the guide, ensuring that they will update it as new information, techniques, settings, 3D printers and materials become available in the future.

The Guide seems to be a great resource, compiling dozens of tidbits of information that the average user might spend hours visiting various websites, forums, and 3D printer manuals trying to figure out for themselves. Not only does it optimize the troubleshooting process, it also goes to show that no matter what you’re 3D printing problem, you’re not alone. 3D printing is a community, after all, and one that is only strengthened by collaboration, openness, and shared resources like this one.



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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Perry Engel wrote at 10/28/2015 7:04:40 PM:

That is a useful guide.

Frank wrote at 10/28/2015 3:05:54 AM:

Awesome!!! so freaking useful guys!

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