The Printer and the Box of Doom
I’ve just started printing for hore fairly recently and the 3D printing gods have already decided to take me to the woodshed…
I present to you the box of doom…
It looks innocent enough. It’s a simple box for storing a puzzle. There shouldn’t be any problems printing it. Right?
At first I thought the nozzle had jammed either due to filament diameter inconsistency or else a partial clog in the nozzle. I took a cleaning needle, poked around in the nozzle, and extruded some filament. Everything seemed to be working fine so I tried the print again. The same thing happened at the same location. So now I decided to take a look at the box in the print preview in Cura and step through one layer at a time.
This was at layer 53. So far so good.
In next layer It looks like a top layer is being inserted in about 1 third of the print walls. This continued on for a couple of more layers and then this appeared.
It appears it’s trying to print part of a bottom layer and it jives with what was actually being printed.
I suspect someone tried to do a mashup of two boxes and botched the layer cut and boolean union. Anyway I put the STL in Meshmixer and did a Make Solid with a 256 Accuracy/Mesh Density, exported the new file, and looked at the layers again in Cura 4.8. The problem was still there. This time I tried the Close Cracks operation. I looked at the exported file again and this time the phantom layers were gone.
I was able to print the box again without a hiccup.
Ba Da BOOM!
So what’s the take home here?
- There’s no such thing as an “innocent” looking STL.
- Rather than assume somthing went wrong with the printer step through the model layer by layer to make sure there are no defects like the one I just showed you.
Happy Printing Everybody!