What is a high quality, reliable 3D printer you would recommend? It would be nice to print the 3D kit boxes myself. Also, I think versatile materials that can be used like carbon fiber, or two heads seem like nice options, but Linux compatibility and overall cost are big factors. If I have to vent the printer, that may be an issue. An enclosed bed to keep out cat hair, cats in general, and dust is necessary. I've never used a 3D printer before, but have realized there are a lot of choices.I appreciate your time if you can provide some advice. Dow
We have 2 QIDI X-Maxes and 1 QIDI X-Plus. I'd recommend them. Easy to work on and we have figured out all of the quirks. 1/2 the price of MakerBots with better performance. They include a second high temperature head for carbon fiber, although we haven't tried that yet. We do all our printing in ABS.
I think y'all normally print in one color per physical piece produced. Dual extruders allow two colors per print, correct? Any recommendations on a dual extruder? I'm leaning toward the larger Qidi with the single extruder you pointed out. The reviews showing how the company responds to customers is compelling. Dow
BP, The Qidi i-FAST printer arrived today! Getting excited. This is a large and very nice looking piece of equipment. I will post pics next weekend as by then I should have it set up and working on my first print. Dow
BP, What are the 3D print settings you use for the SkyWeather2, Garden, AQI, and Lightning boxes?
Temperatures for the extruder and the plate? Layer height = 0.2mm? Infill = 100%? Any supports required? Any advanced type of settings? What slicer do you use? Simplify3D or the Qidi Cura based slicer? (Qidi sent a FFF file for the i-fast for using with Simplify3D)
I've been thinking you must have a real production line on the boxes and print multiple parts per run. Have you kept count on the total number of boxes you have printed?
The Qidi i-fast is printing! I've printed a few test prints. The magnetic plates are extremely sticky for PLA and require a heavy application of glue to keep the prints from being destroyed while I'm removing them. Qidi sent me a new free dual extruder with hardened steel nozzles for abrasive materials and a new thinner plate. I elected to get the dual extruders instead of having the free ruby single extruder. I've used up the red PLA that came with the printer and am wondering what you do to keep ABS from sticking. So many articles discuss how to make prints stick, but I'm having the opposite problem. I've just left a heavy coat of glue on the plate and let it dry. It seem to work just fine that way.
I'm learning about supports and multilevel print profiles and I know I have quite a learning curve to produce fine quality prints.
I'm looking into octoprint and combining that with Simplify3D. At the moment I'm having success with the Qidi slicer running in Win10 in a VM that is in bridged mode so the slicer can see the printer. The Qidi slicer and printer have to be on the same LAN. Simplify3D runs natively under Linux, but has a bit more of a learning curve, and doesn't submit via the network like the Qidi slicer. Octoprint would handle that though if I can make it work.
The printer has a camera (icookycam S1) built in. I can use the icookycam app on my Pixel 4XL to check on prints in progress.
I've been in touch with Qidi support, and you are right. They are very fast and helpful. I'm very impressed.
Lastly, I found that there is filament called HIPS that dissolves when immersed in D-Limonene and is perfect for supports. Have you ever used it?
BP, Apologies for not following up with images for the PLA. Life has been crazy over the last month. ABS is harder to print than PLA so far. I was wondering do you have problems with shrinkage of the initial layer and a few above it on long prints? If not, is that solely due to lowering the plate temp from 110C to 100C? Do you use a draft addition to prevent warping of the first few layers too? Qidi's example ABS 3mf file they sent to use in the Qidi slicer had the build plate at 110C for both the initial and subsequent layers. I also found that using a draft addition helped on small prints.
I'm trying a larger print where I tried a draft, the initial plate temp at 110C, and then dropped the plate to 105C for the rest of the layers. I'm getting a lot of warping and the draft has failed around parts of the structure. See the attached images.
Speeds 50 mm/s printing infill 25 mm/s for walls, initial layers, top and bottom layers
Print settings Layer height 0.2mm Infill at 50%. Full draft of print, not limited to a certain height.
Qidi gave me some examples of how to build a gcode file that varies the extrusion temperature so I can zero in on the best temperature for the ABS filament. A temperature tower is what this is for. But, I still don't get how to keep the warping from happening. I haven't tried a large print that takes a long time with the initial plate temp at 110C and then dropping to 100C, but including a draft. I've tried it on the SkyWeather2 box but didn't have a draft and didn't have the extrusion temp for the ABS high enough yet.
BP, Here is an example of a reasonably successful small print with draft. See attached image. It had the initial and final plate temp at 110C. The Qidi internal camera gets out of focus when the light is low and the chamber temperature is high.
Qidi recommends the chamber temperature set to 80C for ABS.
Last Edit: Aug 5, 2021 12:14:34 GMT -8 by dow4hurst
What do you have on the plate itself? We use the QIDI "sticky" plates that come with the XPLUS and the XMAX. This generally fixes the warping, but you have to just get it leveled and the right extruder height.
BP, The gold plate shown in the images is the new PEI plate Qidi sent with the hardened steel extruders. I'm still using the bronze extruders. The plate is thinner and has a rougher surface. It does grip the ABS better than the original plates.
A post I ran across had Hatchbox ABS filament profiled. They had recommended settings I'm trying on the SkyWeather2 top that seem to be working. Mainly the extruder temp is at 235C and is bonding to itself much better. Once the print comes out, I'll see if the bottom layer is okay. I am not seeing the warping I saw previously. The fans were kept off for half of the print, and set to 5-10% with the chamber loop closed for the 2nd half of the print process. Dow
Last Edit: Aug 6, 2021 18:30:03 GMT -8 by dow4hurst
Sounds like you are figuring out the settings for the new QIDI 3D Printer. This is great information. Looks like they have changed the print plates from the XMAX and XPLUS that we use. Could you send a picture of just the plate itself? It is a magnetic plate that attaches to the printer.
FYI if this is still relevant Abs is ok but not that flexiable and the gas from it is toxic.For the case I used Petg as is flexiable and can be used out side, easier to print and is shock resisant comapared to ABS. Its does warp as it cools so just like ABS you need to put a cardboard box around the printer or something but can be printed on a flex plate on an open machine. Temp is about the same 238 nozzle and 80 for the bed works. It can be a little stringy if temp too high. Just thought I may mention that, My weather station had been out side and other stations i have built and they are fine.