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  • FDM consumables

    For you guys who have been doing this for a long time.

    What parts on an FDM printer are considered consumable? I don't know enough about these printers to determine what parts I should source out and maybe even buy as spares to have sitting around.

    Does the nozzle wear out?

    Thanks

    Dan
    Cheers

    Dan
    G.P Alberta

  • #2
    Nozzles don't so much wear out as clog. I've replaced a number of them rather than keep trying to clean them out. Fortunately the brass nozzles are cheap and easy to replace.

    I have replaced the build plate -- both glass and magnetic flexible. The Creality glass plates have a textured surface printed on to aid adhesion. I have found it wears out after a while. The magnetic flexible build surfaces can be damaged by heat. That was the issue with mine. I keep spares in stock.

    The knurled wheels that feed the filament wear out. Keep spares.

    The wheels that run on the aluminum axis tracks also wear. It is a good idea to check for slop due to wear periodically. You can tighten the wheels against the tracks, but eventually they do wear out, so again, spares.

    My machine has timing belts to drive the X and Y axes. They will last a long time, but I've got spares. They were cheap. The Z axis is driven by a ball screw. That is not cheap. Should last a long time, but it is a wear part. I don't have a spare. Yet.

    I do have a spare stepper motor that I bought when I thought one of mine was going bad. Turned out not, but for something like US$30 I wasn't going to cry.

    Heaters have a limited life. How long? Dunno. I have a spare for the nozzle but not for the build plate.

    Then there are the circuit boards. There is at least one brand of machine that seems to eat display boards. Spare boards are surprisingly cheap. I have a spare display board that, again, I bought when I suspected mine was going south. So far, not.

    These printers remind me of a 1950's era automobile. Lots of cheap wear parts that need replacing frequently. By the time you hit 100,000 miles you'd replaced some of them three or four times. Lots of weekends spent under the car with wrenches.

    Ed Bianchi
    Ed Bianchi
    York Pennsylvania USA

    Comment


    • #3
      Brass nozzles are cheap, I buy a 30 pack and replace when they clog, which isn't too often (I still have 15 or more left 18 mos later). They absolutely WILL wear out if you print anything abrasive but normal PLA is not abrasive (glow in the dark IS abrasive). If you buy steel nozzles they won't wear out, but unclogging is a PITA and they are too expensive for me to throw away.

      Capricorn tubing and fittings for your Bowden tube unless you have a Mk10 direct drive extruder. Get the set that comes with the cutter so you get a square end.

      The rest is largely one time investment unless you are running industrial. I ran my printer almost nonstop last year and just needed nozzles and tubing. Anything else that went down was my fault (trying to install a cheap all metal hot end). Springs, glass bed, and metal extruder were initial purchases and still running two years later. My glass bed takes a wipe with alcohol every few prints but it hasn't worn out nor has my extruder been a problem, but I printed a good filament guide which helps.

      ​​​​​
      Come Race at The Trace!
      Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN
      https://cults3d.com/en/users/chappyman662/creations

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks

        My reason for asking was some recent issues with clogging and spider webs that I haven’t seen before. I exhausted all software options and was wondering if this is a tell tale sign on a nozzle or something else that needs replacing

        My magnetic flex plate needs replacing and I am starting to have some nozzle clogging issues. Going to go down to the local sign shop and get a piece magnetic sign to see if it works as a handy source for this part. Think I will buy some nozzles to have on hand as well

        Cheers

        Dan
        Cheers

        Dan
        G.P Alberta

        Comment


        • #5
          If you are seeing spiderwebs, it's most likely due to your Bowden tube not being seated firmly against the back of the nozzle. When there is separation there is molten plastic back there and it causes drag on the filament resulting in spiderwebs from incomplete retraction. You will eventually have a clog and will need to replace the nozzle and reseat the tube.

          There are several good videos about seating the tube correctly so make sure to follow them.
          Come Race at The Trace!
          Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN
          https://cults3d.com/en/users/chappyman662/creations

          Comment


          • #6
            Get a food dehydrator and dry your filament for a couple of hours, throw your silica bags in there too and keep your rolls in a sealed tin.
            Kevan - Isle of Man
            Life is like a box of Slot cars...🚓🚗🚚🚜

            Comment


            • chappyman66
              chappyman66 commented
              Editing a comment
              This is good advice if your printer does not live inside in the AC. I have never had a problem, but my printer lives in a spare bedroom and with AC the humidity is not a problem for me.

          • #7
            I live out west were humidity is seldom a problem, plus we have just been through a hot spell of 107 and the air is very dry. I have printed 7/8 of a spool with decent results until now. However if you were to ask me what the biggest change has been in my printing parameters, I would have to say the ambient temperature went from 21C to 42 C and now back to 23C in the span of a week. Printers are in my garage where there is heat but no air conditioning. Not usually a problem in this neck of the woods, but this year has been hot.

            I checked out the magnetic sign material from the print shop, but the price was almost the same as getting purpose built replacement, so I will just order the proper replacement. Sometimes you can spend more money looking for a bargain . This was going to be one of those times, so I bailed on the idea.

            My latest chassis prints have been horrible, as I try to work out what the issue might be. They appear as a mesh of what they are supposed to be . All using the same printing file that has had dozens of great prints.

            I will start browsing youtube, and look for some videos that might explain my issues, as well, as checking out the bowden tube issue.
            Last edited by Barc 1; July 5, 2021, 08:03 PM.
            Cheers

            Dan
            G.P Alberta

            Comment


            • #8
              Update

              I found the hotend nozzle assembly was loose. Two screws had backed out allowing the assembly to float around. Tightened up the screws and am printing a file that I know prints well. First layers are down and it looks like the problem is solved.

              I have now had two problems that stem from loose screws that were in factory assembled sub assemblies. My experience with FDM printing so far is to focus on the mechanical end of things, Many screws and moving parts are in play.
              Cheers

              Dan
              G.P Alberta

              Comment


              • #9
                You can have that mesh problem with a nozzle half clogged to!

                Comment


                • Barc 1
                  Barc 1 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Yes, that turned out to be the main problem.

              • #10
                Aside from loose screws, there are adjustments you need to keep an eye on.

                Wheels that roll on aluminum extrusions have a tension adjustment. Over time the rubber facing on these wheels will wear, so the tension adjustment will need to be tweaked. As does the tension adjustment on the timing belts. Those also wear. And although timing belts are designed to not stretch, some stretch may still occur.

                In any of the above cases we're talking thousandths of an inch, but thousandths of an inch are a big deal in 3D printing. You are unlikely to eyeball the slop. You need to just tweak the tension adjustments periodically.

                On my machine I have discovered tensioning the timing belt is easier if I use one of my allen wrenches as a lever to apply force to the tensioner while I tighten it down.

                As I mentioned above, the wheels and timing belts will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. But even with heavy use they will probably last years.

                Ed Bianchi
                Ed Bianchi
                York Pennsylvania USA

                Comment


                • #11
                  Back from vacation, and came home to 3D printer parts I ordered.

                  So I swapped out the Bowden tube, and nozzle. Seems to have fixed my issues. With the help of you forum members and some good you tube content, I know more about FDM printing then I used to.

                  Far more mechanically involved then Resin printing for sure which has few moving parts, where the learning curve surrounds software settings more than anything else. FDM seems to be as much about mechanical glitches as software settings.

                  Each printer has its strengths, and I am now dependant on both. Sure is fun to take the raw materials and turn out a slotcar

                  Got my urethene, and now am going to cast some BARC tires out of my resin printed molds.

                  So from my experience so far here are the things you need to have on hand for FDM printing with an Anycubic Mega Zero 2.0

                  Consumables

                  Nozzles
                  Bowden tube
                  Filament

                  Handy Spare parts

                  Complete Hot End assembly( just in case) no issues yet, but it is a critical part

                  Magnetic flex build plate.

                  This part is subject to damage if set up issues result in too strong an adhesion. Models were pulling away flawlessly until I had plugged nozzle and then some prints really stuck to this mat and I had to use razor to get them off, and that nicked the mat.

                  All of the above are available from Amazon with delivery in less than 5 days



                  Cheers

                  Dan
                  Last edited by Barc 1; July 20, 2021, 01:37 PM.
                  Cheers

                  Dan
                  G.P Alberta

                  Comment


                  • Kevan
                    Kevan commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I peeled the textures surface off my magnetic plate after removing a PETG print damaged it, now I rub a little PVA where I'm printing and wash/scrape it off with hot water afterwards and not had a print lift once.

                • #12
                  To be sure, there are plenty of software settings you can play with in the slicer. The FDM process is CMC extrusion so the dance of temperature, speed and pressure is complex and changes based on material, nozzle diameter, and even colors / brands of material. Changing to a steel nozzle requires slightly higher temp due to the thermal properties of steel vs brass. Changing to a 0.3 or 0.2 nozzle will result in changes to feed rate or higher temps to keep the flow rate up.....it's all inter-related.

                  But it's a good thing that the spare parts fixed your issue. If you get stringing soon again, it's because your tube isn't well seated (which can happen).

                  And yes....making a car from pixels is quite rewarding.
                  Come Race at The Trace!
                  Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN
                  https://cults3d.com/en/users/chappyman662/creations

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    Similar to Kevin’s experience but I picked up a document frame at the dollar store and used the glass and PVA only one print lifted and it was saved and ran a proxy
                    Dave
                    Peterborough Ont
                    CANADA

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      I use a glue stick , the ones the kids use at school and haven't had a problem with sticking since. Handy to have on hand.

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        I haven't had an issue with prints lifting, for me it has been the opposite. The prints started really sticking to the bed and I needed to use a razor to remove them, even from the flexible magnetic mat. The razor ended up damaging the magnetic plate, and I ended up replacing the mat. I found an Ender Mat on Amazon and used it as it was cheaper and I could use Amazon’s free fast delivery. I literally had it in two days.

                        Cheers

                        Dan
                        Cheers

                        Dan
                        G.P Alberta

                        Comment

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