3D Printing Techniques and Maintenance

Normally, a MakerBot 3D printer will perform like a regular paper printer, performing your job exactly as you expect.  Sometimes, though, problems can arise.  Here are some techniques and tips that could help you get through any problems that you might encounter.

Before you print

Level the build plate

It seems obvious, but many users neglect this easy step: level the build plate.  This process only takes a minute, and is even easier on the Z18 printer, but having an uneven plate is a quick way to get printing problems.

Keep the build surface clean

If you’re using PLA filament, use rubbing alcohol to keep the painter’s tape on the surface of the build plate to ensure proper cohesion.  Similarly for ABS filament, use a small amount of acetone on the kapton tape.

Maintenance tips

Clean the nozzle

Ensure that the outside of the extruder nozzle is clean and free of any buildup.  If the nozzle becomes clogged, try following these steps for ABS filament and these steps for PLA.

Apply tape carefully

Take care when applying a fresh sheet of kapton or painter’s tape.  Any imperfection could impact the quality of your print.

Keep it lubricated

The threaded rod used to move the build plate up and down should remain clean, free from debris and lubricated at all times to avoid any noise during printing process

If you encounter a problem

Don’t give up! Try to determine what caused it.

Is it the design?

Sometimes the printer can have problems with a compound radius.

Is the filament bad?

Cheaper filament can often clog more easily or just make a low-quality print.

Still Having Problems?

Talk to one of our experts or visit our main page on 3D printing.

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