Getting your print to stay on the build platform can be a challenge and there are a few techniques that work for us.
Our build plate is heated, made of pyrex or aluminum, and is quite strong given that you can use:
- Blue painters tape (or the green tape works as well)
- Kapton tape / sheets
- Hair spray – We use it for most of our prints !
- Glue sticks (cleans up with a sponge and warm water)
Our adhesive of choice is strong hold hairspray in a non-aerosol pump spray bottle. First applied with a generous layer and (lightly) touched up every 4th or 5th print in the same area
Whatever you use, clean the bed before application, and keep the buildup to a minimum.
Removing your print from the platform can sometimes pose a problem if you got it to stick too well! A small paint scraper is safe to use on the bed/print using a slight “sawing” motion along with scraping. Letting the bed cool down to room temperature (if it was heated for the print/material) will aid in removing your print. The plastic and the glass/aluminum have two different expansion rates and most of the time the plastic will separate from the glass after cooling. (Really scares you with ABS on glass. Generally makes a popping noise after about an hour or so.)
Prevent tip clogs on the AFP-1728
When changing materials (like PLA to ABS, for example), turn the nozzle heater on from the menu options on the control panel, and set the nozzle temp to 240ºC. Change your filament and then gently purge the extruder by turning the large herringbone gear until the new filament type comes out clean (with no remnants). As your purging, the feel of the gear turning should be smooth and easy, this lets you know the melting temp is good as well.
How to set a good material temperature for printing
Turn on the printer and set the nozzle temperature from the control panel to the suggested filament temperature on your filament roll label. Load your filament in the extruder (as outlined in the “loading your filament” section of the instructions set) and gently rotate the large herringbone gear clockwise until filament is extruded. The “feel” of the extrusion should be smooth and easy. The extruded filament should be bubble-free (not overheating) and look like a even thread. If you get “blobs”, it is too hot and excessive pressure on the gear means it’s not hot enough. Steaming without bubbles means it’s almost the right temperature. Print away at these settings! Don’t be afraid to adjust the temperature as you print if necessary.
Tips for changing the nozzles
Always run the “Auto Home” feature from the “Prepare” menu choice. This is the fastest and safest way to adjust the Z-height clearance.