So, there I was on a late night. I was looking at my 3d model on the screen that I wanted to print. The print time was 72 hours and something minutes. I didn’t even look at the minutes, it seemed impossible. I turned down the quality settings to minimum and got 24 hours and 49 minutes.

I had to ask my self a question. Can Maui Electric deliver power without interruption for 24 hours and 49 minutes? Acting on faith, I decided to go forward and print the part in blue ABS. Up to this point, my printer was working great with PLA. I could print something, observe that the part was anchored to the build plate and walk away. ABS adhered even better so there should be no problem. Six hours into the print, disaster strikes. The ABS was cooling and contracting as the layer being printed was further from the heated build plate. Quarter to half  inch layers started separating and curling up and they contracted.

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So, try again in PLA. Now the time is 8:10 in the morning and I promised Abe that I would be at the lab at 9:00 so we could study over the weekend. I started the print and spritzed some acetone on the first layer so it would stick better by creating a slurry on the exposed edges. (this makes plastic stick really well, it’s hard to get the plastic off the build plate).

24 hours and 49 minutes later, success.img_0101 Keys to trouble free printing:

Know your material (ABS sucks for large prints without heat regulation)

Level your print bed.

Be sure to have good adhesion

Make sure you have really tested the limits of your printer

Pray for no power outages

Of course this leads to over confidence that you can print anything, even at weird angles.

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