Tips & Tricks
A Level Printing Bed
I can not stress the importance of this sole single point. A level bed is so important in getting that perfect first layer. This can be achieved using a piece of paper and is very simple. There are loads of youtube videos out there explaining this procedure.
I must have owned a 3d printer for a whole year before I started to understand what an essential tool this is for cockpit building. I was always dismayed with how long the parts took to create. As time passed, I became to rely on this machine for prototyping and it has quickly become my number 1 go-to tool. The fact that this machine can produce nearly any part you can create on CAD is amazing.
With a little time and understanding, you can create things that normally would be out of somebodies price range such as the throttle assemblies or controls. Many simmers use this to create panels for there sim.
I started off with a $109 Tronxy A8 printer. I never realised how bad the print quality was until I received my Ender 3 Pro.
The Ender 3 changed things overnight for me. I was so excited at its print quality, that this made we want to use it. I quickly rushed out and bought the Ender 3 V2. This was to speed up prototyping.
This was another huge leap forward once again. I loved how everything stuck to the glass bed, the new colour display and tensioning devices.
The Ender 3 V2 is the machine I would recommend. Its a little more expensive, but I have now bought the upgrades for my Ender 3 Pro. Both machines are a good price to get started and will produce some great looking components.
Some the sim builders here, take it would step further and use filler to get a perfect finish and paint the unit.
These machines print PLA perfectly out of the box.
This really puzzled me when I started. I think I had every kind of ABS failure there was. I stowed my ABS filament away until I came across this enclosure. This changed ABS printing overnight. Every print is now perfect. I do have the odd failure now and then, but I put this down to the small details I'm trying to print with a 0.8mm nozzle.
Now as simple as this sounds, when your printing large objects, a bigger nozzle rapidly reduces print time. Here's my rule of thumb:
01-0.2mm For any text that has to be printed
0.3-0.4mm For small detail work or a smooth finish
0.5-0.6mm For Med Work
0.8mm For most Large applications. Especially where the finish doesn't matter or can not be seen. This also produces the strongest parts.
My Ender 3 Cura Settings
Many people request these settings, so if you need my fine-tuning settings please grab there here. I have really slowed the first layer down, this enables all those small holes to stick properly on the first layer. After that, it's a steady pace.
Dont forget to try ironing the top surface as well for a great finish.
Top Tip from Ian Crumbley:
"Be meticulous and do research beyond the instructions provided. Initial assembly, initial enhancements, bed levelling and different printing materials and their properties should all be researched to help aid in understanding and getting a great head start."
First Layer & Bed Adhesion
Let's start with the glass bed and getting prints to stick. If you watch Ivan Miranda on youtube and see his 3 ft and bigger printers. This guy does not suffer from warping. I watched his 3d printing video in full and this is what I learned:
Turn your Ender 3 glass Plate over so it's smooth side up.
Wash the glass plate, with washing up liquid and then don't touch it with your fingers. The oils from your skin affect the adhesion.
The glass is perfect for smooth prints on the base. But even glass has its downside. On a multiday print, I found the print separating from the bed.
The best and easiest way I have found to make prints stick for multiday prints is to use Frog tape from amazon.
This stuff just works! The prints stick super well and if it gets damaged, you just change that strip.
I now use it on all printers and even on the small prints instead of the glass base. Over the years I have come to trust it, especially during the MTU & rudder pedals which requires huge multiday prints.