Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sailfish Tip: Turn off Extrusion Hold

I've been fighting with a problem lately. I'm not sure when it started exactly. It was around when I installed the new extruder assembly or there about, but my printer lost the ability to do sharp turns. Anything that had tight details that involved the extruder making small circular areas always ended up looking crappy. Drooly, lumpy, not good. Fine for bigger architectural pieces. Not good if you're doing Doctor Who pawns or minis or things that are very small, full of tight details.
Dang it, I've really got to stop doing test prints in red. Okay, imagine the one on the left is all ridgy and crappy and the one on the right is a lot smoother. Because that's what it is.

The problem it turns out, was with the Extrusion Hold setting in Sailfish. Makerware/Desktop litters this Extrusion Hold command through their X3G code specifically designed to trip up sailfish firmwares, because their own firmware ignores those commands. So the problem didn't come from putting in after market parts in my machine, it came from upgrading from Makerware 2.41 to Desktop.

This experience has convinced me to seek out a new slicer. Unfortunately there are very few that export to Makerbot's X3G format. I tried out MatterControl, and while it does output an X3G file, that file is not suitable for use on a Makerbot by default. The file I tried didn't even wait for the build plate or nozzles to heat up before it started printing. Plus MatterHacker has a really unpretty interface that I don't like so far. I'm keeping my eye out if anyone comes up with a fix for the X3G for MatterControl, and in the meanwhile saving my pennies to buy Simplify3D.

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