Saturday, 11 March 2017

Testing our UP! Mini printer calibration

This afternoon we set the UP! Mini 3d printer up in its final home, in the bungalow workshop. While the workshop isn't exactly finished, having loads of computers, tools, electronics equipment and boxes of wires hanging around the house has been getting pretty tiresome of late.

So I set up the "big computer" in the bungalow and gave the 3d printer a quick go to check it still worked ok after being joggled around. Thankfully - and as Steve insists is common with UP! printers - it just worked!

great expanses of long empty shelves - won't stay empty for long!

After calibrating our laser cutter a few days ago (and finding it wasn't cutting exactly to size without a bit of tweaking) we figured it best to see how accurately the Up! Mini was printing.

Without messing about creating a 3d model and slicing it up, I just added a simple cube in the Up! Studio software and scaled it to as close to 14mm as I could get (it ended up around 14.02mm). 10 minutes later and a little white cube was ready.

Along one side and the height of cube appeared to be within a reasonable tolerance

Our printer has a resolution of 0.2mm so even at 14.14mm we're still pretty happy that the print is within our margin of error.

Measuring the height of the cube (across the banding) showed it to also be within reasonable margin of error.

At first this reading caused a little concern, as it's less than the 14mm required. But it's also within 0.17mm of the required distance - less than the height of a single layer. So it's pretty good. After all, the variation between designed and measured values were 0.17mm, 0.06mm and 0.12mm

If we'd had that degree of accuracy from our initial laser cut testing, we'd have been more than happy! So until we print something that's completely way out of whack, it look like the UP! Mini 3d printer is producing decent prints - almost straight out of the box.