Using a fan to print aggressively acute angles.
by MaikaiGuy, published
Why am I holding a small fan you ask?
I've been working on something and needed to print overhangs with aggressively acute angles without using supports. I noticed I can get angles down to about 15 degrees and still have a quality print if I blew on the hot ABS as it is printing. So I ran down to Radio Shack and bought a small fan.
The picture is of 5x5x10mm cube with a 1x1x10mm arm coming off at a 15 degree angle to horizontal. The cube and arm on the left have no air flow. The cube and arm on the right do.
Please keep in mind this is a layer height of .27mm and a feed rate of 80mm/s. The slices at this layer height do not have much to grab onto. It's kind of a torture test for the problem I'm trying to solve.
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That's nice, but I have two issues with the several solutions I've seen similar to that:
1) You can't put something like that on a Replicator Dual without reducing build volume. Â I routinely build large enclosures and mounting plates for electronics projects and will not (can not) give up build volume.2) Too much air is directed at the printed piece. Â For small jobs, I'm sure this is fine, but I already have an issue with warping and pulling off the bed when printing large jobs. Â I have enclosed the printer and this helps a lot, but still the issue persists. Â I need something precise. Â
Â So you're going for a more precise version of this?
For what I'm trying to do I need to move the fan from side to side as the slopes are printed. Â If I just leave the fan sitting on the platform blowing from one side, only that side prints well.
I'm working on a vented duct for the business end of the fan, to better direct the air. Â I want most of the air deflected away, but have a small tube of air I can directÂ preciselyÂ on the print location.
I think having the whole fan blowing on the print would have negative consequences for larger prints. Â I already have an issue with warping and corners pulling up from the bed on larger prints. Â My Replicator is enclosed and that helped, but now I need it open to apply this cooling air stream.
It's a "damned if you do and damned if you don't" scenario.
I've never had an adhesion issue between layers. Â
The fan helps A LOT for bridging. Â You can bridge longer distances and there will be less sagging when bridging the same distances.
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I looked at some of the fan ducts for extruder fans, but they all seemed to reduce the build area... unacceptable.
Getting great prints with aggressive angles is easy using a fan with a separate power supply (wall wart), but requires your attention. Since my Makerbot is still relatively new to me and I'm usually watching it print, this is not a problem. ;-)
While I was at Radio Shack, I also bought a wall wart to power the fan and a female plug for the fan wires to accept the wall wart's plug.
You'll need a soldering iron.
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