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Method X Max Extrusion Speed Firmware Limit

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Hi,

I am printing with a custom made 0.8mm nozzle on my Method X, but the problem I am facing is the maximum extrusion speed seems to be limited by the firmware to 10.2mm/s for 200mm/s printing using 0.4mm nozzle. So, 200mm/s XY speed at with 0.4 nozzle is limited to about 50mm/s with a 0.8 nozzle. Good news is still, I managed to get twice as quick prints compared to my 5th Gen Replicator with 0.8 nozzle and fast settings.

Considering how well built Method is, I think this is well below the capability of the machine itself because I didn't get temperature fluctuations, layer shift or filament slip during my tests, and the extruder temperature was quite low as well. (Really love Method X!!!)

Increasing the "Filament Diameter" (same effect as lowering all extrusion multipliers), decreased the print time estimation. This suggests that the limiting factor is purely the extrusion feed rate. Modifying the feed rate from meta and toolpath hasn't speed it up as well.

I think currently E0 stepper is running at about 460 rpm, but putting light pressure on the filament doesn't stop it pulling the filament, so I think there is a margin of allowance there, which I am willing to play with:)

I would really appreciate your suggestions.

I would be happy to collaborate with MakerBot using a custom firmware with increased speed limit to try printing fast using a 0.8 nozzle.

Many thanks.

Kindest Regards,
Egemen Ertem

You are correct in your estimation of the maximum extrusion speed, though by my calculations your resulting max gantry speed with a 0.8 mm nozzle should be 150 mm/s, not 50 mm/s.

You are also correct that the METHOD X can go faster than currently enabled, but one of the primary limiting factors in not printing at those speeds is not capacity, but control. Most 3D printers can do some pretty high speeds, but it comes at the expense of control in some situations. Rapid changes in flow often get noticeably worse print quality in some situations, which is why the machine is configured/limited the way it is. It is also to prevent irrecoverable damage to the extruder that might be created by printing at very high speeds.

In general--and you probably already know this--one of the best ways to decrease print time is not to speed up the extrusion moves, but to reduce the overall toolpath length. And the way to accomplish this is by widening the bead widths. With a LABS extruder, you should be able to do this (not sure if it's exposed in CP for regular extruders), even with a 0.4 mm nozzle. The 0.4 mm will be able to handle it in most, if not all, situations. An easy example of this is in the raft base layers, which are typically 1.4mm by 0.4 mm and some slow gantry speed.

I can't speak to whether this limit will raised in the future, but I am definitely curious to see what kinds of results you are getting. Please post photos if you have the opportunity.

Hi,

I have attached a photo of the largest 0.8 print I have got so far and a photo of the layer uniformity of another print with 0.7mm layer height. Method X is a beast that never stops amazing me:)

As the volumetric extrusion per mm of XY movement using a 0.8 nozzle is at least 4 times of the 0.4 nozzle (0.7 layer height, 0.8 width), I thought dividing 200mm/s by 4 gives 50mm/s. So, hence I thought maximum gantry speed is limited by the maximum feed rate. You might be right though as I have checked my Replicator 5th gen 0.8 settings, and they are faster than 50mm/s and Method X prints twice as quickly. I have increased the toolpath file feed rates to very high but that didn't seem to increase speed. I think in the future I might run a test print for measuring the gantry speed to quantify the actual gantry speed.

What you suggested is a great idea actually. I will try increasing the width further to see if the gantry slows down. Hopefully will not.

Thank you very much for your reply, it is always great to get some friendly feedback :)

Let me know if you have any comments on the parts I have attached.

Kindest Regards,
Egemen

Your prints came out pretty well. Do you think you could also share the .makerbot or .stl? It looks like in some areas the slicer tried to squeeze another layer in between the shells? It also looks like on the right side by the small hole there is a defect? Is that intentional or is it underextruded?

The way the slicer and firmware work, what will probably happen is the FW will clip the speed of the extrusion so even if you set the extrusion speeds to something high, the FW will scale them down. It won't dynamically adjust the speed based on your adjustment of the width and height.

Hi Karl,
Apologies for my delayed reply. I have attached the stl and MakerBot files along with the .printmode file for CloudPrint.

I am hoping to do more experiments with my Method X later this month, and will let you know of my results for increasing the width further, measuring the gantry speed while doing so and observing its effect on print time.

Thanks again for your comments.

Kindest Regards,
Egemen

BRAVO GOOD SIRS, please more Method X modifications, tips, and tricks.