This printer is now very stiff, fairy accurate, and has little to no play. However, there is a flaw in this style of 3D printer, moving heavy Y axis bed carriage. With the increasing weight on the Y axis, there will be more ringing artifacts on the print. You can avoid ringing artifacts by printing slower on the skin, 15mm/s or less for this printer, but when the print gets heavier, the ringing artifacts may be more visible.
The X axis carriage of this printer is also heavy, but its weight will not increase. I thought about reducing the weight of the X axis by using a lighter stepper motor setup, but then the Y axis will still be heavy, so there is no point in reducing the weight in only 1 axis because the other axis will still cause the ringing artifacts.
Personally, I will not buy another one to do all the upgrades. Instead, I will make a custom 3D printer with a stationary bed.
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DDW RONIN 3D PRINTER
- Heated bed
- Auto bed leveling
- Auto X leveling
- Build volume 210x270x225mm (XYZ)
- Adjustable belt tensioners
- Filament runout sensor
- Smooth filament holder with bearings
- TL-Smoother case with fan
- Thermostat for shutting off the heating when the heat sink fan fails
- Thermostat for ambient temperature
- Aluminum frame and solid printed ABS parts with brass insert nuts
- Adjust Z height with babystepping in real time while printing
- Adjust Z offset accordingly to babystepping and select store memory in one place
- Easy cable carrier system
- Needs a clip that only clamps 4mm or less into the bed to get that 210mm in X
- Can only print 15mm/s or less on the skin to avoid ringing artifacts due to heavy X and Y carriages
The modifying of the HICTOP 3DP-12 3D printer started since 2016. There were many versions since then.
2016 3DP Modify 1 3DPAF
2017 3DP Modify 2 3DPDK
2017 3DP Modify 3 3DPDK Improved
2018 3DP Modify 4 RONIN (latest version and its video will be made sometime)
- Software: Cura 3.6
- Layer Height: 0.2mm
- Infill Density: 75%
- Materials: ABS
- Wall Thickness: 1.2mm, 4mm
- Top/Bottom Thickness: Same as Wall Thickness
- Filter Out Tiny Gaps: ☑ or ☐ as you see fit
Infill Density 5%, Wall Thickness 1.2mm, Top/Bottom Thickness 1.2mm for this file only:
The only cable carrier file that needs brim:
Here is how to print ABS:
- Make a box for the printer, and inside the box should be about 60C when printing.
- Mix 100g of acetone with 1m of 1.75mm ABS filament to make ABS juice in this 12 Oz Clear Jar.
- Use Foam Poly Brush to apply a thin film of ABS juice to the bed.
- Wait for the ABS juice to dry and then start printing.
- After the printing is done, don't open the box. Wait for the bed to cool down to 50C before opening the box and removing the printed part(s) to avoid ABS shrinkage.
- Z Axis Frame Assembly has to be moved from 165mm to 155mm.
- After updating firmware, in LCD, you must go to "Control" and then "Restore settings" and also "Store memory."
- Adjust the stepper motor current on the main board to X=0.8, Y=0.8, Z=1.0V, and E0=0.8. Watch how to adjust the current here.
- Use "DDW_RN-3DPT01_1mm_Sensor_Gap_Gauge.stl" to set a gap between the nozzle and the proximity sensor. Adjust closer if 1mm gap is too thick.
- Sensor wiring from top to bottom: BLACK - BLUE - BROWN
- Use some foam from the foam brush for the dust filter.
- Use Soldering iron to press in the brass nuts.
- Must use filament sensor.
Firmware: Marlin RC8
Arduino for updating firmware
Cura 3.6 for generating 3D printing codes
FreeCAD for designing 3D parts
Pick one 3D printer to start off with:
1x eBay Amazon LJ18A3-8-Z/BX Proximity Sensor 8mm DC 6-36V NPN NO
1x eBay Amazon 2S JST-XH Connector Adapter Plug (for proximity sensor)
3x eBay Amazon 2p Spring Connector (for quick fan replacement)
1x eBay Amazon 6 Pins Screw Terminal Block
2x eBay Amazon Brass T8 Anti-Backlash Spring Loaded Nut
2x eBay Amazon 8x12x3.5mm Bearing MR128-ZZ (for Z lead screw top mounts)
2x AliExpress 17HS4401S M8x8 324MM Integrated Lead Screw Z Stepper Motor
1x eBay Amazon V6 1.75mm Heat Sink Proximity Short Distance (for direct drive)
1x eBay Amazon V6 Throat 4.1mm Through
1x eBay Amazon PTFE Teflon Tube 2MM ID 4MM OD For 1.75MM Filament
1x eBay Amazon Extruder 0.4mm Nozzle 1.75mm
4x eBay Amazon 30mm x 10mm 24V Fan
1x Menards 3/32" T x 10" W x 12" L Clear Glass Sheet
1x eBay Amazon Aluminum Y Carriage Anodized Plate Upgrade V2
1x eBay Amazon SC8UU 8mm Linear Ball Bearing (for extra bearing on Y carriage)
4x eBay Amazon M3 Thumb Nut
1x eBay Amazon 800mm Stepper Motor Cable Extension for X motor
1x eBay Amazon 1500mm Stepper Motor Cable Extension for E motor
1x eBay Amazon 1500mm 24V Heater Extension
1x eBay Amazon 1500mm NTC 100K Thermistor Temperature Sensor Extension
1x eBay Amazon 24 AWG Wire Extension (for fans)
1x eBay Amazon Digital Computer Thermometer
1x eBay Digital LED Microcomputer Thermostat
1x eBay Amazon NTC 10K Thermistor (for microcomputer thermostat)
11x eBay Amazon 9x9x12mm Heat Sink (for stepper drivers)
1x eBay Amazon 14x14x7mm Heat Sink (for main board chip)
11x eBay Amazon 20x20x10mm Heat Sink (for stepper motors)
4x eBay Amazon 40x40x11mm Heat Sink (for stepper motors)
1x eBay Amazon 25x20x0.20mm Thermal Tape
3x eBay SC8AJ 8mm Adjustable Bearing (for X carriage, these ones have no play at all!)
5x eBay Amazon M2x6 Hex Socket
3x eBay Amazon M2x10 Hex Socket (for runout sensor)
4x eBay Amazon M2x12 Hex Socket (for belt tensioners)
11x eBay Amazon M3x6 Set Screw (for locking)
3x eBay Amazon M3x8 Set Screw for locking (for locking bed plug and belt tensioners)
12x eBay Amazon M3x12 Hex Socket
3x eBay Amazon M3x20 Hex Socket
12x eBay Amazon M3x25 Hex Socket
11x eBay Amazon M3x30 Hex Socket
1x eBay Amazon M4x10 Hex Socket (for extruder X lever bearing)
15x eBay Amazon M2x3x3.2 Brass Insert Nut
41x eBay Amazon M3x3x4.3 Brass Insert Nut
25x eBay Amazon M3x3x5.3 Brass Insert Nut
2x eBay Amazon GT2 3mm Bore 20Teeth Aluminum Toothed Timing Belt Idler
2x eBay Amazon GE4E 4x12x5mm Spherical Bearing
3x eBay Amazon MR52ZZ 2x5x2.5mm Bearing (for runout sensor and belt tensioners)
2x eBay Amazon 6902 2RS 15x28x7MM Bearing (for filament holder)
4x eBay Amazon TL-Smoother Plus
1x eBay Amazon 10mm Kapton Tape
1x eBay Amazon 16 AWG Wire Extension (for converter and heated bed)
4x eBay Amazon Linear Bearings LM8UU 8MM (good ones will not feel rough when sliding, most of them in the market are pretty bad)
4x eBay Amazon Build Platform Glass Retainer
1x eBay Amazon GT2 Belt
1x eBay Amazon SanDisk Extreme 16GB SDHC UHS-I Card
1x eBay Amazon Heat Reflective Tape
eBay Amazon 5/16" (7.9mm) Circle Hole Punch
eBay Amazon Xacto X3201 N0. 1 Precision Knife
eBay Amazon 60W Soldering Iron
eBay Amazon Soldering Wire 60/40 1mm
Harbor Freight 4 Pc Adjustable Wrench Set
Harbor Freight 5 in. Curved Jaw Locking Pliers
Harbor Freight 4.8 Volt 1/4 in. Cordless Screwdriver Kit
Harbor Freight 36 Pc 3 in. Screwdriver Bit Set
Harbor Freight Glass Cutter
eBay Amazon J-B Weld 33106 0.2 oz. Superweld Super Glue, Clear
eBay Amazon Snap Ring Pliers 6 Inch
Problems and Solutions
- Problem: Printer keeps making random moves during print using SD Card.
- Solution 1: Try using a new eBay Amazon SanDisk Extreme 16GB SDHC SD Card.
- Solution 2: Try using shorter 10 pin ribbon cables. 45CM or shorter is a safe length. The longer the cable, the more errors you will get.
- Solution 3: The SD card reader might be bad. Buy a new eBay Amazon 2004 LCD SD Card Reader.
- Problem: If your HICTOP printer is making random weird moves and shutting down when using SD card, it means that part of the LCD screen is touching the metal piece that is touching the Y step motor. If you have the old LCD screen that is all metal, you will have this problem. For your information, HICTOP now provides the metal cover that comes with plastic nuts to separate the LCD screen and the metal cover to fix this problem.
- Solution: Remove the LCD screen from the printer frame and put it aside. Avoid the LCD ribbon wires touching the step motor wires.
Main Board & SD Card Reader
- Problem: From April 2017, HICTOP now has a built-in SD card reader on the main board. Thus, the SD card reader on the LCD is no longer usable.
- Solution: Buy an eBay Amazon MKS Base V1.5 3D Printer Controller Board to replace it.
LCD Doesn't Work
- Problem: LCD doesn't work when plugging in to the main board.
- Solution: Some Chinese MKS Base V1.4 or V1.5 main boards have the EXP2 and EXP1 upside down, so just flip the EXP2 and EXP1 plugs upside down and force plug in accordingly.
- If your converter's fan is making a loud noise, simply replace the fan with a new one here eBay Amazon 24V 60x60x15mm Fan.
Uneven Bed ABS
- Problem: If you experience uneven bed when printing ABS out of nowhere, in this case the proximity sensor's temperature matters. If the sensor is cool during the preheat, given that the X carriage is 100mm or more above the bed, when the sensor is doing G29 or probing the bed, the cool sensor will get warmer and warmer throughout the bed and the sensor will give out inaccurate numbers as its temperature changes.
- Solution: Do Auto Home, and then preheat ABS. In this case the sensor should be about 15mm above the bed and getting warmed up by the bed's temperature. Once the sensor starts to prob the bed, its temperature shouldn't change wildly and it should give out accurate numbers.
- Solution: Or always do G29 or probing the bed before heating the bed.
- Solution: Make sure the countersinks on the bed are good so the screws won't be pushing the glass up causing uneven bed.
- Problem: ABS filament is bubbling when extruding.
- Solution: Bake the ABS filament in the oven at 175F for 1 hour or 2 hours and then try printing. It really depends on how much moisture is in the filament. The more moisture, the longer the bake time will have to be.
- Solution: If you don't have an oven, buy a eBay Amazon dehydrator and dehydrate the ABS filament overnight with 158F or 70C. Cut big enough hole on 3 trays, and you should be able to fit 2 1kg spools in there.
PLA Clogging Nozzle, Heat Creep
- Problem: PLA keeps clogging at the throat even with new nozzle and new throat.
- Solution 1: Check the heat sink cooling fan, you may need to replace it.
- Solution 2: If it's still clogging, try increase the extruder spring tension.
- Solution 3: If it's still clogging, try blowing cool air through the printer.
- Solution 4: If it's still clogging, try printing at a lower temperature like 200C or 190C.
- Solution 5: If it's still clogging, throw away your filament, and buy a better quality filament.
- Problem: Proximity sensor wire(s) get broken inside. After a while these wires do get broken especially around the extruder flexing (the first curve).
- Problem: It might even be serious like it would actually blow up your main board.
- Solution: Buy new proximity sensor.
Heat Drops Randomly
- Problem: Heat drops and the printer stops.
- Solution: Check the heat sensor wires, they might be broken inside somewhere. Just replace the sensor would be the best solution.
Random Over Extrusion
- Problem: Random over extrusion on some layers at the same spots every print.
- Solution 1: Try different filament from different brand, the one you're using might have an inconsistency problem.
- Solution 2: Try printing using USB cable and see if the over extrusion will still occur. If it does, then there is possibly a problem with SD card, SD card reader or the main board.
Nozzle Keeps Clogging
- Problem: Nozzle keeps clogging, the drive gear keeps spinning, and the filament doesn't move.
- Solution: The extruder spring lost its tension, maybe due to a deformed extruder X lever. Increase the extruder spring tension, replace the nozzle, and start printing.
- Solution: Also check for unstable temperature. It may just got too cold to extrude, then got clogged, and then back to normal temp.
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