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  1. #1

    Powerspec Ultra Stringing issue/Software advice

    Ok so first off I need to say I have been obsessively researching and learning about fdm 3d printing since I began doing product design and prototyping at my job. My boss bought a Flashforge Creator Pro and put me in charge of learning all about it and making it work. No problem. There is a ton of info and a huge community so it was relatively simple and the thing is now perfectly dialed in(knock on wood). I had so much fun with this printer though that I had to get my own.

    I am loving the Ultra even though it is a clone of a clone and the "dreamer" firmware is not open for tinkering. The caveat here is the powerprint slicer it comes with. It's awful compared to Flashprint. I attempted to use Flashprint since the Creator Pro is mechanically the same essentially only to find out that the Powerspec Ultra reads Gcode.... Unlike any other Flashforge or Flashforge clone I am aware of.

    As the title says I have been having issues with stringing. I have brought the extrusion temp down to 180 but stringing remains consistently bad. I assume this is a retraction setting issue? If so what slicer software would be recommended? I have been trying to avoid pulling the trigger on S3D in hopes that PowerPrint updates to the newest version of Flashprint essentially allowing me to enable an "expert mode" and tweak retraction settings but if it is unavoidable then it can be done.

    I am hesitant to insert my own start and end g-code in a program like slic3r or Cura without advice from somebody more experienced than I so any sort of assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    lowering temp will have adverse effects.
    Stringing with pla - should not happen.
    You need to try Cura and have a look at the retraction settings.

    Think my pla settings are 2mm and 60mm/s retraction.
    Don't get any stringing in standard pla.
    I also keep my movement speed the same as my print speed. The sudden changes in speed will also result in stringing and little spikes of filament.
    Slower movement and faster retraction will reduce stringing.
    Higher printing temps will also help. My standard pla print temp is 210.

    As far as start and end code goes - try it and see - can't hurt the printer :-)

  3. #3
    Mr aardvark,
    Thanks for the quick reply and I have to admit I was hoping I would get your attention. During my research I noticed you seemed to be a very good source of info for this printer so I'm glad you found my topic! I did break down and buy s3d yesterday though, don't regret it, and got most of the issues sorted out. My extrusion multiplier was set at .9 which I feel was really low for this machine so I bumped it up to ~1.14 and the retraction I took from .8mm to 2mm. The speed was set to 20mm/sec and I increased to 30 but wasn't sure what the max on the extruders are. It uses mk10s right? The travel speed advice and temp help are great ideas though! I will try that next! Out of curiosity what do you usually run you print speeds at for normal quality on pla? Also do you have any experience with decent baseline numbers for abs and petg? Sorry for all the questions. But thank you so much!

  4. #4
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    You do realize this printer is basically a Dreamer and not a Creator Pro? The only thing that is similar to the Pro is the case. It uses the Dreamer profile in S3D. Go search the S3D forums, pleanty of talk on it. You could also try the dreamer profile in Flashprint. Never tried it myself.
    1.14 seems excessively high.

  5. #5
    Doesn't the dreamer read .x3g? The ultra reads g code which is why as far as I know flash print is not an option since it exports only .x3g files. The creator pro I run at work uses flash print and the default extrusion multiplier for it is 1.09. It did seem to solve my top perimeters being too thin for me so I figured it was a step in the right direction. And wouldn't I use the powerspec ultra profile in s3d? I've seen people say to use the dreamer profile but those threads seem to be before s3d had their latest update and added support for the powerspec ultra.

  6. #6
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    Dreamer is gcode as far as I know. The gcode file is produced first then the gcode file is converted to an X3G file. Programs like S3D output both. Default extrusion multipliers for the Replicator clones is PLA .9 and ABS at 1.0. Any change more than .1 is a lot in most cases.
    If S3D has a profile specificaly for that printer then it would be the good one to use.

    As far as extrusion multipliers go I would run through the calibration cube exercises to figure out proper default settings. You may be getting under extrusion due to the filament not being the size that is set in the machine. It is important to measure the filament diameter over a distance and enter the average into the slicer.

  7. #7
    Thank you again for quick replies! I just measured my inland pla I bought as a starter roll and sure enough it is averaging like 1.69 or 68. Please forgive my ignorance but as far as the cube calibration goes should I print one and then measure with calipers? Use it to see if my rates are correct? I was under the understanding that the firmware on this printer is not adjustable so would I be able to change the extruder steps/mm or would I be doing it just to adjust my extrusion multiplier? I've done a couple benchys which printed totally fine minus a little stringing as mentioned but when I tried the makerbot octopus waving it did not fill in the top layers which was why I began adjusting the extrusion multiplier. Thank you again for help.

  8. #8
    Actually scratch that I used a better set of calipers and the average is actually 1.73mm. Confused as to why I would need to increase the flow so much if the filament isn't very thin. Any ideas?

  9. #9
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    Extrusion multiplier is usually recommended to be changed in measures of .05 and really not more than .1. So the first thing you have to do is get the filament size as close as possible. The slicer is going to use that in its calculation of how much filament to extrude. This affects over all extrusions.

    I wouldn't worry about steps especially if using S3D or other main stream slicers since the steps for your steppers is known and the machine is known (i.e. not a home built). You can adjust with extrusion multiplier unless it is really off a lot.

    I would google on using a calibration cube or thingiverse. Mainly get a 20X20X20 or 20X20X10 calibration cube and run it with default slicer settings for your machine and material (PLA) and with a couple perimeters and 100% infill. Measure the dimension and also look at the top to see if it looks concave or convex.

    If the top is bowing up a bit then reduce the extrusion multiplier just a bit and run again or do the opposite if it is sunken.

  10. #10
    I wanted to say thank you again for your help with this first off. I ended up doing a 1 perimeter cube 20x20, setting the multiplier to 1 and the width to .4mm as suggested on 3dhubs. The thickness of my walls were on average .48 so I ended up with a suggested new multiplier of .9. Just as you had suggested! But when I do this I notice my perimeter layers are not completely filled in. As in my top layers usually have holes instead of being totally solid. This is after measuring the filament and inputting those values. Would the layer height affect this? Should I bump up to .95? Also I've been experimenting with temps and I don't see a real difference between 180 and 200. Should I stay low or run hot? I've heard running as cold as possible is best but I definitely don't want to extrude so cold I am putting unnecessary wear on the extrduer stepper.

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