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  1. #1

    Printing rough after Titan-Aero upgrade

    I recently upgraded my CR-10S from bowden to e3D Titan Area + Volcano. Seemed ok at first. Couple tiny test prints looked fine, but now I'm realizing everything I print, no matter what I setting I try, looks much worse than the stock setup and can't figure out why.

    The surface smoothness isn't as good as before, but more importantly, after the first few mm, the print gets very very rough, on the sides, and especially on the corners. It stays rough for awhile, then gets fairly smooth again. I'm also seeing some weird diagonal patterns. Haven't run into any of this in the past. The piece I just printed (twice)... the inside always looks just fine, which seems weird.

    I'll attach a few pics. I printed a small triangle bowl (my design) - with default CR-10 settings in Simplify3D, except I changed the retraction distance from 5mm to 1mm for direct drive. 100% infill, which I realize can be problematic, but had zero issues doing so with the stock setup, and with the same model. I also tried 90% infill and that didn't make a difference.

    Anyway, I printed the bowl twice - first at 0.90 extrusion multiplier, and then at 0.80 extrusion multiplier since I thought maybe it was overextruding. Slightly different patterns, but no real improvement.

    I tried printing at 220 C all the way down to 190 C, and that didn't change anything. Also decreased the bed temp from 65 C to 50 C and that didn't help. I tried with and without fan - no difference. Printer is in a small room with vents covered, so no drafts, about 65 F. Swapped in a new nozzle (0.4 for both) - no difference.

    The extruder is perfectly calibrated. If I tell it to extrude 100mm, it extrudes exactly 100mm.

    I've watched it while it was printing rough and I don't see anything going wrong. The nozzle and bed temps are fine - double-checked the temp with an infrared meter. The filament is not the problem, since I switched to a known good black filament and the problem was still there.

    The whole print head seems pretty solid - more than stock if anything. I don't see any mechanical problems nor any problems with my slicer settings, especially since I went back to defaults. I really don't know what else to try. Any idea? I've researched and read through a few printing artifact guides and don't really see anything that matches.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by traxon; 12-03-2018 at 09:22 PM.

  2. #2
    Here's the same bowl that I printed immediately before upgrading to the titan-aero (also upgraded the bed heater to keenovo at the same time. Same settings, except I had the retraction distance higher. Printed just fine. Much smoother, corners are nice, no weird roughness in the middle.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    Here is a benchy a printed with my new titan setup - default settings except I used 1 mm retraction instead of 5, 40mm/sec, Simplify3D. Not very good - similar roughness to the bowl.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    • File Type: jpg 1.jpg (89.2 KB, 2 views)
    • File Type: jpg 2.jpg (85.0 KB, 2 views)
    • File Type: jpg 3.jpg (81.3 KB, 1 views)
    • File Type: jpg 4.jpg (94.3 KB, 1 views)
    • File Type: jpg 5.jpg (90.9 KB, 0 views)

  4. #4
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    for direct drive you probably need 2-3mm and retraction speed as fast as you can get away with. I usually run at 60-70mm/s
    1mm just isn't going to make any real difference.

    Also measure the extruded filament, looks like over extrusion.
    Have you changed the firmware at all ?

    looking at the gray bowl - curious as to why you bothered changing anything ?

  5. #5
    Ok, I can try increasing the retraction a bit - I'll try 2mm - and I'll try 70mm/s retraction speed. I had measured exactly 100mm when I extruded 100mm, but let me run through that again to make sure something didn't change - if so, that could explain a lot. Oh, just thought of one thing I didn't try - tightening the tension on the filament - it doesn't really look like it's slipping to me, but knows.
    Yep, I changed from the stock firmware to TH3D Unified Firmware. I have the same firmware on my bigger CR-10 and it works fine (that one is still bowden).
    The gray bowl I printed before the titan-aero, and I used pretty much the same settings on the red prints (with titan aero), but I reduced the retraction that's all. Thanks.

  6. #6
    Just printed another benchy with 2mm retraction @ 70mm/s. Also tightned the spring force on the extruder. Came out the same or slightly worse. Seems like the new extruder setup just doesn't work right. I assembled it carefully according to the instructions, gear turns smoothly, no backlash, etc. I'm stumped. About to leave town for 1.5-2 weeks though so I guess I will have to try when I get back. =P

  7. #7
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Given how well it was printing before - why change it at all ?

  8. #8
    I was looking for slightly higher print quality, less retraction/less jams, and also wanted to print flexible materials, which is much easier with a direct extruder.

    Good news though! I figured it out - actually I pinged e3d and Daniel basically said it's overheated and check my part cooling. That was it.
    A lot of the time, I've been printing with no part cooling at all and things print just fine, but not this time. I printed out a better part cooling fan mount, reoriented the heater block to fit, and now it prints 10x better. =) I now realize how critical part cooling is. I had done some quick tests and thought I had ruled out part cooling as the problem, but I guess those weren't good tests afterall.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    yep the faster you can cool a bead of molten plastic the sharper the print will be.

    glad it's working :-)

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