Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Doing the little bits

A real problem with print layers is when you have to do infill on a small feature. On the Mk 1 AEM polymer pump there are two flanges on the upper side of the pump that are 20 x 20 mm. The extruder head is some 5 mm across and stays at roughly 160 degrees Celsius. If you do a whole lot of moving back in forth in such a restricted area as 20 x 20 you wind up with a puddle of HDPE instead of a nice print. The extruder head simply stays above one area too long.

I rewrote the XML for doing the flange on one side of the pump. I would print one extrusion thread, then turn off the extruder and proceed some 20 mm beyond. I would then advance one width of an extrusion thread and come back 20 mm back and lay the next flange thread. This let the thread cool nicely before having to see the heated extruder head again.

When I do things that way the surface treatment on the flange is virtually identical to the surface treatment on the main body of the polymer pump.

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