Projects:LulzBot Mini 3D Printer

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Revision as of 18:41, 29 August 2019 by Nordin (talk | contribs) (Known Problems)

LulzBot Mini 3D Printer
Description A high-performance desktop 3D printer
People User:Nordin, User:others welcome
Theme Infrastructure
Status Active

About the Space 3D Printer

UPDATE: 22/08/18: The printer has been setup and successfully tested with a Dell laptop as the UI. Shots: First print (40mins, standard quality),Printing video

LulzNot Mini, Source:

The lulzbot has been setup next to the Kossel 3D printer and connected to power and a Dell laptop. There are printed instructions located to the side of the printer and new users are recommended to read these before using the printer. These are also available online.

  1. Reference poster
  2. Lulzbot Mini Quick start guide
  3. Lulzbot Mini Manual
  4. Cura software download page

How to 3D print an STL

Currently, the LulzBot is connected to a Dell Inspiron Mini 10 netbook running Lubuntu - one of the few Ubuntu bionic distros fitting the netbook's CPU and SSD specs. There is a 'Lulzbot' labelled USB stick with cross-platform Cura software installers should users wish to use their own laptop for slicing and printing. An Octopi setup is currently being built to allow for a webgui. Updates will follow.

Preliminary Checks

The printer automatically levels and head-cleans at the start of each print, but do still ensure the head and bed are generally free of debris, and that you have enough printing filament for your print.

Making Your Model

We advise OpenSCAD for the model design, ensure you have enough faces on any circular elements, and export as an stl. The Dell netbook UI and speed is rather painful to use for 3D design, so it is suggested that users use another machine to develop models.

Loading and printing the model on the Cura software

Printing is very easy since the Lulzbot came as a complete product. Using the Lulzbot edition of Cura from the Dell Netbook, follow these instructions:

  1. Power on the printer and Dell laptop,
  2. Load Cura from the desktop,
  3. Load the model via the file->open menu dialogue.
  4. Using the mouse and on-screen controls, place the part as needed. Keyboard arrow keys rotate the viewport camera.
  5. Select the print quality and support/brim options
  6. Click the 'Control' icon from the 3D Window and hit print from the resulting popup.

Replacing the 3D Filament

Lulzbot head.jpeg

Full instructions are provided in the quick start guide, however the steps can be summised via the following:

  1. Heat up the hothead heating element to 205deg
  2. Hand-turn the two bolts holding the idler retainer on the head assembly tight
  3. Move the idler retainer outwards to release the tension on the hinged idler
  4. Withdraw the old filament from the feedhole and swap out
  5. Close the hinged idler, swing back the idler retainer and retighten the bolts.
  6. Extrude some test filament using the Cura interface
  7. Turn off the hothead heater

Top tips

Double check support material is enabled (if needed)

It was found that on the netbook at least, Cura unticks the "Print support material" settings on it own sometimes (perhaps a UI glitch?). Recommend double-checking just before clicking the "control" button to print.

Common Problems

A dirty printhead causing auto-levelling sensing to trigger late.

The autoleveling routine (which starts before every print) seems to use ground(?) sensing of the metal hothead at 4 corner plate locations to get the level corrections. The head wipes itself on a brush-mat before levelling and occasionally fluff from the mat sticks to the head making the tip-to-cornerplate contact less clean and push down harder than it needs to. If, when autoleveling, the head appears to move too far towards the bed and flexes the sprung bed, stop the motors via the UI (if possible), rehome the head, clean it manually and reprint. If the bad-levelling continues, the head will at best print very squashed early layers and scrape layers during transit.

UI is not responding to 'Stop all motors' command

If the UI takes too long to kill the motors after glitching, power off the machine via it's power switch, and pull the USB from the laptop (as the laptop USB 5v appears to keep the Lulzbot board powered) and start again. The autoleveling routine retracts some filament before commencing so you should heat the head to 205deg and extrude filament to undo this before reprinting. This avoids the filament being retracted out of the head assembly.