LulzBot 3D Printer Support Topics

Questions

General Questions

How do I start printing with my 3D printer?

I want to start 3D prototyping. What can I use?

Extrusion

My Budaschnozzle hot end is not extruding. What do I check?

My 3D printer stops extruding during a print. When I back out the plastic filament it looks worn away.

When I extrude plastic filament I hear popping from the Budaschnozzle hot end! Sometimes I see steam coming from the hot end nozzle!

3D Printer Operation

My 3D printer won't power on.

I have installed and launched the Printrun (Pronterface) software. Why can I not connect to the 3D printer?

My prints are lifting off of the print surface and warping during the print job. What can I do to keep the prints adhered to the print surface?

Software

When I add an STL file in the Slic3r software I get an error or parts of the object are missing from the generated gcode.

I am able to connect to my printer. I am able to home, move each axis, set and read the temperature. But when I try to print $file.gcode I receive the following error message repeated over and over again in Pronterface: "Error:No Checksum with line number, Last Line:0"

Budaschnozzle Hot Ends

How do I replace my Budaschnozzle's hot end threaded extension if I have damaged the threads?

Answers

General Questions

My 3D printer won't power on.

Verify the power supply you are using is outputting the appropriate ranges. For our LulzBot Prusa and the AO-100 the power supply should output ~12V. For our AO-101 the power supply should output 12V as well.

How do I start printing with my 3D printer?

You need a 3D model with the .STL file format. You then use a slicing program to cut the model into thin horizontal segments. We recommend Slic3r. The slicing program generates the tool path based on the characteristics of the model and your extrusion settings. This program will generate the G-Code that drives the printer. You then pass that file to a program that controls and operates the printer, we recommend Printrun/Pronterface.

I want to start 3D prototyping. What can I use?

There are multiple free/libre software packages available. We recommend using FreeCAD, OpenSCAD or Blender. If possible build your design in millimeters and output the model into an .STL.

Extrusion

My Budaschnozzle hot end is not extruding. What do I check?

Check the following things:
  • Is the hot-end up to temp? ABS normally extrudes at 230C, PLA prefers 185C. You can use a type-K thermocouple to verify the hot-end temperature. Do not use IR thermometers, as the read area is much greater and will display a colder temperature.
  • How tight is the extruder idler pulley? For Greg's Wade Reloaded Extruder you can use a caliper to measure between the extruder body and the back of the thumb screw holding the hinged idler pulley. We recommend starting at ~20mm. Pinch the plastic filament with your fingers as it enters the body of the extruder. You should not be able to stop the plastic filament.
  • Verify by raising the Z-axis and extruding in the air to eliminate layer height/Z-axis zeroing issues.
  • Do not raise the temperature of your Budaschnozzle past 240C or you risk damaging your hot-end. Try raising the temperature by 2 degree increments.
  • My 3D printer stops extruding during a print. When I back out the plastic filament it looks worn away.

    The extruder may jam during a print. The plastic filament will then erode on the hobbed bolt. This can be due to plastic filament quality issues, layer height and Z-axis zeroing issues.
  • Always use a quality plastic filament. Air pockets within the filament, excessive variations in filament diameter and humidity absorption can affect the amount of filament entering the melting chamber and ultimately change the rate of plastic filament extruded.
  • Eliminate layer height issues by ensuring that the layer height is set at 80% of your nozzle diameter or less. You can strip the plastic filament by forcing the extruder to attempt to extrude faster through the hot end than it's able. As you get comfortable with changing your slicing settings, you'll be able to print lower layer heights at faster speeds.
  • You can cause hot end extrusion issues by having an excessively low initial Z-axis height when homing. It is more common to run into this when printing with smaller layer heights. You can use a thin slip of paper to zero in your Z-axis homing. Adjust your Z-axis endstop so that the paper no longer slides under the hot end nozzle. The first layer should have a visible extrusion with regular width and consistency. If the extrusion path is clear or light, raise the endstop adjustment slightly until the deposited plastic is visible and regular. See the manual provided with your printer and compare your first layer extrusions to Figure 5.5 found on page 41.
  • When I extrude plastic filament I hear popping from the Budaschnozzle hot end! Sometimes I see steam coming from the hot end nozzle!!

    If you start noticing bubbling plastic filament or steam coming from the Budaschnozzle hot end nozzle it's due to the plastic filament absorbing moisture. Plastic filament (especially PLA) has the capability of absorbing moisture from its environment. Keep your plastic filament wrapped and sealed with some desiccant packs when not in use.

    3D Printers

    My printer won't power on.

    Verify the power supply you are using is outputting the appropriate ranges. For our LulzBot Prusa and the AO-100 the power supply should output ~12V. For our AO-101 the power supply should output 12V as well.

    I have installed and launched the Printrun (Pronterface) software. Why can I not connect to the printer?

    If you are using the Windows operating system, you will need to install a hardware driver to connect to the printer. Please see the Windows driver page for instructions on installing the required driver.

    My prints are lifting off of the print surface and warping during the print job. What can I do to keep the prints adhered to the print surface?

    Warping of ABS printed parts is a common occurrence, especially when printing in a cold environment. Using PET film on borosilicate glass will help with first layer adhesion in most cases. For colder environments or certain part designs that have a high tendency to warp there are a number of solutions that have been tested. The most tested and successful fix we use here at LulzBot is an acetone / abs solution. Acetone can be purchased in most local hardware stores. Additionally, you can use an option in Slic3r called "Brim" to extrude a thin, one layer surface to help the edges of the print adhere to the print bed.

    Software

    When I add an STL file in the Slic3r software I get an error or parts of the object are missing from the generated gcode.

    Sometimes when importing an STL file into Slic3r you will see a "non-manifold" or similar warning or error. Or, you may find parts of your design object missing in the generated gcode. This is caused by a faulty STL file that has holes in the mesh, overlapping geometry, or other possible problems. Most CAD and 3D modeling software has a STL export function. However, not all STL export functions are created equal. An easy fix is to run your STL file through a STL cleaning or repair software. MeshLab is a great Free / Libre / Open Source mesh repair software available for GNU/Linux, Mac, and Windows. You can find more information about MeshLab at http://meshlab.sourceforge.net/

    I am able to connect to my printer. I am able to home, move each axis, set and read the temperature. But when I try to print $file.gcode I receive the following error message repeated over and over again in Pronterface: "Error:No Checksum with line number, Last Line:0"

    There may be one or several explanations for this. Make sure that in the .gcode file there are no "(" or ")". If they are present replace them with ";". Sometimes Pronterface will hang when encountering those. It has been reported that downloading .gcode files with Safari can sometimes cause the issue as well. Make sure Safari has not added a header or a footer to the plain text .gcode file.

    Budaschnozzle Hot Ends

    How do I replace my Budaschnozzle's hot end threaded extension if I have damaged the threads?

    To replace the damaged threaded insert you'll want to do the following: Make sure to protect the aluminium threads if you are using any tool to hold the extension.
  • Unwrap the red and orange wires leading from the hot end from the wooden plates. With the hot end nozzle off, you can use the lower damaged threads to hold the whole threaded extension.
  • Unscrew the threaded extension assembly from the PEEK plastic body. Once freed, you can move onto removing the heater-block.
  • The heater block is threaded onto the extension and secured with a M3 x 4mm set screw. Remove and set aside the set screw.
  • You should now be able to unscrew the heater block.Be careful not to damage the heater resistor or the thermistor on the heater block.
  • To reassemble thread on the heater block then wrap one layer of PTFE tape (plumbers tape) around the lower portion of the replacement threaded extension.
  • Gently thread the new nozzle onto the extension.
  • Screw on the heater block and make sure it's snug against the nozzle top and insert the setscrew.Do not over tighten, doing so can damage the threads.
  • Then screw in the replacement threaded extension into the PEEK body and reassemble the Budaschnozzle hot end.
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