I have an Creality Ender3 Pro and have been 3D printing for about a year now. Thought that I had it all dialed in, getting good bed adhesion after wiping the bed down with Isopropyl Achohol after every print. All of a sudden about a month ago while using PLA, that’s all I have ever used, my first layers looked terrible all bumpy and jagged.
I fooled around with some settings in CURA 14.3.1 but nothing seemed to help, I think its moisture in my filament which was stored in a sealed plastic tub with some diessectint in a nylon stocking.
So here’s the question.
Should I get a food dehydrator and run my filament through it for a few hours (4 to 8) or get a old toaster oven and bake it for a few hours or make some kind of heated dry box. A snake tank heater has been recommended to keep the plastic tub warm all the time to eliminate the moisture in the PLA. I finally got a hygrometer for my plastic tub that hold 6 rolls of PLA and it says the humidity in the tub is 14 per cent which I think is low for the midwest in the winter time.
What does everyone think that I should do. get a $50.00 dehydrator or go for a $100.00 model that will hold 4 rolls at one time. I don’t do a lot of printing but I do like to play making an occasional toy or gizmo.
If your humidity is 14% I doubt that the filament is too moist. It might be that your Z Offset has changed. Search this forum for 30mm squares. You should be able to find a link to a video that talks about how to use the squares to get virtually perfect Z Offset.
I don’t know that I trust the cheap off shore $10.00 hygrometer but I am willing to try anything at this point although I tried just about all the settings available in CURA without much luck.
I have a roll of White PLA which seems to be the worst and I have a roll of Yellow which I am just about out of seems to be much better. all of my rolls are different brands but they all pretty much are giving me trouble.
There is an easy way to test the hygrometer: put salt into something like a plastic bottle cap. Add enough water to make into a thick slurry. You don’t want it to thin; more like a slushy. Put the cap and hygrometer into a zip loc bag and leave them for 6 hours or more. That should create a humidity level of 75%.
I was concerned about the moisture. Everyone seemed to talk about the moisture, so I bought plastic bags and a vacuum pump for the plastic. Then I noticed that I was not having a moisture problem. The humidity in my house stays about 35% to 48%. I have not had a problem with my PLA adsorbing moisture, so what you are doing is more than great. So I suggest you look at the Z offset and your flow, I would say your flow rate might be high. One filament might work great with a flow rate that another brand preforms bad with.
I agree with @Lowteck; check the Flow Rate as well. And definitely find that video. I don’t have the link handy (it’s been linked many times in this forum) but I can tell you it’s by a youtuber called Hobby Hoarder.
If you live in St Louis, MO I bought that your humidity is actually 14% right now mine is 42% inside and 64% outside. I don’t think humidity is an issue in the winter in the midwest. Summer now that’s another story. I have to run a dehumidifier in the summer or my basement gets damp even with central air. I have several toast ovens and the problem with using them to dry filament is at least the ones I have you can get the temp low enough. For PLA it should be around 50c which I think is 122 degrees. 180 is a low as I can set my toaster ovens. I just ordered a dehydrator off Amazon to make a filament dryer out of it also has a timer so I can set it and forget it. Not sure yet but I know I can get at least 2 rolls of filament in it. I keep my filament in storage containers with desiccant and don’t have a lot of trouble with moisture in my filament but I also have some that is old and gotten brittle and I understand cooking it will help with that.
Another thing to check is to see if your bed is still level. My Ender 3 v2 use to loose it’s level every so often. Found my adjustment wheels were turning over time. I cured this issue with a small dab of blue Loctite on the threads.
This morning I went back and rechecked my to see if I was over extruding it needed a small correction so I think that its right now. I corrected my print temperature for the filament that I am using, I was a little high so readjusted that and I also cut the flow rate back a smidge and now the first layer of the new test prints are looking much better.
After going back and rechecking and tweaking my Cura 14.3.1 profile I was able to print several Calibration Cubes that is finally spot on the dimensions. Exactly 20 mm x 20 mm with a wall thickness of 0.08 that looks good.
PS. while doing the doggy print the Nozzle Fan on my year old Creality Ender 3 Pro started making the the weirdest noise so I figured it was going South so I took it apart and removed the little sticker, then made a little hole above the armature and placed a tiny little drop of Starrett Instrument Oil on it, reassemble everything and now it’s as quiet as can be. But I probably VOIDED the warranty but if it last until I can buy a new fan its OK by me. It’s good enough for the girls I go with!
A drop of oil on a fan a couple of times a year will often let the fan run almost forever. Good job on drilling the hole. I have a Raspberry Pi I may try that with. I took the sticker off, but there was no hole so I gave up. I was a little worried to drill because there seems to be some circuitry under the plastic. I can tell that I’ve see many posts on the Internet about how these fans do not last.
I should have taken a couple of Photos while I had it apart, but I always forget. Actually I took an Exacto knife and used the point to dig a little hole big enough to get a tiny drop of oil off the end of a toothpick into it. Turned it on and it purred like a silent kitten.
I watched a couple of Youtube videos of people buying 24 v ball bearing fans or getting the good 12 v fans and installing a buck converter, Boy what a hassle when all it needed was a drop every once in a while or yearly maybe.
Any ways It works and I am happy again. ?