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Top 3D Printer Adhesives

3D printer adhesives you should try

Adhesives is a must for almost everyone using a 3D Printer and it can certainly be a real pain in the b.. if you buy the wrong one. We put together a small list of different 3D Printer Adhesives for your bed, try one of these. and tapes. Enjoy!

Make your own Opinion by the comments below each product.  I tend to “stick to” Wolfbite MEGA click here to read more about that one.. (see what I did there… 😉

WolfBite Premium heatbed solution – 3D printer adhesives

is a premium glass bed adhesion solution specifically engineered to bond Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic printed parts directly to glass 3D printing build plates without lifting (also known in the industry as “warpage”). WolfBite also enables the smooth release of parts after printing. One light application of WolfBite can be used for several prints. After applying WolfBite, printing can commence immediately, with either a heated or room-temperature bed. Airwolf 3D formulated the proprietary solution to promote excellent adhesion and to make printed part removal easy.

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This stuff works as advertised. I was dubious at first, but figured it was worth a try. This has completely replaced Kapton tape and ABS slurry on our Replicator 2X. Properly applied, Wolfbite is not far from amazing. While the bed is hot for printing, parts stick fast to the glass plate. When the bed cools, parts break free with minimal force. Most parts have zero curl. Sometimes large, flat parts curl a tiny bit.

It is amazing how securely stuck the parts are when the bed is hot. If we get impatient and try to remove a part from a still-hot bed, some glass will come up with the part–oops! So we have to remind ourselves to let the bed cool to room temperature before trying to remove the part. I use a fan to quickly cool the bed.

Modifying our Replicator 2 to use this method was easy but not entirely trivial: I bought some borosilicate glass from McMaster-Carr. The glass is held down to the aluminum build plate using double-stick Kapton tape from Ted Pella. Then we put a shim at the z-axis zero switch to compensate for the height of the glass. At first we ran the bed a little hotter to try to compensate for what we thought would be a cooler surface, but now we feel that the standard 110C is fine, as long as we let the bed “soak” at temperature for a few minutes before printing. We feel all this modification was worth the effort.

Airwolf claims a (surprisingly short) shelf life after opening the bottle. I had a bottle open for months and it appeared to work fine until it was consumed. A little does go a long way if you work intelligently. Ours is deployed in a student lab, so we run through a fair bit of the stuff.

WolfBite Nano – 3D printer adhesives

is a premium glass bed adhesion solution specifically engineered to bond Polylactic acid (PLA) plastic printed parts directly to glass 3D printing build plates without lifting (also known in the industry as “warpage”). WolfBite Nano also enables the smooth release of parts after printing. WolfBite was exclusively developed at Airwolf 3D in collaboration with noted polymer chemist Professor Miodrag “Mickey” Micic, Ph.D., a department chairman at Cerritos College in Norwalk, CA. WolfBite Nano is applied with a Polyurethane foam brush directly onto glass, eliminating the need for tape. One light application of WolfBite Nano can be used for several prints. After applying WolfBite Nano, printing can commence immediately, with either a heated or room-temperature bed. Airwolf 3D formulated the proprietary solution to promote excellent adhesion and to make printed part removal easy.

[WooZoneProducts asin=”B00XV5HFR2″][/WooZoneProducts]

This is the best thing I’ve found so far to get PLA to stick reliably and repeatedly. It’s more work to release the parts after printing, but it’s not all that difficult. I’ve never had to soak my print bed to get a part to release with WolfBite Nano but I have had to really work at it getting something under the bottom of the part.

It works but can become undone every once in a while and it takes long to dry and apply coats. But otherwise it works!!

I agree with the one other review as of this writing, that the Wolfbite NANO for PLA is not nearly as good as the original Wolfbite for ABS.

Wolfbite NANO takes a long time to dry, and even then it’s tacky. The tackiness interferes with bed leveling: I use a piece of paper to gauge the distance from extruder to plate, but the paper gets stuck to the Wolfbite NANO.

If I really slather on the Wolfbite NANO, then I get better bed adhesion, and thus flatter parts, than with painters’ tape. But then the part is difficult to remove from the bed, and I end up soaking the bed in water for a while to break the part free.

Addicore Kapton Tape Sheets  – 3D printer adhesives

Can withstand extreme temperature, vibration, and other demanding environments when you 3D print with kapton. Polyimide film with easy-release liner release backing. Silicon adhesive leaves no residue

3D Printing Application:
• Kapton tape can be used to coat heated build plates
• Provides easy release of printed parts as they cool
• Fits Makerbot, Afinia, UP, and other 3D printers with build plates smaller than 8″ x 11″
• Pre-cut rectangular sheets

[WooZoneProducts asin=”B00JPTKFRU”][/WooZoneProducts]

This Kapton Tape is exactly what I needed for my print bed! I was using the manufacturer recommended glue sticks for the longest time to create a stickable surface for my printer

it’s what it says it is. prints well and a bit prone to damage when a fussy print won’ come off the bed. I’d love to see a thicker kapton in bulk sheets like this, but the really thick stuff comes in pre cut smaller squares and is a terrible value compared to this product.

Purchased for a MakerBot replicator 2x. This Kapton tape was exactly what I needed, its larger than the base but is easily cut down to size. The extra can then be used to patch the tape if it tears while trying to remove a part. Comes packaged in a sturdy envelope and the backing is made to be easily removable.

Gizmo Dorks Polyester Film PET Tape  – 3D printer adhesives

is ideal to use on top of a 3D printer bed platform such as glass. If using filament such as ABS, a heated build plate is required. The heat transfers well through the PET tape. Adherence to build platforms is sometimes troublesome, but ABS and other filament adhere remarkably well to PET tape. In particular, PET tape has equal if not better adherence than traditional Kapton tape. Application of PET tape can be done dry, which involves rolling the PET tape on to your printing surface. However, a more efficient method is using a wet method which involves spraying the surface with water so that the PET tape can be repositioned. Additionally, this allows the PET tape to be lifted to squeegee out any air bubbles. If you do not have a squeegee, then a credit card can be used.

PET tape can be easily removed without leaving any residue behind. The tape has an upper temperature range of 425 F or 220 C. PET tape has a silicone adhesive, and the PET film layer measures 1 Mil thick. The dimensions of this roll of tape are 6.25 inches wide by 100 feet in length.

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I had received a roll of this to try for an unbiased review, I have a printrbot simple metal. I’ve upgrade the bed to a heated surface. So far so great! This is much better than the blue tape I’ve been using. I’ve been able to get prints off the bed easier and on the plus side, no more little lines from the tape gaps. I’ll be buying more of this when I run out.

The roll of tape comes nicely shrink-wrapped inside the package. It’s an extremely wide roll at around 6″, which is wide enough to cover my printer’s whole build platform. Having the tape be so wide means that you no longer have to carefully line up pieces of tape next to each other on your print bed, and also gets rid of that seam line that inevitably appears on the bottom of your prints no matter how carefully you line up your pieces of tape.

One major advantage this film has over polyamide is that ABS will stick to it at lower temperatures. I get the same performance at 95C that I do at 110C on polyamide. This translates directly into more printing per day, safer printing, and less wear on the machines. I was given a discount on this product in exchange for an honest review, and I stand by my statements.

Gizmo Dorks blue painter’s tape – 3D printer adhesives

is the go-to and cost effective way of covering your 3D printer bed plate. Plastic filament such as ABS or PLA stick well to this tape while also being forgiving enough to let go when your print is finished. The tape is easy to apply and remove, with strong adhesion. The tape is 6.25 inches wide, so you don’t have to worry about stringing small 1 inch wide tapes together to form zig-zag rows. For most printer beds, you’ll only need one piece of tape. The roll is 100′ long and 6.25″ wide, so one roll will last through plenty of your prints.

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It’s “ok”. It isn’t spectacular if you’re using PLA, but it isn’t bad. As another reviewer stated, it is not as good as 3M painters tape when it comes to PLA sticking to the surface.
It does stick to the glass build plate quite well, and holds up well. This stuff is also thinner than the 3M stuff, so be sure to relevel your build plate.

This tape is a perfect match for the Dremel Idea Builder 3D printer. It covers just about the entire area of the build platform. The fact that the tape is so wide means you won’t have lines under your prints when comparing to parallel strips of 3M BlueTape.

Bought for use with my 3d printer. Tears easily when using scraper

Arduino based Traffic Light Simulator

3D printed Arduino Traffic Lights

A little bit off topic for the 3D printer community , but then again maybe not , for those of you who design and create 3D models then this little blog will enable you to create Traffic lights simulator on a breadboard – insert some light emitting diodes , do some cabling and program the arduino.

arduino - traffic lightsElectronic-Components - traffic lights

If you are into modelling then you could design and print the traffic lights once you understand how it all goes together.

Traffic Light design and stl files


Print out all the pieces and super glue them together. Place a battery in the base with one wire going from ground and three wires going from power. Connect each of the three powers to a different color 10″ LED, and connect the ground to a snap. Solder a ground wire to each of the LEDs and connect each of these ground wires to a snap. Bring all the LEDs and wires through the traffic pole and then super glue each of the lights into one of the three holes in the head. Have all the snaps coming out the of hole in the back of the head so they can be connected together and the LEDs will light up.


Click here to download the .STL Traffic lights <–

Brief history of Traffic Lights

Traffic lights, also known as traffic signals, traffic lamps, traffic semaphore, signal lights, stop lights, and (in technical parlance)traffic control signals, are signalling devices positioned at road intersections, pedestrian crossings, and other locations to control conflicting flows of traffic.

The world’s first, manually operated gas-lit traffic signal was short lived. Installed in London in December 1868, it exploded less than a month later, injuring or killing its policeman operator. The first safe, automatic electric traffic lights were installed in the United States in the late 1890s.

Traffic lights alternate the right of way accorded to road users by displaying lights of a standard colour (red, yellow, and green) following a universal colour code. In the typical sequence of colour phases:

  • The green light allows traffic to proceed in the direction denoted, if it is safe to do so and there is room on the other side of the intersection.
  • The yellow (or amber) light warns that the signal is about to change to red. In a number of countries – among them the United Kingdom – a phase during which red and amber are displayed together indicates that the signal is about to change to green. Actions required by drivers on an amber light vary, with some jurisdictions requiring drivers to stop if it is safe to do so, and others allowing drivers to go through the intersection if safe to do so.
  • A flashing yellow indication is a warning signal. In the United Kingdom, a flashing amber light is used only at pelican crossings, in place of the combined red–amber signal, and indicates that drivers may pass if no pedestrians are on the crossing.
  • The red signal prohibits any traffic from proceeding.
  • A flashing red indication is treated as a stop sign.
  • In some countries traffic signals will go into a flashing mode if the controller detects a problem, such as a program that tries to display green lights to conflicting traffic. The signal may display flashing yellow to the main road and flashing red to the side road, or flashing red in all directions. Flashing operation can also be used during times of day when traffic is light, such as late at night.ProcessWhat I will be going through is the coding first using the arduino ide , followed by breadboarding the circuit ,followed by connecting the arduino and the breadboard together and running the compiled code.plus a parts list.Parts List1 x Arduino1 x Small breadboard7 x Jumper cables3 x Led’s in Red , Yellow , and Green3 x 220 ohm resistors1 x cable to connect your arduino to your computerAnd the arduino ide from www.arduino.ccThe Arduino

    I would guess that most of you use an arduino to control your 3D printer with a firmware sketch for Marlin or Repetier – There are others out there plus if you a programmer you could create your own.using C or C++ which the ide supports.

    The arduino ide automatically checks for programming errors , if you have a problem it will give a brief error message and which line is effected.

    Once you have a working program the sketch is compiled and uploaded to your arduino – overwriting whatever is on your arduino.

    Please note  – do not use the arduino that runs your printer because you cannot extract the contents .!!

    A little bit about the arduino – basically it has loads of pins available for use which basically can be used as inputs and outputs.

    As a default the arduino makes all pins “inputs” as a standard so when programming if you forget to state what you want the program will still compile but not work.

    The Program

    Create a new sketch and name it TrafficLightSimulator

    This is what the sketch looks like with no code.

    void setup() {
    // put your setup code here, to run once:


    void loop() {
    // put your main code here, to run repeatedly:


    You need to add all the variables next

    int red = 13; // pin being used for output to red led
    int amber = 12; // pin being used for output to amber led
    int green = 11; // pin being used for output to green led

    A quick note about pins – their state is either HIGH meaning a signal goes to them or LOW meaning no signal.

    Setup pins


    Loop that makes it all work with timings for the light changes , in the delay setting 1000 = one minute.


    The Full sketch

    int red = 13;
    int amber = 12;
    int green = 11;

    void setup() {
    // put your setup code here, to run once:
    }oid loop() {
    // put your main code here, to run repeatedly:


    void changeLights(){
    // green off, amber on for 3 seconds

    //turn off amber ,then turn red on for 5 seconds

    //red and amber on for 2 seconds (red is already on)

    //Turn off red and amber , then turn on green

    I have put in as many comments as to what is going on.

    So save the file and press the tick to verify all is well it will say DONE COMPILING and you will see in the terminal window.

    Sketch uses 1,204 bytes (3%) of program storage space. Maximum is 30,720 bytes.
    Global variables use 15 bytes (0%) of dynamic memory, leaving 2,033 bytes for local variables. Maximum is 2,048 bytes.

    Click upload and it gets sent to the arduino.

    Building the circuit

    If you are new to electronics just following the diagram below


    Download the files by clicking the picture below! 

  • downloadOnce my new video camera arrived I will update the post with a videoThanks for dropping by , If there is another arduino related project that you would like me to cover , let me know.   

How To Finish / Polish Your 3D Print

3D printing is an amazing and artistic process. Like all artistic endeavors, it will require some tools and processing to Polish 3D prints with a good smooth for final items.

Tools – Polish 3D prints

Apart from your 3D printer, you will need a set of the following tools to process your 3D print. Before you go further into debt with these, look around the garage or with your friends / family to see if they have any to spare.

Some of the tools used in 3D printing along with the printer. A Taz 5 tool tray goes under the y arm of my 3D printer to hold them all. - Polish 3D prints
Some of the tools used in 3D printing along with the printer. A Taz 5 tool tray goes under the y arm of my 3D printer to hold them all.

Here is a list of the tools that I use, including their uses. If you get a Lulzbot, they include a tool set to get you started.

  • Hobby Knife: Keep it sharp to cut through support material and trim rough edges. If you use disposable blades, you can strop them with a piece of leather on scrap wood to keep them sharp.
  • Wire Cutters: Cutting filament and support materials.
  • Needle Nose pliers: Pulling jams from the printer head. They can also be used for cutting filament and removing rafts and support materials.
  • 1 inch Putty knife / Oyster knife: These are essential for scraping the print off the build plate, and separating rafts and support material. You can also smooth out wrinkles in the blue painters tape you put on the build plate.
  • Small / large scissors: The small scissors are great for cutting away blobs and bad spots as the first layer of a print goes down. Large ones are good for cutting open boxes of filament.
  • Metric tape measure / metric calipers: You need a way to estimate location and size of your parts, as well as quality control of your prints.
  • Dental / soldering pick set: This is a tool I use all the time. I use the hook to scrape blobs off the hot end, and the straight pick to help start the first layer of a 3D print. There great for getting support out of holes and corners of your 3D print.
  • Soldering iron / pen: This is great for smoothing down rough edges and melting holes. Practice using them on spare prints before working on one for a client.
  • Hobby Drill: This is for cutting off large chunks of support, or drilling holes. Consider getting a 2 mm and 3 mm drill bit so you can drill holes that fit your filament. I also use a cutoff wheel to hack through a lot of support material quickly. Be really careful and run the drill at the lowest RPM possible. You can melt through your print with these drills.

    IMG_8438 - Polish 3D prints
    Some of the electrical tools I’ve used on 3D prints. supper glue is good for quick repairs, just not for your fingers.
  • Triangle File and Sandpaper: Both are good for smoothing any rough spots. Use a wet/dry paper rated for plastic.
  • Clothing Iron: Yes, a clothing iron can be used to smooth a 3D print. I’ll cover my ironing process in a future blog.
  • Thermometer: A meat thermometer or a IR thermometer will work to check the build plate temp.
  • Metric Allen Wrench Set: You will need them to maintain your printer. Most 3D printers use cap or socket head screws.
  • Flashlight: It helps to see the 3D print from different lighting angles. You can use it to see if there are extrusion problems, or to see inside the hot end of the extruder head.

Support Material – Polish 3D prints

Support material is used to support parts of the print that are overhangs or bridges that would droop otherwise. Most 3D printers use the same material for printing and support.

Part before finishing to remove supporting material. - Polish 3D prints
Part for an upcoming 3D printed gun before finishing to remove supporting material.

The first thing to consider with supports is how much you really need. Play around with the percentage setting in your slicing program to find the smallest percentage that will still support your print. The less you use, the less you’ll have to remove at the end of the print.
Second consider how you lay the part on the build plate. If you play with the orientation, you may find a way to lay the part down so it uses minimal support material.

IMG_8446 - Polish 3D prints
Support material removed from gun part.

I found the best time to remove the support material is while the print is still warm.

IMG_8443 - Polish 3D prints
Using a soldering pick to clean support material out of a hole.

Depending on the print, you will have to use all your cutting tools.

My favorite is to use the needle nose pliers. Grab the support material at one end, and roll the pliers around to peel the support material off.

Brim – Polish 3D prints

Brims hold 3D prints to the build plate, and are good for prints with tight curves and sharp edges. However they do stick to the print, and will leave a sharp edge if you’re not careful.

Use your needle nose pliers to grab and peel off what you can. After that you will have to get close and personal with your hobby knife, files and soldering pen. You can melt the edge smooth with a soldering pen or iron.

Polish 3D prints

      3D prints can be mechanically polished like any other plastic. I encourage you to use elbow grease before you do any chemical processing.
ABS can be smoothed with Acetone vapor. This is popular, but the process can be dangerous. I have not tried this process, and if you do, please do your research before you blow up your work space.

There are other chemical solvents to polish PLA, but they also are petroleum based solvents. Always use these chemicals in a well-ventilated area, and read all safety instructions.

This will be Legen…wait for it… dary!

Hi guys,
My name is Lays Rodrigues, and today I received an invitation to post on this blog.
So, I accept, and a few minites later my head start to sppining, because my first post will be the first impression that you will have about me. But i don’t have the habit to run of the challenges.

Talking about Qt and C++ on Campus Party Brazil, Sao Paulo - host for 3d printing
Talking about Qt and C++ on Campus Party Brazil, Sao Paulo

So, first things first.
My name is Lays Rodrigues,I’m 23 years old, and i’m a student of Computer Science at Universidade Federal Fluminense on Rio das Ostras, Rio de Janeiro – Brazil, my hometown. And since May 2015, I start to develop a printer host for 3D printing.
I’m a newbie on using open source software in my daily basis, but the world of Open Source and Free Software catch my attention after I started to went on events about this subjects. So, I started using Ubuntu, later Debian and now I’m using Fedora 22 as my OS.
I started work with the 3d printing world almost a year ago after a friend came to me with a problem: The printer hosts on the market like Repetier Host don’t have a good performance on GNU/Linux environment, cause they are writing on C#. So after a few weeks of conversation and brainstorms, we decided to make our on printer host. So was there that the Br-Print3D project started. And since I’m engaged to make better and simple printer host for 3d printing.
This is my main project today. Br-Print3D is the first printer host open source write on C++ and Qt.
You can get more information about my project on bellow links:

I’m really proud of my work, because the version that we have of Br-Print3D today is a stable one, and we made really good models print, with a great quality.

Millenium Falcon 0.2mm - host for 3d printing
Millenium Falcon 0.2mm
Skull 0.2mm - host for 3d printing
Skull 0.2mm

So, I hope made a great job on 3DPrinterChat, and thanks Hakan for the invitation. =D

That’s all folks!
Lays Rodrigues

3D Bio Printing: DNA, Organs, Tissues & Nano bots


3D printing physical objects is a remarkable technology all its own. To go from an idea to sold matter in the span of a few hours is a paradigm shift in manufacturing. What about 3D printing living tissue? In the movie ‘The 5th Element’,  Used Bio Printing in a chamber that combines FDM, SLS, and LOM printing technologies from a few surviving cells. The final result is a perfect genetic clone of the original Lelu.

While this technology is a few decades away, 3D bio printing is not a new technology.

3D Printed Tissues

     The main application for 3D bio printing is tissues and major organs. There are millions of people in need of an organ transplant. Thousands die every year without finding a tissue type match.
But with 3D bio printing, organ transplants can be a thing of the past. Instead of trying to find a matching organ from a donor, you can now 3D bio print it from your own healthy cells.

The University of Wakefield is already pioneering this technology. They have produced skin and artery grafts that are clones of the person. The skin grafts alone may save thousands of burn victims lives. Instead of undergoing a painful skin grafting procedure, new skin can simply be 3D bio printed in a lab.
The arteries can help people that have heart bypass as well. Instead of cutting the replacement artery out of the leg, a 3D bio printed artery made in the lab can be inserted into the heart instead.
Bio printing organs will be the next major milestone in custom medicine. Already a kidney has been bio printed. Wakefield is currently working on FDA approval for 3D printed organs, and such bio printed transplants will be completed in a human within a couple decades.

Bio Insurance

Imagine the possibility of this alone. You could set up a tissue bank that stores healthy tissue samples, and have them on standby in case you need them. This would be an insurance policy against future organ damage or catastrophic injury. If you know you are prone to alcohol abuse, you can store healthy liver samples in your 20s, and have it ready to replace your liver when it goes in your 40’s.
This tissue bank would be huge for the military. The military can store tissue samples for soldiers, and bio print new tissue as needed for wounded soldiers. This custom medicine would speed the soldiers recovery and reduce complications latter in the veterans life.

Bio Printed Nano Bots

Nano scale technology is also an intriguing medical frontier. Using something smaller than the cell, these futuristic bots hold the promise of attacking cancer without the miserable side effects of chemo therapy, or repairing damage to the body from the inside.
3D printing can possibly be used to 3D print nano scale bots for us. Instead of using chemical processes to try and mix the bots in the lab, future nano bots can me 3D printed by high resolution 3D bio printers.

3D DNA Nano particles

In a previous blog I wrote about how I made a model of DNA for education. In an article published in the Journal of Nature, DNA itself is used as the construction material for nano particles.

DNA formed into 3D shape with specialty CAD program - Bio Printing
DNA formed into 3D shape with specialty CAD program

DNA can be thought of as a type of biological building brick. It can be cut to specific lengths, and the ends have a miter cut to join to other DNA segments at an angle. This means that DNA can be formed into unique nano particles.
Björn Högberg of the Swedish Karolinska Institute has designed a CAD program that can actually do this DNA modeling. This 3D modeling can produce DNA nano particles with complex geometry. From this CAD program, the lab produces a list of DNA segments to build with, much like a material list.

Complex shapes made with DNA - Bio Printing
Complex shapes made with DNA

They then order commercially available DNA segments and mix them so they can self-assemble in the lab.
By using the DNA CAD program, doctors can design nano bots built from the patient’s own DNA. These nano bots can then be used in the patient to attack cancer, fight infections, or rebuild damaged tissues.
3D bio printing is the future of custom medicine. From tissues to nano bots, 3D printing technology will revolutionize medicine.

How to NOT Be a 3DHubs Noob

3DHubs is an international printing service that connects the public to local 3D printers. This is a great service for anyone that wants to make money back on the purchase of their 3D printer. 3D printers can put the printer to use when they are not using it themselves. If you are starting a 3D printing business, 3DHubs can be a way to attract customers while you build your online brand.
The public can also benefit from 3DHubs. Depending on the location, consumers can shop for a local 3D printer. If you just one a handful of 3D printed items for a project, outsourcing the job to your local hub is more economical then buying a 3D printer.
In light of this, 3DHubs and other 3D printing services are plagued by the following types of noobs. These are the customers that fit the saying “The customer is always right, even if their an asshole”! These are all based off of real customers I’ve dealt with on 3DHubs.

Unit of Measure Noob

design meme - 3DHubs
Just because you can design in US standard, you shouldn’t

Advanced CAD programs will let you design an object in US standard, but that does not mean you should. 3D printers and their slicer programs are built around metric. 3D printers are built with metric parts, and print in tenths of a mm. When you try to print in standard, many slicer programs will distort the print.

Graphic artist are just as bad about submitting objects they design in picas, not realizing that they are actually trying to build a 3 dimensional object.

Another noob mistake is trying to 3D print something too small or large for the printer. I’ve had customers try to print something so detailed that it was smaller than the resolution possible with any 3D printer. These small details simply would not print in any material.

To avoid measurement problems and rejection from the 3D printer, just model your design in mm from the start.

omg cad - 3DHubs
Dream all you want, your design still sucks.

OMG I is a CAD Mazzter

     I’ll admit that I’m guilty of this one. I just finished my CAD certificate from a local VoTech college, and there are time I feel I can design anything in CAD. This hubris is common in all designers.

    Let me share my humble pie with you. You can design whatever you want digitally, but that does not become a 3D printable object. If your think you can 3D print something with 10 overhangs and internal structure without some support and get it in one piece, you are not a CAD master.

The Bad Magician

douch customer 1 - 3DHubs
Cheap asshole. I may be cheap but I ain’t free.

The bad magician tries to turn an order for one (1) 3D print into 10. They think that 3D printing is cheap. This customer thinks your 3D printing from the goodness of your heart. They think your time and effort is free.

First off, nothing in 3D printing is free. Second, we have a 3D printer that is amortized for the time that we put on it. Finally, 3D printing filament may be cheep, but it is not free.

If you want to order 10 3D prints that is fine. Just expect to pay for 10 3D prints up front. I’ve canceled orders in 3DHubs for customers that try to change the production number on me.

The Time Sucker

lumbaugh weekend - 3DHubs
It’s not that I’m lazy, its that you just don’t know!

Cosplayers are guilty as sin for this. Hubs understand that there are sites that share amazing cosplay props, and they are cool to 3D print.

It is one thing to 3D print Rea’s blaster or a Kylo Ren’s Light saber, its another to 3D print an entire Stormtrooper suit.

3DHubs recently gave a discount on the Fallout PipBoy controller. This amazing 38 piece file will take a week for a Hub with a single printer to complete. If you want someone to commit a weeks’ worth of printer time, please expect to pay for it.

These large files take a serious time commitment from a Hub with a single printer. The material alone may be more than the printer will have on hand, so they will have to order a bulk spool of filament.

Please remember that many Hubs have a day job and can’t run a large print job during the day.

I’m an artist

You did not read my Hub profile. - 3DHubs
You did not read my Hub profile.

This is similar to the CAD master. Graphic artist are guilty of this 3D printing oversight. They think that desktop 3D printers can 3D print in multiple colors, without looking at the capabilities of the Hub.

While polyjet and LOM type printers can print in full color, FDM desktop 3D printers can’t (yet).

      If you want a full color print, you are welcome to 3D print in plaster or paper with a 3DHub that has that type of 3D printer. But don’t send the file to someone with a desktop printer. Even with a dual extrusion head, you’ll only get two colors out of a desktop 3D print.

I Wants me a 3D print

This is the worst noob of all. This noob somehow managed to design something that resembled a shape, and wants it 3D printed without understanding what 3D printing actually requires.smartes man - 3DHubs

        The .stl files have large overhangs, gaps, manifold errors, or other technical problems that keep them from printing. They don’t know what supports, rafts and overhangs are. They also do not want to pay for the said support material and processing.

      This noob is also the most persistent. They think they are the center of your Hub universe, and they want their 3D print in 5 min.

Resolution Snob

This noob is someone who does not understand what resolution is. They read an article that tells them 0.1 mm resolution will produce a fine smooth print. They don’t realize that 0.1 mm resolution takes a large chunk of time.

  ramsey rage - 3DHubs    What’s worse is they don’t need 0.1 mm for the print job. Hubs know when your just testing a part that can be printed in 0.3 – 0.4 mm.

           Time and again, I’ve gotten an order at 0.1 mm that takes 30 hrs for a part that does not justify it. Like the time sucker, these resolution snobs suck time out of your life for a 3D print that is not worth the resolution.

Things to remember with 3DHubs

Please understand that we love to Hub and put our 3D printers to good use. We just get tired of the ignorance of certain noobs. 3D printers have a unique set of technical skills, as well as the machines required to do the 3D print job.
3DHubs is a great service for 3D printers, but please respect our technical expertise.

3D Printer G-CODES – The newbie guide!

What are the 3D Printer G CODES and why they are important ? Check this guide to learn the most useful commands, and also how to use it!
Please, keep in mind that this tutorial designed for Marlin / Repetier firmwares, it is not guaranteed to work with another firmware,3DPrinter g-code

What is a 3D Printer G-code?

G-code (a.k.a RS-274), which has many variants, is the common name for the most widely used numerical control (NC) programming language. It is used mainly in computer-aided manufacturing to control automated machine tools (like CNC’s and 3D printers). G-code is sometimes called G programming language

How to send  3D Printer g-codes to the printer?

In repetier host, you should first connect the printer, then go to Manual control and write the code on this box:
then just press SEND.

In Simplify3D, you need to open the tools > Machine control Panel. in the control panel, choose Communication
gcode 2

Remember!, the letters should be in in CAPITAL, example: G1 X-1 Works | g1 x-1 may not work

What can a G-CODE do for me?

Using G-Code, you can set up scripts on your 3D printer, for example:

I want that my printer, before it start printing,

my bed to 110ºC
– heat my nozzle to 180ºC
– go home
– do auto-leveling
– heat the nozzle up to 230ºC
– move nozzle to the left corner, off the bed
– extrude 10mm of plastic (to clean the nozzle)
– start printing

How we do this? using some G-codes!!!

M140 S110 // this will heat the bed to 110 degrees
M104 S180 T0 // this will heat the nozzle to 180 degrees
G28 // Go home! (if you don’t define X, Y or Z, it will go home to all of them)
G29 // do the auto-leveling feature
G28 X // it will go home on the X axis again
G91 // This is needed to move the extruder!
G1 E10 F240 // This will extrude 10mm of plastic
G90 // This is needed to move the extruder!

Wow!, too much strange commands right? well, they are worthy to know!, and this is what i’m gonna show you!

On simplify 3D you can set those scripts here:
3D Printer G-CODES

On repetier you can set those scripts here:


(and how to use them)

G0 and G1: Move

G0 = Rapid linear Move (this means it will go FASTER)
G1 = Linear Move (normal speed)

How to use?
G0 Xnnn Ynnn Znnn Ennn Fnnn Snnn
G1 Xnnn Ynnn Znnn Ennn Fnnn Snnn

What the hell is this italo?
Well, most of the commands accept multiple moves at time, this means that if you send this:
G1 X100 Y100 Z100 E10
The nozzle will move 100mm on X, 100mm on Y, 100mm on Z, while extruding 10mm of plastic.

But you can also move only one at time!, example:
G1 X10 = X axis will move 10mm

G2 & G3: Controlled Arc Move

G2 Xnnn Ynnn Innn Jnnn Ennn Fnnn (Clockwise Arc)
G3 Xnnn Ynnn Innn Jnnn Ennn Fnnn (Counter-Clockwise Arc)
Xnnn The position to move to on the X axis
Ynnn The position to move to on the Y axis
Innn The point in X space from the current X position to maintain a constant distance from
Jnnn The point in Y space from the current Y position to maintain a constant distance from
Ennn The amount to extrude between the starting point and ending point
Fnnn The feedrate per minute of the move between the starting point and ending point (if supplied)
G2 X90.6 Y13.8 I5 J10 E22.4 (Move in a Clockwise arc from the current point to point (X=90.6,Y=13.8), with a center point at (X=current_X+5, Y=current_Y+10), extruding 22.4mm of material between starting and stopping)
G3 X90.6 Y13.8 I5 J10 E22.4 (Move in a Counter-Clockwise arc from the current point to point (X=90.6,Y=13.8), with a center point at (X=current_X+5, Y=current_Y+10), extruding 22.4mm of material between starting and stopping)
Why use it?

Why use 3D Printer G-CODESNotes

1In Marlin Firmware not implemented for DELTA and SCARA printers.

G4 Dwell (a.k.a delay or pause)

G4 Pnnn
Pnnn Time to wait, in milliseconds

G4 P200
In this case sit still doing nothing for 200 milliseconds. During delays the state of the machine (for example the temperatures of its extruders) will still be preserved and controlled.

G10 and G11 – Retract and Unretract

If you send G10 (the hotend must be hot, otherwise it wont do nothing) will retract the filament. and when you send G11, it will unretract, this can be useful to stop oozing. but there are more effectives methods as proper calibration or cleaning scripts.  the distance can be set on the firmware or via software if you have EEPROM enabled

G28: Move to Origin (Home)

This command can be used without any additional parameters.
X Flag to go back to the X axis origin
Y Flag to go back to the Y axis origin
Z Flag to go back to the Z axis origin
G28 (Go to origin on all axes)
G28 X Z (Go to origin only on the X and Z axis)

G29: Detailed Z-Probe – (a.k.a auto leveling)

Example: G29
Probes the bed at 3 or more points. The printer must be homed with G28 before G29.

Please notice that for using this, you need to have a configured and working system!, check more in my another tutorial here: Click here to open the AutoLeveling tutorial

G90 and G91: Set to Absolute/Relative Positioning

Example: G90
All coordinates from now on are absolute relative to the origin of the machine. (This is the default.)

Example: G91
All coordinates from now on are relative to the last position.

G92: Set Position

This command can be used without any additional parameters.
Xnnn new X axis position
Ynnn new Y axis position
Znnn new Z axis position
Ennn new extruder position


G92 X10 E90
Allows programming of absolute zero point, by resetting the current position to the values specified. This would set the machine’s X coordinate to 10, and the extrude coordinate to 90. No physical motion will occur.
A G92 without coordinates will reset all axes to zero.

Note that this can be dangerous!, if you are on X200, and your X-Max is 210mm, the printer will think that the hotend is at 0, and will let it to move more 200mm (200+200 = bad idea, and probably a lot of noise).

M92: Set axis_steps_per_unit
Xnnn Steps per unit for the X drive
Ynnn Steps per unit for the Y drive
Znnn Steps per unit for the Z drive
Ennn Steps per unit for the extruder drive(s)
M92 X87.489 Y87.489 Z87.489
M92 E420:420

Please note that you NEED to have eeprom enabled to save these values! (save sending M500)

M104: Set Extruder Temperature

M104 S190
Snnn = Target temperature

M140: Set Bed Temperature (Fast)
M140 S55
Snnn Target temperature
Set the temperature of the build bed to 55oC and return control to the host immediately (i.e. before that temperature has been reached by the bed). There is an optional R field that sets the bed standby temperature: M140 S65 R40. (it will wait until the temperature is 40ºc before it do anything).
NOTE: is better to use M116 commands!

M116: Wait for temperatures stabilize
Wait for all temperatures and other slowly-changing variables to arrive at their set values if no parameters are specified. See also M109.

M112: Emergency Stop
Any moves in progress are immediately terminated, then RepRap shuts down. All motors and heaters are turned off. It can be started again by pressing the reset button on the master microcontroller.
You just need to send M112!
But be aware!, if you have a hardware problem is better to remove the printer from the power!


You can see a lot more G-code commands on the following PDF.

[CMDM-download id=1120]

My life on a 3D printing Startup

My life on a 3D printing startup

I never thought when finishing my school. I would been working on my passion a 3d printing startup founded by me and a couple friends

There were many years of study, sacrifice and struggle to achieve my degree. Finally I got it and I graduated as a computer engineer with an honorific metion.

Then with some friend who share my passion for 3D printing technology, we decided to embark on the world of Startups and we founded “Ingenia3D” a 3d printing startup. But I’m not going to speak a lot of my startup, perhaps I leave it for another post.

Ingenia3D - 3d printing startup
Ingenia3D a 3d printing startup

Now, I’m going to tell you my experience since I decide to choose this path…

Let´s face it, many people has this fever for making business or at least it is in my country.

 But, Why? Where it comes such a need to found a company?

People constantly sees first the end of the road thinking, if I open a business I will have billions of dollars, a lot of children now have a lot of money, I have twice experience  I can make it!

We got carried away by the environment but, in the battle we are afraid. Let me tell you this: if you choose the path of being an entrepreneur, you will suffer as never in your life.

  • Sleepless hours.
  • Hours of planning things.
  • Contracts will fall.
  • Annoying people.
  • Eating very little.
  • Invest a lot.

Don´t misunderstand me, if you survive all that, believe me the effort will worth it. It will not come alone, you need to always execute viable projects that can generate revenues, turn your passion in to something that you can live.

I know, is hard I’m not going to lie you. You will feel constantly the necessity of leaving the boat, try to find a job, live like a normal person. I call this point “the grim reaper” When you lose the way and your propose is when all your projects are destined to fail.

I´m going to tell you a phrase that  one person told me long time ago, an incredible person named Miguel Nieva  country manager of one of the  Startups I most admire here in Mexico.

Ingenia3D - 3d printing startup
Ingenia3D 3d printing startup

 People will crash, but don’t make the projects do.

A person will always get up again, you always are going to give more, no matter the beating of life in front of us we can always return to stand and continue projects once the project dies emotion there is no turning back.

On Ingenia3D we are a small Startup, we are no more than 4 people working hard to educate our city, so they know all the advantages of 3D printing, we constantly training us, searching for new opportunities and new markets that we can dominate.

We know that there’s a lot of competence, in our city we are the only Startup of 3D printing but the people always choose the traditional media, people are scared of technology. That’s why our principal mission is education. We want all the people look the potential that can be achieved with this technology and we want to help them.

Our motto is design it and together we can make it possible, a mantra that I repeat myself every day to continue working.  I believe in our projects, in our Startup and I know that patiently our effort will succeed.



Tell me what projects are you working for?

Perhaps we could collaborate!

Are you working on a Startup and you are afraid?

Contact me and let me help you!

3D Printing Filament Review

In a previous blog I discussed what makes good 3D printing filament. That blog was written from the hard earned experience I got in working with the filaments I’ll review here.

Testing procedures

All of this filament review were 3D printed on a Makerbot 5th gen Replicator or Lulzbot Taz 5. The 5th gen 3D printed in 1.75 mm, while the Taz 5 3D printed with 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm filament. All were printed to temperature recommendations from the factory. I’ve 3D printed (or tried to 3D print) a whole spools worth of material from all these filament brands.

Grading Criteria

All filaments will be graded on a 4.0 A – F scale, with the final grade for each assessed at the end.

  • Spooling: How well the filament is rolled on the spool.
  • Storage: How long the filament last in storage.
  • Color quality: How well the filament looks before and after printing.
  • Filament quality: Is it flexible, or does it turn into plastic shards?
  • Other: Those other quirks that are unique to all brands of filament.

ColorFabb XT, PLA/PHA, and exotics – filament review

      For major 3D prints and everyday printing, ColorFabb XT is my go to filament. I can print with both 1.75 and 2.85 mm filament in my Taz 5 printer. I’ve been happy with the performance of their XT, PLA/PHA, and exotic filaments. All of them are low warp, which is great on the large prints that I have done with them.

E-Nable Raptor hand 3D printed in ColorFabbXt - filament review
E-Nable Raptor hand 3D printed in ColorFabbXt

ColorFabb has great customer service, which have only had to use once. Their filament comes in bulk 2.2 kg sizes, which is great for commercial 3D printers and long 3D prints.

On the gripe side, the spools for their 750 g and 2.2 kg can be a bit bulky in their width, and require a separate spool holder for your 3D printer. Spooling is a weak point, as I’ve had a few spools (both sizes) tangle mid-print.

Grade Card 

  • Spooling: More of a problem with 1.75 mm filament, but 2.85 mm has tangled as well. B
  • Storage: No degradation of filament with time. A
  • Color quality: Solid consistent color from start to finish. A
  • Filament quality: XT and PLA/PHA have been good to me, though BronzeFill exotic did become brittle. A
  • Other: Starting build plate adhesion can be tricky compared to others. Good selection of colors and sizes, and samples from ColorFabb are enough to make 3-4 small items. A
  • Overall Grade: 19 / 20 A

MakerBot PLA – filament review

MakerBot is one of the leading 3D printing companies in the world thanks to effective marketing, but not the quality of their 3D printers. My first 3D printer was a 5th gen, and I’ll admit that I went overboard in ordering bulk packages of filament from them.

Fidget 3D printed with MakerBot PLA filament - filament review
Fidget 3D printed with MakerBot PLA filament

In a future blog I’ll detail my heartache as I smashed headlong into the 5th gen printer. Despite the cluster fuck that is the 5th gen, Makerbot is redeemed (somewhat) by their filament.

MakerBot 1.75 mm filament is what I started 3D printing with and it has been a great learning experience for filament. I learned that this PLA will warp on long prints without a heated bed, and will warp on the glass build plate of a 5th gen.

It does 3D print at a consistent temperature, and has been shelf-stable longer than other PLA brands I have used. I have liked using their filament, if not their printer.

Grade Card

  • Spooling: Good spooling with no tangles. A
  • Storage: Shelf stable longer than other PLA brands. A
  • Color quality: It has darkened from spool to print; it appears darker than advertised on site. C
  • Filament quality: Solid consistent quality in stark contrast to the 5th gen printer. A
  • Other: Being marketed as an exclusive filament does hurt its appeal to 3D printers. The cost is also overblown like all MakerBot products. D
  • Overall Grade: 15 / 20 C

Prototype Supply PLA – filament review

      This has been the wild card in my filament supplies. I got a couple 1 kg spools from a local 3D printing shop, and it is a good filament for test prints. It prints well at a low 190 C, which is unusual in my experience with PLA, which

Lulzbot Taz 5 tool tray printed w. Prototype supply - filament review
Lulzbot Taz 5 tool tray printed w/ Prototype Supply

normally prints at 200 – 210 C for all other brands. The 1.75 mm filament has performed well in all the test printing I’ve used it for, with minimal warping. The color has not been consistent, but for test printing it does not really matter.

Grade Card

  • Spooling: Good spooling with no tangles. A
  • Storage: Shelf stable and forgiving of bad storage. A
  • Color quality: It has lightened from neon pink to pepto bismol pink when 3D print. Likewise the spool of purple I used lightened as well. D
  • Filament quality: Good performance in both 3D printers, and nice to print at a lower temperature. A
  • Other: This is good for test prints, with low warpage. It was affordable even from a retail store. The color shift was disappointing. C
  • Overall Grade: 15 / 20 C

Printed Solid PLA – filament review

This was a brand that I’ve used a few times for their unique colors. I got some 0.2 kg spools of dark green 1.75 mm filament that turned out to have a honey / gold irradiances to it. When I made some fidgets for the Autism Community Store, they loved the dual colors.
However Printed Solid made this color in a limited production run, so now I’m holding onto my last spool tightly.

Grade Card

  • Spooling: The 0.2 kg spool is tight, and the filament was prone to stress breaks near the end of the spool. C
  • Storage: It did lose its flexibility after 3-5 months, and it became brittle. D
  • Color quality: The two tone iridescent filament produced amazing results on the final product. A
  • Filament quality: On the stiff side coming out of the box, it did become more brittle with time. C
  • Other: Prone to warping. Being a limited production creates some issues if you want to 3D print in bulk. C
  • Overall Grade: 11 / 20 F

Bee Supply PLA – filament review

This was an off brand filament I got from a 3DHubs  customer. He wanted 3 of the Fallout4 Pip Boys printed, and I gave him a discount for providing the filament. This was the first mistake in what turned out to be the 3D Hub order from hell (That is another blog) .

Fallout 4 Pip Boy controler, 3D printed through 3DHubs. - filament review
Fallout 4 Pip Boy controller, 3D printed through 3DHubs.

The client provided me with 3 0.2 kg spools of OD green 1.75 mm filament. It is from these tinny spools I learned the importance of spool size. The filament was wound so tightly around the small spools that they just would not flex enough to get into the print head.

The PLA was stiff from the start. As I ran it through my printer, I learned a new sound could come from my printer. I started hearing a “snap, sprang, click, click” sound as the filament snapped like dry spaghetti, sending bits all around the room. This snapping tended to happen a couple hours into a 6-8 hr print job, resulting in lost days of time on this printing job. This snapping happened to all 3 spools, extending a 1 week printing job into a 3 week cluster fuck.

I finally gave up on Bee Supply and ordered some ColorFabb for the client. To show his gratitude, the client left me the entire Bee Supply filament to deal with. I tried latter to salvage it, but sometimes you just can’t raise the dead.

Grade Card

  • Spooling: Tight diameter spools and even tighter winding turned the PLA into an inflexible spring that would not feed without snapping frequently. F- – – –
  • Storage: The filament did not store well, and fell apart on the spool itself. F –
  • Color quality: What did print did lighten a bit. C
  • Filament quality: Quality and this filament do not belong in the same sentence. Frequent stress breaks and brittle PLA killed many long prints. F – – – –
  • Other: I’m glad I did not buy this crap, but feel sorry for the client that got burned with this trash. F – – – – –
    Overall Grade: 2 / 20 F

How to: Timelapse of 3D Prints

Watching 3D printers print is interesting however they are slow, it is much better if you can see those 1,2,3,4 hour prints in 30 seconds to see how a 3D printer works. In this article I will be explaining each step from camera mount to rendering the video. You can use just about any camera for this tutorial : DSLR, compact, Action Camera (eg GoPro). There are two methods to make a timelapse : You can take a long video then speed it up for a timelapse, this is an easier option however it takes up lots of storage space on your camera, computer and will take longer to render. However a more professional method is to take pictures at set intervals then use those pictures to make a video, this is a bit harder but it takes up a lot less storage space and can produce better result. I will be using my DSLR for this tutorial, although you can use just about any camera.

Setting up you Camera mount

Either way you are doing a timelapse you will need a tripod or something stable to place your camera on. We do not want the camera to move during the timelapse as this would produce a bad result. You will need to aim your camera at the object you are printing and make sure there is enough space for the object’s length, height and width. If your bed moves you need to encounter that to position the camera correctly.

Video method

If you are using the video method all you have to do is to start filming the print once its starts and that’s it for now, make sure you have enough storage space to hold this video footage and you have framed the camera correctly.

Photo method

So if you have chosen this method which I recommend, it is a bit more complex to set up.

First of all you will need to calculate how many photos you want. This is some simple maths and estimating how many photos you would want, I would recommend if you don’t want to play around with it is to take about 700- 1200 for a print. I use this for 2 hour prints usually. So we will need to set the interval timer on our camera: On a GoPro the timer is built in and on a compact camera it may or may not be built in, it all depends on your camera. On the other hand for a DSLR you will most likely need an intervalometer, these are little controllers that will plug into your camera and control the shutter. I found mine for about £15, so look around for a compatible one for your camera. Now let’s do the maths:


You will need an estimated print time, you can get this from Cura, Simplfy 3D or other slicers. If your slicer does not give a time estimate you can download Cura (it’s free) just to get a time estimate.

Print time = 2 Hours

Now work out the seconds:

2*60 = 120

120*60 = 7200 Seconds

Now we can try different intervals:

2 Second interval: 7200/2


4 second interval: 7200/4


6 second interval: 7200/6


8 second interval: 7200/8


Okay so I will go with a 8 second interval

So we have our interval; the amount of photos will almost never be exact as the time estimation is always off by a bit. Now if you have an action camera (eg GoPro) set your interval and your ready to go. If you are on a compact camera set your interval (if the camera has an inbuilt timer, if not look at the manual if there is any accessory to help) and if you can set it to sport mode or similar. This will help taking pictures of the print head and the moving bed if you have one. With a DSLR, on your intervalometer set the exposure to 0 or OFF; we will let the camera handle the exposure. You can play around with: shutter speed, aperture etc. but I like leaving it on sport mode and possibly on macro.


Okay so now let your print run and turn on the camera!


Okay so you have your footage, either a long video or a set of pictures. I will be using a free video editor called Lightworks, but you can do this with pretty much anything including Movie Maker.

Video method

Okay so import your video into the software and create a new timeline.

camera mount

Then drag the video into the start. After that click advanced and  increase the speed to something like 500-600%. This depends on how long you want your timelapse, we can calculate this by dividing the total seconds by the the first digit (if your percentage is a whole hundred between 100- 900):

1200 seconds


=240 Seconds (timelapse length)


= 4 Minutes (timelapse length)

camera mount

Okay so now you want to delete your audio ( if you want) then add music. After that select the clip with markers then export it,  and make sure to tick the “use marked” section. Let it export and you’re done!

Photo method

Set your project to 25 FPS, next you want to import your photos, Lightworks will make them into one video file. Do not press play on the preview or in the timeline, doing so will make the program freeze and lag your computer. Only high end PC’s with SSD’s could possibly do that.

Screenshot (11)- camera mount

Then drag the file to your timeline and I recommend decreasing the video playback speed to about 75% for a longer timelapse. You will need to extend the video clip by dragging the end of the video clip until the video stops, this is because the video will be longer now. Then add music and select the video and audio with markers and export. Make sure to tick the “use marked” section, and you’re done!

Now you should have a timelapse of your print. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section and I will do my best to answer them. Here is my timelapse I made of printing a low poly Darth Vader (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1169476) , although Darth decided to face the wrong way but you get the idea:



Bed auto leveling for 3D Printers

Are you tired of re-calibrating the endstop on the Z axis? Or tightening the screws on the bed every day? See how to install the bed auto leveling system using an servo motor and an endstop

What is the bed auto leveling feature?

This feature will use a sensor to measure the distance between the nozzle and the bed, on 3 or more points (up to 32), assuring you the perfect bed leveling and adehesion. See this video to understand how it can be useful!

RepRap Bed Auto Leveling by Alex Borro

Why my bed wont stay leveled forever?

This is a pretty common issue, caused by a lot of variables, like the room temperature, the hotbed temperature, nozzle temperature (all the three causes dilation), humidity, and mostly the structure (like plywood, acrylic and aluminium/other metals), found on Prusa’s and derivated from it.

But don’t worry anymore, now yuo will learn how to implement a Bed auto leveling. This will save you a LOT of time, and also help to make better prints.  The Autoleveling works by measuring the distance from the nozzle to the bed, in the four corners (or more if we want to!),


firmware modifications are DANGEROUS!, make sure that you have some backups of your working firmware before you begin! (trust me, always have a well-documented backup, so you know which one to use if something goes wrong).  After updating your firmare MAKE SURE to keep an eye on the 3d printer,  things can go really bad if you mess with some setting you should not.

So lets begin! Here are some things that we will need:
1 – A Already working 3D printer (we will need to print a support)
2 – 1x 9g servo motor , 1X Jumper (computer jumpers are great)
3 – Cable to connect the servo and the micro to the board (you will need to make one)
4 – A computer with arduino IDE v1.0.6 (version 1.5+ don’t work, more info on the last page)
5 – Marlin firmware v1.0.x pre-configured (newer versions didn’t worked, more info on the last page)
6 – Write your firmware settings (feedrate, acceleration, step/mm and board type. LCD name is also important to write if you have one)

FILES / Links

Recommended links for supports:
-Model1: Support 1
-Model2:Support 2
-Model3: Support 3

Arduino IDE v1.0.6 with u8glib (ZIP) and Marlin firmware pre-configured (ZIP)

Before everything, click on HOME ALL and make sure that your nozzle is INSIDE the bed limits.

imagem 1

Select move X + to move it to the right and do it until the nozzle is at the edge of the printing area. Do the same for Y. For the Z axis, move it as high as its possible and mark those values


X Max distance = ?
Y Max distance = ?
Z Max distance = ?

After you print the servo support, and before disassembling the printer check if your servo and micro switch works and fit on the support nicely. And if it does, find a place to put the support, it should be as close as possible to the nozzle.
After checking this and test, we will mount the servo support, the servo, and the endstop on the end. Make sure you leave enough wire to the endstop move free,

Installing the Servo motor

Here is a image to help you with the SERVO connector

Usually the pins are


Let’s begin to modify the RAMPS. Here are where you will connect things
YELLOW = Servo motor (negative , positive, signal)
BLUE = the reset switch (only for demonstration)
RED = The pins that you need to jumper. (Here you jumper the 5V and the VCC pins. The mid and bottom pins) – This will provide power to the servo


After connecting them, connect the probe endstop (which was the Z endstop), to the min z endstop (exactly where it was before)

Configuring the OFFSET

Hardware mounted. now we need to check the offset from the hot end to the probe center.

We will use this method included inside a read-me file
a) Make a small mark in the bed with a marker/felt-tip pen.

b) Place the hotend tip as exactly as possible on the mark, touching the bed. Raise the hotend 0.1mm (a regular paper thickness) and zero all axis (G92 X0 Y0 Z0);

d) Raise the hotend 10mm (or more) for probe clearance, lower the Z probe (Z-Endstop) with M401 and place it just on that mark by moving X, Y and Z;

e) Lower the Z in 0.1mm steps, with the probe always touching the mark (it may be necessary to adjust X and Y as well) until you hear the “click” meaning the mechanical endstop was trigged. You can confirm with M119;

f) Now you have the probe in the same place as your hotend tip was before. Perform a M114 and write down the values, for example: X:24.3 Y:-31.4 Z:5.1;

g) You can raise the z probe with M402 command;

Now, open the pre-configured firmware that we provided you on the arduino IDE. Open the configuration.h file. And use control + F to easily find those lines

h) Fill the defines bellow multiplying the values by “-1” (just change the signal)




Configuring the probing positions

The following options define the probing positions. These are good starting values I recommend to keep a better clearance from borders in the first run and then make the probes as close as possible to borders:





REMINDER: the values must be bigger than the offset!. Example, when the X axis on 0mm, the nozzle is also on 0, but the probe will be at 20. So those values must be inside the range that the printer can measure.

A few more options:
* #define XY_TRAVEL_SPEED 2000
X and Y axis travel speed between probes, in mm/min.
Bear in mind that really fast moves may render step skipping. 6000 mm/min (100mm/s) is a good value.


The Z axis is lifted when traveling to the first probe point by Z_RAISE_BEFORE_PROBING value
and then lifted when traveling from first to second and second to third point by Z_RAISE_BETWEEN_PROBINGS.
REMINDER: the raise before probing must be GREATER than the Z offset. if it the offset is 20mm, add 10mm, so 30mm is a good value to use.
All values are in mm as usual.

We will now configure the software. If you use REPETIER HOST or another, you need to find where the “before printing” or “starting script” is and add this two lines

  • G28
  • G29

The G28 means, go home printer!, it will make the printer find the home position of everything. Than, after that, the G29 will tell the printer to auto calibrate itself,


Now, if everything was properly configured. You must try printing something. I recommend printing a cube, with a four lines skirt at 20mm of distance, this way you will see if the auto calibration works.


Why I must use the provided firmware? I don’t like it!.

-this firmware had been tested and worked perfectly. Although its old, it doesn’t means that it is bad. This is a really good firmware!.

Why I need to use the provided arduino IDE?

-From version 1.5.x the WIRE library is not at the same place, making it really hard to make the firmware works. So, is best to use the 1.0.6 version if you are not a advanced programmer.

What are those G-codes?

M401 = Lower the servo probe
M402 = Retract the servo probe
G28 = Home on X, Y, Z
G29 = Auto leveling feature

If you have any question please feel free to ask! Also See My Auto Nozzle Clean post click here!

How to Justify a New 3D Printer


3D printers are an emerging and exciting technology field. As printers continue to grow, the cost is will continue to plunge, but a decent printer still runs $300 and up. If you have not purchased one yet, you may be looking for reasons to justify buying a 3d printer .
Others around us (family, significant others, friends) are skeptical. They ask “Why would you want a 3D printer when you can drive down the street to a big box store to get what we need? Why get a machine to make trinkets?”
How can you justify the expense and time needed for a 3D printer? If you need help convincing others, here is my list of ways that I have convinced others.

Work for Humanity – buying a 3d printer

By getting a 3D printer, you can become a humanitarian. The internet is full of cute pets getting 3D printed limbs.

3D printers can become a volunteer for e-NABLE and 3D print affordable prosthetic hands for children.

eNable group - buying a 3d printer
e-NABLE logo. You can 3D print hands for children

3D printers can also print items to help people with special needs. Recently Thingiverse hosted the AssistiveTech challenge, where the design community competed to 3D print items for the elderly and people with unique needs.

makethon - buying a 3d printer
Red Cross of India Enable Makeathon, to make items for people with disabilities.

The International Committee of the Red Cross of India (ICRC) recently hosted the Enable Makeathon. This event challenged designers from around the world to make tools for people with disabilities in rural and impoverished areas. 3D printing was a pivotal tool for many design teams including 3DPT. In the challenge, I used 3D printing to make handwriting grips to support students education.

Home Improvement – buying a 3d printer

     When it comes to home improvement, 3D printing can cover a wide range of home repair and improvement needs.File sharing sites are full of files to replace all those broken knobs, little plastic do doodads, and kitchenware you break.

Not only that, you can 3D print your own decore` to truly customize your house. Forget going to Ikea, you can truly design and build your own pieces to make your house a home.

Knife switch plate from Young Frankenstein. - buying a 3d printer
Knife switch plate from Young Frankenstein.

For sci-fi fans, you can bring Star Wars or Young Frankenstein into your room. A popular knife switch plate was made from the movie Young Frankenstein, so now you too can “throw the third switch”! Better yet, you can print it with ColorFabb glowfill so you can find the light switch at night.

If you live in a historic house, 3D printing can help you in restoring it to its original beauty. 3D printing has been used to recreate molding profiles and tile work. It can also reproduce ornate decor` and details that would cost you thousands to make with a craftsmen.

Toys – buying a 3d printer

    Yes, you can 3D print toys. Unlike the toys you get from big box stores, they are far more affordable; a hand sized toy can cost ~$0.20, while bigger toys cost less than the gas it takes to drive to the store. With 3D printing you can print spare toys for when your little wrecking crew turns their toys into shards.

Not only are 3D printed toys affordable, they can be safer. With 3D printing you know where the toy was sourced from, including the materials. This greatly reduces the risk of toys from Asia that are contaminated with heavy metals. If your little ball of joy is a biter, you can 3D print the shells of any toy thicker to extend the life of the toy. With 3D printing toys tend to be large and with few pieces that pass the choke test, so you don’t have to worry as much about kids swallowing them (though you should ALWAYS supervise children and toys).


     3D printing something for another person can give it far more intrinsic value than something from a store. Owning something you make is far more valuable than buying.

In our consumer society, we are encouraged to throw away things on a constant basis; whether its due to poor quality, planed obsolescence, or normal wear. With 3D printing we are encouraged to maintain, reuse, and adapt what we have.

3D Addivist Manifesto, for the future 3D addivist cookbook. A primer on how 3D printing will change the world - buying a 3d printer
3D Addivist Manifesto, for the future 3D addivist cookbook. A primer on how 3D printing will change the world.

Making something in this consumer society is revolutionary. 3D printing is poised to be the next industrial revolution, where consumers 3D print what they need in house. This will greatly reduce our dependence on big box stores and foreign imports.

Ethics – buying a 3d printer

      Big box stores rely on wage slave labor from Asia to mass produce cheap consumer goods. 3D printing what you need in house is far more ethical then supporting big box stores.

By 3D printing, you know where your item came from, and the working conditions of the labor involved.

Environment – buying a 3d printer

      3D printing just what you need uses far less energy than a factory that mass produces the same item. 3D printing can greatly reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that come from industrial factories and transportation.
Getting 20 – 40 objects from a kg of filament that is sourced domestically is far better for the environment than transporting the same objects from overseas.

Economy – buying a 3d printer

     With sites like 3Dhubs(link my hub), you can make money on the side to get a return on investment (ROI) for the 3D printer. You can 3D print locally, supporting the community around you. By 3D printing locally(Adivist manifesto?), you inject money into your local economy, with taxes supporting your local schools and public services.


If you add more printers, you can become a small 3D printing business that supports the local economy.
3D printing is set to become the next industrial revolution. It will mean that commercial production returns to domestic markets. 3D printing can reduce our need for foreign imports, improve our employment rates, and decrease homelessness.

How can we justify buying a 3d printer?

    When it comes to 3D printing, the better question is “How can we NOT justify it?”
In the future there will be 3D printers in the majority of homes in the US. 3D printing is a technology that is changing the world for the better as I write this.