The Makerbot provides a great introduction to 3D printing at a convenient price point. However, many people complain about parts lifting, curling or not being flat enough. STG Machine has a few tips that we think can help, so here are a few of our printing secrets for the Makerbot:
1. Cover the Baseplate with Tape
We have found this to be the most effective option. Simply go on Amazon or to your local hardware store and purchase some gaffer’s tape. Apply the tape across your entire printing board and you shouldn’t have any more issues. Blue painters tape is recommended by a lot of people, but it is easily damaged and you end up replacing it on a weekly basis.
2. System Settings
A)Turn off the fan for the first few layers of the print
B) Increase the temperature for the first few layers of the print
3. Adjust The Orientation of Your Part
Try to rotate your model so that the least amount of surface area is being printed onto the plate
4. Center Your Part on the Build Plate
Makerbot printers tend to be more consistent in the center of the build plate than anywhere else, so make sure that your part is centered.
5. Clean off Your Build Plate
Make sure to always wipe off your build plate after a print is finished. It never hurts to use a little bit of isopropyl alcohol.
6. Create an Enclosure Around Your Printer
You can assist in retaining heat by putting a cardboard box or a large sheet of plastic around the entire printer. Any insulation will help your print remain stable.
7. Temperature Control
Make sure your printing environment is away from any windows and is in a temperature controlled space. Any large deviations in temperature will dramatically affect the quality of your print.
8. Replace Your Build Plate
Over time your build plate will start to warp and unfortunately there is no solution. Purchasing a new build plate may be your best option if you have exhausted all other resources.
9. Design a Heated Bed
Makerbot sells heated bed adapters for older models, but they don’t offer any solutions for the flex plate. However, you can build your own to sit on top of the existing flex plate. Luckily there are plenty of free options online such as this one!