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Back to business, Huxley needs some love.

posted 22 Aug 2012, 12:58 by Colin Bell

So my whistle proves that the beast still works, but I needed to get back to business and print a replacement small extruder gear. As the Crystal Clear PLA was still loaded, I thought it would be rude not to use it...

The first try looked as though it was doing the business, but when it finished, it looked very messy as seen in the pictures here. The base looked OK, but the teeth where misshapen and it had actually managed to miss a tooth. I put this down to my extruder failing, and started the print again....with exactly the same results. After thinking about it for a while, I came to the conclusion that it was printing way to fast for such a small object, so turned to the forums.

One of the posts I found, suggested that instead of adjusting print speed for small objects, simply printing more objects would resolve the issue, as the printer moves to the next object after each layer is printed, thus giving time for the previous object layer to cool sufficiently. It was getting late, so I thought, why not, and re-sliced using the multiply rows option set to 2.

What a difference! This clearly is the way to go for small objects, and the difference in quality and usability of the gears is extremely clear.

Just a final comment about the Crystal Clear PLA - it doesn't photograph well, and doesn't show detail well even to the naked eye. I've looked at these gears very closely, and the quality of these are excellent, with sharp edges on the the teeth and a solid base and nut recess - they are easily the match of others I've seen and used including injection moulded and vacuum formed - it seems that this PLA just doesn't show it well.

I can see that I'll use the clear PLA only for 'arty' projects, or stuff like equipment boxes that have LEDs etc inside that I might want to see without opening the box.