3D printing at altitude

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amysouster
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:22 pm

3D printing at altitude

Postby amysouster » Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:27 pm

Hi,
I'm new to 3D printing and am a volunteer in an amputee charity in Bolivia. We currently have had an Evolution 2nd Gen 3Dstuffmaker bought for our clinic with the aim to be able to make prosthetic hands for low income amputees in Bolivia. However.......this printer is not really functioning as well as we'd like. If we try to print more than one part of a finger at a time it is really poor quality, the fan is inefficient, it will only use one type of material and fails regularly. We're not sure if the altitude is partly responsible (we are 3600m above sea level). So I have a few questions if anyone can help:-

1) Would altitude affect print quality? Is there any recommendations as a way round this?
2) Would there be a better printer we could look into purchasing for this use at this altitude? We have a budget of between $500-$1000 to purchase a second one.
3) Any opinions on the Evolution range?
4) Any opinions on the Wanhoa range?

Thanks so much for your help.
Amy

emie289
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:54 am

Re: 3D printing at altitude

Postby emie289 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:01 am

My husband and I just moved to Denver, CO (alt. of approximately 5,000 ft) from roughly sea level. We found that we have to adjust the temperature of the filament quite a bit to get it to work. Before we figured out the problem the filament kept jamming, or just wouldn't print (in retrospect, we realized it was getting too hot, and then pooling out)--we replaced a bunch of parts thinking it was the fan, or the nozzle, etc. So, before you try for another printer, try seeing if adjusting the temp settings will help.

The altitude itself doesn't affect the print quality, now that we've gotten it to work, but the altitude did change the melting temp of the filament (and probably how it cools, etc.) -- so we have had to fiddle with printing at lower temperatures than we were used to. Finally got PLA filament to print successfully at 182 deg. C for the first layer and 175 for all subsequent layers.

The best way to figure out what temp you need (if that is the issue) is to print a bunch of small test cubes to see what works and what doesn't, before trying to print an entire prosthetic.

Good luck!


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