Tag Archives: How To

Ways Not to Print in Two Colors on a Lulzbot Mini

I had such good luck swapping filament mid-print on my Prusa i3 MK3 that I thought I’d try the same on my Lulzbot Mini… with much less good luck.

This post lists the ways I’ve tried to swap filament colors at a specific point in the print, using my Lulzbot Mini and CuraLE 4.13.4 and OctoPrint 1.9.3. Your experience may be different – I hope so.

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Adding a Link inside your Vellum Paperback

Links are very handy in eBooks generated by Vellum, but how do you add links inside your paperback? This post covers one alternative: QR Codes.

What is a QR Code?

A QR, “Quick Response” code is a 2-dimensional barcode, that can represent arbitrary text. In your paperbacks, you can use QR codes to embed URLs – links to web pages – for your web site and for your books’ pages on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, etc.

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Getting Started With 3D Printing

Designing a 3D Printable part using FreeCAD
Designing a 3D Printable part using FreeCAD

One of the things holding me back from 3D printing for so long was learning what tools I needed and how to use them. It’s relatively easy to print things once you have a design: Cults3D, Hubs, and many others (including your friends who have printers) can print your designs, your local library may have printers for you to use, or you can buy a printer for a few hundred dollars.

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Printing replacement parts for your Prusa 3D printer

I recently bought and assembled a Prusa i3 MK3 kit, and decided to prepare for printing emergencies by printing a full set of replacement parts as soon as the printer was working well.

I’d found, in using my other printer, that even high-quality printed parts do eventually delaminate under stress: after two years, that printer’s X and Y idler supports developed fractures. Because I couldn’t print the replacement parts (and because doing the replacement seemed daunting at the time), I wound up sending that printer to the factory for repairs.

I’ve also seen notes and videos from people recommending a set of replacement parts as a backup, in case you break a part while adjusting or doing maintenance on your printer. Having replacement parts on hand is also a good preparation for helping a 3D printing friend when their printer breaks.

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Extruder gear tension: the overlooked adjustment

I used to think that 3D Printer extruder tension – how much pressure the extruder hobbed gear exerts on the filament to move it forward – was a pretty forgiving thing. At one extreme, there’s “so loose the filament doesn’t feed” and on the other, there’s “so tight the extruder motor binds”. I thought everything in between was ok.

My assumption was confirmed each time I read advice on how to tune a misbehaving printer: people rarely mentioned extruder tension.

My recent fight to fix a bad print taught me that incorrect extruder tension can make a huge difference in your print quality after all.

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Testing Your 3D Printer’s First Layer Height Calibration

One of the last steps of assembling a Prusa i3 MK3 3d printer is to manually adjust the Z height. As I adjusted my printer’s Z height, I began to wonder what the Z height calibration looked like on my older printer, a Lulzbot Mini. At the same time, I became curious about what size that Lulzbot Mini can print. A simple test print answered both questions.

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