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Tips for print FAB365 Foldable designs

Key features of FAB365 Foldable Design

FAB365's foldable designs minimize the inconveniences of using 3D printers (Waste of material and time spent printing supports, Trace that removed support), and the advantages of 3D printers (complicated shapes that are difficult to make into molds, Inspired by 4D printing, it is a new way of designing.

The Foldable Designs of FAB365, which can be used for multiple movements in one printing, are not simple and the parts are very organized and interlocked. For this reason, there can be different challenges than when printing most designs of one object. However, the difficulty is usually the failure to adjust the 3D printer. FAB365's designs go through various printing experiments on several 3D printers, so if the printer is in good condition, there is no problem printing the FAB365's design.

Slice settings

Many people think that printing will work fine, if you use the slicing settings or profiles that FAB365 uses and ask us to send them. However, using slicing settings or profiles from FAB365 may not produce good results. This is because the slicing settings need to be set differently depending on the climate, materials and shape. Therefore, in areas with different climates or with different filaments, using the slicing settings or profiles used by FAB365 may not produce good results.

Therefore, we will show you how to solve the problems that many customers experience while printing the design of FAB365.

Problem 1. Broken living hinge.

A living hinge is a thin flexible hinge (flexure bearing) made from the same material as the two rigid pieces it connects.

FAB365's foldable designs often use living hinges to take advantage of the slight elasticity of the filaments. However, some of our customers sometimes break this living hinge. So let's look at how not to break the living hinge.

Cause 1) Filament Characteristics

FAB365 tests printing using mainly PLA. Very few PLA filaments have very little elasticity and are not suitable for printing living hinges. In addition, PLA exposed to air after long periods of inactivity also tends to break due to less elasticity.

To solve this problem, first make sure your PLA filament is suitable for living hinge. Check if the PLA filament you want to use is broken by hand. If broken, the PLA is a PLA filament that is not suitable for printing folding designs that use living hinges.

Solution – 1) Change the filament

Solution – 2) When folding after printing, soften the living hinge with a hair dryer or heat gun before folding.

Cause 2) Insufficient extrusion amount

Living hinges must be printed to a suitable thickness to prevent them from breaking. The elasticity of PLA is not very high, so thin it will tear, and thick it will break. Therefore, if the extrusion amount is too less or too much, the living hinge will tear or break. Make sure that the printing on the living hinge is done well before folding it.

Solution – 1) Increase Extrusion Multiplier/Material flow

Cause 3) Bridge failure-Bridge sag.

The folding design of the FAB365 is accomplished by inserting parts that snap-fit each part. If the printing of these parts does not come out well, they will not fit together. If you apply excessive force at this time, the living hinge connecting each part will be broken. Therefore, make sure that the holes of the part to be inserted are printed well.

Soultions –1) Adjust the bridge related settings in the slicing.

Solution – 2) Trim the bridged area with a knife after printing is completed.

Cause 4) The edges are raised without the printing completely sticking to the floor.

If the printed result does not completely adhere to the floor and the edges are floating, the connection will not fit. In this case, if you apply excessive force to fit the connecting part, the relatively weak living hinge will break.

Photo showing curved edges

Solution – 1) Increase the fan speed.

Problem 2. Moving parts (ex. Car hood, cover or robot and animal arms and legs) fall or fall out of bed during printing.

The internal structure of the FAB365's foldable designs is very complex. Moving parts with complex structures are often small in area touch the bed / first layer. In order for the printing not to fall off the bed, each part must have a large area that touches the bed. Therefore, the smaller the area of contact with the bed of each part, the higher the probability of falling off the bed during printing. Therefore, very careful attention should be paid to bed adhesion.

During printing, part of printing fall off due to weak legs / arms due to weak bed / plate adhesion

Solution-1) Use Raft.

There are some people who hate using Raft, but we often use Raft for stable printing. The FAB365's designs are mostly hidden inside after the bottom of the Raft is completed, so the rough traces of the Raft are not visible from the outside. So please use Raft conveniently.

Solution-2) Replace with Bed / Plate strong adhesion possible.

Recently, many bed / plates with good adhesion have been released. Prusa's PEI bed, Whambam systems' PEX bed, and Ziflex bed are very adhesive bed / plates.

Problem 3. Parts do not move.

Each part must be separated from each other at regular intervals, otherwise the parts will stick together and will not move. The reason is as follows.

Cause 1) Elephant foot phenomenon

This phenomenon refers to a phenomenon in which the filament spreads sideways because the nozzle has a low height, making it too close to the bed or over extrusion. When this happens, the first layer of each part sticks to it so that each part does not move even after printing is complete.

Parts stuck in the first layer-Bad

The gap of the parts is maintained in the first layer-Good

Solution – 1) In order to prevent this phenomenon from occurring, the height of the nozzle should be adjusted slightly up.

Solution – 2) The extrusion multiply should be reduced. Reducing the amount of material extrusion can help prevent this phenomenon.

Solution – 3) Use Raft. Raft ejects very little material from the first layer so that it will fall off well after printing is complete, so the parts in the first layer of the printing will never stick together.

Cause 2) Strings

This phenomenon is caused by the flow of the filament while the nozzle is moving due to the high temperature or low reaction, and numerous slender threads are generated. If these strings occur between the gaps of each component, the component will stick and become unable to move.

Solution 1) Increase Retraction

Retraction is the movement of the motor to reverse the material so that the material does not flow down and pull the material up. If this operation is weak, the material will flow down, causing something like a spider web.

In order to reduce this, you need to increase the value of the retraction, but the degree differs depending on the type of printer (ex: Bowden, direct etc). Therefore, through various experiments, you need to find the retraction value for your printer.

Cause 3) Rough surface

If the surface is not smooth and irregular, the gaps between the individual parts are also irregular, causing the parts to stick or not move.

Solution 1) The maintenance of your 3D printer.

The cause of the rough surface of the output is too many, so it is desirable to maintain the 3D printer as a whole. Mainly, the belt tension is falling, the movement of the nozzle is stiff, the screw of the roller is loose, and the like are the main causes.

Your 3D printer will get even better if you deal with the problems that happen while printing the FAB365's design as mentioned above. And printing of all designs will be improved, not just FAB365 design.