It’s not as simple as it seems…
Well, the CupCake worked straight out of the box, which is of course fantastic. But printing does seem to have two tricky bits, called “extrusion” and “rafts”.
Here’s the printer making its third part:
What’s about to happen, is that the “raft” (that woven mat laid out on the bottom to hold the rest of the construction) is about to come off the base. In the above picture you can see two other problems: the raft itself coming apart, and a blob of plastic (front right) when the printer decided to pause for a few seconds, while the extruder kept pushing out plastic…
The problem seems to be that when the plastic cools down fully it becomes quite springy and rigid. Which is great for the final object, but causes trouble in keeping it stuck to the acrylic base. I suspect that the heated platform which people are experimenting with is to overcome this problem, by keeping the base slightly sticky for the duration of the build.
Or maybe a few wires extending further out from the raft would help, by “tacking down” the whole thing.
The other purpose of the raft is to even out the surface. In my case there is a slight difference in height across the base. I should probably try to get rid of that first.
Anyway, here are the objects made so far:
The meandering plastic retains its shape – that’s probably part of the magic behind all this.
PS. The stepper motors are noisy. I don’t think the software I’m using is micro-stepping right now.