The Cetus printers do not have any mechanical leveling of the build plate. It is bolted directly to the linear bearing with three small screws with no method of adjustment. What you have for level is fixed.
The leveling is done by using a four-layer raft and a four-layer base support on top of the raft. The first layer of the raft is 300% over-extruded and squishes out broadly. This heavy first layer and the buildup of the raft and support eventually results in a build surface that is parallel to the X and Y axis. Then the print is started on top of this level surface.
The result is the use of a lot of filament material to build a flat working surface. With a Cetus printer, one throws away a lot of raft leveling material at the end of the print.
The raft and support do not provide a nice polished build surface for the base of the print. The print bottom is always ruff like about #80 grit sandpaper. I usually “flame polish” the bottom to remove the little sharp points, but the surface is still quite a bit grainy.
I have installed a 3mm thick sheet of borate glass 200mm x 200mm using binder clips on the Cetus build plate. I simply tolerate the bit of non-level of the build surface. It is a bit larger than the 190mm x 200mm Cetus bed. I can live with a bit of overhang as well as the level issue.
I have to remove the ~5mm excess nozzle calibration height to get the nozzle low enough to print without the raft and support layers.
What I get is perfectly smooth bottom prints from Big MamaCetus! (*Read the first line above again.) I can stick some thin Build-Tac on the glass for TPU and PETG.
I am exceedingly pleased to be able to print without the raft. Some prints may still need the raft if I run into serious leveling issues on a big print. I have had no serious issues with prints up to 100mm diameter so far. First layers may be a bit thin on the high side but as long as the low side will stay attached to the build surface, the second layer evens out the height. I can not see this slight deviation in any of my finished prints.
Big MamaCetus is a MK3 with a heated build surface and the auto level probe. Early electrical problems have been resolved. (See previous posts.) I still consider the flexible power ribbon connected to the heated bed a weakness in design of the MK3. Careful protection of the cable must be maintained. I know to be careful.
The picture shows BMC printing a PETG cap and the glass build-plate with build-tac surface. Nozzle temp is 240C and the bed is 85C. 55mm/s speed. The print is excellent.
Working with a new filament type for FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling). Called TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) It produces rubber-like flexible prints. Many producers and brands. I have no way to evaluate, so I picked a brand “Overture”.
I read a lot of prose on what brands are best. Most of what is printed is pure BS. It is like picking which tree in the forest has the best wood for your current woodworking project. Real craft people can adjust for slight variation in materials and produce excellent products.
It’s also like baking cookies. There are always slight variations in flour brands and also various “grades” of flour. Bread and cake flour are both still flour. OK - rant over…
I am learning how to work with my new TPU.
The TPU filament is like boiled spaghetti, a bit past “al dente”. It is SOFT! Very flexible. For that reason, the suggested print speed range is between 20 to 40 mm/s with 40 really pushing it. It seems 10 to 20 mm/s is a great speed for printing. No so good if you think FDM goodness is judged better by how fast you can go…
I also noticed material is extremely under fed and I have pushed extrusion multiplier to 1.5 (150%). Most PLA and other hard filaments I run between. 0.9 and 1.0 for example.
I am also playing with UPStudio3 (BETA) using my CETUS Mk3 printer with heated bed. CETUS has a very closed coupled direct drive filament feeder. I cannot see TPU working well with ANY Bowden type printer. I have not tried, but with all the filament flex, a Bowden feed will be total frustration controlling the print.
Suffice, the Cetus drive is working very well. UPStudio3(beta) is not quite ready for “prime time” for use with Cetus. It works, but there are limitations that must be removed before getting my stamp or approval as an everyone’s slicer/ printer.
The next step with my new TPU material is discovering what it can print. Things that must be flexible. How do printed supports work with TPU? I will be “playing” with TPU and looking for the “killer application” that needs to be made with TPU.
My soda can cap in the picture is a good start. The very first print was air permeable (not airtight) so will experiment with line widths and flow rates. A rubber cap should seal… all part of mastering the process.
This snowflake is an original KautzCraft design. It is 75mm in diameter. The bottom layer is 3mm high and overall height is 5mm. Designed for a two-color 3D printer. CAD software is Fusion360. Slicer Simplify3D. The 3D printer I am using is the Geeetech A20M, single nozzle, two color.
I had real orange and real pink filament already on the printer, so that became the colors for the first prototype print. Not a realistic snowflake color combo but who says it must be realistic. Certainly, not me…
I have some natural PLA so I swapped that non-color for the pink. First, I printed the snowflake skeleton using the natural. That looked interesting. But I realized the natural should be the base color. A couple of edits in the slicer file and the colors were soon reversed. Software edits are faster and easier than swapping filament spools on the printer.
Much better, but the natural PLA had a bit of orange glow from the orange skeleton. I replaced the orange filament with white and I have the white snowflake look I wanted.
That does not mean I won’t continue to play with other color combinations. The rule is there are no rules.
To display the ornament, there is a small hole at the edge for threading green florist wire through to form a loop or a simple wire wrap.
The center hole could be used for a single LED light, but that was not the intention for the hole. It is simply a decorative detail.
The back side is lightly engraved “Christmas 2020” as a reminder when it was made. Also note: The snowflake “skeleton” is a solid penetration from back to front.
Just started using the Beta (code named: Soda) of Tiertime’s UP Studio 3 (UPS3) software. It is a slicer and machine control program for the Tiertime Printers. Presumably, it can also be configured for other brands of FDM printers.
I am using it with the three Cetus printers I own. A MK1 and two MK3 (one with the heated bed.)
Tiertime offered a slicer/control software they called Catfish. UPS3 is a direct outcome from the Catfish code. I have been “playing” with Catfish since it was released. It was not perfect, but it did work. One fault was it crashed the MK3 with the heated bed. Not ready for prime-time users.
UPS3 has fixed all the issues and runs all my printers just fine. The slicer is very fast (not a high priority on my list).
Every variable is adjustable. UP Studio prior to Catfish gave the user very limited variable control. Now the user can get into very serious trouble if they don’t understand all the functions that are now adjustable.
UPS3 is still in BETA and the documentation is far from existence. Reading Catfish information will be a big help. I think the look and feel of the UI will be adjusted before it leaves BETA. It’s not bad, but in my opinion lacks some of the “polish” of the earlier UP Studio releases.
Catfish and UPS3 both use a two step process for slicing and then machine control. The machine control is named “Wand” and is a definite separate program from the slicer. The slicer creates a task (.tsk) binary file that is used in Wand. Probably a binary gcode not editable by the user. The slicer will also create a text gcode that is NOT used for Wand.
I am liking what I see far better than the older UP Studio and fixes the issues in Catfish. It is now my choice for running my Cetus printers.
There is one "bug" I discovered and sent a discription to Tiertime. Large models create quite large task (gcode) files. My MK3 Cetus with the high powered print platform will heat the platform without temperature limit control when uploading a print file. Large (10MB) files can take 4-5 minutes to upload. The platform will exceed desired setpoint (60C) by 130 to 150% during large file upload. No problem with small files, But I create and print some big files.
Explore UP Studio 3 Beta: Soda for yourself. Find it here: https://www.tiertime.com/software/ .
UPDATE (11/9/2020) -- Jason Wu from the Tiertime help desk just informed me there is an internal high temp limit in Cetus. Here is his statement:
Since the file transfer is not completed, the machine did not know what platform temp it should go. So it will heat up base on an internal default temperature, which we set as 90C. The temperature control is still on.