I am going to be honest here, lots of us have had problems printing on the Replicator here in oz. I tend to think,. having examined this issue for some weeks now, that the climate differences here (Winter in Australia) verses in Makerbot HQ (United states Summer), are the key reasons why we are seeing such marked differences here verses there....but do not despair I have the solution.

First though, lets talk about the problem. Prints not sticking to the bed, or sliding off a cm or so up? Got arcing, curling up or bowing up from the bed (see photos)? These are all what we here at the Bilby bunker call "environmental issues"!

Environmental issues are an issue with all printers, so much so we have a separate article dedicated to the little beasty choc full of photos and explanations. In short, the air around your build area it stuffing up your print! It is just too dam cold, especially in my warehouse where it was only 4 degrees c when I started work yesterday, - inside - but I digress.

So back to the Replicator.

I have come to the conclusion that 3D printing is best done within a controlled environment, a heat box if you like, that keeps the print at a constant temperature (at all 360 degrees) throughout the print; and provides for slow and even cooling of the print out. With this said I present the 3 simple steps you need follow to eliminate your printing issues with your Replicator.

You need to increase the heat, and you need to do this in 2 ways:

a) Change the Pre Heat settings
This is easy, just follow the steps below, and run the preheat 2 or so times before starting a print.

b) Increase the heater bed in the GCode
I suggest increasing this from 100c to 115-120c. You can do this after generating your Gcode in ReplicatorG. Click on the on the Gcode tab next to the model tab, then edit the line that will currently read “M109 S100 (set HBP temperature)” (about 10-15 lines down in the code). Change the “S100” to “S115” or “s120”, then build your model.

Why it works : Increasing the preheat time increases the temperature of the air around your bed. Heating up the bed during the print slows down cooling and thus “setting” of you printed model. One of the key reasons the build slips off the bed a few layers up is because the base layers have cooled and contacted. ABS needs a temperature of around 200 degrees to liquefy for printing. If your bed is not warm enough, or the air around your print out is too cool, your print out will cool, contact and pop off your bed.

Convection currents and cross breezes are a killer to the 3D printer! So often users do not realise just how much air movement is happening around and across their bed; and the Replicator has a lot of bed!

We have developed a Perspex window, door and hood kit so you can seal up your box. It is in production now, so keep an eye on the site and join our mailing list to get an email when it is out. We have found (an this is for all machines, not just the Replicator) that an ambient air temp of 40-50 degrees is optimal.

If you are not sure if this is your problem test with cardboard and bullclips - just bull clip some cardboard to the sides and front, possibly use fabric to cover the top, and see if your problems improve. (Tai of Bundeburg says - use gladwrap and then you can still watch your print - great tip Tai) This will, obviously not be as good as the Perspex, but it is a good test to see the difference in your print. 95% of the time, when people contact us with print problems, drafts are the problem and closing up the box solves the problem.

Why it works : Keeping a stable temperature around your build means your print will cool evenly. I have popped some photos of "when things go wrong" in the right menu bar for you, so you can see what the result is of currents and uneven cooling.

3. Clean it. Check it. Change it.
Make sure that there is not oil on the bed. Your fingers will have oil on them, so you may want to use a cloth rather than your fingers to put down kapton. Some recommend you wipe with acetone. I do not. I have found this only exacerbates things.

Make sure your bed is flat and calibrated. The first print layer needs to be pushed onto the bed firmly, not placed on it. It should look flat not round.

There have been many of us who have found that changing from the Makerbot filament supplied with the machine to a less “oily” variation improves bed adhesion. 

Bilby3D hopes you found this helpful.