Frequently Asked Questions

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[edit] Ordering and Shipping

Will I ever get my printer?

Solidoodle states on their website that printers ship in 8-10 weeks. So far this has not been anywhere near accurate, due to unexpected demand and inadequate staffing at the beginning. If you are waiting on a printer, you can rest assured that it will eventually come. There are enough printers delivered at this stage to prove that it will be a matter of when, not if.

The shipping estimates provided by Solidoodle have been unreliable at best. Therefore, customers might prefer to read this thread: [1] to see the time frames others have been waiting, and make an educated guess for their own printer. Patience is of the essence.

Please consult the Printers Shipping list to see when other community members have had their printers ship.

What if my printer arrives broken or something missing?

In some cases, printers have arrived in a damaged state, or with parts of the order missing. In this case, the very first thing you should do is contact support directly: [[email protected]]. Be polite and professional, and help them help you by providing accurate details of the problem(s), and information such as your order number. If contacting them about damage, it may be helpful to include images that illustrate the problem.

If you are unsatisfied with their response, only then should you voice your concerns in public. Criticizing any company in public before you have given them the chance the rectify the problem is unethical and unprofessional.

[edit] Resources

What websites/resources are available to find more information?

Several websites, some official and some unofficial community ran sites exist to assist you with your solidoodle.

Here are a few, please add any extras you may find to the list below...

Another place you can join to discuss Solidoodle in real time is the official Solidoodle IRC Channel. It is located on FreeNode, #solidoodle . To connect within your web browser, click here.

[edit] Software

How do I install software?

What software options are available?

Solidoodle officially supports Skienforge and Pronterface as its 2 main pieces of software for slicing stls, and controlling the printer.

Alternatively, the community has udertaken extensive testing with Repetier-Host, which supports both Skeinforge and Slic3r and performs all operations in a single application.

See Compatible Solidoodle Software for more information about compatible software packages for the Solidoodle.

How do I rotate/move/scale STL files?

Please see the Preparing stl files for printing section.

How do I add support for overhangs?

Please see Enabling Support Material.

How do I update firmware?

Please see Updating Solidoodle Firmware.

What software can I use to design 3D parts?

Almost any Computer Aided Design software should be able to create 3D parts suitable for printing. The only requirement is that they export to the STL file format.

Please see List of 3D Modelling and Design Software

[edit] Calibration, Repairs and Maintenance

What calibration/setup needs to be done on a new machine?

What adjustments can be made on the machine?

How do I replace kapton tape without bubbles?

How do I pull apart/unclog the nozzle?

How do I pull apart/assemble the extruder?

[edit] Printing and Operation

What type of quality can a Solidoodle achieve?

In terms of quality, the Solidoodle is intended to print layers at 0.3mm thick. There has been success with printing layers as thin as 0.1mm though, with a properly levelled and calibrated bed.

The quality of Solidoodle prints are similar or better to that of other reprap-based 3D printers, most of which cost substantially more then the Solidoodle.

Minor finishing can be done after a print is finished, such as Acetone Print Finishing to smooth out the surface.

How do I level the bed?

Please see How To Level The Solidoodle Build Platform

How do I get the first layer to stick?

If your Solidoodle has a Heated Build Platform, make sure you bring it up to temperature. Most people use anywhere from 60C to 90C for their build platform temperature, it depends if you are having problems with curling/warping of parts or not. In some software you can set the first layer temperature higher to assist with sticking.

If you have the basic Solidoodle with the acrylic build platform, it is recommended you enable Raft to help your first layer stick better and to prevent curling/warping.

Adjusting the Z-offset/height is another crucial measure. Please see Z-offset.

The use of hairspray also assists greatly with first layer adhesion.

How do I stop the print from lifting/curling?

If your print is lifting and/or curling, turn up the heat on your Heated Build Platform. 90 degrees Celsius should be sufficient to prevent any sort of curling of lifting. Wait for your build platform to reach full temperature before starting your print as this will greatly improve adhesion to the bed.

If you have the basic Solidoodle that does not have a Heated Build Platform, it is recommended you enable Raft during slicing. The Raft will allow the print to stick better. If possible, try to keep the ambient temperature higher than normal around the print.

Can I print with plastic besides ABS?

The Solidoodle was created to be used with ABS plastic, although there has been great success using PLA with the Solidoodle. Remember, PLA melts at a lower temperature than ABS], so take care with your temperature settings.

My printer is shifting during prints?

[edit] Machine Improvements and Modifications

What mods/hacks can I do on my machine?

The Solidoodle 2 printer offers amazing performance and features for its price, and additional features can be added at a minimal cost. Many of these upgrades can simply be printed on the machine and then fitted in place.

Can I add a second extruder?

The addition of a second extruder will depend on the variety of machine you will have and any modifications that you may have made to it. The Pro and Expert models use a heated bed, this heated bed option uses the only remaining analogue pin on the board and thus there is no space to get temperature information from a second extruder.

The SDSL + Panelolu (SD Card reader + LCD screen) modifications use the only remaining PWM pins on the Sanguinololu electronics.

Therefore the only way to reliably upgrade the machine to use a second extruder on the expert and pro models would be to change the electronics to RAMPS electronics.

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