Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Printing with Afinia H-series

TIP:to save time, you can start pre-heating the table by clicking 3D print>Maintenance table heat 1 hr.
TIP:If you are printing something over 50 centimeters tall on the blue tape then it may curl off the plate and cause a burn or jam, stopping the print.  Printing directly on the perf board makes tall prints more stable.

1.You can import your model from either an STL or UP3 file by clicking file>open (largest model allowed with yellow clips is 125.5LX140WX130.7H mm, see below for definition of Width and Length).
2.Press the Auto Placement button, this usually works pretty well. This places them off the build plate by 3mm to give space for the highly recommended raft (I think). The models should be as close to centered as possible and no closer that 12 mm to each other to prevent them from sticking.
3.If any of your models are red when you click on them, you will need to click Tools>Autofix. This will try and fix an STL file where some of the normal vectors are not pointing outwards. (To learn more about STL files, try wikipedia)
4.Once you are satisfied with the arrangement, check the printing settings by clicking 3D Print>Setup from the dropdown menu (or 3D Print>Preferences from the button). There are a lot of settings here that can be read in the manual on pg 22-24 but the most important one is the Fill. There is a trade off here between part strength and material/time used. The one that uses the most material and produces the strongest parts is the solid, then loose, then hollow and then big hole. Checking 'shell' will use the least material/time and weakest parts regardless of what fill option is pressed by simply creating a 'shell' of the part. Below you can see what each setting means. If you aren't sure what settings to use clicking 'resotre defults' should usually work.
5.Make sure that the table has been at 105 C for at least 10 minutes and that the build plate is level (very important for the print to come out right). Click 3D print up at the top left corner of the program (or 3D print>print from the menu bar). Quality controls how fast the print head moves, leave it at fine unless you are in a hurry or your print seems to fail at fine. Rafts are usually good. If you get errors trying to print an STL file, checking 'unsolid model' may help it print, otherwise leave unchecked.
6.Once everything is good, select print to send the file to the printer. If you will be printing another model after this, it is helpful to set "heat platform after finish" to a time greater than zero min. After it is sent, the computer does not need to be on/connected to the printer. To cancel a print click 3D print>Maintenance then click 'Stop All'. The printer will need to be re-Initialized after this button is pressed.
7 .Save this file to google drive LIBRARY/ 6-D Lab>3-D Team>Archived prints>Afinia Archived prints and record the necessary information on the sheet next to the printer--including what you saved the archive file as.

This is what happens when the tray is not heated all the way before a print is started:

Build volume
For the extruder to not bump the yellow clips, the Length dimension must not exceed 125.5 mm. This can be seen in the picture below.
 Or from the program:

TIP:There is also a extruder vent "wind barrier" that has the following effects:

Door Closed
  • Each printed layer bonds to the previous layer better, making for a stronger part.
  • The under sides of printed curves have a rougher finish.
  • Recommend for large parts.
  • Support material is harder to remove.
  • The heated platform is not affected by the airflow, so reduces warping of the raft from the platform. Having the door open during pre-heating can cool the platform unevenly thus resulting in warping.

Door Open
  • Each printed layer bonds to the previous layer less, making for a weaker part.
  • The under sides of printed curves have a smoother finish
  • Recommend for small and intricate parts
  • Support material is easier to remove.
  • Delaminating can occur in the model, try with the door closed.
  • Recommend to keep the door closed during pre-heating of the platform, and open the door after the raft section has been com- pleted to reduce chances of warping.


  1. do you have a stl file for the "Afinia yellow clips" or are those something aftermarket like the binder clips?

  2. We printed them from this file: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:56049

    However I remember we had to change the scale a little bit to get the fit we wanted, maybe making them a little smaller.