This is really just a slideshow of prints I’ve done since my last “mixed results” post. It appears that there is a very noticeable difference between printing via SD card and printing via USB cable. More specifically, I use the Simplify3D software on Linux in both cases, but in one case it’s feeding printer instructions in real time over USB, in the other case, it’s writing those instructions to the SD card.
Take note, that multiple posts on the Makergear forums suggest that the opposite effect is true on Windows. Windows USB support is poor and leads to many failed prints using Simplify3D. If you are running your printer in Windows, you really should use the SD card.
A few highlights:
In the last picture, you’ll notice the blue painter’s tape on the build platform. This is a common trick for trying to get PLA to stick despite its tendency to warp as it cools (ABS warps even more and can be tougher to get to stick). I ran a glue stick over it before printing, and the peeling forces pulled the tape off the platform. The only other thing I can think of to improve this would be to build an enclosure around the printer to trap the heat and reduce the rate that it cools. Nonetheless, it did come out pretty flat.
The last thing to notice is the vertical stripes on the side:
The visual striping is primarily due to the filament being translucent, but there is some physical texture to it, too. I have now seen this in a couple different prints. It seems that when you have a straight edge next to a slot, you get mild protrusions in the straight edge at the corners of the slot. You can feel them with your finger.
If I had to dock points for anything (besides SD card printing support), this would probably be the most significant so far. Though, it wouldn’t surprise me if this was a phenomenon of Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), in general, not just this printer. Just like filament warping.