3D Printing XYZ Lab Research and Information

3D Printing XYZ Lab Research and Information
The XYZ Lab utilizes two MakerGear M2 3D printers. The following information documents the settings, techniques and upgrades we have adopted during the course of their use. Feel free to post additional information in the comments or email resources for posting to umnxyzlab@gmail.com.

MakerGear M2 3D Printer
7.87" (200mm) x 9.84" (250mm) x 7.87" (200mm) (high) capacity bed
one single extruder machine and one dual extruder machine
0.2mm layer height resolution

  • Adoption of the v4 extruder is a massive upgrade. It remedies potential problems of the heating block and peek tube loosening.
  • Upgrading the extrusion motor bracket is necessary for the single extruder setup, an all metal bracket is provided from the manufacturer for the dual extruder upgrade and works very well. From the factory the single extruder machine comes with a 3d printed bracket that will fail due to the heat and stress placed on it. Replacing it with a machined or metal cast version will remove the hassle of replacing it and get rid of a cause for print failures. Here is a image of the one we created from Aluminum utilizing ceramic shell and a lost PLA print.
  • A bracket is necessary for the heated bed wiring harness. If there is not one present there is a good chance that, over time, the wires will flex under the build plate and snap at their connections to the heating element. There are a few options out there if you don't want to make your own, here is a link to a file created by Antony Lakey found on Thingiverse.
  • Another nice upgrade that we just implemented was the adjustable bed corner clamp created by Mrcleanr6 on Thingiverse, a link can be found here. This upgrade removes the necessity of metal clips to hold the glass bed in place and frees up a little extra build space.
  • The last major upgrade/modification we have made is the creation of an enclosure to put the 3d printer inside of. An enclosure is very effective at creating consistent print environments and minimizing shrinkage. We are in the process of refining our enclosure but things to consider are accessibility to the printer and loading filament reels, ensuring that your electronics don't get overheated and if possible to try and maintain a consistent temperature inside of the enclosure.
  • Something that we want to eventually try to tackle is creating a metal version of the extruder gear and fan bracket, replacing these would ensure that the filament maintains the same amount of resistance as it passes between the motor gear and bearing. Currently this bracket is also 3d printed on both the single and dual setup, over time this bracket can fatigue due to heat and stress and loosen slightly, causing variables in extrusion multipliers or a print failure.

Bed Adhesion
  • For printing with ABS filament we have found really good results with creating an ABS and acetone slurry and then brushing or screating it over the glass build plate. Creating the slurry is fairly easy, just use ABS filament (or old or failed ABS prints) and dissolve it into acetone. You want a ratio that will produce a lose paint like consistency. If this is under shot just add more acetone and if it is too watery you can let your solution evaporate some of the excess acetone before application. Once the solution is ready and applied to the plate, let it sit, the acetone will evaporate and leave a hard but thin ABS coating.
  • For printing with PLA filament we have found using regular blue 3M painters tape yields the best results.
  • For printing with PETG filament we have found using Kapton tape on top of the build plate yields the best results.
*For all materials we have found better results with the heated bed turned on.