Amazon BFB-3000 Specifications

BFB-3000
Set Up and Operations Manual
[Version 3.0]
Document No: D100253
BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
1 Introduction
Thank you for purchasing your BFB-3000.
Before first use, the BFB-3000 needs careful setting up. The list below illustrates some of
the essential operations which must be carried out before operation:
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
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
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
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Remove existing prints
Check the bed is clear of any build material
Check the bed is fitted correctly
Power up
Manual move
Check the hot-end nozzles are clean from plastic debris
Check the bed is level
Check the bed is referenced to the extruder nozzles
Load the extruders
Start a print
Print a successful raft
Print the first model
Failure to carry out all of the set-up procedures contained in this
document will damage the machine.
This document has been designed to illustrate the essential procedures and get you up and
running as quickly as possible. Please take time to understand how the process works and
complete each procedure in the order set out in this manual. Setting up can take from
20-60 minutes depending on the skill level of the operator.
Support is available by raising a ticket at www.bitsfrombytes.com
We welcome any feedback you may have, and wish you well in your 3D printing!
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
2 Table of Contents
1
Introduction ................................................................................................................... 2
2
Table of Contents ........................................................................................................... 3
3
Manual symbols ............................................................................................................. 5
4
How this manual works .................................................................................................. 6
5
Process overview – how the BFB-3000 works ................................................................ 7
6
5.1
BFB-3000 ................................................................................................................... 7
5.2
Tool kit ....................................................................................................................... 8
5.3
Creating a 3D model .................................................................................................. 9
Initial set-up ................................................................................................................. 12
6.1
Remove existing prints ............................................................................................ 12
6.2
Check the bed is clear of any build material ............................................................ 13
6.3
Check the bed is fitted correctly .............................................................................. 14
6.3.1
Remove the bed ............................................................................................. 15
6.3.2
Fit the bed ...................................................................................................... 16
6.4
Power up ................................................................................................................. 17
6.5
Manual move ........................................................................................................... 18
6.6
Check the hot-end nozzles are clean from plastic debris ......................................... 20
6.7
Check the bed is level .............................................................................................. 21
6.8
Check the bed is referenced to the extruder nozzles ............................................... 28
6.9
Load the extruders................................................................................................... 31
6.9.1
Load the filament ........................................................................................... 31
6.9.2
Extruder control ............................................................................................. 37
6.9.3
Purge the extruder ......................................................................................... 38
6.10
Start a print .......................................................................................................... 40
6.11
Print a successful raft............................................................................................ 41
6.11.1 Print the raft check file ................................................................................... 43
6.11.2 Examine the raft check file ............................................................................. 44
6.11.3 Potential problems ......................................................................................... 45
6.11.4 Perfect the raft ............................................................................................... 46
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7
Print the first model ..................................................................................................... 47
7.1
Test print ................................................................................................................. 47
7.2
Essential post-print operations ................................................................................ 48
7.2.1
Bed flatness .................................................................................................... 48
7.2.2
Empty material waste bin ............................................................................... 49
8
Further printing ............................................................................................................ 50
9
Further operations ....................................................................................................... 51
9.1
SD card notes ........................................................................................................... 51
9.2
Reloading the extruders .......................................................................................... 51
9.3
Notes on materials .................................................................................................. 52
9.3.1
Properties ....................................................................................................... 52
9.3.2
Soluble support structure ............................................................................... 52
9.3.3
Storage ........................................................................................................... 52
9.4
Control panel functions ........................................................................................... 53
9.4.1
Run file ........................................................................................................... 53
9.4.2
Extruder mapping ........................................................................................... 53
9.4.3
Manual move ................................................................................................. 55
9.4.4
Extruder control ............................................................................................. 55
9.4.5
Home tool head .............................................................................................. 55
9.4.6
Settings........................................................................................................... 55
9.4.7
Set Z height .................................................................................................... 56
9.5
Maintenance operations.......................................................................................... 60
9.5.1
Updating your printer ..................................................................................... 60
9.5.2
Adjusting the nozzle wipe ............................................................................... 60
9.5.3
Fine adjustment to level the nozzles .............................................................. 62
9.5.4
Handling a ground-out filament ..................................................................... 64
9.5.5
Handling snapped filament in the delivery tube ............................................. 66
9.6
Troubleshooting ...................................................................................................... 73
9.7
Troubleshooting ...................................................................................................... 73
9.8
Specifications ........................................................................................................... 73
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
3 Manual symbols
CAUTION: notes to prevent damage to the machine.
DANGER: notes to prevent injury to the operator.
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
4 How this manual works
How the BFB-3000 3D
printing process
works
Initial setup of the
BFB-3000 machine
and testing
First print
Links for further
printing
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
5 Process overview – how the BFB-3000 works
Before reading this section, please ensure that the unpacking instructions have been
completed.
5.1
BFB-3000
Extruders
Nozzle
wipe box
Bed
Filament
reel
holders
Control
box
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5.2
Tool kit
Model removal tool
Side cutters
Hex drivers
1.5mm
Allen
Wrench
Ø0.5mm drill bit
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Ø3mm
drill bit
SD card
Pliers
8mm spanner
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
5.3
Creating a 3D model
CAD software
BFB “Axon”
Draw your object in your 3D
modelling package1
Load your model into Axon to
automatically process the file.
Save as…
*.STL
Save as…
*.BFB
1
Most CAD packages export to STL format. However, STL quality depends on the CAD package. Poor quality STLs
may need repairing before loading into “Axon”. STL fixing programs are readily available (e.g. NetFabb).
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
Extruders
Delivery
tubes
Filament
reels
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
Hot-end
The extruders pull filament from the reel via the delivery tubes and drive through a hot-end
to produce a thin molten filament of plastic. The extruder draws each layer with this
filament. After each layer is produced the bed increments down so that a new layer can be
drawn on top of the last, building up the 3D model. A second (optional) extruder
automatically prints support filament for printing overhanging-features.
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
6 Initial set-up
Follow all the steps in this section to ensure that the printer is correctly setup before
printing.
6.1
Remove existing prints
We do test prints on each BFB-3000 as part of our quality control. We leave these on the
print bed to show that the printer has been checked, and to demonstrate some basic prints.
Remove any previous prints with the model removal tool. Slide the edge between the bed
and the first layer to remove the entire print.
If the model is difficult to remove from the bed in situ, you can take the
whole bed out of the machine to make the removal process easier
(refer to “Remove the bed”, page 15).
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
6.2
Check the bed is clear of any build material
Clean: no build
material debris
Ensure that all build material is completely removed from the bed. Use the model removal
tool to remove any stuck-fast tracks.
It is normal for prints to leave marks on the bed, and for the model
removal tool to lightly scratch the surface of the bed. This will not
affect the printer’s operation. However, take care to avoid gouging the
surface with the material removal tool – the bed must be flat.
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
6.3
Check the bed is fitted correctly
Ensure that bed is correctly fitted to the printer. The three bed bolt heads should sit flush in
the countersinks. If not, remove the bed, then refit it - as shown in the next two sections.
Bed
Bed bolt 1
Bed bolt 2
Bed bolt head
in countersink
Bed bolt 3
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
6.3.1
Remove the bed
 Tip: removal is easier if the bed is near the bottom of the machine. If it is too high,
you can manually lower the z-axis (see “Manual move”, page 18).
1
1
2
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
6.3.2
Fit the bed
 Tip: fitting is easier if the bed is near the bottom of the machine. If it is too high, you
can manually lower the z-axis (see “Manual move”, page 18).
 Check all bolt heads are fitted correctly (see “Check the bed is fitted correctly”,
page 14).
2
2
3
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
6.4
Power up
 Connect the power supply from the control panel into the power socket shown in
Figure 1. Turn the supply on. Turn the control box on using the power switch shown
in Figure 1.
+Z, -Z, Escape buttons
Screen
+Y, -Y, -X,
+X/Enter buttons
buttons
Power switch
Power
indicator
SD card
Power
socket
SD card
indicator
Figure 1: Control panel
Table 1: Buttons used for navigation
Button
Screen Navigation
+Y
Up
-Y
Down
+X
Enter
Esc
Escape
+Z
Extruder selection up (see ‘Extruder control’, page 36)
-Z
Extruder selection down (in ‘Extruder control’, page 36)
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
6.5
Manual move
Get familiar with moving the axes around:

Ensure that the bed is fitted properly to the machine (see “Check the bed is fitted
correctly”, page 14).
 Using the buttons on the control panel (see “Power up”, page 17) select the ‘Manual
move’ function and press enter:
>
RUN FILE
EXTRUDER MAPPING
MANUAL MOVE
EXTRUDER CONTROL
HOME TOOL HEAD
SETTINGS
 Use X, Y and Z buttons to move each axis respectively (axes designated in Figure 2,
page 19).
Caution: Always move the Z axis first to ensure that bed is away from
the extruder nozzles, and does not collide during an X/Y move.
Collisions between the extruder nozzles and the bed may damage both.
Caution: Observe each X/Y axis movement. In these axes, it is possible
to drive the extruders too far away from the “Home” position (Figure 2)
into the printer frame. Avoid this. Excessive collisions will damage the
printer.
Caution: Observe each Z axis movement. In this axis, it is possible to
drive the bed too high (into the extruder nozzles) or too low (into the
motor coupling). Avoid this. Excessive collisions will damage the
printer.
 Press Escape to leave the function, and return to the main menu.
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
“Home”
Position
+
X
+
Y
-
-
Z
+
Figure 2: Axis designation for the BFB-3000
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
6.6
Check the hot-end nozzles are clean from plastic debris
Ensure that the metal nozzle tips are clean from any plastic debris. All tips should be clearly
visible.
Nozzle tip
clearly
visible, and
free of any
plastic debris
If not:
 Lower the bed to make access to the nozzles easy.
 Position the extruders in approximately the middle of the machine (see “Manual
move”, page 18), to make access to the nozzles easy.
 Pull away any light plastic debris away from the nozzle tip using the pliers.
 If plastic debris is stubborn, you may need to heat the extruder to make the plastic
soft enough to remove. To heat the extruder up, please refer to “Extruder control”
(page 36).
Caution: When heating up nozzles to remove plastic debris, do not touch
the nozzle tips with your fingers. Extruders will burn if touched when hot.
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
6.7
Check the bed is level
To get a good print, the bed must be level.
We make every effort to level the bed before the machine leaves our factory. However, the
bed may move in transit, therefore it is essential to check that the bed is still level.
The print bed is mounted on three sprung bolts which allow adjustment of the bed height in
three places.
Bed
Bed bolt 1
Bed bolt 2
Bed bolt 3
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
The ‘Level Bed’ function moves the extruder carriage around the corners of the bed so the
operator can adjust the bed bolts to achieve a level bed.
 Check the bed is fitted correctly (page 14).
 On the control panel select ‘Settings’, ‘Level Bed’ function and press enter:
>
>
RUN FILE
EXTRUDER MAPPING
MANUAL MOVE
EXTRUDER CONTROL
HOME TOOL HEAD
SETTINGS
EXTRUDER OFFSETS
LEVEL BED
SET Z HEIGHT
SET BED TYPE
GENERAL SETTINGS
 Press Z+/- to raise the bed to adjust the gap between the hot end and bed. Start with
approximately 10 mm distance between the nozzle and the bed. This will enable
rough levelling.
10 mm
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
 Press the X+ and X- buttons to automatically move the carriage around the corners of
the print bed (view on-screen instructions for more movement options).
 During each movement along the side of the bed, observe from the side of the
machine any change in distance between the bed and extruder’s hot-end as it moves
along.
Adjust bed bolts to
make extruders
move parallel to the
bed.
Figure 3: Levelling bed along the Y axis, viewed from the side
Figure 4: Levelling the bed along the X axis, viewed from the front
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
 Adjust the height of the bed bolts to make each side level using the 3mm hex driver
from the toolkit.
 Underneath each of the 3 bed bolts is a locking nut which must be loosened with the
8mm spanner before the bolt can be adjusted.
Loosen locking nut
to adjust bolt.
 It may take several movements of the extruder, and consequent bolt adjustments to
ensure that the bed is level.
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
 Ensure that axes are checked from the appropriate side of the machine (to better
judge flatness):
PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN FROM ABOVE
View the movements
in the X axis from the
front of the machine.
BACK
FRONT
View the movements
in the Y axis from the
sides of the machine.
BACK
FRONT
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
2 mm
 Press Z+ to reduce the gap between the hot end and bed to approximately 2 mm.
This will enable finer levelling.
 Repeat the levelling process.
Caution: Observe each extruder movement. The nozzle should not
touch the bed. Moving the extruder with the nozzle touching the bed
will damage the nozzle and the bed. If the nozzle touches the bed,
immediately lower the bed using the Z- button.
 Finally, check the centre location of the bed by pressing Y+. This can be used to
identify an excessively worn or warped print bed as the height in the middle will
differ from the perimeter of the bed.
 Press Escape to leave the function, and return to the main menu.
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
 Remember to lock the 3 bed bolts in position by tightening the lock nut under each,
using the 8mm spanner. Whilst tightening the nut, make sure that the bolt does not
spin by holding it in position with the 3mm hex driver, from the top side of the bed.
Tighten nut to lock
bolt into position.
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
6.8
Check the bed is referenced to the extruder nozzles
After levelling the bed, the nozzles must be set to the correct height, to ensure that the first
printed layer sticks properly (if the nozzle is too high the filament will not stick to the bed, if
the nozzle is too low the bed may block the nozzle).
Use the ‘Set Z Height’ function to accurately adjust the height of the nozzle for the first
layer.




Check the bed is fitted correctly (page 14)
Check the hot-end nozzles are clean (page 20).
Check the bed is level (page 21).
On the control panel select ‘Settings’, ‘Set Z Height’ function and press enter:
>
>
RUN FILE
EXTRUDER MAPPING
MANUAL MOVE
EXTRUDER CONTROL
HOME TOOL HEAD
SETTINGS
EXTRUDER OFFSETS
LEVEL BED
SET Z HEIGHT
SET BED TYPE
GENERAL SETTINGS
 Observe the gap between the nozzle and bed from the front of the machine. Press
and hold the Z+/- buttons to move the bed.
 Start with a gap between the bed and the nozzle. Move the bed towards the nozzle.
Observe the bed as it approaches the nozzle. Stop raising the bed as soon as the
nozzle touches the surface of the bed. If the bed goes too far, simply move the bed
back and repeat the approach.
 The bed should just touch the nozzle, without any compression in the bed springs:
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
Caution: If the nozzle is pushed too hard against the bed, the nozzle
will be forced into the bed for the whole first layer of printing. This will
damage the nozzle and the bed. Ensure that setting the nozzle against
the bed does not compress the bed springs.
Bed spring
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
 Pressing Enter (X+) will save the setting to the printer’s memory which is retained
when the power is turned off. The Z offset value will be applied each time the printer
is homed.
 Pressing Escape will exit the function without saving the value.
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
6.9
Load the extruders
6.9.1
Load the filament
Before loading a reel, the end of the filament must be prepared to prevent damage to the
delivery tubes. This procedure is essential to prevent any damage to the delivery tubes,
which may in turn block a nozzle.
 Cut the end of the filament at 45° from both sides to produce a point.
 Using sandpaper, remove all sharp edges. The tip should feel smooth.
1
2
3
4
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
 Reel positions for each extruder are indicated below:
 Delivery tubes for each extruder run from right to left, as indicated below:
Tube for
Extruder 3
Tube for
Extruder 2
Tube for
Extruder 1
Reel position
for Extruder 1
Reel position
for Extruder 2
Reel position
for Extruder 3
Figure 5: Reel positions and delivery tubes
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
 Load the type of materials into their reel positions according to the number of
extruders in the BFB-3000:
Number of extruders in
the BFB-3000
Material for
Extruder 1
Material for
Extruder 2
1
ABS or PLA
2
ABS
PLA
3
ABS
PLA
Example for this
section: BFB-3000
with two extruders.
Material for Extruder 3
Not needed in first print
ABS
PLA
 After positioning the reels:
1
Insert the filaments into the
appropriate delivery tubes
(identified in Figure 5, page 32)
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2
Feed
filaments up
to extruders
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
3
Push filament out of the end
of the delivery tube
 Check the filaments exit the tubes at the correct extruders:
Extruder 1
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Extruder 2
(Extruder 3)
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
Remove the pressure
bearings (below) on
the extruders
4
Use the 4mm hex driver
from the toolkit
Pressure
bearing
assembly
5
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Use pliers to push
the filaments into
the white tube for
each extruder, as far
as it will go
(approximately
10 cm)
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
6
Re-attach the
pressure
bearings onto
the
extruders.
7
Tighten the
pressure bearing
springs until they
are fully bound.
(they will be
adjusted from
this position
later.)
8
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Ensure filaments
run on the middle
(smaller) pressure
bearings. If not,
move the
bearings around
using the nose of
the pliers until
they snap into
position.
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
6.9.2
Extruder control
 Make sure all extruders are loaded.
 Use ‘Manual move’ (page 18) to move the extruders to the centre of the machine,
and lower the bed. This makes it easy to clean any purged material.
 On the control panel select the ‘Extruder control’ function and press enter:
RUN FILE
EXTRUDER MAPPING
MANUAL MOVE
EXTRUDER CONTROL
HOME TOOL HEAD
SETTINGS
>
 ‘Extruder control’ manages one extruder at a time (E1, E2 or E3) using the buttons on
the control panel.
E1, E2 or E3 are
selected using
the Z buttons
EXTRUDER CONTROL
Cur
E3
E2
> E1
Tgt
25C
0C
259C * 260C
RPM
0
0
“>” indicates
selected extruder
Temperature
at extruder
nozzle (°C)
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“*” indicates
extruder is being
heated.
Target
temperature
at extruder
nozzle (°C).
Use Y buttons
to change.
Revolutions per
minute for the
extruder drive
screw. Use X
buttons to
change.
Extruder motor
will not turn until
target
temperature has
been achieved.
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
Recommended maximum extrusion temperatures for materials:
Material
Extrusion temperature (°C)
ABS
260
PLA
195
Note: Extruders share power, therefore an extruder will heat up quicker if it is the only
extruder with a high target temperature.
6.9.3
Purge the extruder
 Ensure filaments are loaded into the extruders, as defined in the section “Load the
filament”, page 31.
 Make sure the springs on the extruder pressure bearings are fully compressed.
Compression needs to be adjusted from this setting.
 Proceed by purging one extruder at a time:
 Heat the extruder to the maximum temperature defined below, depending on the
material in the extruder:
Material
Extrusion temperature (°C)
ABS
260
PLA
195
 Once target temperature has been achieved, turn the RPM up to 15.
 If the motor on the extruder stalls (you will hear a ‘clicking’ sound) release the
pressure on the filament by unscrewing the pressure bearing bolt with the hex driver
until extruder motor stops stalling (motor will run without clicking). After this point,
unscrew the bolt another half turn to ensure the motor does not stall during
operation.
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
Pressure bearing bolt
4mm hex
driver from
toolkit
 Observe the end of the nozzle. A thin bead of molten plastic should come out of the
nozzle. Depending on how far the filament was loaded into the extruder, this could
take several minutes.
Thin filament
of plastic
 Allow material to purge for a few seconds before reducing the RPM to 0.
 Repeat for each extruder.
 Turn the machine off to allow the nozzles to cool.
 As the extruders cool, clean the nozzles (see “Check the hot-end nozzles are clean”,
page 20).
 Dispose of all waste filament from the nozzle.
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6.10
Start a print
Make sure all items below have been checked. This is essential to guarantee that the print
works.






Check the bed is clear of any build material (page 13)
Check the bed is fitted correctly (page 12)
Check the hot-end nozzles are clean from plastic debris (page 20)
Check the bed is level (page 21)
Check the bed is referenced to the extruder nozzles (page 28)
Load the extruders (page 31)
After the machine is setup correctly you will need to run two test files, documented in the
following sections. When asked to print a file you will need to follow the procedure below:
 Insert the SD card into the BFB-3000 control box.
 Turn the control box on.
 Select “Run file”, and press Enter:
The first 8
characters of
the filename
will be
displayed here.
If the filename
is longer than 8
characters only
the first 6
characters of
the filename
will be
displayed on
the control box.
>
RUN FILE
EXTRUDER MAPPING
MANUAL MOVE
EXTRUDER CONTROL
HOME TOOL HEAD
SETTINGS
Current file:
FILENAME.BFB
File 3 of 3
The most
recently saved
file will appear
first. Use the Y
buttons to
scroll through
the BFB files
saved in the
root of the SD
card.
 Press Enter to confirm, and start the print.
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
6.11
Print a successful raft
The raft supports the model during printing:
Model
Raft
It is essential that a good raft is printed to guarantee a good build. Therefore the height of
the hot-end nozzle over the bed for the first layer is critical:
 If the nozzle is too far away from the bed, the filament will not stick to the bed
 If the nozzle is too low it will not be able to extruder the filament, and there is a risk
of damage to the bed and the nozzle.
SIDE VIEW
Nozzle
movement
END VIEW
Nozzle
Deposited
Filament
Bed
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SIDE VIEW
END VIEW
COMMENTS
NOZZLE TOO HIGH:
Not enough pressure
on the filament into
the bed, therefore
small contact area
between filament and
bed. Raft may detach
in mid print.
OK:
Filament pushed into
the bed slightly to
maximise surface
area contact with
bed, but still maintain
extrusion flow.
NOZZLE TOO LOW:
Not enough clearance
for the filament to be
extruded, damaging
either the extruder or
the bed.
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BFB-3000 Set Up and Operations Manual
6.11.1
Print the raft check file
To make sure your printer is correctly setup, you will need to print the raft check file. This
file is already included on the SD card supplied in your toolkit.
 Make sure materials are loaded as per “Load the filament” (page 31).
 Follow the section “Start a print” (page 40) to print the preloaded raft check file (on
the SD card supplied in your toolkit) relevant to the material loaded into Extruder 1
(see table below). Remember, only the first 6 characters of the filename will be
displayed on the control box if the filename is longer than 8 characters.
Material type in Extruder 1
File to print
ABS
RaftABS_CheckFile
PLA
RaftPLA_CheckFile
 Examine each raft pad in the check file, as guided in the following section.
 Remove the raft print when complete.
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6.11.2
Examine the raft check file
RAFT
MAGNIFICATION
NOTES
NOZZLE TOO HIGH:
Wavey tracks, or tracks
narrower than 1.2 mm
(use vernier calipers to
check). See “Perfect
the raft” (page 46).
OK
NOZZLE TOO LOW:
Tracks sides pushed
over neighbouring
tracks. See “Perfect the
raft” (page 46).
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6.11.3
Potential problems
 If the raft pad appears damaged, match the imperfection to the two scenarios below,
and follow the corrective action suggested.
 Note that there may be some imperfections in the raft, but that the process is very
forgiving and even the images shown below will generally not spoil a full print.
6.11.3.1
Track ripping
Track ripping: can be caused by a dirty
nozzle snagging a track, and ripping it in
the direction of the extruder. See
“Perfect the raft” (page 46).
6.11.3.2
Purge deposit
Purge deposit: can be caused by a dirty
nozzle leaving its plastic behind on the
print. See “Perfect the raft” (page 46).
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6.11.4
Perfect the raft
If analysis of the raft check file yields any problems, you will need to re-examine some of
the setup stages:
ERROR
CORRECTIVE ACTION
Nozzle too high
See “Check the bed is referenced to the
extruder nozzles” (page 28) to adjust the
height at which the nozzle starts printing.
Nozzle to low
See “Check the bed is referenced to the
extruder nozzles” (page 28) to adjust the
height at which the nozzle starts printing.
Nozzle heights appear inconsistent across a
single print
Check the bed is level (page 21).
Track ripping
Check the hot-end nozzles are clean
(page 20).
Purge deposit
Check the hot-end nozzles are clean
(page 20).
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7 Print the first model
7.1
Test print
To get your BFB-3000 printer up and running as quickly as possible, we have already loaded
a .BFB file of a duck for you to immediately make.
 Make sure materials are loaded as per “Load the filament” (page 31).
 Follow “Start a print” (page 40) to print the Duck file using the file on the SD card
relevant to the number of extruders on your BFB-3000 (see table below). Remember,
only the first 6 characters of the filename will be displayed on the control box if the
filename is longer than 8 characters.
Number of extruders
File name
1 (ABS)
Duck1A_E1_ABS.bfb
1 (PLA)
Duck1P_E1_PLA.bfb
2
Duck2_E1_ABSraft_E2_PLAbuild.bfb
3
Duck2_E1_ABSraft_E2_PLAbuild.bfb (same as above)
 After printing, follow procedure detailed in “Remove existing prints” (page 12) to
take the model out of the printer.
 Turn the machine off.
 Carry out essential post-print operations (detailed in the next section).
 Remove the raft from the model with sandpaper.
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7.2
7.2.1
Essential post-print operations
Bed flatness
 New beds will distort slightly due to heating from the extruder. Check bed flatness
with a straight edge (e.g. ruler) after each print:
Slight ‘bowing’ can be detected using the
edge of a ruler.
 If the bed is bowed downwards (even slightly), turn the bed over (page 15 and 16) to
point the bow of the bed upwards for the next print, as shown below. The next print
will restore the bed’s flatness, maintaining a flat bed.
Printing with
bed bowed up
Printing with bed
bowed down
If the bed is turned over:
 Check the bed is fitted correctly (page 14)
 Check the bed is level (page 21)
 Check the bed is referenced to the extruder nozzles (page 28)
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7.2.2
Empty material waste bin
After each print you will need to empty the nozzle wipe box
 Lower the bed (see “Manual move”, page 18) to access the nozzle wipe box.
 Remove the waste box from the machine and dispose of the plastic deposits.
 Re-install the waste box back into the machine, ready for your next print.
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8 Further printing
Now your printer is set up, you will need to visit our website at www.bitsfrombytes.com
to:
 Download and install Axon software (illustrated in page 9).
 Check for free updates - we issue updates regularly to continually improve printing
performance.
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9 Further operations
9.1
SD card notes
 All .BFB files (exported from Axon) must be saved to the root of the SD card. Any files
in folders on SD card will not be displayed on the BFB-3000.
 The SD card must be no larger than 2 Gb.
9.2
Reloading the extruders
See “Load the extruders” (page 31) for all references:
 Remove pressure bearing.
 Heat up the nozzle to extrusion temperature (see Extruder control, page 37).
 Pull remaining filament out of extruder using pliers.
Pliers
Remaining
filament
 After removing the remaining filament, follow the instructions in the “Load the
extruders” section (page 31) to load a new filament.
 Purge the extruder (page 38) until the old material is completely flushed out. See
caution note below about purge temperature:
If a new material is being loaded in to the extruder, purge at the
temperature of the material which has the highest melting point. E.g. if
PLA is being loaded into an extruder which previously had ABS, purge
at 260 °C. This ensures that the old, higher melting point, material will
melt and fully flush out. Failure to do this will result in a blocked nozzle,
as the higher melting point material will remain frozen in the nozzle.
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9.3
Notes on materials
9.3.1
Properties
Material
Properties
ABS
High toughness.
Non-degradable.
Do not print area larger than 100 mm square – ABS has relatively high
shrinkage on cooling, and some geometries for larger prints are prone to
warping.
PLA
Similar strength to ABS.
Biodegradable above 60 °C.
9.3.2
Soluble support structure
For overhanging model features, Axon automatically generates support material. To make
this support material easy to remove from the finished model it is possible to use different
materials for the build and the support. This is configured in Axon.
By using ABS build and PLA support, PLA support can be dissolved by:
 Leaving the model in an ultra-sonic tank with a small amount of caustic soda. Time
and concentration depends on the volume of the material needed to dissolve.
 Leave the model in water at 80 °C for over 48 hours.
9.3.3
Storage
All polymers degrade with time. The following conditions ensure the filament remains high
quality:
 Do not unpack until filament is needed.
 Store in a cool place: 2 °C - 15 °C.
 Keep away from UV light (e.g. sunlight).
 If machine is to left unused for an extended period of time, repack filament with
silica-gel sachet to maintain dryness (if present).
 Use within 12 months of receipt.
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9.4
Control panel functions
After turning the BFB-3000 on, the control panel presents the main menu (below).
>
RUN FILE
EXTRUDER MAPPING
MANUAL MOVE
EXTRUDER CONTROL
HOME TOOL HEAD
SETTINGS
 Use the Z buttons to scroll up and down the menu.
 Press X+ to enter a function.
 Press Escape to return to the main menu.
The following sections describe all the functions.
9.4.1
Run file
 See “Start a print” (page 40).
9.4.2
Extruder mapping
Extruder mapping allows you to swap the extruders specified in your BFB files (generated in
Axon) onto physical extruders on the machine. E.g. you can map the extruder specified in
the BFB file as extruder 1 onto physical extruder 2.
Swapping extruders is useful if you want to avoid loading and unloading materials to match
the material in the physical extruders to those specified in the BFB file.
Gcode
>
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E2
E1
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 Use the Y buttons to change the mapping.
 Press X+ to save, or Escape to quit without saving.
Axon builds the BFB file using Gcodes. The file is readable with any text viewing program.
Some basic Gcode knowledge is required in order to identify which extruder is used for a
particular purpose i.e. raft, model or support material. It is also a requirement to identify
which material the Gcode extruders are running by observing the temperatures in use. E.g.
if the Gcode file contains M104 S260 and M204 S195, this indicates the Gcode file expects
extruder 1 to contain ABS and extruder 2 to contain PLA. If your physical printer is indeed
loaded like this, you cannot simply remap (swap) the extruders due to the material
difference. This would cause the printer incorrectly operate extruder 1 at 195C when it is
physically loaded with ABS (requiring 230 - 260C).
What follows is the simplest usage scenario. Your machine is loaded with different
coloured PLA in extruders 1 and 2. You have a Gcode file that only uses extruder 1 PLA.
You can remap Gcode extruder 1 onto physical extruder 2. This will result in the print solely
using physical extruder 2. (Physical extruder 1 will be unused.)
Remapping extruders is achieved by going to Settings -> Extruder Mapping. Identify what
each extruder is used for in the Gcode, determine which physical extruder you want them
to map to. Pressing X+/- will change Gcode extruder 1 mapping. Pressing Y+/- moves the
menu cursor between Gcode extruder 1&2. It is not possible to select Gcode extruder 3 as
this is automatically set to the remaining physical extruder.
There are a few things to note:
 When extruder remapping is enabled, the user is prompted about this prior to
selecting a print file because the remapping can result in unexpected behaviour if the
user is unaware of the active remapping function.
 The remapping configuration settings are not stored persistently as this is deemed
undesirable. When the printer power is turned on the remapping reverts to 1:1
direct mapping. (The aforementioned pre-print remapping prompt is not shown
when the mapping is 1:1)
 Please ensure the Gcode file allows enough room between the left of the print and
the printer framework. I.e. attempting to print the test raft Gcode file with a double
extruder RapMan will cause the extruder carriage to hit the framework when it
attempts to position physical extruder 2 into the far left corners of the print bed as
the raft Gcode file instructs.
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9.4.3
Manual move
 See “Manual move”, page 18.
9.4.4
Extruder control
 See “Extruder control”, page 37.
9.4.5
Home tool head
 Push ‘Enter’ to move all axes to their home position.
Make sure the bed is in position before homing the tool head. The bed
contains a sensor necessary for homing. Without the sensor, the
machine will drive the bed frame into the waste disposal stand-offs.
Repeated collisions will damage the machine.
9.4.6
Settings
 Push ‘Enter’ to enter the “Settings” menu:
>
EXTRUDER OFFSETS
LEVEL BED
SET Z HEIGHT
SET BED TYPE
GENERAL SETTINGS
See the following sections for descriptions on each setting.
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9.4.6.1
Extruder offsets
Extruder offsets defines the position of extruders 2 and 3 in the BFB-3000, relative to
extruder 1. Settings here should only be changed after performing a nozzle calibration
print. Visit our website to download the calibration procedure and determine the offsets
values.
>
Extruder
Extruder
Extruder
Extruder
2
2
3
3
X
Y
X
Y
-44.30
0.00
-88.60
0.00
 Use the Z buttons to select the extruders. Use the Y buttons to alter the values.
 Press X+ to save, or Escape to quit without saving.
Incorrect values will severely affect print quality.
9.4.6.2
Level bed
See “Check the bed is level”, page 21.
9.4.7
Set Z height
See “Check the bed is referenced to the extruder nozzles”, page 28.
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9.4.7.1
Set bed type
The bed design in the machine dictates how the machine operates.
>
V2 Black composite
V1 Clear perspex
 Use the Z buttons to select the bed type.
 Press X+ to save, or Escape to quit without saving.
If the wrong bed is selected, the machine will be unable to home its zaxis and will damage itself.
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9.4.7.2
General settings
General settings are designed for advanced use.
>
Ignore G92
Enable Hopping
Yes
Yes
 Use the Z buttons to select the option.
 Press X+ to save, or Escape to quit without saving.
Incorrect general settings will severely affect the BFB-3000 print
quality. Do not change any general settings without fully understanding
each setting first.
See the following sections for general setting explanations.
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9.4.7.2.1
Ignore G92
The “ignore G92” setting is required because of the previous method of managing extruder
offsets which involves using the Gcode G92 command. The user was required to determine
the extruder 2 offset value through printing the calibration print. The calculated offset
value was then entered into Axon. During Gcode generation, Axon inserts a G92 offset
command to offset the carriage by the user calculated offset amount.
Therefore all Axon generated Gcode files that utilise two extruders contain G92 commands
to apply the extruder 2 offsets. A drawback of this approach is that the Gcode file is printer
dependent because the Gcode file contains the unique extruder offsets for the printer that
was calibrated.
In order to make the Gcode files portable between printers, the extruder offsets are
entered directly into the printer memory with firmware V4.1.0 onwards. This achieves
moving the extruder offsets from the Gcode file and into the printer. When the printer
utilises extruder 2, it reads the offsets from memory.
When the extruder offsets are loaded from memory, the Axon generated G92 commands in
the Gcode file must be ignored by the printer. Otherwise the Axon generated G92 extruder
offsets will be applied in addition to the printer memory extruder offsets, resulting in print
failure.
Typically the desired functionality will be to ignore the Axon generated G92 offsets so the
printer memory extruder offsets are applied solely. However an advanced user may want
to use G92 to produce an offset for a number of reasons, in which case the “ignore G92”
option is provided.
9.4.7.2.2
Hopping
By default this setting is enabled on the BfB 3000 and disabled on the RapMan. The setting
is accessed via Settings Menu -> General Settings. Hop causes the bed to lower 1mm during
a non-extruding move, and raise 1mm when the destination position has been reached.
This reduces the chance of the extruder hot end hitting part of the model and causing an XY
shift. It also reduces the chance of the extruder hot end knocking over a small delicate
pillar shape for example.
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9.5
9.5.1
Maintenance operations
Updating your printer
Visit our website at www.bitsfrombytes.com to check for free upgrades. This may include:
 Firmware (the software inside the control box)
 Hardware (mechanical improvements)
9.5.2
Adjusting the nozzle wipe
The nozzle wipe should sit slightly higher than the height of the nozzle tip, so that when the
nozzle is moved over the wipe, the wipe brushes over the nozzle tip.
 Use ‘Manual move’ (page 55) to position the nozzle over the nozzle wipe box.
Nozzle
wipe box
Nozzle
Nozzle wipe
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 To adjust the height of the nozzle wipe, remove the nozzle wipe box and loosen the
M3 nuts and bolts on the back of the wipe using the 2.5mm hex driver supplied in the
toolkit. Use the reference holes to gauge the adjustment, and ensure that the nozzle
wipe is horizontal.
Reference
holes
M3 nuts
 Retighten the M3 nuts, replace the nozzle wipe box and re-check nozzle wipe
position.
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9.5.3
Fine adjustment to level the nozzles
Nozzles must be level for a reliable print. If one nozzle is lower than the other, it may
damage the print.
To evaluate if the nozzles are level:
 Make sure the bed is flat (see “Bed flatness", page 48)
 Check the bed is level (page 21)
 Check the hot-end nozzles are clean from plastic debris (page 20). It is common to
mistake dirty nozzles as not being level – especially if the polymer in the extruder is
transparent.
 Using “Manual move” (page 18) drive the bed up to the nozzles.
 If the nozzles are not level with respect to the flat and level bed, proceed as follows:
The remainder of this procedure will level the nozzles by sanding the
tips down. This is a permanent change - ensure that it is necessary by
thoroughly checking all the preceding steps before continuing, as the
process cannot be reversed.
 Make sure that the nozzle has plastic loaded into the tip. This reduces the burring on
the inside surface of the orifice.
 Wind the flat bed up to the nozzles.
Ensure that the bed is completely flat, otherwise the nozzles will be
permanently set non-level.
 Position a sheet of sandpaper in between the bed and the nozzle, with the grit
pointing up at the nozzle.
 Move the sandpaper back and forth, flat against the bed, slowly moving the bed up
to grind away the lower nozzle tip.
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The ø 0.5 mm nozzle orifice only has 1.0 mm thickness. Remove as little
material as possible to achieve level nozzles. Do not remove more than
1.0 mm, otherwise the orifice will begin to widen, and the nozzle will
be permanently damaged.
 When all nozzles are level, stop sanding.
 Manually turn the ø 0.5 mm drill bit (supplied in the toolkit) 2 revolutions to remove
any burrs in the orifice from the sanding process. You will need to use “Extruder
control” (page 37) to melt the plastic inside the nozzle to insert the drill bit.
Ø 0.5 mm
drill bit
Caution: When heating up nozzles to melt plastic, do not touch
the nozzle tips with your fingers. Extruders will burn if touched
when hot.
Make sure the ø 0.5 mm drill bit is turned straight, otherwise this
may widen the orifice and damage print quality.
 Purge the extruder (page 38).
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9.5.4
Handling a ground-out filament
If a pressure bearing is poorly assembled, or the nozzle suffers from a blockage (e.g.
printing too close to the bed), the back of the filament may be ground out by the extruder
drive shaft. The drive shaft will then be unable to push the filament down into the nozzle,
preventing the extruder from extruding. This is normally indicated by a fast build-up of
plastic dust around the pressure bearing.
If the nozzle is not
extruding, a build up
of plastic dust can
indicate a ground out
filament.
Remove
pressure
bearing
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Cut filament
using side cutters
 Heat extruder to melt plastic using “Extruder control”, page 37.
Remove
loaded section
using pliers
 Examine the removed filament to confirm the cause:
Ground-out
section
Normal drive
shaft teeth
marks
 Reload the filament, as per “Load the extruders” (page 31) taking care to prepare the
tip of the filament as specified.
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9.5.5
Handling snapped filament in the delivery tube
If filament snaps in more than one place in the delivery tube, the tube needs to be flushed
of any trapped broken sections before the filament can be reloaded.
Broken section
of filament
Remove all readilyavailable sections of
filament
 Also remove filament from extruder end, as per “Handling a ground-out filament”,
page 64.
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Unclip delivery tube
from back panel at
all points
Pull out delivery
tube full out of
bottom bracket
Bring delivery tube
up to top of the
machine
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Pull delivery tube out of
the energy chain from
extruder end
completely removing it
from the machine
Energy chain
Prepare an end of
filament from the reel
– rounding the edges
as per standard
filament loading
procedure (page 31)
This will be used to
push any trapped
segments out of the
delivery tube, and
support the tube when
re-threading back into
the machine
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Push reel filament down
delivery tube, from the
nut end
Hold tube in a coil
to match the
natural bend of the
filament, making it
easier to push out
the trapped
segments of
filament.
Once all the trapped
segments have been
pushed out, continue
to push the reel
filament through so
that approximately
5 cm protrudes at
both ends. Then cut
the reel filament to
detach the
arrangement from
the reel.
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Tape up on non-nut end
of the tube so that the
filament cannot move in
the tube.
Insert the taped end
back down inside the
energy chain from the
extruder end
Push the tube all the way back
down the energy chain. You may
need to move the extruders
around to massage the tube
through.
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On exiting the energy
chain, remove the tape
Re-clip the delivery tube
against the back panel
Run the delivery tube
under the second steel
bar at the back of the
machine.
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Remove the support
filament from the
delivery tube
Position the nut-end of
the tube so that the nut
sits comfortably on the
extruder body
Finally, reload filament,
as “Load the filament”,
page 31
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9.6
Troubleshooting
Please visit our website at www.bitsfrombytes.com to use our troubleshooting guides.
9.7
Troubleshooting
Please visit our website at www.bitsfrombytes.com to raise a support ticket.
9.8
Specifications
Please visit our website at www.bitsfrombytes.com to view specification sheets on the
BFB-3000.
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