"Squished" Prints

I am in the process of assembling and tuning a new printer. This one has a 14:1 geared stepper driving the z-axis.

I ran into a problem where my prints were looking squished, like so:

The white cube on the right is in the right range, dimensionally (20mm^3). The blue one on the left is 20mmx20mmx6mm.

The white cube on the right is in the right range, dimensionally (20mm^3). The blue one on the left is 20mmx20mmx6mm.

Internet searches on this were not helpful at first. There's a lot of discussion about how to properly set your steps/mm for the z axis.

This wasn't my problem though. When I jogged the print head around and measured, movements were accurate. My steps/mm were correct.

Finally, I found a super-helpful post on the reprap forums. My thanks to konwiddak, jamesdanielv, and the other contributors on the thread.

If you are having a problem where your printer movements are correct, but actual printed parts turn out way too short, try the following (especially if you have a geared stepper driving Z):

  • Tune down your z-motor current and make sure your controller board is properly ventilated.
  • Set a low feedrate for the z-axis, 2 or 3 mm/s.
  • Increase your z max acceleration.

Good luck!

Printrbot G2 Board

You can use the G2 board with legacy Printrbot (or other) printers. In most cases, you won’t have to write code or load new firmware to do this, but it will probably require some configuration to get the board running smoothly. This guide documents the settings you may want to change if you are using the G2 board with a printer other than the Simple Pro.

This guide is also useful if you’d like to skip the cloud features of the Printrbot Simple Pro and print directly via USB or with OctoPrint.