Reduce filament costs and save time with your 3D printing

Anyone who has performed any amount of tuning their 3D printers or 3D design can attest to the amount of wasted filament, and significant time it takes between prints, follows are a few tips and tricks on how you speed up the process, and maybe even save some money on the way.

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Recharge your Silica gel moisture absorbtion packs

Why is my filament popping, I keep it in a dry box!?

You may not have given it much thought but the moisture absorbent (Silica gel) packs you have stashed inside your dry boxes to protect your 3D filament only work for a few months before they become saturated with moisture.

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Speed up the heat up time of your 3D printer heated bed

Have you been finding your 3D printer heated bed takes a long time to heat up? Been thinking about upgrading your power supply to a 24V or more seriously mains AC power? Have a go at this handy hack before you spend any money.

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Automatically upload GCode from Simplify 3D to Repetier Server or Octoprint

I’ve recently setup a Repetier Server to control my 3D printers, and wanted to be able to automatically upload Gcode from Simplify 3D into the server. Read on for instructions on how to set it up yourself.

Repetier Server, which if you haven’t heard of it, is like Octoprint, but designed to control multiple printers, has an easy GUI to configure your printers internal settings etc.

It is not completely the same however, it doesn’t have support for GPX (makerbot style gcode equivalent files), nor does it have a built in slicer, which I don’t mind as I use Simplify 3D anyway as part of my tool chain.

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Speed up your 3D prints without sacrificing quality by changing your infill layer height

You might be tweaking your 3D settings to speed up your prints, trying to increase your printers jerk, acceleration, speed, more heat, tuning retraction, to get a faster print, but these all generally will push your machine closer to its limits and decrease your print quality.

This is where this tip comes in, I will show you how you can configure your infill layer height independently to be higher than your exterior surface, because really, who cares what your infill looks like, why have your printer meticulously laying down infill at 50 micron layer heights?

This technique works best when you are printing higher resolution prints (sub 0.1mm or less).

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Flash your X4R, XSR or X8R receivers using your Frsky Taranis

I stumbled on a nifty feature where you can use your Taranis to flash your receiver firmware, all you need is the supplied smart port cable, no programmers, or software.

One of the reasons you might want to do this is to update newer firmware to fix bugs with one of your receivers, or add functonallity, like updating your X4R-SB to support PPM as well as SBUS channel outputs.

Read on to find out how to do it

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Setup a safe arming switch on a Frsky Taranis that is (almost) guaranteed to save your fingers

I’ve seen some brutal cuts from accidental arming of quadcopters, and had a couple of close calls myself, so was inspired to setup a safe arming switch. See below for how to do it

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Frsky Taranis RSSI based Lap Timer

If you are looking for a free RSSI based lap timer for your Taranis or opentx radio then this might be what you are looking for. There are some very impressive lap timing systems already out there, but found that for my purposes they were either were too complex for my needs, or didn’t have all the features that I wanted. Specifically I wanted the timer to

  • be simple to use
  • trigger lap times using RSSI signal
  • verbally tell you your lap times
  • save a log of the times if I wanted to

There has already been a lot of excellent systems built out there, and decided to modify an existing project that *almost* did everything I wanted which can be found at Jeremy Cowgars very excellent opentx laptimer.

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