3D Printing

Printer Stutter Solved

I was trying to print this terrific vase from Thingverse, and slowly started to realize I had a problem. As the vase grew higher and higher, the printer began to stutter. More precisely, the computer was unable to keep up with the printer and the printer started stopping momentarily during printing, waiting on the computer. This  resulted in ever more and more tiny blobs appearing on the print.

IMG 6532

I’ll grant, my computer is getting a little aged: it’s a Mac Mini from 2010. I’m printing on a SeeMeCNC Orion with MatterControl version 1.7 both of which I’m very happy with. I closed all my other open apps with no improvement and opened Activity Monitor to see what else the problem might be. It turns out that the kernal_task was taking up large amounts of CPU apparently fighting with MatterControl for CPU time. What could possibly be making the kernal_task work so hard? 3D graphics processing!

The solution: If you see stuttering, make sure you’re watching the the layer view in 2D only! As the part grew in size, the 3D layer view got more and more complex, to the point that between the kernal and MatterWorks, there wasn’t enough CPU to keep up with printing. Once I switched to 2D view, the kernal_task processing dropped dramatically and the stuttering virtually stopped. You can see it in the picture above. I changed the layer display from 3D to 2D at about half-way up, which is where the blobs from stuttering stopped. Onto other issues with the print...