Cooling fan instantly improves 3D prints

I’ve printed quite a few things now on my RepRapPro Huxley 3D printer and am ready to start looking at getting better quality prints. I decided to start with the Hollow Calibration Pyramid on Thingiverse.

I’ve made no changes to the default Skeinforge settings provided with the RepRapPro software. The pyramid did not print well at all. The ‘legs’ of the pyramid wobbled about and warped as the printer nozzle was laying down the next layer.

I decided to attach a colling fan similar to Mark Benson’s Reprappro Huxley 120mm fan mount. The improvements in print quality were instant. The picture below shows the results. On the right is the pyramid printed without the fan. You can see the poor quality of the legs and the stringy bits of filament that did not adhere well. On the left is the pyramid printed with the cooling fan turned on – a big improvement. There was far less movement of the legs as they were being printed and much less stringing of the filament.

Hollow Calibration Pyramids

Hollow Calibration Pyramids printed with and without cooling fan

Now I want to start playing around with the Skeinforge settings to try to reduce the ‘stringing’ and blobs created at the start of each new layer.