Printing advice for Delta stage - stage not flat

Hi OpenFlexure forum,

coming from the UC2 project (openUC2 · GitHub) which utilizes this amazing OpenFlexure Delta stage. We tried 3-D printing the Delta stage and noticed two things:

  1. after printing the stage is not level. Any advice on modifications/printing strategy to make sure the stage is level?

  2. The “ladder” like supports are quite thin, is it possible to make them thicker? We wonder if this is the reason the stage is not level. If so, any recommendations for how thick/stiff for these supports?

Thank you for taking time to read this.

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Hi @bggia. The bridges in your photo are only there to help to keep the legs from topping over during printing. They do not need to be strong particularly, and your print seems to have got to the top of the legs without a problem. The top is broken off, but that looks to have been after it was printed. Have you printed the leg test artefact? It does not seem to be in the Delta stage instructions, it is described in Assembly Instructions (V7.0.0-Alpha3).

When you say that the top is not level, do you mean that it is at a slight angle or that it is incomplete/broken? With 3D printing the ‘level’ of the top will be made by the printer nozzle moving over the final few layers. If the layers below have not failed, then this has to be as level as the alignment of your printer.

Are you using PLA or a different material? the photo does not look quite like white PLA, but that could just be the lighting.

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Hi @WilliamW thanks for your response, and for pointing me to the leg test artefact. We will give it a try.

Sadly I wasn’t able to take a photo of the stage not being “level”. Everything was intact, the platform leaned one direction and as a result “dove” underneath its intended plane. We pushed one of the legs to try and make it level; it required pushing two legs to make it level… when it snapped (as you saw above).

We are using PLA. Just wondered if this is a common occurrence, and thought if so what precautions we need to take. We’ll debug with the leg test and update soon.

This is very odd. Everything should be in parallelograms and the hinges at the corners of the legs should allow you to bend at angles of up to about 6 degrees without an issue. Also, if something breaks I would expect it to be only one hinge.

It sounds as though you did not have a parallel print, or the print warped badly during or after printing, or the filament has become brittle. Did you do some post-processing on the print? It does look very smooth, I would expect to see some basket effect of loose or sagged strands on the underside of your broken off top, which is upside down in the photo.

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