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Thread: Hardware FAQ

  1. #1
    Jailcee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017

    Hardware FAQ

    Q: I've ordered the printer, what should I do/get while I wait for my CR-10?

    A: -Get a micro SD card extension cable. The microSD slot on the printer is fragile and you want to minimize the wear and tear on that part.

    -Get a few 1kg spools of PLA, what comes with the printer isn't much.

    -Get some decent 6 or 7 inch tweezers for when you need to grab a glob of molten plastic off the hot nozzle.

    -Consider getting Raspberry Pi 3b to run Octoprint if you have Wifi at home, it really is more convenient.

    Q: I just got my printer and I don't know how to <whatever your question is>.

    A: Go to the file section of the Facebook CR-10 group and get the file called "Afinibot A31 User Manual 2-24-17.pdf" shared by Joshua Van Vleet as it explains all the steps you need to take to get your printer ready for its first print. Also check out the great videos put together by Chris Bennett of Tiny Machines

    Q: Why does the bed/carriage on my new printer rock/wobble back and forth so much?

    A: One side of the carriage has eccentric spacers on it. A wrench was included that fit these. If you look at the wheels on both sides you will see that one set has what looks like an extra nut on them. Turn each of these to snug the wheels up against the extrusion. Go back and read the manual described in the first answers; if you missed this step you may have missed others as well.

    Q: What should I have as a surface to print PLA?

    A: Tons of options and preferences. You can use tape, tape washed with isopropyl alcohol, 1:10 mix of white PVA glue with water applied as a thin layer, dissapearing purple glue stick applied as a thin layer, super hold hairsray like Aqua Net, a sheet of PEI glued to glass, plain glass, glass that has been roughed up with sand paper, commercial build surfaces like BuildTak, Zebra plates, and more. There's no one answer but try the ones you want until you find what works best for you.

    Q: I can't seem to get my bed level no matter what I try. Help.

    A: First level the bed using a sheet of paper as described in the manual (you read it, right?). Remember to do this while the bed and hot end are both at the temperature you plan to print at. Use little adjustments of 1/8 to 1/4 turn and go round and round the four corners several times until every corner feels about right, using the paper method. Once you have that you are in the ballpark of level. Next print the version 3 bed level calibration file found here

    Print the file then look at each corner. Ideally you want it so that each line of filament in the square it touching its neighbor so that they form one flat surface, not a bunch of disconnected bars. That means you have enough "squish". Next feel the top of the squares so that they are relatively smooth. If they feel ridged and you can see scars where the nozzle traveled across them then you are squishing too much and the nozzle is extruding more plastic than there is room for. Depending on what you find in each corner I adjust that corner up or down and print again until you have nice squares that are neither ridged nor loose bars.

    Q: I still can't get my bed level, at best I get the corners printing well but the center is too close/far. Help.

    A: Lots of people report this problem with the original glass that comes with the printer. For many that glass is not of even thickness which causes the center to bow or sag. Try flipping the glass over and re-level to see if one side is better. Make sure to mark the sides with tape or something so you can tell which is which later on. If neither side gives good result then get yourself a new piece of glass. Get a piece cut at a local glass shop, buy a mirror tile of the right size, or cut a mirror or piece of glass to the right size. Some advocate borosilicate glass while others have success with plain mirrors so read up on it and decide what you prefer. For many people that were having levelling problems changing the glass made all the difference.

    Q: The center of my bed is sagging all the time, what can I do?

    A: You can add support and a leveling point near the center of the bed using a wedge jack
    Be aware this adds a fifth leveling point so level your corners first then in small steps use this wedge jack to support the center until it is level.

    Q: I'm in the middle of a print and I want to switch the filament, how do I do this?

    A: In the controller menu go to Tune>change filament (last option at the bottom). It will move the head and beep at you. Change your filament carefully making sure not to bump the gantry and change the Z position. In the controller menu click to resume. Check out this video

    Q: My extruder doesn't work. When I try to use it through the control box nothing happens.

    A: The extruder motor will not turn when your nozzle is not at 100c or higher. This is a safety feature to protect the nozzle from having cold hard filament shoved into it.

    Q: So I tried to print something today and the nozzle is not extruding filament? What's wrong?

    A: Your nozzle is clogged or the filament has gotten clogged somewhere in the heat break.

    Stop the print. Heat the nozzle 5-10 degrees hotter than you were printing then pull the filament out (by holding the extruder open with one hand and yanking with the other. If you're lucky you'll pull the whole thing out in one go. Let's assume that happens. You'll see that at the end of the filament is a wide bulb like part. This is the part that got too wide to fit into the nozzle. This can happen when your retraction settings are too high and/or your filament stalls because the spool locks up (knots in the filament for example).

    Now cut off the end of the filament to remove the bad part. Inspect the filament for areas where the extruder may have ground away parts of the filament when trying to push past the clog and make sure you cut away to above those parts. Make cut diagonal to make it easier to feed the filament back in.

    Open the extractor and insert the freshly cut filament back into the bowden tube. Make sure your nozzle is at printing temperature. Push the filament in with your hand until you feel the resistance and start seeing plastic come out of the nozzle. Keep pushing until the plastic comes out nice and straight and clean. You're ready to print again!

    Q: The fan on the front of the hot end is on all the time but the one on the right isn't spinning, is that normal?

    A: Fan in front should be on when the printer is on. Fan on the right is only on when told to turn on, by the gcode, when printing. If you have the opposite then it means your fans were switched when they were plugged into the control board. It has happened to others before. Just open up the case, locate the two sets of fan wires and unplug/switch/replug them on the board.

    Q: What does everything mean on the screen of the control box?

    Q: The PTFE Bowden tube on my printer keeps popping out and coming loose from the extruder or hot end. Why?

    A: Make sure that the Bowden tube (the white plastic tube) is pushed all the way into the fitting. It takes a fair bit of pressure to get it seated, more than you think. You'll feel it click in positively when it seats. If you've done this and your tube is still coming loose you can ensure that the fitting stays in the clamped position by placing a clip on it like this one

    Q: The Micro SD card slot on my printer doesn't work or has just stopped working, why?

    A: The MicroSD card slot on these printers is fragile and in some cases a batch of bad connectors were used in the build of the printer. This was discovered by Chris Bennett over at Tiny Machines and he posted more details here

    Q: Can I use 2.85 mm or 3 mm filament with the CR-10?

    A: You cannot use filament other than 1.75 mm unless you do substantial modifications to the extruder, bowden system, hot end throat, and nozzle. These are not trivial modifications so unless you are prepared to modify most of the parts that handle the filament then you would be better to stick with 1.75 mm filament. That being said there are modifications out there that use the E3D volcano that get you most of the way to being able to print 2.85 mm filament. Do your research if you want to go this route.

    Q: I think I want to replace the nozzle on my CR-10 Hot end. What do I need to know?

    A: A nozzle change is a common upgrade especially if you want to print abrasive filament (any filament that isn't plain clear or opaque plastic) or print at higher 250c+ temperatures (ABS, PETG, Nylon). For hot printing you want to make sure that the thermal tube, the part that connects the heat sink to the heat block, is all metal. For abrasive filament you want a nozzle that is either hardened, steel, or otherwise coated.

    The stock nozzle size is Mk 8 (which uses M6 threads) and the stock extruder is MK10. A great video on how to do the actual swap watch from Tiny Machines 3D

  2. #2
    Jailcee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Q: What are some of the essential things that I should print?

    A: The top two are:
    Creality CR-10 Strain relief bracket for heated bed cable
    Creality CR-10 Filament Guide

    Here are other popular mods:
    CR-10 Hot End Cable Management guide -
    CR-10 Y-axis Belt Tensioner -
    CR-10 Redesigned Fan Mount/Shroud/Duct - (note: uses 50mm x 50 mm fans - not stock and different screws)
    CR-10 Cable Guide -
    CR-10 Webcam mount -
    CR-10 40mm Stock Hot End Cooling Duct - (no part fan yet...)
    CR-10 Fan Mod - Another way of mounting the bed cooling fan -
    CR-10 Z-axis End Stop Adjustment - (replaces factory end stop and is adjustable)
    CR-10 Filament Fan Shroud Replacement - (reduces air that hits the hot end from the bed cooling fan)
    CR-10 Tool Storage Trays -
    Flexible Filament Extruder Upgrade for Creality CR-7, CR-10, Afinibot A5, A31
    Creality CR-10 E3D Volcano Mount -
    E3D V6 mount for Creality CR-10 -

    Q: The knob on my controller box just stopped working. What's going on?

    The knob is pushed in too much and has bottomed out on the metal case. Pull the knob back out towards you.

    Q: What is the layout of the parts on the controller board?

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