Type A

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Type A

This page documents the Type A Series 1 (2013 plywood model).

Type A lives on the third shelf of the 3D printer tower, next to Ultimaker 2


  • LIMITED USE ... only print using PETG (2nd Printhead for PLA coming.)
  • The Printhead Heatsink Fan is always on ... so don't leave this printer powered on for long periods of time without printing.
  • Loaded with 1.75mm Black PETG (micrometer reads 1.7mm)
  • Cura 15 Settings here
  • http://octopi3.hacklab.to/

Known Issues and Fixes[edit]

  • Before starting to print, make sure the head heatsink fan is ON. If the connector on the cable came loose, then the filament will jam once that heatsink becomes too hot.
  • This Printer has a removable printbed. So before printing, make sure that all 4 screwheads are forward to properly secure the printbed.

IMPORTANT: All PETG filaments are not the same. This printer can only use PETG filaments where the maximum recommended printing temperature is 240°C. (MG Chemicals & Spool3D.ca are 2 sources for that.) Most PETG filaments have a maximum recommended temperature of 260°C to 265°C.

Recommended Filament Settings[edit]

CURA 15 settings for MG Chemicals Black PETG

Basic Tab:

  • Layer Height: 0.2mm (Don't use less than this with PETG.)
  • Fill Density: 50% or 100% (Just what was used for testing.)
    • [... button] Infill overlap (%): 50 (15 for PLA. Very high due to low flow?)
  • Retraction Enabled
    • [... button] Z Hop when Retracting: 0.5mm (NO Z Hop used with PLA)
  • Print Speed: 25mm/s (Down from 60mm/s for PLA)
  • Printing Temp.: 240°C
  • Filament Diameter: whatever a micrometer reads for this reel.
  • Flow: 67%
  • Nozzle Size: 0.4mm

Advanced Tab:

  • Retraction Speed: 30.0mm/s
  • Retraction Distance: 0.30mm
  • Travel Speed: 250mm/s (Double what used with PLA)
  • Bottom Layer Speed: 20mm/s
  • Outer Shell Speed: 20mm/s
  • Enable Cooling Fan: UNSELECT this. (not checked)


  • As a filament type, PETG is terrible at things like bridging. This includes you might need just a bit more top surface over infill to get a smooth final layer.
  • For best results printing PETG, do not use the Filament Fan. (Print with the Hotend Heatsink Fan only.) When the Filament Fan is used, expect layer separation problems. When printed without using a Filament Fan, PETG has exceptional layer bonding.
  • The above settings are a "best compromise", to get good results, without limiting the print speed any more than necessary.
  • Check the print head periodically. If PETG is building up on that, use the Black Bent Noise Tweezers to grab the PETG on the nozzle tip.
    • Due to this filament build-up on the outside of the printhead, any print that could be described as a "highly shaped bock of plastic" will probably work. It is prints where the head constantly moves over open air (no plastic under the head), that melted PETG dropping off the outside of the printhead will probably cause the print to fail.
  • To print with PETG, start with a clean nozzle; and the 1st layer (inside the Brim) needs to be perfect.

SPOOL3D Translucent Red PETG (changes to MG Chemicals Black)

  • Printing Temp.: 235°C
  • Retraction Distance: 0.65mm


  • All test printing was done without using the Filament Cooling Fan.
  • This filament really oozes ... so a slightly lower Temp. & a much higher Retraction was needed.
  • Very little stringing using the above settings ... but POOR Layer Adhesion, and POOR Perimeter to Infill Adhesion.
    • Print Temp. too low??? ... need more Infill overlap???


  • Type A Series 1 (2013 plywood model).
  • 254 x 230 x 230 mm print volume
  • 1.75mm filament
  • .4mm nozzle
  • As the head uses a Teflon insert, do NOT run at more than 240°C (250°C absolute maximum temp.???)
  • It is managed and accessible from the web GUI: http://octopi3.hacklab.to/
  • Its manual is at http://bit.ly/1NDToMT (our Head Assembly is different.)

Machine Log[edit]

Date Notes Entry By
October 12, 2017
  • Print & Install a 50mm Radial to 40mm Axial Fan adapter.
August 30, 2017
  • Correctly Tighten the Heatbreak & Nozzle to stop PETG leaking out.
    • Back off snug Nozzle by at most 1/4 turn.
    • Heat up the head to 240°C (PETG printing Temp.)
    • Tighten the Heatbreak into the Heatblock, to stop PETG leaking out of that.
      • Cap off block holding Groovemount ... so can rotate entire head assembly. Then a wrench on ends of Heatblock, & turn that.
    • Tighten the Nozzle against the end of the Tefflon Insert in the Heatbreak.
  • Print a Filament Guide to assist filament feeding smoothly into the Extruder. ( https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:33894 )
August 29, 2017 Allen
August 21, 2017
  • Updated firmware using "stock" firmware with just some configuration changes
  • w/ help from Igor, troubleshoot problems with new head. (BAD thermistor.)
  • Crimp Molex Connectors onto the 2nd head that we have.
    • Head Temp.'s seem to oscillate plus/minus 10°C !!!
  • Run PID auto-tuning, to determine values that will provide stable head temperatures.
    • Had to completely unplug this printer (including USB) for a couple of min. to get auto-tuning to stop continuously running.
    • Set the "good" values that were written down into Octoprint. (Will flash those values into firmware next.)
  • Was not able to get the PETG to stop leaking out between the Heatbreak & the Heater Block. (Not willing to risk breaking another Heatbreak.)
    • Finally resorted to using some ABS filament where the Heatbreak comes out of the Block to seal that.
August 10, 2017
  • The correct Molex Connectors were finally crimped onto one of the AluHotend/E3Dv6 (from China) heads.
  • NOW the Firmware needs to be updated to use this new head.
  • A 3rd head is also on its way from China. (Already have 5 sets of the needed connectors for the head.)
July 13, 2017 Have a 2nd AluHotend/E3Dv6 hot end for this printer. So multiple easy to change print heads (1 per filament type?) are now possible. Allen
July 4, 2017
  • Using information from the Internet ( https://www.summet.com/blog/2013/09/09/makergear-hot-end-molex-connectors/ ) order 5 sets of connectors for the Type A head from DigiKey.
  • Unable to successfully crimp the small connectors for the Type A printhead.
  • Now the 1 spare set of crimp contacts is ruined, work stopped until the correct crimp tool can somehow be obtained.
    • NOTE: Since the Type A uses a special theristor, I do not want to cut the connector off of that.
June 22, 2017 While trying to fit Hotend Heatsink Cooling Fan, the Nichrome wire broke off right where it goes into the circular ceramic. Now must rebuild using a E3D v6 Head. (As purchased, on the AluHotend heatbreak.) Per instructions on the Internet, that will require changed/custom firmware. Allen
June 17, 2017
  • All Rods & the screw were lubricated using Silicone based lubricants.
  • Started to hear concerning "clicking" noises from the left back ... possibly related to Y-Axis movement.
June 13-14, 2017
  • New PTFE lined 35mm Heatbreak & New Head used to reassemble the printhead
  • ONLY an extra heatsink on the Metal Grovemount block is NOT adequate. So a fan for the AluHotend heatsink will be necessary .
  • PLA will JAM due to Hotend heat creep making the AluHotend heat sink too hot. (Must remove Grovemount head to clear.)
    • PETG works, but if the fan is left off, eventually it can also stop feeding. (PETG jam easily cleared w/o removing head.)
  • Finding exactly the correct settings to make the MG Chemicals PETG filament work well is extremely time consuming.
    • NOTE: The listed MG Chemicals PETG temp. range is 210°C to 240°C ... which is as much as 20° less than some other PETG filaments.
  • Molten (PETG) filament was leaking from where the Nozzle screws onto the Heatbreak. It required 3 trys to get the head tightened enough to stop that leakage.
May 24, 2017 1st attempt to replace Grovemount & Heatbreak ended with a broken part. The needed parts are on order. (Aprox. 30 days from China.) Everything was installed and working briefly before the cracked heatbreak broke. Trying to use the installed Heatsink & Thermal Compound on the Metal Extruder block, instead of a fan on the small metal Grovemount fins. (This rebuild will be simpler if a 2nd fan is not needed.) Allen
April 28, 2017 Un-Jammed the filament in the print-head. (Jammed in the black quickmount part?) Can push the filament through by hand. (Almost breaking filament using that much force.) But will *not* extrude properly. So something is not moving freely in the quickmount head assembly. Allen
March 28, 2017 Tried to print, but machine is under-extruding like crazy. The first layer did not lay down, the filament came out like small blobs instead of a constant stream, even at 115% flowrate. I will order a new brass head and teflon tube from china. ran0
February 18, 2017 as per @Myles: OctoPi3 is working if you need to use a 3D printer. MikeP
January 2017 Attempted cleaning nozzle, printer still under-extruding ran0
January 28 2016 The X (and to a lesser degree the Y) axis are skipping and it ends up offset. Tightened the belts. All good. alaina
January 1 2016 Print head not extruding. Mechanics and octopi commands seem to be working fine, but filament does not extrude from print head. Also, the Z axis is off a little, and home is slightly too close to the print head. Easily adjusted by hand. emmy (saskeah)
January 2 2016 On Igor's advice, I tried pushing through some filament (with the hot end at 185C), and it came through just fine. The pinch wheel needs to be cleaned before using, using the compressed air and little metal brushes by the soldering station. On my to do list (hopefully before end of Tuesday) is to clean out the print head using Igor's "cold push" method, clean the pinch wheel, adjust the Z axis, and re-tape the bed, then print a calibration object to make sure all is good. Also, if anyone else does all of this and wants to print - just a note that the 1.75 inch filament is *super* brittle, so be careful! emmy (saskeah)
January 2 2016 Cold push clean out of extruder head done, extruder doesn't seem to be blocked. Next step is to clean out the pinch wheel, which is on my to-do before Tuesday, unless someone else feels like taking that on. emmy (saskeah)
January 3 2016 Pinch wheel cleaned with compressed air. Bed re-taped and cleaned with isopropyl alcohol. Cold push clean of extruder head repeated for good measure (and during a sticky moment unicycledave took the head apart and removed some extra gunk). Z axis adjusted. Attempted a calibration object, z axis held bed too far from the print head. Attempted again with adjustment, print head was too close and scraped the tape. Good news: printer totally functional. Bad news: Z axis still needs tweaking, and part of the bed needs to be re-taped again. emmy (saskeah)
January 4 2016 Bed re-taped, z axis double-checked. Type A gets my stamp of approval - good to go! emmy (saskeah)
January 10 2016 Did a test print that came out perfectly calibrated, but with some relatively minor gaps in extrusion. emmy (saskeah)
January 17 2016 Tried another test print that came out with more pronounced gaps in extrusion. Tried a calibration cube at 220 C, and it came out well. Downloaded the new version of Cura and used the default presets to print another test cube. The presets are fairly different from the previous version, and the test print came out perfectly. emmy (saskeah)