I am new to the 3D printing world and I would appreciate if someone can give me advice on how to 3D print moving parts without them sticking together. I recently 3D printed the predator pliers from Thingiverse and it came out very nice except for the fact that the parts where stuck together and I could not move any of the pieces. I had to use an Exacto knife to loosen the parts and in doing so my predator pliers broke and I was very sad.

The printer and the settings that I use are:

  • PowerSpec WanHao Duplicator I3 PLUS 3D Printer
  • Ultimaker Cura 3.4.1

  • Black PLA Plastic 1.75 mm

  • 0.4 mm nozzle
  • 60 °C Bed Temp
  • 200 °C Extruder Temp

  • 20 fill (usually-sometimes more)

  • Layer height 0.15

    UPDATE: I printed a PIP from thingiverse and it worked out perfectly. All the parts move.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Hi Alias311, welcome to 3D Printing.SE! What you are referring to, is known as Print-In-Place (PIP). $\endgroup$
    – 0scar
    Aug 6 '18 at 18:11
  • $\begingroup$ Hello! Ahhh I did not know this. You know I've tried to print things that move but almost always don't come out that good. For a while, I thought it was because I am using PLA. @0scar $\endgroup$
    – Alias311
    Aug 6 '18 at 18:15
  • $\begingroup$ you might also want to link which model you refer to. $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Aug 6 '18 at 18:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Trish hey sorry, this is the link to the model i was making. thingiverse.com/thing:2917515 $\endgroup$
    – Alias311
    Aug 6 '18 at 18:34
  • $\begingroup$ Glad it works! It could well be that the PIP model you printed has larger tolerances. Please vote to accept an answer (using the green tick button next to the question) so this question is not bumped up once in a while and can be removed from the unanswered question list. You may even add your own solution and accept that after 48 hours! Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – 0scar
    Sep 6 '18 at 10:38

If parts stick together after printing, the positioning or extrusion is not working optimally.

This can be related to various issues:

  • Positioning of the head is not correct; this could be related to incorrect belt tension, incorrect steps per mm, streched belts.
  • The extrusion process is not working optimal; this could be related to over-extruding (incorrect steps per mm for the extruder, incorrect multiplier in the slicer, filament too hot) or the first layer height is incorrect (too low, so the lines spread out and tough each other). Extruder calibration is explained in more detail in this answer.

A very good start to verify what exactly your tolerance problem is is to print this tolerance test. Basically, these are diabolic shaped objects in a slightly larger outer shape object. Please slice this STL file with your favorite slicer to obtain the G-code for your printer. When the print is ready, you use a screwdriver to turn the diabolic shaped objects from large to small tolerance, the last one that does not turn is the maximum tolerance of your printer. So when printing in place hinges, you should use tolerance values higher than the one that did not turn.

  • $\begingroup$ How can this be resolved? Will I need to change the extruder? Because I have tried to level the bed as well as I can. I have ordered new nozzles as well as I feared that this one maybe clogged. $\endgroup$
    – Alias311
    Aug 6 '18 at 18:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Alias311 A clogged nozzle will lead to under-extrusion, so that is probably not yout problem. Please add a picture of the print to the question. $\endgroup$
    – 0scar
    Aug 6 '18 at 19:25

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