3D Printing has become a trendy hobby and even a profession. If you want to get into 3D Printing, you’ll need to invest some time learning how to operate a 3D printer. The good thing is that 3D printers are becoming easier to use every day.
You might wonder why 3D printers are called jerks. Well, the jerk setting determines how much acceleration or force the machine applies to its print head. When you turn the jerk control down, the acceleration goes down too.
- What Is the Jerk Setting? What Does Jerk Do in 3D Printing?
- What Does Jerk Do in Three Dimensional Printers?
- 3D Printer Jerk Acceleration. Should I Enable Jerk Control?
- How Do You Adjust the Acceleration and Jerk Settings on a 3D Printer?
- How Do I Calibrate My Extruder?
- What Causes Z Wobble?
- Use an Extruder Tool to Keep the Extruder Head Corrected
When it’s at zero, the printer will not move at all. At this point, the printer can’t do anything but wait for the following command.
Understanding your printer’s jerk settings is essential before beginning any print job.
Otherwise, you could ruin your first few prints and also affect the printing speed of the printer. So here are the basics of what you should know about 3D printer jerk settings.
What Is the Jerk Setting? What Does Jerk Do in 3D Printing?
The Jerk Setting (3D Printer Jerk Acceleration/Deceleration)
Jerk Setting is a feature found on many 3D printers that enable users to customize their printer’s acceleration. The jerk value works like the throttle on a car.
A higher number indicates stronger acceleration, and a lower number suggests weaker acceleration. The jerk values range from 0 (zero) to 100 percent.
Zero represents no acceleration or deceleration, and 100 represents full acceleration and deceleration.
Some printers offer a slight adjustment to the acceleration so that there is less deceleration during movement. Others provide no adjustments at all.
Different Jerk and Acceleration Settings Available on Most 3D Printers
- Zero Jerk
In this mode, the printer does nothing until you send it an instruction to start moving. It cannot accelerate or decelerate between movements.
- Slow Jerk
Also known as “Slight Jerk,” this mode allows the printer to move at a minimum speed between movement commands. You may notice the difference in speed with this setting compared to the default.
- Medium Jerk
You probably won’t see much difference between this setting and Slow Jerk other than the fact that the printer moves slower. The average value jerk is the best setting that will enable you to great your desired result.
However, if you’re looking for more precise movement, then go ahead and change the acceleration setting to this printing speed and get high-quality prints.
- Fast Jerk
With Fast Jerk, the printer accelerates slightly between movement instructions. This means that the printing time is faster than usual. You can still slow down the movement if necessary and get decent-quality prints.
- Maximum Jerk
If you have a larger printer, such as those used for large-scale projects, then you might want to consider turning up the maximum value jerk control.
The higher jerk values will allow the printer to move at maximum speed while still stopping quickly when needed and also produce your desired quality.
What Does Jerk Do in Three Dimensional Printers?
The jerk setting is one of the best ways to fine-set acceleration to increase print quality and tune the performance of your 3D printer.
For example, if you’re printing something that requires very high levels of accuracy, then you’ll need to set a low jerk value.
On the other hand, if you’re printing a model that has lots of curves and is supposed to look smooth, then you’ll want to increase the jerk value.
If you’re starting with 3D Printing, then don’t mess around with the jerk setting. Instead, focus on learning the basics of using your 3D printer.
Once you feel comfortable with the operation of your printer, then you can experiment with the settings.
How to Use Jerk Settings
One way to learn about the various jerk settings is to watch videos online. Here are some examples that show you how to change the jerk setting on your 3D printer:
How Do I Know What My 3D Printer’s Jerk Settings Are?
To find out the current jerks’ settings, you must first ensure that your 3D printer is plugged into its power source. Double-click the Universal Serial Bus Controllers icon once you’ve opened the Device Manager.
Scroll through the list until you reach the device that represents your 3D printer. Look for the entry labeled Product Name.
That’s the name of your printer; it’ll appear under the heading “System Devices” in the left pane.
The right pane shows information about the hardware components inside the printer. Double-click the entry for the 3D printing software (the one that reads like “MakerBot”) to open it.
Under the “Printing Software Section,” look for the line that says something like “Jerk Mode.” If the jerk mode is set to Medium, the printer has the same acceleration and deceleration characteristics as the Slow Jerk setting.
If the jerk mode is Fast, the printer uses the Maximum Jerk setting.
3D Printer Jerk Acceleration. Should I Enable Jerk Control?
No. Jerk controls the acceleration/deceleration of the printer during the printing process. This feature is designed to reduce the printer’s chances of jamming from filament accumulation on the bedplate.
However, we recommend that you disable jerk control if you experience other issues with the printer, such as clogged nozzles, slow printing speeds, and unstable prints.
How Do You Adjust the Acceleration and Jerk Settings on a 3D Printer?
You adjust the jerk and acceleration values setting using the Print Panel menu found in the Control Center. When you select the “Print Menu” option from the panel, you’ll get a window similar to the one below. From there, you can choose several options. A brief description follows each choice.
From the top row of buttons, click the button that says “Acceleration/Deceleration”. This opens another dialog box to enter the adjustments you want to make.
For example, you can increase or decrease the acceleration settings, deceleration, or both. Or you can turn off the feature entirely.
From the middle row of buttons, click on the one labeled “Jerk Speed”. This opens another dialog box to let you modify jerk settings.
Note: If you use Makerware Pro 2.0, you need to use the old version of MakerWare Pro, which comes with your printer.
How Do I Calibrate My Extruder?
If you’re having trouble getting consistent results when making prints, you could try calibrating your print head.
The print head needs to be calibrated every time you start a new print job. Calibrating your print head involves moving the nozzle back and forth across the surface of the build plate.
It’s essential to keep the print head perpendicular to the build plate during calibration. The calibration process works best if you have an empty print bed.
The steps for calibrating your print head are as follows:
- Place the print head over the build plate using only the heated bed. Make sure that the print head is level so that the nozzle touches the build plate at all times.
- Attach the XYZ axis movement controller to the Z-axis. Set the X-axis and Y-axis to zero.
- Turn the stepper motor clockwise until the LED indicator lights up. Then turn it counterclockwise until the LED indicator turns off.
- Repeat this cycle three more times.
- Reset the X-axis and Y-axis.
- The print head moves slowly toward the build plate. Ensure you stop when the tip of the nozzle touches the build platform.
- Remove the print head.
- Clean the print head with alcohol wipes.
- Place the print head over the empty hotbed. Start printing.
- Check the print quality. If it’s not good enough, repeat step 9.
- Continue printing some test objects.
- After the test objects are printed, clean the print head again.
- Repeat steps 1 – 12 until your print quality is acceptable.
- Save the file named ‘calibration settings’ in the folder containing the code files created in Step 7.
- Print your object.
- Re-check the print head speed and print quality.
- Repeat Steps 15 and 16 until your print quality meets your expectations.
What Causes Z Wobble?
The rotation of the extruder head causes the Z, Wobble. When the extruder head rotates around its axis, it causes the plastic filament to stretch.
As the printer continues to turn, the stretching becomes greater and greater. Eventually, the filament breaks, and the printer stops printing. Several factors can cause the Z wobble. Some of these include:
Inaccurate Extruder Rotation Angle
If the angle of the extruder head isn’t correct, then there will be gaps between the layers of material created by the printer. These gaps will create a wobbly layer. It’s possible to use an extender tool to help keep the extruder head at the correct angle.
If you don’t use an extender tool or another method to keep the angle correct, you should increase the rotation speed of the extruder head so that the machine will print faster.
Extruder Head Not Level
A level is a unique tool that helps ensure that the extruder head is always perfectly horizontal. If the extruder head isn’t leveled correctly, it may not rotate correctly.
If you’re having trouble leveling the extruder head, it could be because the extruder tip is too low. Try raising the extruder tip so that it sits higher above the bedplate. By doing this, the extruder head should no longer be touching the bedplate.
Z Wobble Control Tips
There are certain things you can do to control Z wobble. For example:
Use an Extruder Tool to Keep the Extruder Head Corrected
You can use an extruder tool to hold the extruder head steady while the printer prints. You can also use the extruder tool to rotate the head back into position when you need to stop the printer from moving forward. To use the extruder tool, follow these steps:
- Stop the printer
- Raise the extruder tool to prevent the head from going down
- Hold the extruder tool firmly against the head
- Rotate the extruder tool 90 degrees clockwise
- Lower the extruder tool
- Turn on the printer
- Continue printing
- Repeat Steps 4 through 6 if necessary
- After printing, raise the extruder tool again to allow the head to go down.
In conclusion, the 3D printer jerk acceleration setting is only for the printer to accelerate or decelerate the motion of the extruder head based on the amount of time required to print a given layer.
The settings only apply to the movement of the extruder head concerning the axis settings. The original settings should only be tampered with in extreme cases. Ensure only professionals (such as certified technicians) change the settings.
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