Link to the users Manual: Users Manual
First look through the manual if you have no idea what you are doing.
- Start by powering the printer on and homing it.
- Next preheat the bed to 60 degrees and nozzle to 190 for 15 minutes.
If it doesn't get close to 60/190 and stay there or fails to home for what ever reason I'd recommend exchanging it. I know this is HackaDay and all but you could have a lemon and you did cough up at least $200.00 for this thing it should work out of the box.
Check all the screws for being loose, this is common with cheap equipment like this.
Most of these are assembled by people being payed by the part not hourly. They rush to complete the machine and as long as it passes some level of QA out the door it goes. I found the right rod support set screws on my table's set screws were stripped on both the front and back. I tried to get a replacement but Monoprice is exchange only, I'll just re-tap it with a M4.
If your machine doesn't sit flat.
- Place the printer on a known flat surface.
- Loosen all the screws on the left and right plates by a single turn.
- If the machine still doesn't sit flat then loosen the screw on the bottom plate by a single turn.
- It should sit flat then, re-tighten them mirrored on each side. So Left front then Right front
If the printer won't sit flat either your printer is really tweaked or something else is wrong missing feet? If the printer rocks while it prints, it will effect the pint quality of machine.
Time to level the bed
- Right after homing the printer, turn it off and move the head and table into the four corners.
- Adjust the bed so that a piece of paper slides between the nozzle tip with just a little bit of friction.
You will tighten the hex keys in the four corners of the bed to increase the gap and loosen them to decrease the gap. If your still unsure look for a video on YouTube about how to level an i3 it's basically the same procedure.
- Next pre-heat the nozzle, and insert the material through the extruder on the tower. and load the PLA through the tube and into the nozzle. You can look at the manual for guidance.
- Next you will want to print a test print, from the SD card. Insert it into the right side of the printer
- Select baby.gcode, It is a pretty challenging print and if it comes out nice, then your good to go.
This is where I hit my first snag. the extruder started skipping around 50% of the way through the print. I had to crank up the temperature from 195 to 210 to finish the print. It's got some defects but if finished. Thus begins my upgrades to make this thing print consistently and with good quality.