Load Models Faster with Binary STL Files

If you are using Autodesk 123D Design to create your models, it will generate your STL files in ASCII STL format. XYZware is slow to load large ASCII STL files. Slicing an ASCII STL file can take a very long time too.

13 xyzware stall
XYZware black screen of death when loading large STL files

Fortunately, there is a solution. Saving your STL files in a Binary format will result in improved load and slicing times.

Converting your ASCII STL files to Binary is very simple. This simple guide shows you how.

Ninjaflex Filament Guides – Results

Two different filament guides for Ninjaflex have been trialed with differing success.

One made from heatshrink was promising initially but has failed to be robust. The second, using a 3D printed component from Thingiverse has increased print time but is difficult to install.

Red heatshrink being used as a filament guide
Red heatshrink being used as a filament guide

Details of the results can be followed here.

Printing PLA with Da Vinci

A quick update. Following on from the ongoing progress with using Ninjaflex (TPE) with a Da Vinci printer, I’ve managed to successfully print some generic clear PLA filament.

PLA on the left. ABS on the right.

An advantage of PLA compared to ABS is PLA is available in transparent colours. The smell of heated PLA is not as strong as ABS. However, the mechanical strength of the material is lower than ABS.

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Ninjaflex Progress Update

Some degree of success has been achieved with printing Ninjaflex with a Da Vinci 1.0 printer. Today, three test prints were made; one is of marginal quality but it was the first. The second for the day, turned out very well and the final print was OK. Each of the prints had differing infill settings so there is still some refining to do.

Successful Ninjaflex prints
Left to right: 1st “successful” print – 22mins. 2nd with very good surface finish – 9mins. 3rd with degraded surface finish – 34mins.

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Using Ninjaflex with your Da Vinci

Can flexible filaments such as Ninjaflex or TPE be used with a stock Da Vinci 3D printer? Probably.

Preliminary testing and multiple trials indicate that it is possible to use a stock Da Vinci extruder with minimal modifications to print this unique material. Additionally, it may be possible to use a stock firmware (1.1.J) and XYZware to make objects printed from Ninjaflex.

Successful progress and encountered pitfalls are being documented as this journey unfolds.