Is it advisable not to run a print job at home overnight?
 

Is it advisable not to run a print job at home overnight?  

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peter.c20
(@peter-c20)
Reputable Member

Hi, I am using i3 Mk3. Is it a bit dangerous to keep the print job running while asleep? I am going to bed in two hours and my print job will take 11 hours. I launched the print job via PursaSlicer and Octoprint. Is it better to pause the job before going to bed and resume it on the next day? Will the print quality be affected if I do that?

Posted : 28/08/2020 1:39 am
jsw
 jsw
(@jsw)
Prominent Member

I have not used Octoprint, and I may or may not.  No real reason to do so - yet that is.  😉

However, I've run countless overnight jobs and never had any issues.  I have a very reliable 'mental alarm' that I set for the approximate end time, and I'll often times wake up to inspect the finished print and start another one.

I'll also let some prints run, occasionally, when I go out to run an errand or something.

For any unattended print, I always am VERY careful that the print starts properly and the first layer is down good and solid.  Since overnight and unattended prints tend to be longer ones, they also tend to be larger ones, with good footprints, so the chance of the print breaking away and turning into either the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Blob Of Doom is relatively low.

I think the longest print I had was 30 hours, the main body of a service station model building, and that took the majority of two waking-hour days plus overnight.  Before I went to bed it was very obvious that unless something way out of the ordinary happened, it would simply continue to lay down layer upon layer.  Since the print was high in the Z direction, and the X-Y travel was significant as well, if something malfunctioned, the worst would most likely be a Spaghetti Monster.

Before I got my own printer, at the local 'makerspace' we were always admonished to NEVER leave a print job unattended.  I know someone who was read the riot act for taking a restroom break without getting someone else to watch it.  (As an aside, the staff does just that, checking every so often, but it is verboten for us rank and file members.)  I agree that's a good practice, but in the real world, it's really impractical to always watch the thing.

I would say that if you are confident that a print is progressing properly, that the filament is supplying smoothly and will not run out, it's probably of very low risk to take a nap or crash for the night.

Posted : 28/08/2020 2:15 am
peter.c20 liked
peter.c20
(@peter-c20)
Reputable Member

Great suggestion. Thanks.

Posted : 28/08/2020 3:04 am
peter.m26
(@peter-m26)
Honorable Member

All prints take a long time, it is impossible to do without leaving the printer running alone.

That's why safety features of the prusa are important.

Check if all safety features are working wen you start the print through PursaSlicer and Octoprint, if you use the sd-card they are working.

Posted : 28/08/2020 3:40 am
peter.c20 liked
Neophyl
(@neophyl)
Noble Member

I regularly do overnight prints.  Probably do more than during the day.  As JSW states, if you make sure the first layer is down then things should proceed normally.  Its a question of confidence in your printer and slicing.  When I first got my printer I wasnt confident so I didnt leave it it alone.

I think my longest was around 58 hours on my cr10.  A helmet printed in one piece, needed a 2.5kg spool for that as I didn't fancy changing the filament at night.

Do have some really basic precautions in place though.

Make sure you have at minimum a smoke alarm in your print room.  If something electrical catches fire while you are asleep you really really need that alarm.
Have a fire extinguisher available OUTSIDE your printer room.  It doesn't help you if you cant get to it because its in the room that is on fire lol.

I don't leave it printing when I am not at home.  Alarms and extinguishers don't help when you aren't there.

Posted : 28/08/2020 7:54 am
peter.c20 liked
peter.c20
(@peter-c20)
Reputable Member
Posted by: @peter-m26

All prints take a long time, it is impossible to do without leaving the printer running alone.

That's why safety features of the prusa are important.

Check if all safety features are working wen you start the print through PursaSlicer and Octoprint, if you use the sd-card they are working.

Thanks. What safety features of the prusa are available? How do I check?

Posted : 28/08/2020 2:35 pm
peter.c20
(@peter-c20)
Reputable Member
Posted by: @neophyl

I regularly do overnight prints.  Probably do more than during the day.  As JSW states, if you make sure the first layer is down then things should proceed normally.  Its a question of confidence in your printer and slicing.  When I first got my printer I wasnt confident so I didnt leave it it alone.

I think my longest was around 58 hours on my cr10.  A helmet printed in one piece, needed a 2.5kg spool for that as I didn't fancy changing the filament at night.

Do have some really basic precautions in place though.

Make sure you have at minimum a smoke alarm in your print room.  If something electrical catches fire while you are asleep you really really need that alarm.
Have a fire extinguisher available OUTSIDE your printer room.  It doesn't help you if you cant get to it because its in the room that is on fire lol.

I don't leave it printing when I am not at home.  Alarms and extinguishers don't help when you aren't there.

Thanks. I put the printer inside a toilet and closed the door. There is no fire alarm in the enclosure nor inside the toilet. However, there is one right outside of it. When I am awake, I monitor the status via Octoprint and a browser. Obviously I cannot do any monitoring while asleep. In this case, is it better to put one inside an enclosure?

Posted : 28/08/2020 2:39 pm
bobstro
(@bobstro)
Illustrious Member

There are smart outlets wired in to fire alarms that might be worth considering. They won't suppress a fire, but will at least cut power early on. Definitely a fire extinguisher and video monitoring. Watching for a good 1st layer is definitely recommended. I do like the idea of a fire-resistant enclosure, but don't have one planned at this point.

The Prusa printers are both built to a high standard and have thermal runaway protections enabled in firmware. In the last 18 months, there have been a spate of both low-cost printers released with basic thermal runaway protections disabled in firmware (really bad idea) and occasional substitution of power connectors resulting in melting. I'd say the Prusa printers are at a much lower risk than most of the low-cost brands. For example, my Artillery Sidewinder shipped with AC bed cabling that is very prone to bending and flexing and will almost surely fail badly for someone. I spent a lot of time remediating that issue, but still don't trust it completely.

With these protections, I'm comfortable sleeping during a print. I'm still hesitant to leave a big print running if leaving the house with pets inside. I read about people starting 2-3 day prints before leaving on vacation and just can't imagine doing that. 

It's a bit of the same consideration as leaving the house with something cooking in the oven. Think about your own tolerance for risk and plan accordingly. Don't forget insurance implications. Big difference if you're in your own home, or if you're a guest or tenant in someone else's place.

This post was modified 2 months ago by bobstro
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Posted : 28/08/2020 4:04 pm
nikolai.r
(@nikolai-r)
Noble Member

Personally I wouldn't recommend print over night and I'm trying to avoid this because of the noise and safety. But sometimes you just can't avoid this.

My precautions are fire/smoke detector near the printer and fire extinguisher close by, ready to be grabbed and used.

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Posted : 28/08/2020 5:38 pm
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