posts tagged with the keyword ‘3dprinters’

2019.03.14

40x40-extrusion

I managed to get the 40mm extrusion I need for the RepRap frame at Milwaukee Makerspace. Mark is our 3D Printing Area Champion and he’s managed to collect a bunch of pieces from a scrap dealer, pretty much at scrap prices!

reprap-v12

I tweaked my render a bit expanding the frame slightly, and adding in the rods and rod supports. Speaking of the rod supports…

sk12-render

I could not find an acceptable file for the SK12 rod supports. I found one on GrabCAD (which I’ve never used before) but even there I found the file formats very disappointing. I managed to convert something to an STL and I didn’t like it so I used it get dimensions and then remodeled it.

Yes, I could just buy some SK12 rod supports (eBay has some for cheap) but the last time I used cheap rod supports they were not great, so I figured I’d print them for now, and I can always replace them later. (And yes, the nice thing about having access to a good/working printer when you are building a printer is that you can print the parts you need.)

sk12

I printed one on the Prusa i3 at work with low infill to test the fit, and it was perfect on the second attempt. (My 3mm screw and nut hole were just a bit off on the first try.) Oh, the mounting holes are sized for 5/16″ carriage bolts, which fit right into the slot of the 40mm extrusion. That’s another trick I picked up from Mark. (5/16″ is just about 8mm as well.)

sk12-rods

After the second test I was satisfied, and printed the rest on my Monoprice Maker Select Plus at home. It’s also nice to have a variety of 3mm hardware I can use this time around. The first RepRap I built was a kit and came with everything I needed. (Well, in theory.) This time I’m figuring out a lot as I go, but I have a lot of the things I need already.

These linear rods are 12mm diameter and plenty long, so they’ll need to be cut down a bit. I pulled them from a large laminator I pulled apart a few years ago. As I’ve previously mentioned, I’m going to be using lots of parts I’ve been collecting over the years, so hopefully I can keep new purchases to a minimum, at least to get up and running with this printer.

(Note: SK12 Rod Support is available on YouMagine and Thingiverse.)

2019.03.03

reprap-prusa-i2

I built my first RepRap back in 2012, and it worked for a few years, and things broke, and I usually fixed them, but when I got my Maker Select Plus I sort of pushed the old RepRap off into a corner. I eventually loaned it to someone at Milwaukee Makerspace, who promptly broke it, and then I repaired it (again) and got it working, a bit…

To be honest, the machine is quite a mess, but I’ve decided to stop being sentimental about it. It’s existed for a while now as a “This is how we used to build printers!” example, but I decided that the time has come to take drastic measures, and it’s all coming apart.

Over the years I’ve managed to scrounge up some nice components for a new build. Some 450mm lead screws from an unnamed medical facility, some 12mm x 720mm smooth rods from an old laminator, etc. Couple that with the donor parts from the old RepRap and I’ve got most of what I need to build a new machine.

RepRap v07

The one thing I don’t have is extrusion for the frame, but Mark (of SoM and UMMD fame) does. He’s got a pile of 40mm Aluminum extrusion which I might acquire to start on this new RepRap journey. (If I do not acquire it, I may end up going with 20mm extrusion. Not ideal, but possibly more affordable.)

I won’t go to the lengths that Mark has in building his heavy-duty industrial-style printers, but I’m headed in that direction just a bit. I’ve looked at the Wilson TS, other T-slot designs, and any other printer using Aluminum extrusion, and I’ve got a rough design figured out. I may try to used machined parts rather than printed parts where I can (meaning where it’s practical and affordable.)

I’ll probably stick with a 200mm x 200mm heated bed for now (since I’ve got two of them) but since I have the long lead screws already, I’ll be shooting for a 200mm x 200mm x 400mm build volume. Quite a bit more Z than the 180mm of my Maker Select Plus.

While I want this to be an economical build, mostly by using components I already have, I’m not trying to build a super-cheap 3D printer. I considered buying a second printer, but the pile of parts and a mostly functional donor machine convinced me to go the route of designing and building my own. Plus, this means I’ll have a printer to experiment on while still having another that actually works! (In theory, anyway.)

2018.03.12

diii-cooler-0906

It’s been a while so it’s time for another RepRap Report! So what’s changed since last time? So much… I’ll try to hit it all.

I got rid of the BuildTak and moved to a PEI Sheet. I upgraded to the Micro Swiss All Metal Hotend which made printing ABS reliable once again.

I repaired fans, I replaced fans. And then I did it again. Once I got ABS printing up to speed I printed a DiiiCooler, which I finally installed, and still haven’t used (since I’m printing ABS at the moment.) And yeah, I’m waiting for some new extruder fans to arrive after last night’s hurried soldering session to repair another bad fan.

printer-enclosure-0904

If all of this seems silly, well, in a way it is, and it isn’t. When you buy a thing (be it a 3D printer or a car) you can go cheap knowing that things might break or need upgrades, or you can pay a lot more for quality out of the gate, with the hope that things don’t go wrong or are of a higher quality. I knew that getting the Monoprice Maker Select Plus meant compromising so I could afford a printer (which was replacing my old RepRap Prusa i2 kit from 2011) and I was fine with that. There are many routes you can go with a printer. I’m going the “cheap” route right now, I’ve got friends who work for the “expensive but reliable route” companies, and then there’s the custom build route. They’re all legit choices.

enclosure-lights-0905

Oh, I don’t think I ever mentioned my enclosure. It’s built from foamcore board and covered with the packing foam that the printer came in. The front window is a piece of Polycarb I got from Amazon. It works. It’s not pretty. That’s okay. Besides keeping the heat in, it keeps the cats out. Also important. I also added a set of 12 volt LED lights with an on/off/dimmer switch.

led-dimmer-0913

If I had to build an enclosure again (and I might need to soon) I’d probably go with foamcore again, but take some effort to make it look good this time.

filament-rod-0916

I still feed the filament from a metal rod hanging above my printer in the basement. It works fine. It’s not portable, and that’s probably okay. The drybox I was working on failed, and I haven’t had the energy to revisit that project. That’s okay for now.

Besides all that, I’ve been printing thing just. Nothing too exciting, but that may change soon. Happy Extruding!

2017.09.29

reprap-3dprinter

This time in the RepRap Report we’re going to talk about the functional 3D printer, and not the old RepRap Prusa which I don’t know the status of since someone else has it right now…

I upgraded to a CNC Machined Lever and Extruder Plate back in June after having some issues printing ABS. I also replaced the 2m PTFE tube inside the hot-end, and now (thanks to eBay) have enough to last for years.) Other things I’ve done is add a PEI print surface attached to a piece of glass, and I had to replace a fan I broke while trying to attach it while it was spinning (which is a bad idea.)

Besides all that, it’s just been cranking out prints of various types for work, fun, and whatever else I create. Nine months into it, I’m still pretty happy with the Maker Select Plus for basic 3D printing using PLA.

2017.04.23

RepRap

Calling this RepRap Report #4 is probably not even close to a proper title, but I’m going to use it anyway to cover the latest changes to my old MakerGear RepRap Prusa Mendel, which is a Prusa Mendel (iteration 2) I started building in 2011 and finally finished in 2012. It worked well for a few years, and around 2015 I seemed to have a lot of issues making it work reliably.

I eventually got a cheap clone E3D hotend so I could switch over to 1.75mm filament, and it didn’t work well so I eventually got a real E3D hotend and then it seemed as though I just could not print ABS. It never seemed to be able to maintain a proper temperature. I gave up on it when I got a Maker Select Plus and put the RepRap to the side…

I figured that since there was a problem getting up to heat for ABS, maybe I could try PLA, since it uses a lower temperature than ABS. I grabbed a file I recently printed on the Maker Select Plus and gave it a go.

RepRap

In the photo above you’ll see the MSP print on the left, and the RepRap print on the right. The print on the right is a bit smaller in diameter, and it’s not round… it’s oblong. We’ve also lost the hole in the center, but that’s pretty much always been the case. The MSP print is probably at 0.15 or 0.2 layer height, and the RepRap print is probably 0.3 or 0.35 layer height.

RepRap

The bottom also looks pretty bad on the RepRap print. Those round holes are looking pretty oblong and a bit uneven overall.

reprapre-02

And here’s where we really see an issue. The MSP print is 9mm tall, while the RepRap print is just over 6mm tall. We’ve lost nearly 3mm in the z axis. Not great! I figured I should try a second print to see what I’d get…

RepRap

I got this… Wow. It’s, uh… terrible. Now, I did not use a cooling fan while printing this. I always printed ABS with the RepRap, so I didn’t even have a cooling fan installed. I may try some tests with ABS again, or I’ll add a cooling fan if I try PLA again.

I’m not convinced the RepRap will ever be a good printer. I mean, five years ago, it was decent, and I made a lot of things with it, and they were good enough. I’ve thought about upgrading it into a Prusa i3 since I could reuse most of the parts, and would just need a new frame, which I could probably just laser cut. That might be a good option, but I’m also half convinced that if I take the whole thing apart I’ll never get around to putting it back together!

« Older Entries |


buy the button:

Buy The Button