posts tagged with the keyword ‘3dprinters’

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!

2017.01.30

3D Print

Back in 2012 I completed the build of a 3D printer, and then I printed a lot of things… The printer wasn’t amazing or great, but it worked, and I printed and printed. Around 2015 the hot end failed, and I got a cheap hot end to replace it, which never worked right, and then other things failed, and I fixed some of them, but the old RepRap still wasn’t quite working right. I ended up getting an E3D hot end and even with that, there were some weird issues with the printer getting up to temperature properly.

I didn’t care too much about getting the old RepRap working again because I had access to printers at work or school (I even worked on building some printers) so I could still print things, but…

Maker Select Plus

I finally got to the point that I wanted a modern, working 3D printer. I solved that problem recently by picking up a Maker Select Plus from Monoprice. What? Monoprice? Yeah, the company I’ve been buying cables from for the past 5+ years sells 3D printers. And they don’t suck. The “Maker Select Plus” is (pretty much) a rebranded Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus, which is based on the Prusa i3 MK2. Confused yet?

If you get emails from Monoprice (which come more frequently than Harbor Freight emails) you’ll get some discount code or coupon or sale alert. Take advantage of those and you can save a bit on a 3D printer. And if you want cheap, look at the MP Select Mini 3D Printer, or wait until April 2017 when (supposedly) they’ll release a Mini Delta printer for $150!

The printer is nice, but not amazing. There’s a number of upgrades suggested, and besides a wiki there’s a Facebook group, Google group, and Thingiverse group filled with users making improvements and troubleshooting when needed. (Just remember that the Wanhao Duplicator i3 and Maker Select are basically the same, with a few small differences.)

Maker Select Plus

I’m excited to have more desk space! I no longer need a computer or monitor, since I can just pop an SD card in and hit “print”, so yeah, that’s a nice improvement. I’ve only printed with PLA so far, but I’ll get around to testing with ABS and see what happens. (It should be fine, but, you know…)

RepRap Prusa i2

Meanwhile the old RepRap lost its place on the desk, and currently sits on the floor awaiting its fate. I’ll do… something with it, I’m sure. 3D printers have come a long way in just five years. (At least in my shop!)

2015.10.30

Jay Silver

I’ve seen a lot of people share this post from Jay Silver titled The Maker Movement is Not About 3D Printers, which bothered me, because the Maker Movement can definitely be about 3D Printers, or Robots, or microcontrollers, or laser cutters. It can also be about sewing, and growing your own food, and building furniture, and hundreds of other things.

Why was this titled “The Maker Movement is Not About 3D Printers” instead of “The Maker Movement Is about Freedom”? Oddly enough, the second level heading is The Maker Movement Is about Freedom.

3D Printers provide freedom. They provide to individuals with a few hundred dollars the ability to design things, and make those things into real-world objects in an afternoon, at home, without having to deal with service bureaus or companies who might put restrictions on what your want to create. You can also order a bunch of parts on the Internet, get them delivered to your house, and build a robot. Was that possible 20 years ago? (At a reasonable cost, anyway?)

Maybe the jab about 3D Printers and robots was just there to create controversy, I don’t know… but it seems weird to single them out. I’ve had my ups and downs with 3D Printers, and yes, they do fail, and sometimes suck, but so do computers, and other tools, and people. Nothing is perfect… and maybe that’s a big part of the Maker Movement, recognizing that the world isn’t perfect, but realizing you can change it.

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