Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Shattered Plastruder, hello Epoxy

It's been an interesting few week. Finally got my Makergear heater barrel together (LOVE IT!), and the Makergear thermistor/ring terminal hack together. I managed to rebuild my barrel 4 times in 1 night, without killing any thermistors or nichrome, this is a record for me.

After coating my PLA in oil I found that it did help with extrusion, it seems to make the PLA soft enough to allow the Plastruder to hold it better. It was extruding PERFECTLY. I even got so cocky as to start giving Makerblock advice on the Makerbot Google group. Everything was going great till I started messing with the temp trying to make it work that "little bit" better. As Makerblock likes to point out, Polly is not a very nice lady.

I have broken retainer rings before, but nothing like what happened next. Every single sheet of Acylic in my Plastruder cracked, some of the sheets shattered. The retianer ring of course shattered also. I was consigned to go another few weeks without printing.

Well I went ahead and ordered all the replacement parts for my Plastruder from Makergear (wish someone would sell the acrylic pieces for the Paxtruder... Ohh well.). Plan o getting a heated build plate from them when they come available again.

I am done with PLA untill my Mendel comes online. I just can't afford to keep replacing parts. I like Rick at Makergear, but I really don't want to have him name is 1st yacht after me.

Started printing a Prinstruder, and have hit the Mendel Printing full blast. I have been printing for 14 hours straight, hope to get another 20 in before I go to work this weekend.

Google RepRap feed is almost up to 70 feeds now :) woho!


  1. haha after breaking 2 insulator retainers, 2 idler wheels, and a cracked retainer plate and destroyed a ptfe barrel, I also gave up on PLA for now. I ordered a heated platform from makergear and begun making a printstruder. So I'm glad I'm not the only one!

  2. So far, PLA is fine for me on my MakerBot. I'm running it at ABS temperatures, so that may be why I'm so successful. I do this for two reasons:

    1.) File compatibility so I can switch back to ABS if I need to.

    2.) When PLA is heated in the barrel, it has to go from solid to liquid, and phase changes take a TON of energy. So, instead of melting at the nozzle, it's melting a bit further up the barrel, preventing jams.

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