Friday, July 23, 2010

A week like no other.

The gremlin which has resided within my Makerbot for the last 7 months left my printer and started eating other random pieces of tech in my office. My camera stopped working, (I think he had help from my 3 year old). Then a few days later when i tried to do an updated HeeksCAD tutorial I found my microphone was busted. But the good think is now my Makerbot is working PEFECTLY. When I say perfectly:

-Makergear Heated Build plate heats up in 5 minutes flat to 115 and stays within 5 degrees no mater what I do. The other thing is it gets hot enough to not need sanded Kapton, which makes the parts look like glass, sweet!
-TeamUSA has created a mod of RepG17 to allow you to use the raftless script in RepG, this is the best way to print raftless. It slows down the feed rate on the 1st level, allowing you not to pull the printed parts off before the Kapton bonds well to them. It can be found here
-Filament has not stripped once since I installed the Makergear idler wheel and Makerbot Mk5 worm gear.
-I have not had to touch my plastic once since I installed my Printable Horizontal Filament spool. It just works. :) Here is a little tour of what it looks like and how to put it together.

-After installing the filament spool I found that the filament tube was coming close to my 2nd Thermistor that is plugged into my extruder board. I got concerned with it was putting stress on the plug and board so I went ahead and moved the extruder board, temp sensor board, and Makergear High output control board onto the side of my machine. While I was at it I went ahead and installed plugs on all my wires, so next time my extruder fails I will not have to mess with anything electric besides 3 plugs. Here's how I rewired it.

-I finished these Mods on Friday of the week before last, and worked all weekend. On Monday morning I got back to messing with my Makerbot, and something amazing happened. My Makerbot never broke. I managed to get though all of a Mini Mendel in less than 19 hours straight through. I then started printing Mendel. I got all the way though to the last 3 plates on Friday. So I managed to basically print a Mini Mendel, and a Mendel in the same week! Eventually I decided to move from the Aluminum plate that Makergear includes with their HBP to a Stainless steel one, allowing me to pop parts off the builds like MakiYoshida's build plate, I do want to know how he keeps from smaking his clips into the Z stage. Also I wanted to be able to swap the build plate faster so I altered my start.txt and end.txt to allow for a modified production G-code (cool side note, now that RepG has profiles you can have multiple start and stop.txt, which is all sorts of awesome)

Now when a print ends the end.txt runs "G1 X0 Y0 z100 f1000" moving my extruder out of the way of my swap. It also leaves the Build plate & nozzle hot. I then just unclip my plate, replace it with another steel plate (the plate gets up to temp in about 2 minutes), use the control panel to drop 50Z manually (while confirming my temps), recenter, Zero, and build from SD. Start text is still basically the standard HBP start.txt. Here is a video of me doing the swap. Ohh a little hint, put an X on your Build plate (under the kapton) at the true XYZ zero of you Makerbot. Remember we don't have access usually to all 100mm in the Y axis,

I did my 1st International sell last week to a Gentleman in the Netherlands. Shipping was $45 dollars, and after we shipped it he had to pay some sort of fee to reiceive it. I will not be shipping international again. That was horrible.

Another mistake I made was trying to order Gearmotors directly from Kysan. I figured "heck, They sell the makerbot gearmotor for $8, and Makerbot sells them for $20, I need to cut out the middle man". Well the middle man cut me :). Kysan allows you to place the order without shipping, so I though the shipping was free. About 12 hours later I get a very nice email asking me to send $55 more dollars for shipping on my $100 dollar order.... >:( I had already transfered the 1st chunk of money, and I have had issues in the past with Paypal on refunds so I just sent them the money.

To make it make since to order from Kysan instead of Makerbot, you would have to order 5 flippin motors. Ugg, that was not smart.

Lesson learned, the gear motors are expensive at Makerbot for a reason, Kysan is cheap to buy from, and expensive to receive from :) I do have 3 gear motors and 3 NEMA 17 steppers in the mail, so that brings me to 7 NEMA 17 motors 3 NEMA 14 motors, & 3 gear motors, and 1 extra set of Makerbot Electronics.

I received a sample pack of the new buy3dink supper cheap ABS from a gentleman named Mark. The sample I received looks much better than the stuff I have seen in prior photos, this looks very similar to the Village Plastic I am used too. I will check the diameters and roundness this week, and test it in one of my RepRaps once I get it working (hopefully this week).

I have started documenting my build of a Mini Mendel, which will be humorous because some parts are having to be Dremeled into submission to get them to work (my nema 14 was too big to fit, Dremel fixed that. I hope to actualy get it working, and then peddle the design over to something more practical to build. I will be documenting my alterations over at the RepRap Wiki "Breeder" page I made.

I am in lust with this machine.

whosawhatsis over at thingiverse has managed to sqeeze a 8x8inch build plate on a slightly expanded Mini Mendel without drastically changning the Mini's parts. That's impressive enough, but the yellow kapton with black ABS, and Silver zinc rod makes this printer look NASTY :).

He didn't post the picture till I included his part in my abridged Mini Mendel Build set on Thingiverse, and he really didn't document all that much, but he is gathering all the stuff he has posted on his website and there is a good conversation going on over there.

I will shut up now :) Hope some of this helps!

1 comment:

  1. The build plate is changing because when I tried to level it, I discovered that the low-end aluminum sheet I bought was not flat, and because I found a better way of building a heated platform. Still 8"x8", but I plan to etch a long, winding trace onto a piece of copper-clad FR4, which will again be covered with the same orangy-yellow polyimide.

    I'm also trying to get in touch with Erik DeBruijn for advice about offsetting the x-axis pullies to avoid rubbing the belt against the carriage. The pics of his have just enough detail that they appear to be offset, but I can't tell how. If all else fails, I have more of the sheet metal I used to make the bowden cable retaining plates.