Latest update

Well since I didn't go to the maker faire I started doing a lot of long awaited fixes and upgrades to my Bumblebee II printer.  I'm putting the E3D V6 hot end back on it, building a regulator board to provide power for the Raspberry PI, and power for the lighting so I won't need separate power adapters.  I'll only have one power cord going forward.  I also am going to do the same thing for the Hippie so it too will only have the single power cord.

I'm toying with the idea of converting the Bumblebee to a Bowden extruder, I've got all the components except I need to print the extruder itself and the Bowden mount.  I think once I get some other things printed that I need to get down that'll be the next thing, then dual extrusion.

I have a prusa I3 kit to build, but it's going to be a group build with the robotics class so they can learn about 3d printers more, and we haven't gotten that scheduled yet.  But I've been going through the kit and looking at the parts and I have to say I'm very impressed for a $320 kit.  The only thing I think I'll be changing is using a RAMPS and a graphic LCD instead of the melzi, but I might try experimenting with the Melzi first to get the auto-bed leveling working.

I am also going to start building my 3DR rostock printer, which I'm very excited about.  That thing is just going to be a blast I think :)

Burlington Mini Maker Faire

Work has been very busy lately, and that combined with the upcoming Maker Faire I haven't had a lot of chances to work on much.  I still need to make some minor fixes to my printers to prepare for Saturday, and I have to make some signs and start printing out the Yoda heads :)

I have ordered another printer, this is actually a kit from Banggood for an acrylic Prusa I3.  I'm going to add a heated bed to it and we'll see how well it performs.

I have also been working on cleaning up my two workshops at my house in preparation for the Laser Cutter build.  I've finally got the last parts I needed (the laser tube, power supply and controller) so I'm ready to start the assembly.  The first step is to hook up all the electronics and make sure that's all working, then I'll be starting on the frame.  I still haven't decided what material to use for the panels, but I might get some panels from Inventables to use.

Then I have my Rostock 3DR to put together, I've had all the parts, but again no place to build it.  I had let my workbench get cluttered and it's just not good to try and put together a printer in a cluttered workspace :)

I also want to put together my 1.75 extruder for filament, and also the chopper so I can do colors more consistently.

3D printing status

Well, haven't done much lately, but I'm finally getting back to working on my printers.

The hippie has been running with a .7 nozzle ever since it got clogged up with some cheap plastic and I drilled it out. But I think it's time to put another .4 back on it. It's nice how fast it prints, but it is nice to be able to print the detailed objects on either printer instead of relying on the bumblebee II. Also I finally had to adjust the settings for the bed leveling, had to adjust it .2 mm as it's apparently shifted ever so slight on the carriage. But other than that it's been working awesome.

The bumblebee II is not up right now, I had gotten the E3D v5 hotend and was experimenting with the quick release carriage, but I really don't like it. I also had the thermistor pop out and had a thermal runaway on the hotend. It doesn't appear to have damaged anything, but I decided to go ahead and upgrade it to the V6 of the E3D, as it has a more secure fastening for the thermistor and is almost the same size as the J-head. I'm also going back to the maker gear x-carriage with a wider opening that fits the E3D better. The rumba board has been working awesome and allowed me to move up to a 24v power supply.

Back again

Well after some changes in the things I've been working on I'm back to posting here.

Quick summary of what's been happening since I finished my Prusa:

1. Tweaked and got it running really good

2. Did some modifications with the Z-axis, and the Y-bed to make it run smoother and heat faster

3. Switched to Borosilicate glass with Window tint on it.  PLA prints directly on the window tint and for ABS I'm running slurry which works really good, sometimes too good.

4. Purchased a Ramps set and a control panel to upgrade the prusa.

5. Built a new Mendel Max machine, first with the default Y-axis, and recently upgraded it to use MakerSlide, more details to follow.

6. Z-axis on the Prusa has died, so it's waiting for the Ramps upgrade now instead of troubleshooting the Sanguinololu.

7. Just upgraded the hot end on the Mendel Max to a new J-Head Mark VB and I'm extremely pleased with it's performance.  I also went ahead and moved back to a .5 nozzle because I really didn't need the .35, and it was tougher to maintain and run.

8. Got most of the parts for a laser cutter, which is going to be my next project.  But I am going to do two things before I work on the laser cutter.  First I need to setup my workspace at my house in my old computer room, the second is I want to get my CJ-5 running again, I really miss it :)

I've started to experiment with some timelapse videos which you can view on my YouTube channel.  I'm enjoying the videos so much I'll be using another webcam that allows an external trigger and hook it up to the arduino and use the M243 command to trigger a capture at each layer change.  That should make for some much more interesting and consistent time lapses.

I also have purchased the components needed for Wildseyed's hot end and may experiment some with that.

Lots of progress

I have gotten quite a bit done this past week.

I used the jig and re-aligned my frame, then started on the z-axis.  I didn't like the clonedel parts so I ended up downloading the Scad file and modifying it so I could make one on my CNC machine.  I'm very pleased with how it came out, and I was able to proceed with assembling the Z-axis.

The next step was to work on my extruder/hot end.  I got the hot-end built, and it's spewing out little threads of plastic, so that went well.  But when I went to mount it to the extruder (this is the one that came with my Hot-End kit that was supposed to be a perfect match) nothing seemed to line up.  Not to mention this also didn't seem to match up to my x-carriage.  So I'll be taking it to the Fablocker tomorrow night and get some advice of what to do next.

So I started on the electronics, and built my opto-end stops.  No issue at all there, they went together very quickly.

I then built my TinyUSB ISP so I could burn the bootloader to my Sanguinololu controller.  That went well, and I didn't have very many issues burning the bootloader.

The firmware is a total other matter.  It seems that there are many different versions of the firmware I wanted to use (Marlin) even though they are labeled with the same revision number.  I tried downloading several of them and couldn't get them to compile, much less load on my Sanguinololu.

Again, this will be something else I'll take up to the Fablocker tomorrow night and hopefully I can get it straightened out.

Rechecking the frame

I went ahead and cut a jig so I can verify the alignment of the frame.  I thought I had gotten it close enough, but the jig shows that it is still off by a little bit.  The better the alignment is now the fewer problems I'll have down the road.  I know this from the Bluumax CNC.  The Bluumax was made to be very adjustable, but the Prusa is not that much different.

I tried to put together my hot end last night, got as far as test fitting the power resistor.  I then pulled out the fire cement, and apparently the bag is not airtight because it had completely set up.  So a quick search on Amazon and some new fire cement is on it's way. 

The new x-carriage is ready, Neil printed it up for me, and now all I have left to get printed is the z-axis stabilizers which Neil is working on.  So by Wednesday I should have everything in terms of parts and ready to start assembling everything again.

I can almost smell the plastic already......

Prusa build continues

Well I've gotten the frame all aligned and tightened.  But after discussing with Neil I am going to cut a template jig with my CNC and go back and double check.

This won't really slow me down due to the issues I've run across with the Clonedel parts I started with on my RepRap.  So far they have been ok in building my Prusa, but when I got to the X axis parts I started to have quite a few concerns.  The first one is the design is very different from the printed parts. The bottoms are very very thin (like 1mm in spots) and they do not have the support around the z-shafts like I would be comfortable with.

So since I'm an official member of the Fablocker Hackerspace (yay me!!) Thursday night Neil gave me one of the x-axis pieces (the motor piece) and we printed out the idler, and he also had two gears for the belts that were much better than the clonedel pieces.  We also worked on installing the toolchain on my laptop, and I got that working fine today.  At least to the point where I can take a SCAD or STL and run it through slic3r and then load it up in Pronterface and it looks good.

Monday I'll be working with Neil to get the configuration setup on my laptop to work with the Prusa at the Hackerspace so then I can print the rest of the pieces I'm going to need myself.  This includes Z-axis stabilizers, z-axis couplers, and the x-carriage that will fit my Arcol hotend.  I might even print new z-axis brackets, better now than when I have everything all put together.

I got my parts for my Sanguinololu board today, and boy am I happy with them.  From the wiki page there is a little link to the project file on Mouser's website that has every single part you need to assemble the Sanguinololu, including alternates for the how you want to run the power.

I was a little concerned in soldering the FTDI chip, but I do have a very nice soldering iron with ESD and digital temperature control so I figured I'd give it a shot.  The first time I tried to test it I didn't get a response, so I went back over the pins and soldered them just a little bit longer (using my magnifier, sheesh those pins are small) and sure enough the second time was a charm.  I then installed the rest of the components, and I now have a ready to go Sanguinololu 1.3a board (well at least it's recognized by my Mac, and the light goes on, firmware and bootloader to come).

I think that tonight I may cut the jig, and then tomorrow I'll be assembling my hot end.  Or I may reverse that :)