More Bumblebee stuff

At dinner tonight I got to thinking about the best way to power the Raspberry Pi and it came to me.  A very simple, effective, and inexpensive solution.

Instead of using a 7805 regulator I am using a BEC that normally I use in my RC airplanes.  The one I have right now is rated at 5 amps at either 5 or 6v.  Sure enough when I wired it up to the Pi everything started up just fine and I'm running some test prints just to be sure, but I think it's going to work out great.

It even has a low voltage alert in case for any reason it stops getting the clean 5v, and it has filtering and smooth regulated power for the Pi.  Best part is they only cost about $6 and install in a flash.

So all I have left is to cleanly mount it and the wiring, then make a board for the lights and add switches to them both so I can turn the lights off and on, and install my emergency stop switch that will kill all power to the motors and the Rambo board in case of a  mechanical issue.

Bumblebee II is running again

I finally got both my printers running again, the Hippie was pretty easy, it just needed a new hotend as the thermistor on the current one (which is over a year old) broke.

The Bumblebee II I was switching back to the E3D V6 hotend, and I was finally able to get it to print reliably and consistently.  I think the whole issue was related to my extruder, up until a few months ago I had been using a Maker Gear geared extruder and it had tons of torque so adjusting it wasn't that critical.  I switched to a Bulldog XL after the planetary gear was worn out in the Maker Gear extruder, and I had been struggling with getting consistent prints.  Half way through the print the filament would stop feeding, or it would strip it out.  I did some experiments with temperature and filament tension on the Bulldog and finally got the right settings.  I have to run the E3D a little hotter probably because of the active cooling, but the prints have been coming out great finally.

I started working on the onboard power system for the lighting and the Raspberry Pi and the lighting sections are working fine, but the Pi doesn't seem to be working correctly.  I need to pull out a monitor and keyboard and test it tonight, I'm not sure if it's not delivering enough current, but I also ordered 1.5a 7812 and 7805 chips from Mouser just so they won't run as hot.

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 :)

My next printer

I've decided to build a 3DR which is a deltabot designed by RichRap. The nice thing about it is that it only requires some bearings, almost everything else is either printed or off the shelf bolts. I'm going to make some red filament to print the parts for it, and I'm really looking forward to having a small portable FAST printer.

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.