Monthly Archives: May 2013

New Heater Cartridges

Companies have finally got the clue that these heater cartridges need a bend in them. So they came out with this. This is a smart idea which should have been implemented in the first version. This will make wiring easier as well as keep everything out of the way and organized. They just started selling them online and on eBay the prices very from 5 to 20 dollars depending on voltage, wattage and supplier. I personally will be snagging one soon and if your already running one of these on your reprap.  Let us know the good and the bad on these new cartridges.

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Hodge Podge Bolt Hobbing Mechanism

I decided that I wanted to experiment with different hobbed bolts with some kind of repeatability. So I dug in my scrap heap and came up with this. To make it I used scap plywood, metal tube, corner braces, nuts, bolts, plexi scraps, gears from a printer, blinds clips, dremel, a hinge and some l brackets. The gears are used so I can accurately determine rotation. The hinge work to cut accurately and I also fixed a washer and bolt under the dremel mount so I can adjust for depth. I have yet to try it out yet as I will get time later on to do so.I thought I would post it on here and maybe give some people some ideas for future scrap builds. I’ll update once ive made some hobbed bolts. Im currently messing with different cutting ends and techniques to determine what kind of hobbed bolt etc I want to make.

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figured I would add how the groove is made before you cut the teeth. It can be made several ways. The way that ive found most convenient for me is to put the bolt or all thread rod in a chuck of a drill. I use to bearings to keep it in position much like you would do if you are tapping the bolt. I have one person hold the drill while I hold a file in the location ive determined to hobb. One person will give power to the drill so that it spins away from you and the file. Make sure you hold the file tightly in one location so it doesn’t skip around. Continue to file to desired depth. Note: I use a round file that is about 3-4mm in width and it has worked well for me in the past. It comes down to personal preferences. Also I highly recommend practicing because without practice more thqn likely you will mess up your first few times. After you have done this then you will be ready to cut the grooves using a dremel, tap, lathe or other tool of preference.

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Printrbot Plus Goes Bowden

Ive tinkered with bowden setups in the past but, ive never tried one on the new V2 pb plus. I have my spool mounted to my Printrstand and I would like to setup my bowden configuration with that. I know that some people say they have had issues with retraction and oozing. My goal is to limit or eliminate these issues with a few modifications ive been toying with. The bowden extruder I am starting with is a modified version of Richraps extruder design. It has been adapted for my PTFE tubing which is a little different size than your typical bowden tubing. I will also be using 3mm PLA to start with and eventually moving to the less difficult 1.75mm filiment.

I was lucky enouph to have a friend print me a new extruder mount as well as the modified bowden extruder. My Printrbot has been down due to upgrade complications. http://ei8htohms.tinyparts.netei8htohms has made some interesting improvements on the Printrbot GO. I would definitely spend some time looking through his blog. He has sent me some early pics of this extruder and it looks great. I cant wait to get them and start working on this bowden setup on the new Printrbot plus v2.

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These are the extruder mounts for the bowden setup.

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Here is the basic styling of the extruder

I know have some stuff to show you as I have started to get the bowden setup started.
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Above pictured: Here is the extruder bowden mount for the
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You can see the matching black springs

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Theres nothing like a matching black stepper motor to keep the theme going

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Ive recently been messing around with mounting locations for the bowden extruder. Putting it in different positions so I cqn measure the amount of stress put on the actual extruder mount. I also have to take into consideration that this will eventually be a dual extruder setup. So my mounts should preferably be A symmetrical. The mount seems to be happiest near this location in the picture. I will not however be mounting it in the exact pictured location but, somewhere close by.
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This position seems to put the least amount of stress or pull on the carriage. It is also convenient for the pull from the spool which will be fed through a lubricated bowden tube.
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Ive done some more work on the bowden setup to get everything the way I want it. Today I added a red LED light to the bowden extruder as well as got most of the wiring in order. The red LED is to let the user know that the hotend is at or coming up to temp. This is a much welcomed addition as it lets other people know that it is hot without having to guess.
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The blue LEDs come on when bed and extruder are at full requested temp.
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Here you can see the final mount for the extruder. Eventually it will be changed to adopt a dual extruder mount.
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I also decided to add some more recent pics of the build as well as the Printrstand.
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The nice addition of the z axis stiffener made the z axis smooth rods completely unable to move in any way. It has made quite an improvement as well as letting me mount the bowden extruder in tye best possible position. This position puts the least amount of pull on the extruder carriage. This is important for a smooth transition of positions during operation. All in all im happy with the modifications to date. There will inevitably be at least a few more modifications. Some of those mods will include a printed cover for the x axis rod mounts that can be found on thingiverse. Also I will be making some sort of change to the z axis nut carriers which can be found on thingiverse as well. Im not sure if I will make my own solution to this part or use the one on TV. Some other changes that will be made include: Acme rods, nuts, GT2 belts, aluminum pullys, eventually an enclosure and a custom extruder to help eliminate drip from the bowden setup.

I know that the bowden design isn’t perfected yet. That is one reason im building an all metal hotend of my own design that has been resting in the RepRap Squad archives since the bowden concept was conceived. It has been taken out for update many times and is ready to be made into a functional piece. This design looks somewhat similar to the E3D all metal design on the outside but has some very different concepts applied internally. It has a very sharp melt zone and can be ran with or without the use of a fan unlike most all metal hotends. Mine will be ran with a custom made muffin fan that is double as deep compared to most fans being used currently in the market. I will eventually open source the design once I have made the prototype to RepRap Squad standards.

Almost there…A Printrbot Story

Well I finally got a new tablet and im also getting towards the end of the printrbot original to PB Plus V2 transformation. The upgrade has gone very smoothly so far as im about 80% finished with the upgrade. I still have a few issues to work out and im taking my time to not only build it correctly but, take the time to do the little things like cable management.  Underneath most of the printrbots ive seen look like a rats nest of wires. I wanted a better future for my bot so this extra time will be worth it. Another thing I need to work out is the setup for the xbox power supply. I want it to be setup as cleanly as possible so I desoldered the female end of the plug from an xbox motherboard. The only problem is mounting the female connection on the electronics bay as it was never designed for  this. More then likely I will have to use a dremel to cut out a slot in the back of the electronics bay. 

I also want to eventually build a LC case with additional cooling that matches my printrbot. I will most likely be using AndCAD to design tyis enclosure. The reason I prefer AndCAD is simple, its user friendly and runs on the Android platform. I would recommend AndCAD to any new user. There is also a demo version available and it primarily uses DXF import and export files. It is however a 2D program and works well for this use.

I will be updating info on this build as I go.

Here are the part numbers and 2d sketches of the Printrbot Plus V2:
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Printrbot Plus V2 Designs

I have recently been made aware by Brook Drumm the owner and creator of Printrbot that he will be releasing the V2 pb files for non-commercial use soon. This is awesome and it definitely saves me some time. Keep up the good work Brook.

Once I get my Printrbot Plus V2, which should be here today. I will due the long task of scanning each piece into my tablet so I can take measurements for replacing pieces in the future. Since no one yet has done this, I will be putting the designs up on my site. That way if you want to make your own V2 parts or replace broken pieces, you can. It will take some time to scan each piece in the LC set and even more time to measure every piece in my CAD program. They more then likely will be finalized in DXF and PDF format. I also will more then likely dedicate a page to it for easy reference. On that page I will also post mods done to the V2. I’ve found that quite a few people either own or would like to own the V2 version as it comes with most of the upgrades required for great printing results using the Printrbot.

I will also be posting information on the transformation from PB original to PB plus V2. So far the only major changes besides the laser cut parts are some 12mm rods and bearings. Part of the information will be dedicated to the best rod choice for lm8uu and lme12uu bearings as they are used for this upgrade. I can tell just by looking at the pictures as well as visiting the forums that the new version of the printrbot is well thought out. You can buy the laser cut parts needed for the upgrade for $75.00. This deal is only available till the end of May 2013, after that it seems that the PB store will be taking this package off line. This is even more of reason for me to scan each part and put them online.  I will be updating as soon as I get parts in and start with the long process of the scan as well as the upgrade.

Below: This is a few pictures showing the 1st upgrade I will be doing. The reason for this upgrade is due to the birch eventually warping from constant heating and cooling cycles. More then likely I will be replacing the birch used on the bed with dibond or acrylic as well.

Below: Here is a picture of the extruder I am building for the new V2 version.

Work Log Status List

Current Projects: Status

* Wades extruder LC build: I’m making both regular LC and bowden versions. So far I have adjusted designs and made 1st versions. I will make another one to finalize designs and then it will be off to testing.

* Printrbot LC extruder build: I have also made the first version. It is now going to the final build made out of acrylic.

* Printrbot upgrade: I have ordered all parts needed so far to change my Printrbot original over to a Printrbot + LC V2. Parts should arrive within the next week and then I will start the task of changing over to the new V2 Printrbot +.
Update—> We are about 90% finished with the change over to the new Printrbot.
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* Extruder issues: I recently had my extruder broken and the 2 LC models I’m making still have to many kinks to work out before a functional model is done. I need to figure out what to do with this task but, I have some time due to PB upgrades.

Update: New extruder being finished.
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* Printing a Future Foundation: I’m still excepting donations but, classes have been paused with exception for tech support due to upgrades.

* 5- Axis Reprap: Still under construction. As per my huge backlog of projects most of the work on the 5-Axis reprap is being done in Arizona and updates are being sent to me periodically.

* Printrbot Home: This is still in the design phase. I am making a modified version that will fit the new Printrbot LC+ V2. The previous version would only fit the LC at best with a few clearance issues. The new version I am building will also offer additional support for travel and printing stability.

* New aluminum hot end: After a few years of part time design I will finally be creating my aluminum hotend. I will be heading to Washington in the next few weeks to build this new hotend. I will be building it in a full machine shop using primarily a lathe for its construction.

* Elsa i9: Work is still being done on the Elsa i9. You can check the post to see the status of this project.

* There are several other projects that will be updated as they are announced*

Printing A Future Foundation:

We are now officially starting a foundation called, Printing A Future Foundation: Its a foundation based on the idea that it is important for kids through teens in schools and other locations to have the tools they need for future industry. Classes and clubs will have access to these printers, such as: Science classes, shop rooms, rocket clubs and many many more. We are not going to stop there, we want to get as many people that would like access to a printer the opportunity to do so. With peoples donations classrooms and people all over will be given access to their own machines. This will give them the chance to learn about engineering, rapid prototyping, design, manufacturing, and a limitless amount of other categories. With these tools the builders of tomorrow will have the ability to be on the cutting edge of technology.

Current Status:
We have currently taken a short break from donating printers as we are in the midst of research and development on behind building a printer that can be built using the things found around you. We want this printer to not only look good but have great prints as well. The goal is to be able to build a better printer for even cheaper than ever without making print quality suffer. If you have any parts, filament, or not so pretty vitamins. Please get a hold of us so we can continue development on this project which will make every penny count when it comes to donations. The completion of this project means we will be able to help more people.

Here’s my story:

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So a while ago I started donating parts and time teaching classes to schools around Oregon/Washington area. I started collecting donations of spare parts including but not limited to: Filament, bearings, rods, hot-ends, etc. I received a few donations of parts from the reprap community for these builds. In the beginning I mostly spent my own money funding this project. Some of the donated parts are used to build full or partial repraps that are directly given to schools and other groups or organizations. While others are used to build fully functional repraps that are used to print a part kit that are later donated, depending on the needs of the recipient.

I go around to different schools and conduct a class teaching the ins and outs of 3D printing. Kids are our future so i think it is important to give them the tools they need in order to flourish in this industry. Depending on need and interest I sometimes conduct more classes and I am always help out with their future needs. After a few of these classes I decide on what their donation needs are; whether it be kits or fully built bots. The classes that receive these donations in turn print off more parts to donate to a group of their choosing. This has turned out to be a great program and is currently starting to flourish.

I recently received a cash donation thanks to Jim D. at a local Tire Store. Its people like him that are insuring that this program will continue for years to come. This is my current project and I wanted to share this with you. If you would like to donate anything-rods, scrap filament or any other reprap related items it would be great. This is a story to inspire you to help out with your local community and charity’s alike. Thanks to the people that helped out anyway they could as well as all the help you all have given me with questions I have had with these builds as well as your support during this project. Feel free to contact me about donations you may have. Every little bit helps. Happy building !!

Taking the plunge! PB+ V2

So today I decided to take the plunge and order the laser cut parts required to change my PB original to the PB + laser cut version. I’ve debated buying the laser cut parts in the past but never pulled the trigger. The reason I decided to buy them now is the fact that they are offering the LC and LC+ V2 parts and vitamins for $75 until the may 2013. This only left me a few weeks to decide and I felt that if I didn’t order soon they would probably sell out before the end of the month.

The V2 version is a lot better design than the first in many different ways; it offers aluminum blocks for the z-axis mounts, (not included in $75 kit but can be purchased or made separately.) I will be making my own to save some cash. I already have the majority of parts needed to finish the PB+ LC. Things like electronics, bearings, belts, motors, rods and a few other parts. This should be a relativity easy transformation. Another part I will be upgrading is the z-axis rods which are 12mm. Luckily I had 2 spare 14″ (12) mm rods that will fit perfectly. I have also designed a custom bed frame that I will be using instead of the stock V2 version.

I’m sure over time I will be making improvements to this V2 kit much like I would with any other build. I must say I’m rather excited to check out the parts as they should arrive in about a week. I will update with build pics, custom mods and other info related to this Printrbot + V2 build.

Printrbot original to Printrbot plus V2 transformation:

I recieved my kit to transform my printrbot from kickstarter to the new Printrbot V2. I decided to use a 203 watt xbox 360 power supply instead of an atx power supply because they offer better power protection and their size is more convenient. I am currently having precision rods cut on a lathe and then polished. I originally planned on taking a female connector off of an xbox motherboard. Later I decided to just adapt it over to standard 4 way molex connectors that the pb electronics bay is setup for. This will make connections to the pb setup clean and convenient. I also decided to purchase black zip ties, cable mounts and flexable cable covers. These help to organize and help sheild interferences with other wiring. Im sure eventually I will be doing some modifications to this Printrbot but, as of now I only plan on doing small mods here and there in which I will document here.

Another easy modification I have done is use the larger nuts that are a little under a half inch long. I also used to of these on both sides with a spring in between to help eliminate any unwanted backlash. This mod has served me well in the passed and I swear by its use. All ypu have to do is put a spring between 2 nuts and screw the nuts so the spring is putting tension on the opposing nuts. This keeps the nuts in place and pushes them away from another which keeps backlash to a minimum.
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Below pictured: I also decided to add a deeper muffin fan that will allow me a wider range of cfms to adjust.
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Here’s the printer stand I am building:

I wanted to make something to put my printer on when it was at home.so I came up with this cool little stand to put my power supply in. It has an acrylic top and a hinged door on the back t8 access my power supply if needed. I am also adding a 180mm fan that will blow on the electronics from underneath the printrbot. It will also have 3 80mm fans for psu cooling and inlets to feed the monster 180mm fan. It will work on the same basis as a laptop cooler. I will be posting pictures as soon as I get home. These pics are early on in the build as I have bought all the needed components but I need to install them. I also need topaint everything up. Im also setting eeverything up so it has quick disconnect wiring for portability.
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Here are some updated pics of the PrintrStand. Im not done yet but im getting close:
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Here are some updated pics: May 26th 2013

I decided to make a fused female mount to power my xbox power supply. Since I have two of these I figured I would semi permanently mount one on the Printrstand and the other one will be used for mobile applications. However I have mounted handles on the Printrstand so it is easy to move both the printer and the stand in unison. One of the next things I will be doing to the printrbot is making a mechanism so I can lock down the printrbot to the stand for transport. As of now the feet on my printrbot slide into a rail system that restricts it from moving side to side.
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