Monthly Archives: June 2013
Update: August 30th 2013
Weve recently spent some time adding to our prototyping lab. Now we have a dedicated computer and server setup specifically for this lab which connects to all of our other work spaces. Here’s a few updated pictures but, we still need to do a little more work to get it just right.
I have a large shop with plenty of space to work but, I found it to be a good idea to setup a space that I can work primarily on prototyping 3D printers and parts. So I went about buying some new stuff as well as setting up a new spot with tools specific to these needs. This area is also temperature controlled so I can adjust temps as needed for printing with different Filiments. Also for the recent heatwave it has made my current projects more comfortable to work on. RepRap Squad also recently ordered several thousand springs, nuts, bolts and other hardware to gear up our shop. Having all these raw materials on hand saves a lot of time when prototyping. We also took some funds and allotted them to buy more tools. Some of these tools are for convenience and some will give us the ability to build and maintain new prototypes related to 3D printing.
RepRap Squad has been expanding exponentially as of the last few months. We have made quite a bit of headway with our 5 axis projects as well as our new hotend that we will be releasing later this year. Hopefully this new prototyping space will do what it was designed to do. Inspire creativity, give us the ability to build those inspirations as well as save time when working on current and future projects.
Shipments of all the hardware we ordered are just beginning to trickle in. We sat down and tried to order parts that we use regularly as well as some we dont commonly use. We are always finding new ways to do things so random parts are important. We just received today 45 bolts ready to be hobbed. I will be testing different hobbing styles so this should give me enouph to test with as well as start producing when I get a final product. Another product we recieved today was 150 springs all in various sizes, types and widths. Tomorrow we should receive a bigger order of just about every size and type of nut, bolt and washer combination they make.
As far as our actual shop goes we just added a 24 inch scroll saw, chop saw and we will soon pickup our drill press. We have a wide range of tools and about 2, 000 sq ft of workspace which comes in handy especially for bigger projects. For the smaller prototyping space I recently got another vice that is mountable on my CNC. The CNC has been down for maintenance and repairs for a while due to the large backlog of projects im working on. Hopefully I will be able to get my CNC up and running soon so I can mill out some parts.
Update: July 4th 2013
Today I started opening up all the packages that have arrived during the last week. I must say it feels great to have so much hardware at my disposal. I will be able to help out countless clubs, schools and students. A lot of this hardware was bought by me and a portion was donated by a hardware shop that had recently closed its doors but wanted to be able to help out the, “Printing A Future Foundation” that I run.
We are very gratefull to have such kind are caring donators. After all the RepRap movement is all about helping your fellow builder. I have set some new goals for the foundation, one of them is to design and build a donation friendly RepRap. By that I mean a reprap that is very simple in its parts as well as simple to learn how to build and maintain. I want to be able to help out as many schools and clubs as I can. In order to do that I need to come up with a rock solid and recyclable printer. One that I can use a lot of wasted recyclable products to build and keep costs down.
The new prototyping space is coming along but organising all this hardware is a little more daunting then I originally thought it would be. Im mostly excited to start new projects as well as finish a few I’ve been waiting on parts for.
Posted from RepRap Squad HQ
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 what I use it for.
I decided to transfer my xbox PSU wiring over to Molex connectors this gives a more reliable connection between the power supply and the ramps board. I received the wood and hardware kit from printrbot which helped to begin the transformation to version 2. Recently I spent time making all the extensions for the 3d printer wiring as I will be mounting my RAMPS board in my printrstand instead of in the stock electronics bay. This will help with cooling as well as keep the board and drivers in a safe location where they wont be bumped around or risk disconnections while printing. At every wiring junction, especially for the motors I took extra care to make sure all wiring connections were made effeciantly. I also added shrink wrap to help insure agianst any disconnections. Disconnecting any motor wiring while ramps has power will result in the corresponding driver to blow.
This included piping everything for the second extruder and thermisisters. I wanted everything to be ready to add the second extruder at any time as I will be upgrading very soon. So far I am very happy with the transformation from the original to V2. As far as the firmware I will load I think Marlin is the way to go. I also took some extra time to label all the wiring. I used photo picture paper to print out labels then I used clear packing tape to cover labels and attach them to each cable. I followed the ramps 1.4 wiring guide to type out all the labels and it has saved a lot of time so far. I also went as far as to create a typed out key of all color coded wiring so future modifications or additions will happen smoothly. Spending the extra time now will save you a lot of headaches later on.
Recently I started working on my dedicated cooling system for the new RAMPS setup. I wanted to run the drivers as cool as possible to help with efficiency and to help them run as long as posdible. My plan is to cut 2 pieces of acrylic. One will make up the base and the other will be set on risers to make up the top. I will mount a fan on the top and more then likely on one side. I also have a standalone air conditioner that I can use to pipe cold air into the Printrstand if needed during hotter extended operation. I haven’t found much online about cooling the driver boards other then a few printable top mounts for fans that dont leave much room for the wiring. I have designed my top mount to be much higher than the typical ones to give more access to the wiring. Below I found a picture some what similar to my design.
Update: July 14th 2013
I decided while a have my Printrbot plus torn apart for the upgrade I might as well upgrade even more parts. So tomorrow I will be ordering new ACME rods, anti-backlash nuts, GT2 belts, aluminum pullys and LCD. I will start with the parts needed the most at the moment and see if I have time and money left for the less important things such as the LCD. ACME rods and anti-backlash nuts should give me quite a noticeable difference in print quality. That coupled with GT2 belts and aluminum pullys will put my print quality towards the top of what is possible with my current platform. I have already replaced all 5 of my stepper motors with Kysan’s, which in my opinion are one of the best. The run fast, cooler and a lot smoother then the majority of other motors I’ve used in the past.
I also recieved my 1.75mm ubis hotend which will be the 2nd extruder on my Printrbot plus for my dual bowden extruder setup. At a later point I may try 2 of Printrbot direct drive extruders that will be cut out using my CNC machine. During all of this upgrade I will be also building a Printrbot simple that was cut out on my CNC as well. I will try to update as I go.
Posted from RepRap Squad HQ
I recently recieved a broken 37″ LCD TV and I used to repair them so it be non working was not an issue. I had more of an issue with where to put it as well as comming up with a functional use. So I decided why not make it into a coffee table. Its about the perfect size and Ive always wanted a coffie table. You may say, “well what does this have to do with repraps or Printrbot?” My answer would be, ” Im hooking ip a computer as well.” I have several spare computers that are just sitting and melting away so to speak. Since there are really no DIYs out there and I definatly dont want to spend any money. I will have to be creative and come up with my own.
I took one look at my old desk and decided that it would have to do the part. So far I have taken out every nut and bolt to get ready to make some cuts. I would have to cut the legs in half to get it down to coffee table height which was no issue. The main problem was the fact that the legs on my desk are in to far and would get it the way. So I will have to figure out new mounts as well. I will update this soon with photos and maybe a DIY on the matter.
I will be putting a black plastic strip around the outer edge that will keep everything at the same thickness.
Update: July 26th 2013
I was finally able to find a piece of acrylic large enouph to put over the top of the coffee table. The only bad part about using acrylic is the fact that it scratches easily. I need to experiment with different clear coating for protection. I started sanding and cutting down the acrylic to fit the size and curves of the table. I sanded the edges of the acrylic to make it round. That way all the edges are smooth and soft to the touch. Acrylic takes a long time to sand smooth as well as clear the edges. You can use a flame after sanding to make the edges a clear color. Since the whole creation of this table was straight out of the depths of my mind I have to do some experimenting to figure out how to get everything exactly how I envision it. I’ll add some pictures once I get done with this step.
Posted from RepRap Squad HQ
Update: October 29th 2013
Brook from Printrbot just hinted to the fact that the new GO will have all the goodies that the new Plus V2.1 has. It sounds like the new go will be essentially a portable Printrbot Plus. As of today they are working on the folding mechanism. Still no word on price, options or design but I will update as I here of progress. Also on a side note, we would be dumbfounded if the new Go didn’t come with a dual extruder option.
Update: August 20th 2013
The Printrbot GO V2 has been confirmed but, as of now only as a limited release. No shipping date has been confirmed. Check back for updates as they come out.
Recently the Printrbot GO was taken off of the Printrbot webstore. Brook, the owner of Printrbot made another owner of the GO aware of the re-working and upgrade of the GO. It is a great platform that diserves to evolve along with the rest of the Printrbot line up. The GO is an often forgot about big brother of the Printrbot team. It looks like the GO might possible get a triple extruder setup that is currently being built. The UBIS hotend was built with the triple extruder in mind.
Printrbot Plus V2
– Extended Z-axis to 16″ from base to top
– Custom Bowden extruder (soon dual bowden) I was lucky enouph to have a good friend that I could reach out to in order to get this sweet replacement extruder. You can check out his blog here, which I highly reccomend as it is a good read. He is operating a Printrbot GO and is turning out some rather good prints.
– Upgraded to Kysan nema 17 Z-axis motors. All other motors are custom black to match whole setup.
– Custom built Printrstand with 180mm Antec cooling fan for electronics bay. 2-80mm inlet/outlet fans for power supply cooling and electronics cooling. Add on selectable LED lighting, 2×12″ tubes. Printrstand also has 2 x 12v auxilary plugs on rear, fused A/C inlet line and emergancy power shut off switch. Whole printer including Printrstand have black tube wiring organizers with mounts to protect all wiring. The Printrstand also has matching handles on each side which makes for easy transportation. The Printrbot locks down to the printrstand for transportation as well as during operation. On the back it also has a fully adjustable spool mount that will accomidate any spool.
– LED info lighting on bowden extruder. They turn blue when hotend and heatbed are on and red LED turns on when they are at predeturmind temp.
– Makerbot 3x end stop mechanical switches with LED light as well as 3x standard mechanical end stop switches for full control and safety.
– Arduino Uno to run LED status lights as well as temp warning sensors that if two or more sensors rise above settings it will text operator with warning and begin shutdown sequence for anti fire warning.
– IP camera. This lets me view my prints from anywhere via my Android tablet or cell phone.
– Extra Temp displays. Lets me see the temperature of the heated bed and hotend on an LCD display that will be mounted on the top Z axis stiffiner next to the bowden extruder. Another reason for this addition is to read temps more accuratly as pronterface has been known to be off up to + or – degrees. I average out the two readings. The temp display also has 2 warning alarms that are tied into my arduino UNO R3. When temps go above a pre set temp it sounds an alarm and send me a text message via phone warning me of a potential fire.
– RAMPS 1.4 setup with 5xA4988 drivers for dual extruder operation, Arduino Mega, stand alone cooling system, driver heatsinks, full wiring system (10×2 pin, 10×3 pin, 10×4 pin)
Recent Upgrade: Printrboard with extrudaboard for dual extruder beta.
– 12 volt 8 amp heatbed .
– Custom built all metal hotend with a two fan extruder system. This hotend can withstand very high temps for printing with almost all available filiments including nylon.
Recent Upgrade: Dual 1.75mm ubis hotends with 2 large Kysan direct drive extruders.
– Upgraded ACME rods for Z axis, anti backlash system with springs x 2 and precision smooth rods for (X=8mm,) (Y=8mm) and (Z axis’s = 12mm.) Lm8uu bearings x 8 and LME12uu upgraded x 4 as well as an extra set of PLA linear bearings x 12. New brass nuts for smooth linear motion.
– Z axis aluminum rod stiffiner and dual bowden mount with PTFE tubing from spool to extruder and then from extruder to hotend.
– Reinforced Y axis bed sub structure with aluminum angle rod as well as main bed reinforcment with boxed channel aluminum. These two modifiactios will limit bed adjustments before printing as well as help to keep bed and sub structure even and flat.
– High temp glass mounted on top of heatbed with a laminate foam core between the heated bed and glass. High temp glass also has blue painters tape that is cross thatched.
– All bearings throughout 3D printer have been upgraded to the best Italian ABEC 5 bearing I could find. (X axis idler, Y axis idlers, extruder and idlers x 2 and both Z axis threaded top mounts.)
Update: September 2nd 2013
I’ve made a lot of changes to my Printrbot plus v2 in the last month or so and I’ve also ordered some new parts including:
● GT2 aluminum 20T pullys and 6mm belts
● Linear GT2 gear idlers on x and y axis’ s
● Spider couplers
● MK2 8×8 heatbed
● Swappable lexan bed for printing PLA as well as 2 glass beds in 2 different sizes so I always have a clean bed ready
● Printrbots dual direct drive extruders, soon to be triple
● I will be widening the bed soon with Printrbots v2.3 kit
● M8 rods with brass nuts
● 3- 1.75MM Ubis hotends
● Heatsinks on both extruder fets as well as both extruder motors
● Custom built cool blue task lights
● 350 watt power supply with 2 seperate 12v lines
● Floating mount for printrboard and extrudaboard with multi-fan adjustable cooling
● 2 PTFE tubes to feed direct drive extruder from spool mount
● Custom built mountable and handheld LCD interface
● Tool and extinguisher mount for easy access
● Custom acrylic wiring management mounts
● Dual 40mm fans for ubis hotends
Posted from RepRap Squad HQ
I don’t know.
That’s the correct answer if you don’t have any hard facts. But! That hasn’t stopped me from speculating.See, MakerBot, the 3D printing start-up first to achieve success and fame, is reported to have been in the midst of meetings to secure $300 million in venture capital when the topic of acquisition was brought up, according to The Wall Street Journal – at which point, the VC meetings were put on hold. And, since this rumor was released by the journal, it’s hard not to wonder who put the offer to purchase the firm on the table. According to WSJ, MakerBot earned $10 million in revenue last year and projects a revenue of $50 million or more this year. With numbers like that, who wouldn’t want a piece of the action? So, let’s get this rumour mill kicking!Who could it be?Well, there’s Amazon, for one, whose CEO Jeff Bezos has already raised $10 million for MakerBot in its last round of investment seeking.
The behemoth could definitely benefit from a method of product delivery that has customers receiving their orders in an hour instead of a day, as Steve Symington from The Motley Fool explained in a post back in February, 2013. This could be why Bezos admitted no fear of additive manufacturing. There’s also Autodesk, who recently partnered with the firm in a deal to release bundles of 123D software memberships with discounted Replicators. The CAD company might do well for itself to own some hardware to go with their software.
And, then, there are the obvious, large 3D printing contenders like Stratasys, 3D Systems, and ExOne. Symington suggested a few reasons for why 3D Systems might be interested in the firm. 3D Systems, with its own home printing option, the Cube, could pursue MakerBot to weed out the competition and add the Replicator to their desktop line. Could Stratasys or ExOne move into the home printing market? ExOne CEO, David Burns, was adamant that the company’s major focus was industrial printing in an interview with 3DPI, and this one does seem unlikely. But Stratasys, on the other hand, had its short-lived fling with HP from 2010 to 2012, to create a line of home 3D printers carrying the HP label, when the relationship was curtailed suddenly.
They have also hinted recently that their long term strategy does include looking at the consumer market. Perhaps the older 3D printer giant has an interest in courting the young belle of the ball, hoping for a fruitful, if not controversial, intergenerational marriage. Plus, the synergy in the 3D printing processes could see added value incorporated into the Makerbot brand!?For a range of opinions from MakerBot users themselves, turn to the MakerBot Operators Google Group. One user speculates the possibility of 3D Systems acquiring the firm: “3D Systems just issued $250 million in new shares a few weeks ago, which is counter to what most of the market is doing so that’s probably a pretty good guess.
I hope that whoever it is keeps Thingiverse intact.”Another user responds that he’d abandon MakerBot completely if bought by DDD:3DSystems are the enemy. Not just an enemy of MakerBot but an enemy of innovation. They have invented nothing but a way to make money and a draconian filament control system. They don’t invent. They buy or steal and add it to their collective.Stratasys invented the fused filament process we all use and even today are innovating new ways to rapid prototype. I would much rather see them buy MakerBot and start offering home 3D printers than 3D Systems who already have a home 3D printer line and who would only be buying MakerBot to dismantle the competition.This is a hard line I’m drawing here and in light of the possibility of this sell out I’m not happy to make it.
The WSJ article makes the prediction that Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot, won’t be selling any time soon. With the company moving its operation to a larger venue, 50,000 square feet, in the Sunset Park district of Brooklyn and expanding its team by 50+ members, it would be difficult to imagine MakerBot just giving that all up so quickly.I, for one, agree with this last estimation, believing, naively, that the days of acquisitions and monopolies are coming to an end. Sure, we’ll see old folks from the last generation hanging onto dead business models, but Bre is a Maker, grown up from the DIY community. Doesn’t he know the old systems of exchange are dying? If he is true to his roots, I am predicting more partnerships and friendly competition, instead of mergers and hostile takeovers.
As when gossiping about neighbors and mailmen, though, we must keep in mind the words of one MakerBot rep who told reporters at CNET: “We can’t, shouldn’t, and won’t comment on rumors and speculation.”
UPDATE: My sources say that Makerbot just teamed up with Stratasys as of June 20th 2013. So the rumers are true.
I recently found some Printrbot V2 mods that happen to be for the LC Plus model but you should have no problems with the standard V2 LC model as these parts will work for both. One of the issues I noticed when I was putting together my V2 Plus was the Z axis nut notch. It didnt hold the nut well and left it to rotate partially. I found a solution to that issue. All of these mods can be found at Thingiverse.
The spring in between the Z axis guide nuts also helps eliminate backlash and is something that has worked well for me in the past as well as currently.
The wings on this setup ride within the nut trap and work very effeciantly.
Another issue I noticed with the new V2 was the X axis smooth rod mounts. The stock mount didnt work well to make the rods parallel. It also did not hold the rods very efficiantly and allowed them to slip a bit when the X axis belt was being tightend. Another fix I found by the same designer was to print a replacement that solved both of these issues very well. Another neat part about printing these x axis mounts is the fact that you can print them in any color you want. This gives your bot a little bit of much needed color.
Here’s a very well executed x axis rod mount that I found on Printrbot Talks forum’s. I will definitely be adding these to my Printrbot plus V2 but, instead of regular LEDs I will add a green, red and orange LEDs to use as status lights.
The little clear PLA face plate is a diffuser for a blue power on LED I’m going to place in each one. If you don’t want an LED, you can add color to the design by printing the plate a different non transparent color, or if you’re a monochrome person,. Print both parts the same color. They press fit into the fixture.
If you do go with the LED idea, print the diffuser 1 wall in all directions with honeycomb and the honey comb will show through with the light. The actual X Rod Blocks should be 2 walls in all directions ~30% infill.
Here’s what AlexC wrote on the post:
Ive printed about 6 things since installing them on Wednesday, and so far I am blown away with the print quality I am looking at from the last 2-3 mods I have done,. My corners are crisper, my edges are all beautifully even, walls are smooth, small fill areas are no longer bulging or puckering, and small hole edges are darn near perfect, bridging has even gotten a little better. Things are looking so good I even started to inch my speed settings upwards! =)[/quote]
Here you can see the x axis covers installed as well as the Z axis retainers.
I had a lot of problems with the nuts on my bed leveler system working there way out during operation. I found a way to solve that issue by printing out a set of leveler knobs that not only keep it in place but allow for easy and quick adjustments before operation.
A mod that helped to keep filiment going into the extruder was a guidler that is designed to fit on the stock Printrbot extruder. There is also a printable spring holder for the extruder that makes for easy adjustments. The combination of the two make for simple extruder adjustments and a more reliable extruder operation.
A printable z axis adjustment knob is a good idea if you dont like using a screw driver for simple adjustments. It has a knob to make for quick adjustments. It is however not as accurate as using a set of calipers for vertical clearance. You can use a perminate marker to put a line for referance.
A mod that i have personally built is a Z axis stabilizer. I also needed a location to mount my bowden setup that will eventually be a dual bowden setup. I used 2 L shaped strips of aluminum that i bolted together. These use pressure to firmly mount to the Z axis smooth rods and work very well for stabilization as well as bowden mounts. This location also puts the least amount of bowden tube pull or push on the extruder.
Adding regitity to the pb plus bed and sub mount
I have heard about issues with the wood bed warping and after recieving my pb plus I noticed it as well. So one of the 1st things I did was to get the bed and sub structure mount for the bed as flat as possible. Then I mounted one “L” channeled piece of aluminum on each side from the front to the back. I drilled holes about every 3 inches to make sure it would keep everything as level as possible. I also chose to use fairly heavy duty nuts and bolts.
On the main bed piece I used half boxed stamped metal which added a large amount of regidity. It is low enouph profile to only take up a small amount of my Z axis print height and high enouph to add some serious strength. I fastend it with the same kind of bolts and mount distance. I had to notch out the 4 corners of this mount to accomidate for the bed leveler mounts and springs, which turned out to be easy with a bench mounted grinder.
These modifications will make it a lot easier to keep the bed even and level. Which should lesson the amount of re-leveling needed before prints. Being aluminum the added weight is minimal at best and should not effect bed movement. I also took the time since I had the bed off to put on aluminum belt guides with ABEC 5 bearings that act as a tensioner on the Y axis. These will help keep the belt from wondering as well as keep the belt tight for better print quality. The tensioner system can be easily adjusted in any position within 360 degrees. Ive found that this is a lot smoother movement even over using the stock PB idlers with fenders. Eventually i will add lower fenders on the idlers as well as the tensioners to keep the belt from going too low, which hasnt been an issue so far.
Recently there has been a photo leaked on Twitter showing a rather interesting Printrbot Pro. It would be merely speculation to say wether or not it will go into full production later this year. It looks rugged using extruded aluminum for the main structure. It also offers a handle and might possible be able to fold up for more portability, (similar to the Foldarap.) It still uses some LC parts as do the the production models currently available. We can all hope and dream that this product will eventually come to market at an affordable price. It would make since that Printrbot would fill out there line up with a pro version that could offer top of the line belts, aluminum GT2 pullys and maybe one of their recently released 1.75mm direct drive extruders. I must say that personally this would be a good move especially if it could be had as several different kits at an affordable price.
The anticipated Printrbot Simple Beta has had a few changes as of today. This new picture was posted on Printrbots Twitter account today showing off a direct drive bowden setup which will be their first. They are running a 1.75mm hotend with a laser cut wood extruder. Another add on they changed was the addition of a Acme rod for the Z axis which has never been done before by PB. The Simple looks like it will have a 100mm squared print volume in the final version along with the add ons I’ve mentioned. Another change over the Beta release is a lot stronger base and a few movements of parts to reduce wobble and any drooping problems that they have had with beta release.
It sounds like Printrbot may offer for an additional fee some upgrade packages. As it is the Printrbot Simple steps into the boxing ring at a very affordable price that can only be had by a company buying a lot of parts in bulk. Otherwise they would be lucky to break even at the low price of the PB Simple. Check back for more updates as they come out on the Printrbot Simple.
Recently on the forums we were trying to solve an issue of the new Z-axis aluminum blocks fitting on the V1 version. After a review of the files side by side it became obvious that the aluminum Z blocks didn’t have correct mounting holes. This typically could be solved by drilling out holes to mount. The issue with that is the mounting holes on the V1 base are in the way of some of these holes.
A solution that I came up with is to buy the same thickness and type of wood used on the original. That way you could use the original base pieces as a template. Then modify those designs to fit the V2 aluminum block mounts. Some of the pieces that holes the side pieces to the top will have to be relocated. You can used the design files of the V2 to make these adaptions as well as determine block mounting locations. All you have to do is print out the v2 base design in full scale and lay it out on top of the new cut out design. I refer to this version of the design as Printrbot 1.5. It would be interesting to see how this all plays out. I will update this post as solutions are implemented.