Monthly Archives: October 2013

Kits are coming back to printrbot!

Check out @printrbot’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/printrbot/status/393196005929140226

• I just got word from Brook at printrbot that they will be selling kits again. This means you will be able to assemble your own bot once again. I was also told that the plus will be getting some upgrades at no additional charge. The Plus 2.1 will now include : LCD panel, heated bed, wider platform, acme rods, GT2 belts and aluminum pulleys. Printrbot is definitely doing it right and you get all of this and more for the same price as the V2’s.

You can click on the link above to see the actual tweet. I was also fold that this is just the start of lots of cool things coming soon to the printrbot store.

Posted from RepRap Squad HQ

Heatsinks & Fans to Keep Your Motor’s Happy

I have always been a fan of doing whatever I can to keep my stepper motors running as cool as possible. This will not only make them last longer but will make them run more efficiently. We recently had these heatsinks milled out of a block of aluminum to our specific specifications. They fit perfectly and offer a fan mount on one side to keep them as cool as possible. Early test results look very good.

You can run them with or without fans but it is recommended to run with fans. We recommend this because these fans are very very cheap and keep the motors even cooler than running with just the heatsink alone. After further testing I will be having more milled out to put on every Kysan motor on my Printrbot Plus as well as the XL. Once we get them all tested out I will post results on temperatures before and after as well as with and without the fan.

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You can see what they look like with a fan mounted. The motor would be mounted on the opposite side.

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Here's the prototype mounted on the x axis of my plus

Update: October 22nd 2013

Lately we have been testing out quite a few different setups for keeping your motor nice and cool. Below you can see another one of our prototypes, this one uses a fan with a built in bypass switch. That way if you need to mess around with it, you can cut the power to the fan. Eventually this version will have an adjustment so you can turn the fan from high to low, or anywhere in between.

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Update: October 31st 2013
I found these thermoelectric coolers that I’m going to attempt to use to cool my motors. Here’s the stats from sparkfun. I would definitely need another psu to run 5 or more of these and fans or heatsinks to disapate heat generated on the back side.

Thermoelectric Cooler – 40x40mm
COM-10080 

 Thermoelectric coolers (TEC or Peltier) create a temperature differential on each side. One side gets hot and the other side gets cool. Therefore, they can be used to either warm something up or cool something down, depending on which side you use. You can also take advantage of a temperature differential to generate electricity. The thermal tape listed below works very well to attach heat sinks to the hot side.

This Peltier works very well as long as you remove the heat from the hot side. After turning on the device, the hot side will heat quickly, the cold side will cool quickly. If you do not remove the heat from the hot side (with a heat sink or other device), the Peltier will quickly reach stasis and do nothing. We recommend using an old computer CPU heatsink or other block of metal to pull heat from the hot side. We were able to use a computer power supply and CPU heatsink to make the cold side so uncomfortable we could not hold our finger to it.

Features:

40 x 40 x 3.6mm127 thermocouplesMax Operating Temp: 180°CMin Operating Temp: -50°C

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Posted from RepRap Squad HQ

Automatic Bed Leveling, Fact or Fiction?

Update: January 19th 2014
Today printrbot released videos and information on their own auto leveling setup. It looks very promising but, as pb said it still needs work. One of the main obstacles is making a setup that can be adopted onto the majority or all of the Printrbot’s that have been built. Another issue is pin availability on the Printrboard. I think that this can be solved using a magnet to deploy and retract the z probe. I like the idea of running two homing switches in parallel as the stock probe serves as a fail safe against the head crashing into the bed. Since the homing switches are wired NC, this is very easy to do.

I plan on testing out a few different setups to try and solve the issue of deployment and retract of the z probe. More than likely I will use a different switch as I believe that the setup wide be more effective using a momentary switch much like the ones used as homing switches on the Enventorbot build. I will update this post as I go with more details on the z probe setup.

The post below here is the original post primarily documenting matterhackers approach at auto-leveling
I’ve recently decided that I wanted to figure out a method for automatic bed leveling and running across some tweets about it was all I needed to get started. There seems to be several different methods for automatic bed leveling. Some of those include an automatic lever that drops down and is put away via firmware commands as well as a manual version where the user is required to drop the endstop. Matter Hackers has come up with software that aids in auto leveling but,  this is done a little bit differently than others via software. Matter Hackers setup works best with a z axis homing switch on the top but, they have recently done it on a Printrbot Simple which has its switch on the bottom.

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I have yet to test out matter hackers version but I will be very soon. First I wanted to see what I can come up with. I searched around my prototyping space to see what scrap parts I have laying around. I managed to find a few pieces of aluminum and angle brackets that I used to fashion an endstop holder. As of right now it is a manual version you have to flip it up or down for calibration. Once I get the manual version figured out I will be making an automatic folding version. Currently this is gorilla prototyping at its best. I had a few ideas when trying to figure out what would work the best.

One of those ideas was to use a laser like the ones found in laser rangefinders to determine distance with the combination of a camera. The laser beam would be spread to skim across the print surface which would show which parts are and are not level. That would be seen by the camera or cameras and adjusted through software. There has to be an easier way and that’s why we are currently looking into similar setups as matter hackers. It’s a lot more feesable.

The restraint needed when designing an auto-leveling is fair. We could solve this problem with a complicated setup that would require people to modify, buy special parts and reset up their printers. I think a better solution is found in a setup that can easily added on to repraps everywhere for a minimal amount of time, money and parts.

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Hopefully by tonight or tomorrow early I will have my newly upgraded Printrbot Plus fully calibrated and ready to test out matter hackers software development. I will definitely update as I go so others can eventually say goodbye to the bed leveling headache.

Posted from RepRap Squad HQ

Making: The Simple XL

We never really thought far enough ahead when building the Simple XL, to think that others would want to transform their Simple into an XL version. After getting quite a few emails asking how we did it,  I decided to start to put together some information on how it was done. Typically for things like this I would finish the entire post before putting it out there on the web but, I have had an many people want whatever information we have to offer on the XL. So this will be a work in progress.

Parts required for the transformation from Simple to XL:

• 8mm rods – Depending on the overall size you want to end up with will deturmine the length. (We were able to re-use some rods from the stock Simple.)

• 5/16ths threaded rod or ACME rod – Either one will work but, you will need at least 14″ of it. (Consider some of that will be used up by how it’s mounted)

• All the wood pieces for the XL – We used 5.2mm solid birch wood. You could potentially use almost any material between 5-6mm thick. These can be scaled up from the stock Simple files to a size of your liking. (Remember some pieces will have to be adapted to fit correctly.)

• Some Acrylic or Lexan – This is not a requirement but, Lexan works great as a print surface for PLA and is used to mount the Printrboard to.

• Spectra line – We were able to re-use the Spectra line from our original Simple. We are also working on a version that will use GT2 belts and pulleys. (Depending on how you cut the line for your original deturmines if you will need to get more or not.)

• Misc Cable Wrap – We used several different kinds on the Simple XL but, ultimately it is up to you on what kind of cable wrap is used.

• Fan For Extruder & Prints – This also comes down to preference. We used one to cool the extruder gears and filament before it enters the hotend as well as another for cooling prints.

• Large Zip Ties – We used standard 8″ ones and also considered using metal strap zip ties but, we eventually deturmined that metal ones would be overkill and were not required.

• Misc Nuts & Bolts – Some of the ones from the stock Simple we were able to re-use but, a large portion of new ones are needed for primarily the main structure.

• Washers – We used several different sizes and assortment packs of washers are easy to find. (In many locations on the printer washers are not required but, we used them on the main structure as we found that they help to distribute the load more evenly.)

• Wiring – More wiring will more than likely be needed especially if you decide to run your wiring along the bridge as we did. (Running the wiring along the bridge is recommended because it puts less strain on your wiring making last longer. This method also keeps all required wiring nice and neat for easier troubleshooting.)

• Stand-Offs – 4 were required for mounting our Printrboard and can be made instead of purchased.

• Aluminum tubing – This piece is used to help stabilize the smooth rods on the X-axis and is not required. (You can use plastic tubing or several other types and shapes.)

So far that’s all that’s needed for the upgrade from the Simple to the XL and a lot of what’s listed is optional. The most difficult part of the build was figuring out what parts needed to be scaled up and what needed to stay the same. Primarily the parts that need to stay the same are the holes for mounting your motors and things of that nature. If we can be of any help or you are interested in stepping up your Simple’s size to something a little more extra large, feel free to post a comment or get a hold of us via email or twitter. We will continue to update this, “Making of The Simple XL” as we go.

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Posted from RepRap Squad HQ

Calling All Beta Testers! Evo H-1 Beta is Almost Here!

What is the Evo H-1?
The Evo H-1 is a new way to get rid of that laptop or computer when printing and still have all the benefits of one – that will fit in your pocket.

Here’s the Skinny:
Soon we will be releasing 5-10 of our handheld touch screen controllers that you can edit, print and get a realtime G.U.I. We are looking for beta testers that are willing to give updates via email or over the phone about this one of a kind controller called, “Evo H-1 beta. ” The Evo controller offers much more than an LCD screen add-on, it will allow you to Print via USB or if you really don’t want to be chained down – Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. You will be able to store your files on an SD card much as you would with  regular LCD screen setup.

The best part about this setup isn’t just the price, it’s what you can do with the Evo. It will serve almost all the functions that your laptop does in a handheld format. We are currently integrating it to work with Repitier and Pronterface. Eventually we plan to integrate it go work with any printer U.I. If you are all about being on the cutting edge of 3D printing and fit the requirements outlined, than get a hold of us.

Main Features:
• Color 4-5″ TFT Screen, eventually up to 8″+
• Standalone operating system. You can do almost anything print wise that you can do with your laptop or computer.
• Print completely without the use of your computer or laptop
• Have complete control of your printer
• Touch screen control as well as some programmable buttons for quick options
• Ultra portable, light weight and it will fit in your pocket.
• Print from SD card and soon you will be able to print via Wi-Fi, irda or Bluetooth.
• Custom cases to choose from
• We are aiming for the sub $150 dollar range to keep it competitive with regular LCD\SD options even though it does much more

As of now we are attempting to finish up all the hardware on the touch screen control. The first prototype has already been finished and is operational. We are now trying to find ways to get the cost down for our production and beta version. So far we have determined that Bluetooth and USB seems to work more effeciantly than WiFi in short range tests with the current configuration. More then likely it will be up to the user to determine which is preferred as both are planned to be included. We are also diving into an IP camera option. That way you can view your bot anywhere your WiFi is available. It is looking like the a version should be ready for the first few beta testers within the next month or so. More then likely we will release 5-10 beta’s out into the world, update and reconfigure if needed with the production release following soon after.

Beta Release
What kind of testers we’re looking for:

• Must have background in software and hardware integration
• A natural problem solver who isn’t afraid of troubleshooting potential issues that may come up
• Preferably an owner of at least 2 or more 3D printers that are of different types. (We want to be able to test this on as many different platforms as possible)
• Someone who is good at documenting their experience with the product and is willing to give regular feedback via email.
• Preferably someone within the U.S. but this is not a requirement and will be taken on a case by case determination. (This is due to time it takes to ship and clear custom’s)
• A background in Linux operating systems is a plus.

* Some of these prerequisites may change as we get closer to releasing the beta version.

If you fit the requirements and want to get a beta version of the Evo H-1 at a discounted price email or contact us at:
Email: RepRapSquad@techie.com
Twitter: @REPRAPSQUAD

(More information and pictures related to Evo will be released as we get closer to the beta release)

Posted from RepRap Squad HQ

Add-ons, Mods? Printrbot says, “Yes”

Recently Printrbot has been busy coming up with ways to expand your stock platform into whatever you would like it to be. The Simple platform has been the main focus of a lot of these mods but, the JR. and Plus will get their fair share we suspect. Add-ons for the Simple include: Tower mod, aluminum bed, tensioner kit and a print space extension. The Jr has recently been completely revived with the release of the V2’s. Printrbot also released a few products that can be used for several of their platforms. Mods like: GT2 belts, aluminum pulleys and 12″ ACME rod. With options like this the avid maker feels right at home. This allows them to fully customize their bot to match their needs and wants in a 3D printer.

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This is the Simples extended platform aluminum bed which will give you the best setup to print completely flat

Printrbot also threw a LCD panel with wood stand into the mix. At $65 this is a good buy although I would like to see printrbot make a mount that fits on the Plus, Jr and Simple platform. Something that mounts to the actual frame of these platforms and that looks like it was meant to be that way. Most of the makers I know don’t have enough desk space as it is with all of their projects and builds spilling over the edges of their work space. So it would be nice to see a mountable setup.

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LCD with desktop stand from Printrbot.com

The Printrbot Simple tensioner kit was also one of the recent releases but I don’t necessarily consider it a add-on because it’s now a part of the Simples kit. A lot of people have been having issues getting their Spectra line tight enough. When the line isn’t tight issues like printing ovals instead of circles creep up. Brook at Printrbot also released a printable tensioner for the Simple that way if you already bought a Simple and you need a tensioner but you don’t want to spend the money – you can print your own by going on Thingiverse.com.

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This is the new tensioner kit that can be purchased by itself but, is included in all new Simples purchased

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Here's the printable tensioner for your Simple

We have also heard rumors that Printrbot is considering making add-ons out of different materials as an option. Personally I think this would be a great idea. Being able to offer different colors and materials would allow the end user to match their 3D printer to their own personality. Add-ons and mods are definitely the way to go as some prefer print speed over resolution and vice versa. For a builder with the ultimate goal of getting the best resolution a GT2 setup would be king.  The reason for this is fairly simple. GT2’s have more,  smaller rounded teeth. Combined with a 20 tooth pulley will allow the belt to have more of its surface space on the pulley at one time. The only trade off is that the average speed will be reduced. If you don’t require a great resolution and you just want your parts quick then an MXL belt would be a better one to run on your bot.

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GT2 belts and pulleys

Personally a few things that I would like to see from Printrbot include coupling options. That way Printrbot could become more of a one stop shop. Other add-ons that would be interesting to see include: ACME rod in lengths ordered by the inch, as of right now you can only order them in a 12″ size. Being too specific to one bot is needed with some mods but, some parts can be used accross several platforms by not limiting orders to specific sizes or lengths.

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ACME rod comes in 12 inch lengths with required nut

Posted from RepRap Squad HQ

New Mods, Same Printrbot Plus V2

I decided to go ahead and do a complete overhaul on my printrbot plus V2 in anticipation of the dual extruder production version that should be coming out soon. First to go was my old belts and pulleys. I eagerly replaced them with GT2 6mm wide belts for the X and Y axis’s and why I was at it is put on a set of 20 tooth aluminum GT2 pulleys. I felt like I could do more to tweak my bot for better resolution so I went about seeing what else I could upgrade while I had it torn apart. The majority of parts were purchased via eBay seller: nrg24seven So far I am very happy with pricing and the quality of the parts I purchased. Good sellers are hard to find especially on eBay.

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I also decided to change out my Y axis idlers for printed ones the fit my new GT2 setup

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I had to file out a small half circle to allow space for the heads of the bolts due to the added height of the new idlers

I’ve never been a big fan of the tensioner setup on the V2’s, so I went about figuring out a new idler setup primarily for the X axis. I wanted something that was easy to adjust and didn’t require to much modification or custom fab work. One issue is finding a location to mount the idler without interfering with my current setup. I came up with a idler that mounts to the outside of the oversized washers on my current X idler setup. I used two pieces of aluminum and quickly CNC’d out the two side mount pieces. Once those were mounted all I had to do was thread on a nylock nut which will serve two purposes. The first purpose will be to hold on the X axis idler that is mounted in the stock location and the 2nd use is to adjust the newly added idler. That way I can quickly adjust the tension as needed.  I will attach some pictures asap.

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Here you can see the idler when it's slightly engaged

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Here's normal tension. I plan to add graduations so I can easily return to pre-set tension points

**As a side note if you have a stock plus or LC you will need to get about 2 -1″ washers with 2 608 bearings to make this setup which will replace the stock printrbot idler. I will go into further details and how to later on.

After that it was time to tackle my stock couplers. I have been and probably always will be a fan of spider couplers as I have tried many different kinds and I’m always led back to them. However I recently bought some couplers that look much like the ones used for CNC machine and usually have been known to be too springy for 3D printers. These look just like them except inturnally they are different. You can adjust the amount of spring and tension that they have which allows you to be able to fine tune your couplers. I bought them at the correct size for the rods I’m using but,  I always add a little PTFE tape or plumbers thread tape as it assures that there is a solid grip between the shaft, rod and coupler. This can also be used if your coupler holes are a little too big for your rods or shafts. Just make sure to wrap them very tight when applying the PTFE tape. That way the tape will bond better with itself as well as the threaded rod.

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After installing and adjusting these couplers, they seem to be everything I was told that they would be

I also just recently got some bowden tubing that is supposed to be better than PTFE tubing. I was able to get about 30 plus FT of it. Quick tests look good so far but, I will post new information once tested side by side. I have my dual extruder setup so I will run standard PTFE on one extruder and the new bowden tubing on the other.
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After tinkering around a bit and trying to figure out a better non printed way of fixing how the nuts that the z axis rides on to move up and down. I was looking in some of my bins and I noticed a pile of wing nuts. Then it hit me, if I use the 1inch nuts on the bottom, a spring on top of that ND then an upside down wing nut on the top. The wing nut fits perfectly in the stock grooves with little movement. I had to loosen up a couple screws so that I could set the desired tension on each side. So far it looks great but the real test will come when I start printing. If this setup doesn’t work as expected then I might toy around with a wing nut on the bottom. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of this earlier as it works perfectly with the stock notches. Here’s a few pics of it so far.

Update: October 28th 2013
I tested out several different variations of this setup and I’ve recently found that the wing nut is best under the platform. However I still need something at the top end to stabilize the rods more effectively. I will more than likely solve that issue with the first few prints I make. I will follow up with the final design as well as STL files.
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I got an idea from another member of the dual extruder beta testers. The idea was to split the fan mount and latch on the dual extruder setup so you can feed in New filament without un-latching the other side. I had some spare birch so I went about making two seperate fan mounts. Since the stock fan holes are soo close together, I couldn’t use the same style and just split it into 2 separate pieces. About half way down I widened the mount so I could space the fan holes out a little bit while still allowing the needed space for the stock setup. I just got done cutting the 2 pieces out and I’m about ready to test fit. I will post some pictures after I’m done mocking it up.

Here are some quick pics of the mock-up. I still need to make a few other little pieces to connect everything but this will give you a better idea of what I’m reffering to.
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Making a little headway on test fitting everything. Once I get the prototype how I want it I will remake any needed pieces and more than likely paint it to match the rest of my bot. Here is a picture of where I’m at today.

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One side is all mocked up

After mocking up the other side I started thinking about different kind of fan mounts. I have a couple fans that are a little bit bigger than the stock ones. I’ve decided to wait until I get my dual extruder plus up and running again before exploring these options any further. Mostly due to time in which I don’t have much of. I will update when I either come up with a more feesable option that will more then likely be printed.
Soon I will add the results of how these modifications effect my print resolution. I will also add documentation on how to add these mods to your printrbot.

Update: October 22nd 2013
I still need a little bit more information before actually firing up the plus v2 so I started working on bracing the x axis. The v1 had a solid piece of birch that accompanied the x axis rods which helped to stabilize the bridge. When the V2’s came out the re-design didn’t include this piece so I decided to go ahead and make my own. I grabbed 4 L shaped steel brackets. Two of them are larger than the others. After that I grabbed some half inch aluminum tubing as well as some custom machines bolts that for inside the aluminum tubing which allows them to be easily mounted. This is the first version and didn’t take to much time as I had all the required parts laying around the prototyping lab. After installing everything I am actually amazed at how much stronger the bridge is. My next few steps include beefing up the x rod mounts and the y axis bearing mounts.

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Recently I decided to beef up the brackets to all steel ones. Even though the old setup worked perfectly fine, I’m all about overkill. I kept the longer L shaped steel brackets and added an extra one were needed instead of the smaller 90 degree ones. Changing these two brackets made an aesthetic difference as well as made everything super sturdy. This modification took a lot of wiggle out of the X Bridge. Next I plan on changing out the x axis rod mouth to something a little more sturdy. You can also find a similar but printable version of the x axis stabilizer on Thingiverse.com I recommend this mod to anyone who has a printrbot plus or LC as its made a difference in the strength of the entire x bridge.

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Here's the cable carrier I made using some aluminum brackets and some 608 bearings. It works well and has very smooth transitions across the x axis.

Since it’s been a little while since I last took some decent pics of the plus I thought I would post a few.
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Update: October 28th 2013
Getting all my endstops or homing switches and order I realized that leveling the bed on the printrbot Plus is a pain. I was aware of this issue in the past but until lately it never bothered me so much. So I decided to redesign the platform and due to prior mods it wasn’t as easy as originally anticipated. The modifications I’m referring to is half square aluminum runners that go the full length of the bed mount and sub-mount. Originally I had glass with blue painters tape on top but I was tired of it cracking or breaking due to temperature changes. I could buy high temperature glass but I figured, why if I already have Lexan sheets. Lexan works great with PLA which is what I primarily will be using as my heatbed runs on an 24 volt setup from a prior setup. I need to set aside some money for an oversized heatbed.

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This is the new bed and sub-mount setup that I came up with.

So I found a fairly thick piece that is between 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick. I wanted to use the thickest piece possible so it would help assure it is as flat as possible. Lexan has been used in the past with great results when laying down PLA. I took the springs out of the setup and firmly mounted the sub-mount to the wood bed. Then I built stand-offs that mount the wood bed to the piece of Lexan. Doing this helped to clear the extra bolt heads from the half boxed aluminum runners. I then replaced springs with little pieces of rubber that are used in CD/DVD players to produce shock protection in case they are bumped. I might add some rubber hose gaskets as well to give it a little more room for adjustments if needed.

I later decided to take off once again the stock printrbot LC bolt adjusters as they sit too tall and interfere with the fans mounted on the dual extruder beta. That’s one thing I hope and have recommended that be changed for the production version. The way it is setup makes it for almost any fan you may buy other than the clear printrbot ones not fit right as they sit level with the extruder tips. I will have to print some sort of new latch and fan mount assembly that will relocate the fans to a better position. It also has birch wood side pieces that come down the sides with no real purpose. I will add the new pictures as soon as I am able to take some new ones.

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The green rubber pieces are the shock mounts I spoke of earlier from a CD drive I had lying around

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The new mounts are definitely a lot more sturdy than my prior setup. Early test look promising.

Update: October 30th 2013
Here’s some new pictures since I upgraded the bed. I’m also testing out frog tape to print on as I’ve heard of great results using it.

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Some new mods before the new dual extruder update
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Posted from RepRap Squad HQ

The Trip to Nowhere and Back Again

The journey begins

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I hopped into the truck on September 27th but, one thing I was sure of is that I would get some much needed time away from the office. I had been working 10 hr days 7 days a week for I don’t know how long. With the release of the XL and the new core xy project, time has been something that I don’t have. We are also trying to finish our handheld units that will allow the user to print, slice and do just about everything else you can do with your computer. The beta release of these first few units should be within the next month or less.

September 30th 2013

I came to the forest to get away from it all and allow myself to think outside the box. So far, I have spent a lot of time just surviving due to 3 large storms with winds hitting my little hut at about 40+ MPH. I had to wrap up my few electronic items that I had with clothes and blankets to keep the moisture at bay. These storms did give me an interesting ride as the only thing that kept me and my hut grounded was myself plus the few items I brought along.

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Yes, I can't help myself. Overkill is just in my nature

Getting down to the brass tacks, I decided that it was time to start to work on some projects that I have been developing starting with the stand alone handheld printer controller. I need to decide what other options would be important to include. I also needed to come up with a name for it. At least a good name to use when referencing it.

October 2nd 2013

Today the weather has cleared up a bit so I have had a little more time to work on the designs for Evolver H-1. I have been designing it bit by bit on Sketchup. Using a combination of designs from RepRap Squads archives as well as some new tricks we have learned along the way. Evolver has been a project in the works for the last year but it wasn’t until lately that we decided to go ahead with designing it in CAD. So dwell the design has come together very smoothly with little issues to date. I think the hardest part will be printing and tuning to test out its large print volume. We know by testing out other large format printers that we won’t have any issues with printing a lot of small to medium objects within a single print. The issues will begin to become aparent with single full plate prints. Another part of the build that will require special attention will be the feed system and the triple extruder setup but, we are very confindent with what we have on paper. However we all know that doesn’t always pan out as you previously planned.
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October 3rd 2013

Looking at a motor home near the water station that is about a two mile hike, I noticed that the slide outside on the side of it use a dual rack and pinion setup.  It has a cross bar with gears on either end and two rack and pinion tracks on either side of the slide out. It got me thinking about adapting a similar setup for the Simple XL or even using it with a build that is completely designed around this setup. I can see it working very well on z axis stages as well as x and y axis’s. I asked the owner if it was ok to snap some pictures for future reference and he said, “no problem. ” I could tell he was a little bit confused, so I explained to him what my reasoning behind it was. I think by the time I left he was even more confused than before.

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Here you can see that it uses a hydro ram for movement and then uses the dual rack an pinion setup to keep both sides aligned

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The cable management for the extension was quite interesting

I have a few days left before heading home and ironically I will be making a stop about about 20 miles or so from no where to get 4 or more aluminum GT2 pullys, a few meters of GT2 6mm belting and a few other printer parts from a supplier that lives in a town of approximately few or less people. He also told me that he had some other parts that I might be interested in and he said he would fill me in when I arrived.

Now that I will be getting the last of the parts needed for my recent upgrades I will be able to get my dual extruder up and running again. I’ve heard that GT2s offer a decent quality boost over MXL and T2.5s as they are specifically designed for linear motion. The only other upgrades planned so far for the Printrbot Plus are specialized Z axis rods and a set of spider couplers. Even though that is all I have planned, I’m sure more upgrades are sure to follow.

I have yet to decide wether I will test out my new rack and pinion setup on the XL or if I will try it out on a test setup. More than likely I will build a small model and see  if it’s feesable on the XL or if it will be better suited on a specific design. The weather is supposed to be better tomorrow so I should be able to get more work done then.  Today has been hit or miss. I’ve even experienced snow last night and the temperature has dropped to about a 19 degree low.

I finally was able to get high enough up to make a phone call to let the supplier know what time I would be in town. I will probably end up buying at least 4 GT2 aluminum pullys and 2 meters of belts. I am also debating on buying some of his 8mm bearings and a few couplers.  I wish he had spider couplers in stock but unfortunately he doesn’t so I will try out the ones that have been known to be a little springy. Worst case senario I can use them when I rebuild our CNC machine. I also noticed that he sells some easy to wire kits for 3d printer stepper motors. Those I will also have to check out if he has any in stock. Of course I will also test out everything I buy and post my findings online because it is always hard to find quality parts at a decent price. I always prefer as many of you do, to of with someone that I or someone I know has done business with.

October 4th 2013

I’ve only got a few days left and I’m ready to get back to the shop. I definitely feel revived and ready to get back to work which is definitely a good thing because I have a lot of work to do. I think tonight I will take it easy and work on the core xy design a bit more. Design ideas keep popping into my head and some of those ideas have yet to be tested out within Sketchup. If it’s not too late when I’m done I will note my findings here and if I run outta time I will have to write them down in tomorrow’s post.

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Remnants from last years journey to nowhere

October 6th 2013

Tonight is my last night and I am definitely ready to go back to the shop. I have learned a lot as well as experienced a lot while on this trip. I had a great time and I can definitely say that I am ready to get back at it. I’m sure that I will have a ton of catching up to do once I arrive but, I’m kind of looking forward to it as I love what I do. I will have a little time to try and finalize the core xy design as I want to get started on the first itteration of it as soon as possible. More than likely I will add a set of lm8uu bearings to my order and any other goodies I can find for the core xy setup. I have yet to decide wether or not to buy his easy stepper wiring kit. If the price is right then I will snag a set to try out. The kit uses barrel connectors with quick screw jacks on the other end. If I get them in will be sure to post info on how they work out. I will also make sure to post how all the other parts turn out as well as info on how to buy if they turn out to be quality parts.

October 8th 2013

I arrived home yesterday evening and as anticipated I have a long list of emails. I ended up buying 5 aluminum GT2 pulleys, 2 or so meters of belts and 2 aluminum couplers. Even though these couplers look much like the ones that have been known to be too springy, these are a little bit different. These ones also allow you to adjust the amount of tension as well as how much spring or flex that they will produce. If they don’t work as anticipated, I will use them on my CNC as previously mentioned. Today I plan on installing the belts, pulleys and couplers if I have time. I will also write up a review on them as the person I bought them from has been a pleasure to work with as well as good prices. Talking with the supplier he told me about a few projects that he is working on that sound pretty interesting. One of them being a welded square tube frame for a Mendel and Delta. I was able to check out his prototypes and I was quite impressed. It is definitely an improvement over using threaded rod or even some extruded aluminum setups I’ve seen. You could literally stand on top of it and it also had built in foot levelers for fine tuning its stance on un-even platforms. I will post more information on these frames as it comes to me.
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Posted from RepRap Squad HQ

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