Monthly Archives: March 2014

Printrbot’s Aluminum Extruder Goes Plastic

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We recently found the printable version of printrbots new aluminum extruder. I wanted to make an adapter plate for our dual extruder setup on our plus as it comes with 2 DDE. Soon Printrbot will be offering the aluminum extruder on the plus’s dual extruder kit. We wanted to test out the design before we spent almost $100 on 2 new aluminum DDE.

I think that the printed version may work great as I’ve heard of issues with the aluminum extruder acting as a heatsink causing jams. There are several reasons why I would like to use the aluminum extruders design. The main one is the orientation of the motors and the second is the convenience involved with the new design.
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If I can get the new design to work properly than I will also need to custom design new fan mounts. I want to use the aluminum extruder mounts as they are an important part of the dual extruders design. They also allow for easy adjustments of hotend heights. I printed off the first of the two that I will need and tomorrow I plan on printing the second so I can start to mock up the adapter mount.

You can find the printable version of this DDE HERE
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Update: March 26th 2014
I printed the first of the two required for my dual extruder setup. I was rather surprised to see how well the parts printed with out adding any support structures. The parts required a little bit of clean up to get everything to fit right. I tested them on the dual extruder plate because I was worried that they both wouldn’t fit correctly. After some mock up it looked as if it wouldn’t need much if any modifications other than a mount plate. I only have one position that I can mount these because I want to reuse the aluminum extruder mount. I plan on printing off the second extruder today ao that I can figure out mounting points on the carriage.

Here’s the first extruder to be finished, with the 2nd printing away
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Now that I’ve printed out my two mock up versions and tested them on the dual extruder mounting plate. I can see that they are a little bit too wide to fit with the stock dual aluminum extruder mount. I will have to modify them a little bit in order to fit both of them correctly. I can either modify the model, modify it after its printed or design a new dual extruder setup.

The wood direct drive extruders work fine as they are now but, I like the accessibility of the design as well as the orientation of the stepper motors. I also want to see if my smaller nema 17 custom Kysan steppers will do the job. Since I’m running 1.75mm filament, the smaller Kysans should have enough torque to do the job. The only way to know for sure is tontest them out. I do know that I will at least need to add heatsinks to them as I do know with my current setup. The question is, will I have to run 40mm fans as well.
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The two mock up versions pictured above were printed in PLA at 160mm p/s at 20% infill and .3 layer height. The final versions will be printed in ABS with much higher infill, slower print speeds to reduce any over shoot and more infill. I might change the layer height to .2 as well. The aluminum extruder mount works well to keep the heat away from the extruders.

Posted from RepRap Squad HQ

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Printrbot Plus V3? – The Changes Of Life

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We had heard that some changes in the way of dual extruder setups would happen on the Plus but, we awoke to see that the platform had completely changed. The x axis rod layout changed from one above the other to side by side. This change is using what looks to be the same aluminum blocks used on the new Go V2. We also couldn’t help to notice that the bed rods or Y axis rods were moved back to above the base much as they used to be back with the old Plus V1. Its hard to tell in the pictures but, it looks as if the feet have been removed.

Its also noted that the final version may be different. This was the case with the recent release of the all metal simple. The first few set of pictures were of the prototype. In the final version of the all metal simple, part of the z axis was changed up a bit and looks much better in my opinion. Back to the new Plus’s platform. No word on what this version will be called as on their page it just says Printrbot Plus. Going along with the naming of their bots, I would assume that this new version would be called the Plus V3.

This new version boasts a 10×10 inch print surface with 8×8 of that being heated. All aluminum bearing blocks assure stability within the platform. This new version also comes with Raspberry Pi loaded with octoprint allowing users to remotely control as well as monitor their printer via video relaying. As with the other bots available, it now has the new aluminum extruder. We expect to see a release of a version with dual extruders soon. The assembled version of the new Plus will cost you $1,299.00.

Printrbot’s Information on the redesigned Plus

This is the new Assembled Printrbot PLUS
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While designing the most recent rev of the Go, Team Printrbot found a number of upgrades to make to the existing Plus v2.1.  With a 10″ x 10″ x 10″ build volume, additional aluminum Z-blocks, alu extruder, and Raspberry Pi, this new Plus is larger, stronger, and smarter.  Laser cut birch construction, an assembled Ubis hot end, 12mm Z-axis rods, all aluminum bearing blocks, 3/8″ Acme rods, GT2 belts/pulleys, and a sample of 1.75mm filament all remain standard with the Printrbot Plus

Parts Included:
Alu Extruder
Raspberry Pi loaded with Octoprint (control the Printrboard over Wi-Fi)
10″ x 10″ 10″ build volume
Updated metal Z couplers
3/8″ Acme Rods
Gt2 belt and Aluminum pulleys
Custom machined aluminum build plate
Power Supply
Printrboard: all-in-one assembled electronics with integrated micro SD card slot (no soldering required)
5 NEMA 17 stepper motors complete with cable ends attached
laser cut birch construction
hardware (8mm smooth rods, threaded rods, and bearings — ** Z axis is 12mm smooth rods  and  12 mm linear bearings )
assembled Ubis hot end
nuts, bolts, washers, zip ties
laser cut print bed
8×8 heated bed
misc assembled cables (no soldering required)
3 mechanical end stops (no soldering required)
micro USB cable
Sample of filament
Fan mount with Fan
Laser cut wood is standard 1/4″ (6mm) thick
*** IMAGES SHOWN ARE PROTOTYPES.  FINAL PRODUCT MAY VARY SLIGHTLY

Posted from RepRap Squad HQ

RepRap, Recycle, Reduce and Reuse

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There is one topic that you never hear much about, that topic is waste. 3D printing creates a ton of plastic waste which should be recycled in one way or another. Printing just to print isn’t a great idea. Since I started within the industry I quickly noticed that I had a bunch of failed prints, calibration items and other scraps of plastic. I soon decided that it was my responsibility to get tubs and mark the different kinds of filament. That way they were all sorted according to type. PLA is the easiest to recycle as you can compost it and within 30-90 days it will break down into basic elements.

As far as ABS plastic goes most local waste places will accept it as long as its a piece. The stringy stuff or smaller pieces may be passed on to landfills. The best way is to seperate and collect up enough ABS to melt down into a disk or block, which can easily be done. You can than use a big sharpie to mark the disk ABS or PLA and they will gladly recycle it. Nylon is wanted by no one to my knowledge and that is why I limit my usage of Nylon. I use Nylon only when I have to.

I am currently working on making artistic creations using scrap filament. Once I finish the piece I will make sure to share it here. Be creative, much as you would with your designs. We also built a printer out of re purposed materials. The entire frame was made from scraps that were used in outdoor solar lights. Building the JunkBot with recycled materials not pnly saved on costs to build but, it has already inspired another to do the same in Australia.
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Luckily I have a friend that melts down filament, chips it up and reuses it. Quite a few people within the industry have the ability to reuse these materials. If you can’t find someone to reuse than recycle it or you yourself can melt it down and re purpose it into a new usable creation. I plan to update this post after more research is done. That way I can find more ways to cut down our wasted materials. It’s a part of the process and the first thing you can do is to start limiting your prints and separate your materials as you go.

Thanks to all of those who have recently revived my passion for doing the right thing and sharing it with other so that they too can be responsible for their own filament scraps. A special thanks to Plexus, AlexC and others who have helped to inspire this post.

Posted from RepRap Squad HQ

All Metal Simple Hits The Market

The long wait is over: The all metal Simple is here
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In three and a half hours (12:00 PST) on March 20th the new all metal Printrbot Simple hits the market. This has been a long wait for many. With all the new upgrades we feel that pricing will fall between the price of the assembled simple and the Jr. V2. The Printrbot team worked almost all through the night to make sure that these simples would be ready on time. We anticipate a large number of these models being sold. You can order your simple at Printrbot.com

The new all metal Simple will come in a kit form starting at $539, with a assembled kit costing $599. Printrbot is also releasing a limited edition RED Simple for $699. It also looks as if the Jr. platform may be discontinued as it is no longer posted for sale. Within the last week, the printrbot lineup has changed and I expect it will continue to do so based off of the sales results from the metal Simple. Another factor is the newly released Go V2. Coming in 3 different sizes may change if one model is purchased more often than another.

The Simple platform has flourished because they are flying off the shelves. This new production friendly version should allow them to keep lead times low after the initial release.

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The new all metal Simple will come in 4 different colors: Black, red, grey and white are the colors choose from. Its truly exciting to see a platform evolve from the beta simple to what it has become today. Red now looks to be a limited edition color.
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If you want to read more info and see more pictures of the All Metal Printrbot Simple click below
CLICK HERE for more Simple information

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Posted from RepRap Squad HQ

Inside: Printrbot Plus – Soon You Will Be Seeing Double

At RepRap Squad we like to try to give you the latest info from the inner workings of Printrbot. With the recent release of the 3 new Go V2s which are offered in small, huge and oooohhh myyyy sized. We figured that the newly revamped Plus 2.2 Dual Extruder release had to be right around the corner and we were right. We anticipate that Printrbot will be releasing the new option of having a dual extruder Plus without having to order a kit. That means you can buy it assembled now with dual extruders for the not so tech savvy.

At RepRap Squad, we have been a part of the dual extruder journey since its beta release. Us along with 10 others around the world had the honor of checking out the ups and downs of the dual E setup. When the beta came out it was definitely for the advanced user as Printrbot had just started to dip their toes into the multi-extruder field found within the 3D printing industry. Quite a bit of time has passed and I can now say that they have tamed the beast. We anticipate that Printrbot will offer the new dual E setups with their gorgeous aluminum extruder.
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The main issue with the beta was being able to secure both hotends and still be able to adjust them fairly quickly. They came back at us with the production version which offered up an aluminum extruder mount that was easily adjusted. Brook as well as many others at Printrbot listened to every issue we encountered with beta no matter how big or small. I must say that I was truly impressed when we received the production version after the beta. Overall its a great setup and we think that dual heads will soon become the standard within the industry.

Dual extruder setups doesn’t just mean that you can print in two colors. It also means that you can print using two different types of materials. Companies like MakerGeeks.com have come out with tons of new types of filaments. They have filaments that can be used to support your print and when you want to remove that support. You can by using water out of your tap. The combination of new filaments and multi-head extrusion allows you to print parts that were originally thought to be impossible.

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Slic3r, Repetier and other software companies have seen the use of multi-head extrusion grow recently. They responded by adding in controls and new features that allow you to set everything up easier as well as control your printer in ways that used to be quite difficult. This has made multi-head extrusion a lot more user friendly. We are excited to see the new possibilities explored with the new multi-head extrusion.

Posted from RepRap Squad HQ

Printrbot Releases Info On The Go V2

Printrbot has finally revealed information on the new Go V2’s. They will be coming in 3 different sizes ranging from small to huge. As we speculated a few months ago, it will have larger rods, more motors and aluminum bearing blocks. The huge size as well as the others offers print space that is actually usable. Most manufacturers brag about z axis height but, once you get to a specific size its nothing that a person would actually use. I have a fairly large print space on my heavily modded Plus V2/V2.2 hybrid. The majority of the space I use is in the x and y axis as I often print lots of smaller objects at one time versus printing one really large item.
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Stepping up the size is only part of the game as the majority comes down to the quality of parts and how they are assembled. Printrbot has always used quality parts and a good portion of those parts are done in house so that they can make sure those parts meet their standards. Working extensively with the only other Go V1 owner in the US. I understand why the Go V1 was taken off the market. The concept was great but the design wasn’t quite there yet. Brook took the time to go through the design to create a well thought out and quite impressive lineup of Go V2’s.

He definitely went above and beyond when he added the new Go will offer up dual as well as triple DDE setups. No doubt that the new Go will attract more attention from the serious user. Less tinkering and more serious rapid prototyping is expected out of the Go platform. We decided to add any information we could find on the new design so that you can enjoy all that is the new GO
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Brook Drumm Posted This About The New GO
The limited edition Printrbot Go family. Go small, medium or Large for $1299, $1499 or $1699. The Large is 24″x12″x12″ and will have triple extruders, the medium is 16″x8″x8″ and will have double extruders. All have a Raspberry Pi on board and are battery ready. All will have 12mm bars all around, lots of machined aluminum & glass print beds. The medium and large have dual x, y & z motors.

Why make these? I wanted a large printer that travels well and sets up to print fast… Maybe a few of you out there want one too. The small fits into a carry on Pelican case perfectly. I’ve been jealous of other large printers but wanted width instead of height. The cool thing is they all fold up for minimal impact on your desk or storage. I don’t like huge boxed printers that have massive visual impact and near the two-man-lift territory.
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I don’t take these too seriously, the big ones verge on ridiculous but I give myself permission to explore fun projects. Did I mention the medium one is completely finished and prints beautifully?!

I can’t wait to print some massive prints and see what’s possible with three extruders. Adding dual extruders to the plus is nice, but this huge real estate on the medium and large offers no compromise in print size from dual and triple heads. I refuse to use Bowden tubes so direct drives will so it.

I’ll get them up for sale tomorrow (fingers crossed) with a 1-2 week lead time -based on current orders on the cue.

Let me know what you think. These are ancillary to our main line up, so very little risk if they don’t sell.

The Large isn’t meant to compete with MakerBot’s Z18, but I am proud of now having the largest printer out there with a price that cleanly puts it in the value category. The price to print size ratio is pretty good I think. It won’t disappoint me if people compare the ratio to the Z18, but these are on the hacker category not the “prosumer” or “industrial” category… Whatever those mean.

I’ll post pics and videos next week of prints, performance and all the features.

Cheers,
Brook

Posted from RepRap Squad HQ

New Mods On The Plus V2/V2.2 Hybrid

I’ve always looked at cable carriers or drag chain as a good way to keep wiring nice and organized. It also helps to put less wear on your wiring which is important due to the constant movements while printing. I had to not only take on the task of printing a bunch of pieces that make up the drag chain but, I also had to custom design mounts for my PB Plus v2. I also had a little more challenge than most as I have dual extruders which means almost twice the amount of wiring going to the carriage.
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I came up with a dual drag cable setup that uses one cable setup on each side instead of printing one massive drag cable and trying to fit all my wiring within it. This setup also makes it a little bit easier when replacing individual cables if needed. I also took the opportunity to upgrade the thickness of the wiring, particularly the more power hungry stuff. In order to complete this mod I also extended some of the cabling using a kit that I found on ebay for $7. The kit came with 10×4 pin, 10×3 pin and 10×2 pin 70 cm cables which is more than enough to do this mod as well as some wiring I needed for the JunkBot Build.

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Using this drag chain helps to create soft bends in the wiring which helps the internal wires to last longer. I also added several new strain reliefs which help me tell where the wiring will be the most stressed during operation. This makes future replacements a lot easier because it is more likely to eventually fail in a location that is easy to replace.
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For the wiring that goes to the extruder, I decided to do one on each side instead of the typical way of doing it. Typically you will have one cable carrier for each axis. Mine is setup to have two for the x and z axiss. This lets me divide up the extra cabling associated with having two extruders. In some ways its more difficult and in others its easier to do it this way. I’ve completed all the required connections and all I have left is to fire up my printer after I double check the wiring.

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I started putting my plus through the paces and its working great so far. I printed out a top support bracket in the above pictures. I tested each axis to see its range of movement. Below you can see the z axis at 250mm with a lot more space to go. All I have left is to make a system for the y axis.

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I’ve also been having some issues with my z axis due to worn out rods. This is translating into a wobbly carriage which has effected print quality. A friend of mine made a bet that printing a bearing setup that goes right above the aluminum couplers would help tame some of the issues. I had been skeptical about it but, I figured that I would give it a shot. To get these thrust bearing setups just right literally gave me a headache. Lots of sanding, fitting and refitting was required. Im just now waiting for the first print to finish so I can see if all this work actually made a noticeable difference or not.

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These thrust bearings have made a noticeable difference. Those in combination with the new drag cables and a few other mods have my Printrbot Plus V2 hybrid operating better than ever. Im also running at almost twice the speed that I usually operated at. This translates into better quality prints at a much faster pace.
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After using the new thrust bearing setup for a bit I figured it was time to design some proper top joiners with matching 608 bearings. I looked extensively on thingiverse but, I was unable to come up with much that would work well with my setup. I also wanted something with a little bit of a personality, so to speak. I designed a model on sketchup that would work great. I made it so it can be flipped to sandwich each other instead of designing two separate pieces. I added some curves to its design which helps to use less plastic when printed as well as a better look than it would ifni made it square.

I printed the two bottom pieces first. They required a little bit of sanding as I made them to be a very tight fit so that they wouldn’t slide down the 12mm rods. I installed the bottom pieces and now I am printing off the top two pieces for added strength. Im sure they would work fine without the tops but I will test them out to see if there is a noticeable difference. I already noticed the wobble in my z axis essentially disappeared upon installing the two bottom pieces.

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Updates: March 25th 2014 (New heated bed and PSU)
You know we couldn’t stop there. We still needed to update our new bed with a heated bed. Since our Plus V2 hybrid is a dedicated printer in our prototyping lab we decided to add another dedicated 16.5 amp 203w power supply to be used solely by our heated bed. We decided to give the mk2 platform a shot to see how it stood up against our older 24v silicone bed. I will update with heating times.
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We also added an auto relay to keep everything off of the Printrboard which will help it to not have to work so hard. Another addition was hardboard, it serves as a strong base for our heated bed. Because we didn’t use a SSR or Solid State Relay we had to add a diode in order to protect the Printrboard from reverse emf. Most people recommend to use a 1N4001 diode but, after doing some research I found that any diode in that series will work. We had a 1N4004 diode available, so thats what we used.
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An important note is the Printrboards polarity on the heater pins output. For one reason or another they show the 2 pins closest to the corner of the board as red. We all know that red typically means positive but, this isnt the case on the Printrboard Rev D. The two pins closest to the corner of the board are negative even though they are shown as red within many diagrams. Usually polarity within this mosfet isn’t that important but, it becomes important with the use of a diode.
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The power supply we added still has quite a bit of power to spare even when using the heated bed. Mk2 beds are rated to pull about 10-11 amps when they first turn on. Our supply is rated at 16.5 so we have a bit of room to power our new IP camera as well as a new adjustable led light. The new led lights and camera are mounted on the back of the bed so we can check on prints when we are in another room in the house or shop. We don’t recommend that you let your printer run unattended as it can be a potential fire hazard if things go awry.
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Update: March 27th 2014
I have finally had time to finish up everything with the mk2 heated bed add on. I tested it out and the auto relay works great. It definitely heats up faster than running it off of the board. The dedicated power supply is mounted on the left side of my Plus hybrid. Right now I’m running 3 power supplies, technically 4 if you count the Printrstands cooling system. I could run the setup with less and I plan to do so once I finish my y cable to 4 pin setup.

I will be using the 25amp 350 watt psu for the Printrboard, extrudrboard, hotend #1 & hotend #2. Then I will keep the 16.5 amp 203 watt psu running the heated bed as well as task lights and other accessories. I’ve also added a 60mm directional fan that I can move around where ever it is needed for specific types of prints. I definitely like the quick heat up times with the dedicated power supply going to the bed.

Update: March 28th 2014
The new heated bed works like a dream and the best part is that the whole setup only costs about $10-12. I got the heated bed with leds and resister already installed for $5 with shipping included. I had the spare auto relay, wiring and diode in the scrap pile. I also snagged the xbox psu for $3 and payed a few more dollars for assorted parts. You can snag a lot of decent parts on ebay for cheap if you are patient and you know what you can buy for cheap as well as what you should never go cheap on. Things like hotends and motors are important investments. Otherwise you spend more time fighting the parts vs the prints.

Update: April 1st 2014
I made new mounts for my printrboard as well as my extrudrboard which controls the extra extruder. I also added better cooling for the two boards and better task lighting so I can see my prints. I added a set of 3 leds on the extruder due to the premature failure of my old task lights caused by the temps near the hotend. This time I mouhted the new leds on the top of the extruder to help shield them from temperature exposure. I took a couple new pics so you can see the modifications. I will add more info onnthe mods ASAP.
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Posted from RepRap Squad HQ

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