Category Archives: RepRap Squad’s – Mods
This category is for mods done to RepRaps. Wether it be Printrbots or Solidoodle.
I’m commonly looking through my large backstock looking for specific nuts, bolts or tools. So I decided that since I already had a nice case that I wasn’t using, I should put the most commonly used things in it. Some ideas I had of things to put in this case include: Scrapers, multi-meter, electrical tape, allen wrench set, soldering iron, complete ratchet set with lots of attachments, small file set, nuts, bolt, washers, and a few other printer related items.
Now I just needed to figure out a way to not only fit everything in the case but, do it in a way that everything is organized and easily accessible. I had a few small plastic organizers in different sizes. So I went about laying them out. I found that if I stacked them on top of each other then I should have enouph room to fit the rest. I used some extended L brackets to make a little kind of shelf by using the brackets to bolts the top container down whioe leaving room for the other one to slide underneath. For the other 2 smaller containers I used different brackets to mount them against the sides using pressure to hold them in place. After that I mounted an piece of metal scavenged out of an old printer to make another shelf in the front to put my multi-meter and files on. This mounted easily by adding a couple nuts and bolts. All I had left was to add 3 more L brackets to the lid to mount my adjustable LED light and cold soldering iron.
Everything went together very efficiently and I actually still have room to put more things. This case is great to have as a quick go to when working on my printer or when I take it into the field for teaching classes. Things that I plan on adding for sure is my micrometer and maybe my level. If you want to build one too you can find these cases online or at your local store. They come in all shapes and sizes. Another idea is to buy foam and use your tools as a stencil to cut out little recesses for your things to sit in.
Posted from RepRap Squad HQ
I decided to not only CNC out a Printrbot Simple for a contest that Brook decided to put on. He said for the 1st 5 printed as well as the first 5 CNC cut simples he would give away a simple builders kit. This challenge got me to work on my CNC that has gone by the way side since I’ve dedicated so much time to the 3D printing industry. I needed to replace the axis couplers and do a little maintenance. Getting a Simple builders kit will go a long way as it will be used as a teaching tool to show the wide variety of printers. It also works great because it is well, simple. It is a lot easier to teach about 3d printing with a bare bones setup.
I also decided to make a few small changes to the design as I have heard from current owners that there are a few small issues with the design files. None of these issues are hard to fix. Just a little extra cut off here and there which I will get into later on. I’ve started cutting out the main or larger pieces of the Simple which will allow me to do any calibration that may be needed. I think its really cool that Brook @ Printrbot does little contests like this, it gives people like us the ability to challenge ourselves and be able to get access to parts we couldn’t usually afford. Brook understands that the maker/hackerspace is important to them as a company. Joining the communities and giving them more focused concepts to ponder is a great way to give back as well get help with Printrbot’s designs.
We cut out all the Printrbot pieces needed to make the simple. We had to use an offset and play around with the design as these files were originally ment for a laser cutter. We posted the pics on Twitter this morning which should make us the 5th out of 5 CNC’d Printrbot Simples to be done. This is exciting news for us because we work on donations and dont havd a lot of money for tools to teach such as the wonderfully designed Simple. “Printing A Future Foundation, ” is kept alive with the help of makers everywhere and companies like Printrbot. We have had lots a donations lately and we are trying to enter every contest we can in order to build more kits, get more teaching aids, and build more 3D printers for donations all over the U.S.
The printrbot simple is perfect to teach kids how 3d printers work. It also shows the different methods of transferring linear motion. I’m excited to start building and would love to be the first to build a functional CNC’d printrbot. We will hopefully find out soon but telling from the Twitter feed we should be the 5th out of 5 winners. We are currently waiting on a custom end mill that is being made to cut out the receivers for the tabs but this is a very small part of the process. We also had to change some of the files to work on a CNC machine. This made things tricky. We have been working non stop since Brook drumm announced the contest and released the simples files. We decided to use quarter inch burch wood with a beautiful grain pattern.
Update: We just recieved the word officially from Printrbot that we are the 5th and final winner of the contest. So as soon as we get our builders kit you will be seeing a functional Printrbot Simple that has been made from CNC cut wood. In birch too. The birch was a little expensive but the super cool grain patterns were well worth it.
We have been told by Printrbot that the builders kit will be sent out today (July 10th) or tomorrow. We are very grateful and cannot wait to get our CNC’d Simple up and running. Our goal is to have the 1st operational Simple made from CNC’d parts. Regardless of wether we do it first or not is just a race between makers. Either way we will be part of a small handful of builders that will be using the Printrbot builders kit which is a really good deal and can be bought at there online store. RepRap Squad will not only benefit from being the first few to build a simple at home. It will also benefit our “Printing A Future Foundation, ”
Here are some early pics of our CNC’d Printrbot Simple
Update: July As per a challenge from Brook to see if we could alter laser cut Simple plans to cut them out on our CNC machine. We did it, now we are on to pre-fitting all the structural parts with no bad surprises. The only parts we haven’t test fitted is the direct drive extruder due to a couple of pieces not being in the original file. We now have those pieces cut and we will be test fitting those soon.
Next we will be stripping everything back down again to finish sanding and prepping for paint. So far our plans for the color scheme will be black & grey. More of a greyish whitewash look. After everything is prepped we will start putting together all the hardware that came in our builder kit. The builders kit is a great deal and is highly recommended by RepRap Squad. I will update as the CNC Simple build comes along.
We are now to the test fit stage for hardware. All the motors fit snugly in their spots as well as all 12 of the 8mm lm8uu linear bearings. It also looks like all the bolt and nut traps fit together well. All of our pieces fit together so tight that we had to do very minor sanding. We could of left it the way it was but we wanted to be able to take it apart and put it back together with ease. Today we will finish up any sanding needed and start putting together the hardware. Everything but the bed (which is already painted) will get painted later on after we get everything how we want it.
I’ve added these updated pics. You can see that we are getting close to being finished with the hardware. We still need to CNC cut out two pieces for the extruder that wasn’t in the early files we recieved. We should be up and running in the next few days as we are taking our time with this build.
Update: July 20th 2013
Today we I worked on running wiring and finishing up the hardware. We also worked on installing the and stops. This was a little tricky for us to figure out at first given the little amount of documentation found online. So we took some pictures to show you where the end stops go for the simple. Below you can see the X, Y & Z axis endstop locations. We started running all the wiring and getting all the parts together for the extruder. We also started assembling what we could of the extruder but there were a few designs missing from the released files we hope to get these soon so we can finish the extruder assembly. I have contacted Brook to see if these files have been updated. We also plan on getting the added fan for the Simple that is sold on Printrbot’s web store for $10.
I finally finished mounting sll the endstops and running all the wiring. I also finished putting on the spectra line on the X and Y axis. I spent some time with cable management as I wanted everything to be mounted cleanly as well as to be accessible for any future modifications or troubleshooting. This should save me a lot of hassle later on. Everything is labeled clearly on the printrboard, which makes installation fun. The Y axis endstop required me to use somd washers as I didnt have the correct bolts. This was caused by our miscalculations when CNC cutting the endstop mounts. It was an easy fix and I will buy the correct size bolts as soon as I can look through our enormous mostly unorganized stock. Tomorrow I hope to get the last few pieces done for the extruder and then we will be printing and calibrating.
As you can see in the above picture we have already started some mods on the Printrbot Simple. We’ve added a heatsink to keep the extruder motor happy and cool. We are also adding the fan that you see on the print bed to the front of the extruder to keep everything cool as it goes through the direct drive system. We will also be adding a small piece of bowden PTFE tubing in between the filiment guide and the hobbed gear. This will keep the filiment from bending or binding in the extruder. It’s a cheep little trick that is used on a lot of direct drive extruders, especially when using 1.75mm filiment. Tomorrow I will have some stuff awaiting me at the USPS office. My filiment samples sent to me by maker geeks should be arriving. This will be perfect timing as I will be able to test them through my newly built CNC cut Simple.
I have a lot of plans in store for this beautiful one of a kind Printrbot Simple and I cant wait to start modding.
Here’s the final finished and calibrated CNC cut Printrbot Simple. I was lucky enouph to have a buddy with a printrboard that was already setup for the simple, so we used his. Plus i didnt want to use my new one because im going to use it for my printrbot plus. Soon after all that work I had to take her apart to use for my Printrbot plus v2 dual extruder beta build. Eventually I will be putting back together using a spare RAMPS 1.4 board that I have along with 2 different steppers. Here’s the final build pics, I will post more when I hage time to change it over to RAMPS 1.4 setup.
I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t do any modifications. I love pushing the envelope to see what is possible with these machines. One of my first modifications will be to extend the print bed as well as the sub mount. Im debating at this time to switch the bed over to a belt. The spectra line works well and is a good way of creating linear motion but, I have some spare belts and matching gears. Since I’ve already taken two motors off of the simple it only seemed fitting to put two more back on. I will also be switching controllers from the stock printrboard to a new RAMPS 1.4 setup. I also have 3 makerbot endstops that I might use if there is space to mount them. Makerbot endstops are larger than the Simples add on ones because they have LEDs and quick connect plugs. The LEDs on the endstops let you know that they are active as well as if they are tripped. This makes troubleshooting endstop issues a breeze.
So as a quick recap of the modifications I will start out with are as follows: Change out 2 motors, RAMPS 1.4 controller, Makerbot endstops, bed+submount extensions and change the bed from spectra line to belts. I will update with build info as well as pictures as I go along.
I finished cutting out the bed extension and sub mount. I ended up extending the bed about 3.5″ longer. This comes close to doubling the print size and will allow me to print a wide range of items.
More then likely due to the length of the bed I will add 2 more spring leveler mounts to the middle. This will allow for better accuracy and a bed that is consistently level. If it wasn’t so skinny this probably wouldn’t be an issue. I plan on adding glass later which will help as well.
I started to disassemble my Printrbot simple so that I could put on the new motor with an aluminum pully. This will transfer into linear motion through the belt I will be adapting for the movement of the bed. I’m still debating wether or not to replace the other spectra contrlled axis with a belt. This axis will be a lot harder to use a belt on due to the position of the motor and the mounts. So far the motor went in perfectly as it is about the same size as the stock kysan motor I removed.
Update: August 21st 2013
Printrbot has recently released a extension for the Printrbot Simple. Longer z axis as well as a longer bed. It looks like our cnc simple is going to need some new mods. Currently we are working hard on project “XL” but, once we are finished we more then , likely will have to test out some new mods. Here’s a picture of a Printrbot Simple with the new extended print space.
Posted from RepRap Squad HQ
Upon recieving my new RAMPS 1.4 board I decided to figure out a mount as well as an efficient cooling system. I looked around onlind to find some options and the majority of the options were printable ones that dont leave any access to wiring. They also ran with a single 30mm fan or smaller which didn’t seem very effective for cooling. Most of them being top mount didn’t cool the drivers very well and left no cooling for the Arduino Mega. The most effective angle for cooling is to blow across the chips from the side.
After mounting 2 fans to do this job I also mounted one larger fan to pull up any hot air and expell it outward. I used 2 pieces of acrylic to make the top and bottem platform. 4 large bolts make up the standoffs between the two pieces of acrylic. I also decided to mount the 2 side fans which were salvaged from an xbox 360 on a hinge. This would allow me to adjust the fan angle which will let me tune in my cooling. I also ordered heatsinks for each of my drivers. As of now I will be running 4 out of the 5 that RAMPS can handle. This will leave me a spare until I add my second bowden extruder. More than likely I will use my 2nd extruder to be able to print disolvable support material.
I’ve decided to control these fans through a stand alone setup. You can go a few different ways at this point. You can set them up with a standard on/off switch, a potentiometer for speed control or buy a computer fan controller. The nice part about using a fan controller is the ability to moniter fan speeds, auto adjustments by temperature and controll 4 or more fans with one controller. I decided to go the fan controller route since a have a very extensive cooling setup throughout my Printrbot.
They now sell touch screen fan controllers for about $25 at any computer store such as Frys Electronics. With this fan controller I can run and moniter my RAMPS/driver fans, Z-axis motor fans, PSU fans as well as air flow fans mounted on my Printrstand. The only other fan I will be using is the one mounted on my extruder and it will be controlled via commands in pronterface. Using a fan controller with its own power source also helps to alleviate any added stress/power consumption on the xbox 360 PSU that will be running everything else on my Printrbot Plus.
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
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.
friend an I were putting together an extruder and a thought came through our heads. Why not hob a bearing for added traction? The bearing im referring to is the bearing in the extruder that pushes against the filiment for feed and retraction. Traction on both sides of the filiment surely would make some difference in the overall scheme of things. The hard part is trying to hobb a bearing. I’ve seen ones in the past that have a half circle like groove which help with alignment.
So I went about making a groove in a bearing as well as hobbing it. I used a customized bearing that my friend had made just for this part of the extruder. He had these bearings made with a lip on either side to sit perfectly in the door of the extruder so no piece of all thread is needed. I took some pictures but the camera on my tablet isn’t the best. I will try and get better pics in the future. I have yet to try it out but I will update as soon as I do.
Owens posted this to me:
The Steve’s Extruder that SeeMeCNC uses on some of their printers is set up with two hobbed pulleys on parallel shafts, both driven by a rather complicated gear train. I have no idea whether it works better or worse than what we use, though they are apparently happy with it. I’ve also seen pictures of a prototype extruder with a driven hobbed bolt and a hobbed pulley as idler, but I can’t remember where.
My response was this:
It would make sense that hobbing on both sides will increase traction, intern would help with alignment and make extrusion/ retraction more consistent. See me cnc has always been on the cutting edge of parts and I’ve heard very positive responses about their extruders. I plan on making several variations of this setup to see if their is a combination that will improve extrusion. This is something I will test on a custom bowden setup as well. Bowdens are known to have retraction issues. My overall goal is to make a reliable bowden setup that helps eliminate or reduce the downfalls of a bowden setup.
Companies have finally got the clue that these heater cartridges need a bend in them. So they came out with this. This is a smart idea which should have been implemented in the first version. This will make wiring easier as well as keep everything out of the way and organized. They just started selling them online and on eBay the prices very from 5 to 20 dollars depending on voltage, wattage and supplier. I personally will be snagging one soon and if your already running one of these on your reprap. Let us know the good and the bad on these new cartridges.
I decided that I wanted to experiment with different hobbed bolts with some kind of repeatability. So I dug in my scrap heap and came up with this. To make it I used scap plywood, metal tube, corner braces, nuts, bolts, plexi scraps, gears from a printer, blinds clips, dremel, a hinge and some l brackets. The gears are used so I can accurately determine rotation. The hinge work to cut accurately and I also fixed a washer and bolt under the dremel mount so I can adjust for depth. I have yet to try it out yet as I will get time later on to do so.I thought I would post it on here and maybe give some people some ideas for future scrap builds. I’ll update once ive made some hobbed bolts. Im currently messing with different cutting ends and techniques to determine what kind of hobbed bolt etc I want to make.
figured I would add how the groove is made before you cut the teeth. It can be made several ways. The way that ive found most convenient for me is to put the bolt or all thread rod in a chuck of a drill. I use to bearings to keep it in position much like you would do if you are tapping the bolt. I have one person hold the drill while I hold a file in the location ive determined to hobb. One person will give power to the drill so that it spins away from you and the file. Make sure you hold the file tightly in one location so it doesn’t skip around. Continue to file to desired depth. Note: I use a round file that is about 3-4mm in width and it has worked well for me in the past. It comes down to personal preferences. Also I highly recommend practicing because without practice more thqn likely you will mess up your first few times. After you have done this then you will be ready to cut the grooves using a dremel, tap, lathe or other tool of preference.
Ive tinkered with bowden setups in the past but, ive never tried one on the new V2 pb plus. I have my spool mounted to my Printrstand and I would like to setup my bowden configuration with that. I know that some people say they have had issues with retraction and oozing. My goal is to limit or eliminate these issues with a few modifications ive been toying with. The bowden extruder I am starting with is a modified version of Richraps extruder design. It has been adapted for my PTFE tubing which is a little different size than your typical bowden tubing. I will also be using 3mm PLA to start with and eventually moving to the less difficult 1.75mm filiment.
I was lucky enouph to have a friend print me a new extruder mount as well as the modified bowden extruder. My Printrbot has been down due to upgrade complications. http://ei8htohms.tinyparts.netei8htohms has made some interesting improvements on the Printrbot GO. I would definitely spend some time looking through his blog. He has sent me some early pics of this extruder and it looks great. I cant wait to get them and start working on this bowden setup on the new Printrbot plus v2.
Ive recently been messing around with mounting locations for the bowden extruder. Putting it in different positions so I cqn measure the amount of stress put on the actual extruder mount. I also have to take into consideration that this will eventually be a dual extruder setup. So my mounts should preferably be A symmetrical. The mount seems to be happiest near this location in the picture. I will not however be mounting it in the exact pictured location but, somewhere close by.
Ive done some more work on the bowden setup to get everything the way I want it. Today I added a red LED light to the bowden extruder as well as got most of the wiring in order. The red LED is to let the user know that the hotend is at or coming up to temp. This is a much welcomed addition as it lets other people know that it is hot without having to guess.
The nice addition of the z axis stiffener made the z axis smooth rods completely unable to move in any way. It has made quite an improvement as well as letting me mount the bowden extruder in tye best possible position. This position puts the least amount of pull on the extruder carriage. This is important for a smooth transition of positions during operation. All in all im happy with the modifications to date. There will inevitably be at least a few more modifications. Some of those mods will include a printed cover for the x axis rod mounts that can be found on thingiverse. Also I will be making some sort of change to the z axis nut carriers which can be found on thingiverse as well. Im not sure if I will make my own solution to this part or use the one on TV. Some other changes that will be made include: Acme rods, nuts, GT2 belts, aluminum pullys, eventually an enclosure and a custom extruder to help eliminate drip from the bowden setup.
I know that the bowden design isn’t perfected yet. That is one reason im building an all metal hotend of my own design that has been resting in the RepRap Squad archives since the bowden concept was conceived. It has been taken out for update many times and is ready to be made into a functional piece. This design looks somewhat similar to the E3D all metal design on the outside but has some very different concepts applied internally. It has a very sharp melt zone and can be ran with or without the use of a fan unlike most all metal hotends. Mine will be ran with a custom made muffin fan that is double as deep compared to most fans being used currently in the market. I will eventually open source the design once I have made the prototype to RepRap Squad standards.