Blog Archives

Loose Filament – Problem Solved

20140803-183447-66887035.jpg
Loose filament and re-spooling it has been a problem probably as long as filament has been around. It loves to tangle and snap, which can turn into a headache quickly. Lots of different RepRappers have different tricks and methods for re-spooling loose filament. I have been asked many times, ” How do I put loose filament onto a spool without making a huge mess?”

20140803-181949-65989555.jpg
I decided to toss some effort towards coming up with a quick and simple solution. I wanted to be able to create something using parts that most people might have laying around. I will also add files for those of you that find it to be very useful or you just want to build a very clean looking one.

20140803-182153-66113296.jpg
For proof of concept, I gathered together all the materials that I thought I might need. Some of these parts I used are rather odd but, it goes to show you can make it out of just about anything. For the base I used an outer metal shell from a dismantled DJ light, (yes in my 2nd life I was a DJ.) Realistically you can use anything that you can slide a rod into – the rod will be mounted vertically.

20140803-182322-66202937.jpg
I used a rod that is about 18 or so inches long. An 8mm (Dia) threaded rod is ideal, especially if you want to add bearings to easily rotate your spool. If your base has a large flat surface, you won’t need to add the black plastic that I used. The flat surface on the bottom is used to hold the un-spooled filament during the re-spooling process. A second set of nuts can be used at the top of the threaded rod to hold the empty spool on the top. I printed a set of spool hubs that can be found on Thingiverse by searching for, “Printrbot spool hubs.” If you have spools from different companies, I recommend Thingiverse.

Once you set the loose filament on the lower flat surface, you can cut the zip ties or whatever is holding it together. After that you will find the end of the filament that is closest to the top and thread or tape it to the spool. You can either spin the spool or manipulate the filament with your hands in order to re-spool it. I find that doing it by hand is the easiest.

20140803-182418-66258912.jpg
It may start to tangle when you are re-spooling but, it won’t because of the rod being in the middle of the spool. Sometimes the filament that is sitting on the lower surface may need to spin and should do so by itself as long as there are no obstructions. On occasion you may need to help it along.

20140803-182522-66322829.jpg
Using this setup is both easy and saves your filament from getting broken or tangled. I plan on making a better version but it will function the same. The only difference will be the aesthetics. I will update with the new version as well as files for any printable parts I design.

20140803-182722-66442440.jpg

IMG_2846.JPG

Advertisements

RepRap Squad: In The Shop

image

I often get emails and questions from people asking what we are working on besides what we post on here. We are constantly working on different projects, printing techniques, the use of different materials as well as many other things. Some more exciting than others. I decided to dedicate a post that will be updated as we go. This will serve as a platform for our daily or weekly projects. We will also post the results from our experiments and tests. This will hopefully not only let you know what’s going on around this crazy place but, it should give you some tips and tricks that you can implement into your own 3D printing.

Thanks to another member of the RepRap Squad family, we now have access to a dedicated shop that we can move all our equipment into for all the heavy duty work. We’ve always had a shop but, it was much smaller and housed a lot of non related materials. This is the new one we will be doing all our larger builds in as well as anything that needs some precision machines.

image

RepRap Squads new shop space

February 13th 2014:
Today we have spent a decent amount of time working out as few small kinks with the JunkBot as well as starting the long task of transferring a lot of its design over to STL files. A good portion of JunkBot’s build was done old school with pencil, rulers and paper. We want to make the majority of its parts printable, that way anyone can adapt the files or only use the ones they want. We have been working on getting all those files organized as well as photos taken of the actual physical parts.
image

Another thing we have been working on is different ways to wire a heated bed to different platforms to make swapping out print surfaces a lot easier. We prefer to use a larger Lexan plate for PLA and a smaller mk2 heated bed with glass for ABS. Having multiple plates that are easily swapped out saves us a lot of time when printing big projects. We are currently experimenting with different locking, quick disconnect wiring setups for the heated bed. Another test we have done is to embed strong but small rare earth magnets within the removable sheets of Lexan.

Our last series of tests for the day is print surfaces. In the past we tested out quite a few different kinds but, just as new types of filament come out. So do the ideas of new print surfaces. Time is also spent testing variations of common and not so common print surfaces. Such as soda blasted glass and Lexan. We will also be testing trex, synthetic hardwood and hard board. All in natural and alternative surface treatments. Making and using various print surfaces is quite time consuming so it is assumed that we will spend at least part of the next few days or so testing these options out.

February 14th 2014
We discovered a short in the wiring of our main extruder today. The 2nd extruder has been performing correctly so we just replaced the thermistor and resister wiring. The short was contained in the wiring for the resister but, we figured since we already had a full set of spares that we would replace both. Today we plan to continue testing on different print surfaces as well as also getting some dimensions from the JunkBot for a fellow builder.

February 20th 2014
A good deal of time today has been spent revamping out print bed setup on our printrbot plus hybrid. We were finally able to get a hold of some really thick Lexan. Its a bit long and not as wide as we wanted but, it was free. It will serve as a great test platform before we spend the money on a sheet as it starts to get fairly expensive when your using high quality Lexan that is the size and thickness that is required.

I wanted to suspend the piece about 5+mm above the sub mount in order to see how flat it actually is. I modified a setup that I found on thingiverse in order to have a lot of mounting support. This will keep it as flat as possible while still being able to eventually adapt it to our quick bed swap setup. I’ve printed all the required mounts and all I have left is to install it as well as test it to see how flat it actually is. I will be using a very accurate dial gauge which will let me know if it’s off even if it’s not visually imperfect.

February 21st 2014
Finally finishing the mounting of the new 10mm thick sheet of Lexan, we were able to do a few test prints. The first few prints came out great and I plan to continue testing today. The layer that is on top of the Lexan plate comes out very smooth and is definitely the type of finish we look for. Testing from the synthetic hardwood print bed has been inconclusive. I have figured out that the surface needs to be treated, more than likely I will use various grits of sandpaper and test some more.

More testing on the Lexan plate as well as the other experimental print surfaces will hopefully lead to a usable surface that meets all our requirements. We want to try to stay away from expensive consumables such as kapton, blue tape and hairspray. If we can’t go completely without these than we would like to limit the use of as much as possible.

We are also working on organizing all of the files and designs for the JunkBot build so that our friend in Australia can make progress on their JunkBot build. Some files used on the JunkBot are from thingiverse, Github and our own custom designs. We will also add our custom designs to thingiverse as previously stated. Here are a few early pics of the JunkBot frame being built in Australia.

image

February 24th 2014
We had our main computer go down the day before yesterday so a lot of time has been allocated to backing up all files. It has taken a lot of time to backup due to all the designs we’ve transferred over as well as collected. So far so good. The new work space is working great but, only a few small projects have been worked on in it so far. Im in the midst of re-designing part of the cable management setup on the JunkBot as well as the Printrbot Plus. We have been using it a lot lately and had to rewire the dual extruder setup due to internal fraying of the wiring.

It gave me an opportunity to see what needed to be done to make our wiring last longer. This particular failure was due to defect but, there is always room for improvements. The nicebpart about this happening now is that the parts designed can be adapted to both platforms. The PB Plus will be a little more tricky due to almost double the amount of wiring needed to operate the 2nd extruder. Our first thought was to buy one massive drag cable but, I later decided that wasn’t something I wanted to do. So I will be designing a custom printed solution.

I will start off with an already designed drag cable and custom make new mounts as well as a few other key components. Ive already designed and printed the X axis setup for the JunkBot. I am also building a track system for it to rest in. This will also help to anticipate its locations during operations. This is particularly important as it will be used in class rooms this year. I will update with more information and pictures both here as well as the JunkBots build log.

February 25th 2014
A decent amount of progress has been done in the way of cable management on both the JunkBot and the PB Plus. I was able to take a few pictures today to show what we have been working on. We could of just used regular drag cable but, we later decided that it would function as well as look better with a track guide system for the cable.
image

image

image

image

Here's the track system that guides the drag cable

image

image

Posted from RepRap Squad HQ

Printrbot Controller Case

Why build such an extensive setup?
There are many reasons that I decided to build this setup. One of the most important reasons is to be able to show my students how the electronics work inside a printer. With everything split out to its own terminal block and neat labeling, they can start to get a grasp on what does what. Another reason is mobility. I take my Printrbots all over the place and having a solid case that will protect all of the, “brains” of the operation is important. Also since the extrudaboard won’t fit in the plus’s undercarriage, this is the next best thing. I work with a lot of designers and electrical engineers, so this makes it easy to test out prototypes as well as debug any potential issues that may arise. I’ve found that the majority of issues I’ve had were very simple ones but, they took a good deal of time to track down. Now with the new setup, all I have to do is look at one of the indicator panels and say, “oh that’s what is going on. ”

This setup probably isn’t for the person that is into printing just as a hobby. However it isn’t hard to do and if you need help building a similar setup. I’m always available to help.

My Original Plan:
I decided it was time to make a case to properly house my Printrboard, wiring, 350w PSU änd extrudaboard. I was tired of un-organized wiring as well so I bought a bunch of new DB-9 male and female pin sets as well as everything else needed to organize my entire printrbot plus setup. I also bought 20, 12, 10 and 4 position terminal blocks so I could make quick plug panels on the case. This would allow for quick transportation and setups as well as reliable connections.

image

This is the case I originally planned on using

The case I will be using is an antec gamer9ine. I chose this case for a couple of reasons, one of them being the ample cooling built into the case and the other is the layout. It also fits my printrbot plus’s PSU perfectly. All of the built in fans have 3 position fan switches which allows for easy adjustment on the fly. I will also be using a front mounted fan controller to adjust the Printrstands cooling system.

The New Plan:
I liked the space involved with using a full size PC case but I later realized it was a little too much. Rummaging around for some spare parts I found an old server case which looked perfect for what I needed. I am still planning on using all of the other stuff for this one as I was with the old design. I decided to use the DB-9 cables for the end stops or homing switches, 4-pin molex connectors for the motors, DB-9 cables for the thermistors and fan lines. I may or may not use XLR connectors for all the heavier power wires like the two extruders and heatbed that will hopefully be added on at a later date.

image

Here's the new case during the rough layout stage

Some other items I decided to add are:
• LED status lights for: Power, standby, homing switches, motors (during operation ), hotends On and a few others.
• USB on the front or rear of case. This will allow me to have an input that will take all the wear and tear away from the USB plug on the Printrboard.
• Various switches: Power, standby, task lights and bypass.
• Every connection will have a plug on the front or rear of the case. After that they will run to terminal blocks and then to the controller boards.
• 40mm rear mounted fan will help to circulate air within the case. I also plan on modifying the top cover to mount two fans ranging from 60-80mm. (One will be mounted over the Printrboard and the other will mount over the Extrudaboard. )

image

This is the basic layout that I decided to use taking into consideration wiring routes and connector locations

November 5th 2013
Today I started the task of wiring all the plugs and piped all the lines to the Printrboard. My hands are actually sore from stripping and crimping all the required terminals. I feel confident that this setup will relieve any issues with potential disconnects. I’ve assured this by making sure that all connections made are either soldered, clamped to terminals or hard wired with heatshrink tubing. The reason I am being so carful is due to possible disconnects during operation on the motors lines which could carry the potential of destroying my drivers or the Printrboard. This is especially the case for anyone running a RAMPS controller.

image

The cut out in the front of the case is where this black fan controller will go

Another nice feature of the new server case is the lid is removable with a couple screws that I will be replacing with quick release ones that don’t require the use of a screw driver to remove. This will give me quick access to all of the wiring. I will be using metal and thin acrylic cut outs to make my custom panels. I also decided to add a few things in case I decide to upgrade to triple or quadruple extruders. The quadruple extruder idea is actually already in the works as the extrudaboard has supports 3 extruders and I will be testing out a board that will add-on to that setup. I really want to use Printrbots Ubis hotends but, just in case they take up too much room I have designed a custom solution with quad extruder support in a space saving design.

image

The majority of the wiring is finished but, I haven't organized the wiring into the pre-deturmined paths

Back to the custom case. I added an extra DB-9 input to allow for expansion of 2 more thermistors, 2 more power lines for the extruders and I will add the required wiring for the extra motors at the time of upgrade. I have cut out the basic shapes needed for all the panels but, I haven’t cut out the connector holes yet. I also plan on mocking up all the status lights tomorrow as I haven’t decided their final mounting locations. I have the majority of the internal wiring finished and I still need to add the 4-point zip tie mounts. Once I add updated pics you will see the 4-point zip tie mounts. They are great for adding anchor points and they are fairly reasonable priced.

image

This will give you an idea of where everything goes and the extrudaboard will be mounted to the left of the Printrboard

Here are some quick sketches and diagrams that I drew in order to figure out where everything should go.

image

This is the wiring diagram

image

This is a very quick sketch of the front and rear panel layout

Update: November 6th 2013
The main reasons for this build besides mobility, protection and accessability, was to be able to effectively debug any potential issues that may arise during operation. I also wanted a platform that would allow me to easily upgrade to triple and quadruple extruders when I decide to do so. One issue that might arise is the height of the power plug on the Printrboard. I made sure that there will be enough space but, just in case I came up with several different solutions as only a few more mm would be needed.

Update: November 7th 2013
Today I started messing around with ways to make my own labels/stickers to put on the cables and a few other places in the case for quick identification during debugging/troubleshooting. Since I don’t own a label maker or have the want to spend good money on sticker paper. I decided to be inventive in solving this issue. I looked around the prototyping lab to see what I had to work with and I found a bunch of blank stickers you use to write your name on. I took those to my computer and used Word to write all the labels I needed. Then I printed them out to see where they fell on a regular sheet of paper. After that I took some tape and lightly taped the blank stickers on the page. Putting that sheet back in the printer upside down and hit print. The printer then printed out all the required labels and all I had left to do was cut them all out. I used different size fonts depending on the space available for that particular label.

I decided to label each cable on the ends, each terminal block output, connectors and the outside of the case on the panels. This will make debugging very easy, even for someone un -framiliar with this particular setup.

My tablet unfortunately doesn’t take the best pictures in the world but I wanted you to get an idea of how and where I decided to label everything. When I get to a digital camera I will take better pics.

image

Every cable has a specific label which makes quick referencing very easy

image

Here's the homing inputs, USB cable input, wiring for two more extruders and the on/standby/off switch

Update: November 8th 2013
Today I made a little progress and I was able to take the protective film off of the Lexan as well as label the majority of the lines.
image

image

On the left side of the front you can see the new panel I made. It's all ready for everything to get mounted.

I finally figured out how to mount the power supply. I decided to reinforce the side so I could mount an adjustable mount that holds the PSU. It is semi-permanent. It has adjustments on the side that slide in to lock the power supply to the side of the controller enclosure. It is very stiff and the base acrylic plate is a little over 1/4″ thick.

image

This is the plate that the slider brackets are mounted to.

image

I also took the time to mount the fan controller that will allow me to change fan speeds to cool the electronics enclosure.

image

Here's a full view of the floating mount. During transportation I can easily unlock the PSU or leave it how it is during operation.

Update: November 11th 2013
Today I plan on starting to cut out the spaces on 2 seperate panels for 6 4-pin molex connectors. These will be used to plug in the motors for my plus. I also took this opportunity to upgrade the wiring throughout my machine. Now all my motor wiring + power to extruder is about 14-16 gauge, endstops are about 20-22, thermisters are 20-22 and my power wiring is about 10 gauge with an in line fuse rated at 18amps. Later on I also plan to fuse the AC lines but for now those will be left stock.

Update: November 23rd 2013
I have taken a small break recently on the printrcase to work on a few other small projects but, today I had some more time to work on the control case. Today I built in all the XLR cable mounts on the front. I decided to add 4 of them even though I will only be using 2 currently. These are being used to run the power to the extruders. Eventually I will have 4 extruders hence the 4 XLR plugs. I currently have the hardware to run 3 extruders and I just got a new ad on closed loop stepper controller which will allow me to run four extruders. We are currently in the midst of designing the mounts for the quad extruder set up, more on that later.
image

I also took the time to set up the DB9 cable connection. I built the six 4-pin molex connector extensions that will connect all 6 kysan motors, leaving space to add two more for the eventual quad extruder setup.

image

I still have to build the front face cover that will be mounted on those stand-offs

image

On the right side I still need to add the last three 4-pin molex connectors

Update: November 25th 2013
Like many of my build I am never truly satisfied and tell everything is perfect. I learned quite a bit with the first to printer case designs and builds. I figured out what worked and what didn’t. More importantly, I figured out the setup that would work the best to fit my needs. Space isn’t too much of an issue but, portability is. Before building yet another controller case I decided to figure out what was most important to me in a controller case. These are my main requirements: Portability, protection of all electronics, being able to fit as much as possible into the case, easy debugging, room for expansion, easy access to wiring etc, quick setups and tare downs.

I liked the server case that I used in the prior build but, I wanted to be able to fit two or at bare min one power supply. So I started hunting around for a new case that would fit a power supply as well as the essentials without being too big. I ended up settling on a small computer case, the smaller. desktop kind. It’s one of those old school “micro desktop” cases from about 10+ yrs ago. It has a corner sectioned off that fits the ATX PSU perfectly. It also had ample room for a cooling system that will surely keep the electronics free from heat. I was able to re-use the majority of wiring and parts from the last case. I still need to figure out mounting points for all the plugs. Being a computer tower it had spots that I could easily adapt for this use.

For the most part I was able to plum the majority of the wiring except some of the plugs that will connect on the Printrboard end. This setup is laid out more effectively the the prior setup. I was able to move all 6 of the motor input connections to the rear. Also the fan wiring, homing switches and thermistor were moved to the rear via DB-9 cables. The fan controller for the cases cooling system is also in the back but, I may move it to the front for easy adjustments. The power for both extruders is mounted on the left side via upgraded XLR cables with locking mounts. The USB plug was moved to the front and it is extendable if needed. I also decided to add a three point foot leveler setup that can be adjusted up to 3 inches up or down on each leg. I plan on re-painting the case black to give it a more sleek look. I will update with pics as I go.

Here are a few pics from the last few days of the build.

image

The 3 point foot leveler setup allows for easy adjustment

image

In the middle cutout I will be custom etching the printrbot logo. The front two marked cutouts, one is for the power supply fan and the other will be a matching inlet fan to cool the electronics.

image

Everything is getting sanded to prep for primer, paint and clear coats

image

image

image

We used metal pieces to add depth as well as prepared for the logo design.

image

We threw this together really quick and more than likely this is the logo we will use for the center square cutout.

image

This gives you a basic idea of the layout

Update: November 30th 2013
Today I plan on printing a few parts required to mount some connectors as well as some wire management clips. I also need to figure out where I am going to add the fourth extruder closed-loop controller. I plan on mounting it somewhere near the Printrboard and extrudaboard. I will update today after finishing some prints. I’m not expecting the quality of prints to be great due to recent damage done to my plus, but hey it’ll get me by.
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.

image

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.

image

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.

image

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

image

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.

image

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.

image

ACME rod comes in 12 inch lengths with required nut

Posted from RepRap Squad HQ

Printrbot Plus V2.1, V2.2 & V2.3 – Coming To The Masses

image

Update: October 24th 2013
It has been made aware to me that today printrbot is also releasing a Printrbot Plus V2.1. 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 V2.1 will now include : LCD panel, heated bed, wider platform, acme rods, all aluminum bearing blocks on every axis, 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.

image

I present the new Printrbot Plus V2.1

A lot of exciting things are going to happen at Printrbot which means we will have the ability to get the best that the consumer market has to offer. RepRap Squad will have to wait quite a while before we can afford this version but, hey we can dream can’t we? It’s almost like Brook and the designers crawled into my head and built the perfect bot. I can’t wait to see the products that come out of this printing platform. It is truly a thing of beauty with a few small design changes that may only be noticable to the true Plus lover. If you were debating on buying a Plus, now is the time to pull the trigger on this updated masterpiece.

I was also told that this is just the start of lots of cool things coming soon to the printrbot store

RepRap Squad has recently found out that Printrbot plans on releasing a Printrbot Plus version 2.2 and version 2.3. V2.2 will signify the dual extruder setup with a twist. Its a kit that will make your Printrbot Plus wider than before to accommodate the extra room taken up by the dual direct drive extruders. This is very exciting news and quite frankly a mod that we have been wishing for since we first got our Plus V2. It’s simple enouph to add some height to your Z-axis but, X-axis is a little more difficult. We haven’t seen any pictures yet to let us know how they plan on extending the width of this glorious bot. We assume that it woukd be some kind of bolt on that attaches itself to the existing base. However it could also be a new base entirely that would be ready and waiting for that aluminum bearing block we’ve been eying for the last few weeks that is now included as part of the assembled Printrbot line-up.

I want to introduce you to the coolest thing since sliced bread and chocolate milk, the Printrbot Plus V2.3. This setup will be much like the V2.2 with the exception being that it will be designed for the triple extruder setup that we assume Printrbot will be releasing after their dual extruder beta is finished. Since the beginning, we at RepRap Squad have dreamed of a day that we could print on a triple extruder setup. Now knowing that Printrbot will offer a wider base along with the triple extruder, brings tears of joy as we anticipate its release.

Printrbot has thrown us a few curveballs with the recent announcement of no more kits available but, they have definitely re-inspired the maker inside me with all these new mods coming out. These add-ons are making Printrbot to be a force to be reckoned with. You may not be able to buy non-assembled printers anymore with exception of the Printrbot Simple but, you can still however personalize your bot to fit your needs even more than ever thought possible. We’ve always been a fan of making our printers represent who we are and what we like and I must say that I’m a wide, tall, triple extrusion kinda guy. We will definitely be updating as we get anymore information on this great list of soon to be add-ons.

Posted from RepRap Squad HQ

LCD Coffee Table

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.

Update: I’ve made enouph progress to show you some pictures. I’m still quite a ways from being done but it’s starting to look like a coffee table. So far I have zero dollars invested.
image

image

This plastic top will be painted all black and have glass or lexan on top.
image

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

My Printrbot Plus V2 – Mods and all

Printrbot Plus V2

Modifications:
– Extended Z-axis to 16″ from base to top

image

– Custom Bowden extruder (soon dual bowden) I was lucky enouph to have a good friend that I could reach out to in order to get this sweet replacement extruder. You can check out his blog here, which I highly reccomend as it is a good read. He is operating a Printrbot GO and is turning out some rather good prints.

image

– Upgraded to Kysan nema 17 Z-axis motors. All other motors are custom black to match whole setup.

image

– Custom built Printrstand with 180mm Antec cooling fan for electronics bay. 2-80mm inlet/outlet fans for power supply cooling and electronics cooling. Add on selectable LED lighting, 2×12″ tubes. Printrstand also has 2 x 12v auxilary plugs on rear, fused A/C inlet line and emergancy power shut off switch. Whole printer including Printrstand have black tube wiring organizers with mounts to protect all wiring. The Printrstand also has matching handles on each side which makes for easy transportation. The Printrbot locks down to the printrstand for transportation as well as during operation. On the back it also has a fully adjustable spool mount that will accomidate any spool.

image

image

image

– Xbox 360 203 watt 17 amp modified power supply and another 24 volt 25 amp power supply ran through a SSR for heatbed.
image

Recent Upgrade: I added a 350 watt atx PSU along with a laptop power supply.
image

image

– LED info lighting on bowden extruder. They turn blue when hotend and heatbed are on and red LED turns on when they are at predeturmind temp.

image

– Makerbot 3x end stop mechanical switches with LED light as well as 3x standard mechanical end stop switches for full control and safety.
– Arduino Uno to run LED status lights as well as temp warning sensors that if two or more sensors rise above settings it will text operator with warning and begin shutdown sequence for anti fire warning.
– IP camera. This lets me view my prints from anywhere via my Android tablet or cell phone.
image
image

image

– Extra Temp displays. Lets me see the temperature of the heated bed and hotend on an LCD display that will be mounted on the top Z axis stiffiner next to the bowden extruder. Another reason for this addition is to read temps more accuratly as pronterface has been known to be off up to + or – degrees. I average out the two readings. The temp display also has 2 warning alarms that are tied into my arduino UNO R3. When temps go above a pre set temp it sounds an alarm and send me a text message via phone warning me of a potential fire.
image

– RAMPS 1.4 setup with 5xA4988 drivers for dual extruder operation, Arduino Mega, stand alone cooling system, driver heatsinks, full wiring system (10×2 pin, 10×3 pin, 10×4 pin)
Recent Upgrade: Printrboard with extrudaboard for dual extruder beta.
image

image

– 12 volt 8 amp heatbed .
– Custom built all metal hotend with a two fan extruder system. This hotend can withstand very high temps for printing with almost all available filiments including nylon.
Recent Upgrade: Dual 1.75mm ubis hotends with 2 large Kysan direct drive extruders.
image

– Upgraded ACME rods for Z axis, anti backlash system with springs x 2 and precision smooth rods for (X=8mm,) (Y=8mm) and (Z axis’s = 12mm.) Lm8uu bearings x 8 and LME12uu upgraded x 4 as well as an extra set of PLA linear bearings x 12. New brass nuts for smooth linear motion.
– Z axis aluminum rod stiffiner and dual bowden mount with PTFE tubing from spool to extruder and then from extruder to hotend.

image

– Reinforced Y axis bed sub structure with aluminum angle rod as well as main bed reinforcment with boxed channel aluminum. These two modifiactios will limit bed adjustments before printing as well as help to keep bed and sub structure even and flat.

image

image

– High temp glass mounted on top of heatbed with a laminate foam core between the heated bed and glass. High temp glass also has blue painters tape that is cross thatched.

image

– All bearings throughout 3D printer have been upgraded to the best Italian ABEC 5 bearing I could find. (X axis idler, Y axis idlers, extruder and idlers x 2 and both Z axis threaded top mounts.)

image

Update: September 2nd 2013
I’ve made a lot of changes to my Printrbot plus v2 in the last month or so and I’ve also ordered some new parts including:
● GT2 aluminum 20T pullys and 6mm belts
● Linear GT2 gear idlers on x and y axis’ s
● Spider couplers
● MK2 8×8 heatbed
● Swappable lexan bed for printing PLA as well as 2 glass beds in 2 different sizes so I always have a clean bed ready
● Printrbots dual direct drive extruders, soon to be triple
● I will be widening the bed soon with Printrbots v2.3 kit
● M8 rods with brass nuts
● Extrudaboard
● 3- 1.75MM Ubis hotends
● Heatsinks on both extruder fets as well as both extruder motors
● Custom built cool blue task lights
● 350 watt power supply with 2 seperate 12v lines
● Floating mount for printrboard and extrudaboard with multi-fan adjustable cooling
● 2 PTFE tubes to feed direct drive extruder from spool mount
● Custom built mountable and handheld LCD interface
● Tool and extinguisher mount for easy access
● Custom acrylic wiring management mounts
● Dual 40mm fans for ubis hotends

Here’s some more updated pics:
image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Posted from RepRap Squad HQ

Printrbot V2 Mods

I recently found some Printrbot V2 mods that happen to be for the LC Plus model but you should have no problems with the standard V2 LC model as these parts will work for both. One of the issues I noticed when I was putting together my V2 Plus was the Z axis nut notch. It didnt hold the nut well and left it to rotate partially. I found a solution to that issue. All of these mods can be found at Thingiverse.

image

The spring in between the Z axis guide nuts also helps eliminate backlash and is something that has worked well for me in the past as well as currently.

image

The wings on this setup ride within the nut trap and work very effeciantly.

As of June 10th I found some similar printable mods. These one are a variation but they may suit your needs better depending on what they are.
image

image

image

image

This mod moves the rod to more center and is suppose to be a better alignment.

image

It can also be adapted to accomidate ACME rods.

image

Another issue I noticed with the new V2 was the X axis smooth rod mounts. The  stock mount didnt work well to make the rods parallel. It also did not hold the rods very efficiantly and allowed them to slip a bit when the X axis belt was being tightend. Another fix I found by the same designer was to print a replacement that solved both of these issues very well. Another neat part about printing these x axis mounts is the fact that you can print them in any color you want. This gives your bot a little bit of much needed color.

image

Here’s a very well executed x axis rod mount that I found on Printrbot Talks forum’s. I will definitely be adding these to my Printrbot plus V2 but, instead of regular LEDs I will add a green, red and orange LEDs to use as status lights.

The little clear PLA face plate is a diffuser for a blue power on LED I’m going to place in each one. If you don’t want an LED, you can add color to the design by printing the plate a different non transparent color, or if you’re a monochrome person,. Print both parts the same color. They press fit into the fixture.
image

If you do go with the LED idea, print the diffuser 1 wall in all directions with honeycomb and the honey comb will show through with the light. The actual X Rod Blocks should be 2 walls in all directions ~30% infill.
image

Here’s what AlexC wrote on the post:
Ive printed about 6 things since installing them on Wednesday, and so far I am blown away with the print quality I am looking at from the last 2-3 mods I have done,. My corners are crisper, my edges are all beautifully even, walls are smooth, small fill areas are no longer bulging or puckering, and small hole edges are darn near perfect, bridging has even gotten a little better. Things are looking so good I even started to inch my speed settings upwards! =)[/quote]
Here you can see the x axis covers installed as well as the Z axis retainers.

image

I had a lot of problems with the nuts on my bed leveler system working there way out during operation. I found a way to solve that issue by printing out a set of leveler knobs that not only keep it in place but allow for easy and quick adjustments before operation.

image

image

A mod that helped to keep filiment going into the extruder was a guidler that is designed to fit on the stock Printrbot extruder. There  is also a printable spring holder for the extruder that makes for easy adjustments. The combination of the two make for simple extruder adjustments and a more reliable extruder operation.

image

A printable z axis adjustment knob is a good idea if you dont like using a screw driver for simple adjustments. It has a knob to make for quick adjustments. It is however not as accurate as using a set of calipers for vertical clearance. You can use a perminate marker to put a line for referance.

image

A mod that i have personally built is a Z axis stabilizer. I also needed a location to mount my bowden setup that will eventually be a dual bowden setup. I used 2 L shaped strips of aluminum that i bolted together. These use pressure to firmly mount to the Z axis smooth rods and work very well for stabilization as well as bowden mounts. This location also puts the least amount of bowden tube pull or push on the extruder.

image

image

Adding regitity to the pb plus bed and sub mount

I have heard about issues with the wood bed warping and after recieving my pb plus I noticed it as well. So one of the 1st things I did was to get the bed and sub structure mount for the bed as flat as possible. Then I mounted one “L” channeled piece of aluminum on each side from the front to the back. I drilled holes about every 3 inches to make sure it would keep everything as level as possible. I also chose to use fairly heavy duty nuts and bolts.
image

On the main bed piece I used half boxed stamped metal which added a large amount of regidity. It is low enouph profile to only take up a small amount of my Z axis print height and high enouph to add some serious strength. I fastend it with the same kind of bolts and mount distance. I had to notch out the 4 corners of this mount to accomidate for the bed leveler mounts and springs, which turned out to be easy with a bench mounted grinder.
image

image

These modifications will make it a lot easier to keep the bed even and level. Which should lesson the amount of re-leveling needed before prints. Being aluminum the added weight is minimal at best and should not effect bed movement. I also took the time since I had the bed off to put on aluminum belt guides with ABEC 5 bearings that act as a tensioner on the Y axis. These will help keep the belt from wondering as well as keep the belt tight for better print quality. The tensioner system can be easily adjusted in any position within 360 degrees. Ive found that this is a lot smoother movement even over using the stock PB idlers with fenders. Eventually i will add lower fenders on the idlers as well as the tensioners to keep the belt from going too low, which hasnt been an issue so far.
image

Taking the plunge! PB+ V2

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

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

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

Printrbot original to Printrbot plus V2 transformation:

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

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

Here’s the printer stand I am building:

I wanted to make something to put my printer on when it was at home.so I came up with this cool little stand to put my power supply in. It has an acrylic top and a hinged door on the back t8 access my power supply if needed. I am also adding a 180mm fan that will blow on the electronics from underneath the printrbot. It will also have 3 80mm fans for psu cooling and inlets to feed the monster 180mm fan. It will work on the same basis as a laptop cooler. I will be posting pictures as soon as I get home. These pics are early on in the build as I have bought all the needed components but I need to install them. I also need topaint everything up. Im also setting eeverything up so it has quick disconnect wiring for portability.
image

image

image

image

Here are some updated pics of the PrintrStand. Im not done yet but im getting close:
image

image

image

Here are some updated pics: May 26th 2013

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

image

image

%d bloggers like this: