I went to ikea. Got 2 lack tables and put them together…. I want my printer higher up. ELEVATE TO THE LEVEL OF THE GODS!!! no. just high enough I can watch it cause I like to watch it go back and forth while I make printer noises.
So I ordered a 3rd table. Put it on top. Sweet. Much better. I moved the printer into the enclosure this weekend (no sides put on it yet) and decided I needed to get the lighting in place. So I took some neopixel strips I had laying around and hooked them up to an arduino.
Ok, so that’s now how I am leaving it 🙂 but it did look cool. Now I can set the colors. Plain white for printing. I am trying to figure out how in octoprint to get a hook in to detect when it’s heating up. That way I can turn the lights orange or red to indicate heating phase.
So I did a timelapse and a vid. The vid of the whole rig setup
Here is the timelapse test print
I am working more on trying to get some good photo and video in with these projects too. If you like the videos give a thumbs up and a subscribe.
I have these coming to be able to connect audio up to my ClearOne XAP800.
The XAP800 is going to be added to my Home Automation system to be able to control/mix/route audio from various sources to various destinations. If you want to read more about what this can do check out my buddy here.
Its funny. The whole time I have had my printer I have been constantly wanting to upgrade. Maybe because I built my printer from a kit and know each piece. I look at upgrades thinking, this will help just a tiny bit more. This will make it a tiny bit better. But also, I enjoy these projects. So I have what I can only hope are my last big round of updates. Nevermind. I just thought of one more. Bowden extruder…. but that’s for another post.
Motor Coupler – Aliexpress The motor coupler is going be to used to connect my 5mm drive shaft to my below 8mm threaded rods.
Lead Screws w/ Copper Nut – Aliexpress Replacing my current threaded rods and nuts with some nice thick Lead screws and longer copper nuts should add some additional stability and durability in that I won’t have to replace the nuts regularly like I do now.
Aluminum Build Plate – Aliexpress
The aluminum build plate will replace my glass bed. I have hard it does well for heat distribution but also I need it for the below proximity switch.
Induction Proximity Switch – Amazon I am going to get rid of current auto level setup. I am going to the inductive sensor so there is no longer going to be a swinging arm. This will hopefully improve start up time, and keep better accuracy.
20 555 Timers – Aliexpress I have these 555 timers coming because I plan to use them on a small solar charge controller project I need for my Green Sprinkler system Project.
100 Optocouplers – Aliexpress A couple weeks back I designed and tested a small circuit that will detect when the 12v accessory line in my car is turned on and off. Using these optocouplers I will be able to use this signal to either power on my raspberry pi in my car, or to tell it to turn off. This is going to be useful so that the pi doesn’t turn off as soon as I get home, but will be signaled to turn off in about an hour. This will give enough time for sync jobs to run, backups and any config changes I want to do.
So there it is. Some of my up coming projects
Big Printer upgrade
Solar Charge Controller
CarPi Power circuit deally (i need a better name)
Green Sprinkler System
Home Automation Audio Router
This guys has his shit way more together than I do. Look at him! He’s wearing a suit…. I barely wear pants!!!!
So you have seen my woes. I learned ALOT about 3d printers during the build and trials and tribulations. But once I had it pseudo working the first thing I wanted to print…. UPGRADES!!!
“#$%^& YES!!!! Print your own upgrades!” I yelled at the printer!
I printed a new fan shroud that has a vent to help cool the plastic as well as a slot for a 9 gram servo motor.. Why you may ask? Well, its for the auto bed level!
This seemed like the holy grail at the time, it is still pretty cool, but I have found it does put some extra wear and tear on your z-axis nuts and rods.
I basically build it based of this guys videos
This is still a pretty cool feature. I have even used the time it takes to auto level to change my heat bed temps by using some custom “start gcode” in CURA
G21 ;metric values
G90 ;absolute positioning
M82 ;set extruder to absolute mode
M107 ;start with the fan off
G28 ;move Z to min endstops
In short, my CURA profile has the heat bed set to heat up to 55 degrees. I personally like it at 65. So once that initial 55 is hit for the heatbed and the hotend it starts this custom G-Code. That first line says “set the head bed temp to 65” then it moves on to some of the other settings. The G28 and G29 are related to the auto bed leveling. So while its probing various points, the bed is heating up to my desired temp.
Its funny I have this little guy printed in black abs, black pla, red pla and gray pla in my house.
This hurt. For over a week I had my printer ripped back apart.
I will show a few more pics of the build and then go into some MAJOR things I learned. Some links to really good resources and some pics of various prints I have done.
This was the picture after I got a lot of the main support structure together. I thought I was getting close to being done. Oh how wrong I was..
All of this info so far happened in the time between Wednesday and Saturday that first week. So Saturday night the wife is off to work, the kids are pre-occupied. PRINTER TIME.
So I am putting on the heat bed the the y-carriage support (that acrylic plate in the middle.) You have springs you put over the screws so that it has constant pressure keep the plate level. I am pressing these things in…. crack!!
Yep, broke a piece of my printer before I even plugged in it.
I was devastated. However, not the end of the world. I continued on and just jammed a sticky note pad in there… don’t judge me. Desperate times called for desperate measures!
At that point I stepped away for 2 days and began working on it again going into the new week. Electronics time!!!
Now we have to hook up all that stuff.
Look how clean a RAMPS board looks before you hook everything up.
So I get everything hooked up. I’m done. Lets hook it to the computer, upload a test pattern for the motors and make it move.
Why isn’t it registering…. Why is that power light coming on and fading out…. Did I get a bum arduino mega? No worries!!! I have an extra one from another project, lets test it.
Out comes the magic smoke…. 1 of those little green stepper motor boards was on backwards and fried not only the arduino mega, but the mega, the RAMPS and 4 of 5 stepper motor drivers. Thank you amazon for having just that kit available for someone like me.
Now I am considering just setting it all on fire, molding it into something, and calling it “3d printer art” but we have it powering up now. So I had to give the dining room table back to the wife (she hates when I take over the table for projects)
So its time to start trying to print.
HA!!! I wish it was that easy. 1 simple word for anyone considering 3dprinting. CALIBRATION!!!! Do it. Do it again. Keep doing it.
That clicking sound in the video. Yeah turns out that is bad. I was having problems with the motor being able to push the filament through the nozzle.
Calibrate your temperatures! Make sure you aren’t too close to the bed. Sigh. This went on for awhile.
So much heat transfer into the extruder that it softened and jammed up. I cleared this SOOOO many times.
Look on the top of that heat block. See that little bit of leakage? That became the bane of my existence. Long prints and I would get a random build up of that plastic, it would drop on my print, cool, and snag the head.
Fixed the jamming with adjusting my cooling settings and print head temp.
Fixed the leaking head by pulling that throat tube out and putting some plumbers tape on it. Shouldn’t have needed it, maybe it was a bad tube, but worked like a champ since.
I had another problem later with all the vibrations my heating element fell out of the heat block. That was weird. Had to tighten everything down again.
Thermister broke… Replaced that.
Replaced nozzles a couple of times due to bad clogging (nozzles are cheap, order spares, you may be able to get acetone to dissolve a lot of the clogs, but who wants to wait multiple days)