Posts Tagged ‘3D Printer’

Progress Update – 3/8/11

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

I haven't been posting any projects, but I've definitely been working on stuff!   If you don't follow my Thingiverse posts, I've leaned a little about character modeling in Blender and made me a ceiling cat for the shop:

I also made some spools for jumper wire that fit in my trusty electronics tackle boxes:

I've also been working on a set of parts that'll attach to a standard Cupcake CNC to add fume hood functionality for a fellow Makerbot operator.  It's not done yet, but the parts I have done make it look like a little oven, which I think is pretty awesome:

I've also been working on the CNC router at CCCKC, which has had a few successful test cuts and should help me finish a few long-running projects I've had on the back burner.  Check out this CCCKC blog post for video and some more info.

Lastly, I've been working on my self replicating CNC project again.  I've decided to make this project even more ambitious and I've acquired most of the hardware that I think I'll need to finish it up, or at least get it off it's feet.  I'm also learning OpenSCAD and doing all my initial design and prototyping in OpenSCAD.  I'm going to try and use OpenSCAD to model all the milled components in 3D and then use OpenSCAD's 2D rendering capabilities to generate the DXF files that will eventually be used to generate tool paths to actually mill the parts.  I'm trying to make the design very parametric and well organized so it'll be easy for me to tweak and easy for others to modify use the parts they have on hand or make new  derivatives.  The CCCKCCNC being up should help prototyping as well.

 

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PE00001 Back Online!

Monday, November 15th, 2010

While demoing my Cupcake CNC bot a while back, the extruder succumbed to plastic build up at the interface of the PTFE and the heater barrel.  Not soon after I tore the extruder hot end apart Makerbot Industries released the second version of the heated build platform, and later teh MK5 hot end.   I snatched up both upgrades but haven't had time to retrofit my bot until last weekend.  After some rewiring, soldering, moving and remounting of various electronics, and some assembly of various mechanical bits, I had a working Makerbot once again!

I was surprised that the first print actually finished up fine.  OK, I did help it along a bit by raising the Z axis a bit while building because it was putting out way too much plastic, but it did finish a 1 hour print successfully on the first attempt.  I've been using a Paxtruder design for a while, so I've got a good idea of how to tune the filament pressure, which probably helped a bit as well.  I'm loving the new hot end so far.  I've been able to speed up my feed rate by %30 without running into any issues, and I've had good luck going raftless for the most part.  These two things combined have halved the print times of some of my prints, which is awesome.  I'm still tuning things but my initial impressions are very favorable, and it looks like the new setup will be considerably more reliable.

On a side note, one tool I found useful for dealing with the heated build platform is my Cricut spatula.  It's inexpensive, small and easy to use, good for scraping objects off the platform without getting me burned, and you can use it to smash down traces of plastic that lift of the build platform in the early stages of the print.  I'm hoping that after some tuning I won't be using it to be saving prints as much in the future.

Spider Sighted int the Wild

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Since I posted the spider ring on Thingiverse I've seen it pop up in a few places, like this video on the WSJ site.  In the latest edition of Make magazine (volume 21) it popped up again on page 49 in a line up of other interesting objects from Thingiverse.  It's a weird feeling to know that someone else has actually made something I designed and threw on the internet.  Hopefully this kind of thing will happen more and more as "home fabrication" becomes more ubiquitous!

MakerBot Extruder Postmortem

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Construction of CCCKC's CaveBot and my PE00001 MakerBot was pretty straight forward for the most part.  The only major snags we hit were versioning issues and a finicky extruder.   New laser cut parts are easy to get our hands on and relatively cheap, but extruder parts have to be ordered from MakerBot Industries costing us time and money.  Also, if you want to re-use your nozzle and heater barrel, you have to soak your parts in an acetone bath for a few days to clean it out, which is a real pain because you also have to agitate the bath as well if you want to be reusing those parts any time soon.  I've been told you can also use a lighter to melt out the plastic, but I have yet to experiment with this.

Anyway, here are a few things we picked up while debugging the extruder to consider in addition to the instructions on the MakerBot site:

  1. Don't cross thread the PTFE!  This is relatively easy to do since PTFE is a pretty soft plastic.  If you're worried about it, use the 3mm hex wrench as a guide when screwing the heater barrel in:
    PTFE Threading Help
  2. Remove the PTFE as a load bearing structural component.  This amounts to adding an M6 nut and washer in between the PTFE insulator and the fender washer.  This translates force on the heater barrel back up to the main plastruder body through the bolts connected to the fender washer.  While this won't stop damns of plastic from forming and slowing down extrusion, it should keep the heater barrel from getting pushed out of the PTFE, stripping the threads out as it does so.
    Extruder Nut
  3. Add a hose clamp where the heater barrel and PTFE meet.  While not required, it probably couldn't hurt and it may stop damns from forming.  I'm hoping this will extend the life of my extruder a bit.  Remember to periodically tighten this clamp up as the PTFE "flows" away from the clamped area over time.
    Hose Clamp

Check out this entry on the MakerBot Blog for some additional info and some more awesome mods to the basic plastruder setup.

MakerBot Update – Extruder and Platform Upgrades

Monday, November 30th, 2009

I posted two upgrades I've made to my MakerBot to Thingiverse this weekend.  First is a build platform upgrade, which is just a quick mod that allows you to use "throwie" magnets to couple the build surface to the y-axis instead of the 1/8" cube magnets that come with the kit.  While I like the original design, the larger magnets  are easier to come by and you don't have to worry about them working their way out of the wood platforms over time because they're not held in place by friction.

Build Platform Upgrade

Second is the drop in Paxtruder.  My MakerBot has been down for about 2 weeks now because I cracked my idler wheel.  I decided to take this opportunity to play around with an alternative design someone posted to Thingiverse that uses a Delrin pusher rather than an idler wheel.  I modified the design a bit so I could reuse the mounts and heater components without too much difficulty.  I haven't been using it for too long, but I love that it takes next to no time to change filament with this design and that tension is ridiculously easy to adjust.  During the short time I've been using the new extruder, I've also noticed that the gear motor noise (and presumably load) seems more consistent as well compared to the idler wheel design.

Drop in Paxtruder