General 3D Printing Thread


 

Tom Kole

TVWBB Pro
Isn't the one above for the 4 line? I was just curious if it was room for additional electronics.

The one above is a 4-line for version 2 of the case. Version 2 has the nut traps located inside which is why you can't see the screws from above. After assembling a number of these, I find the interior nut traps to be a pain in the a@#. So we now have version 3 which maintains the square form factor but uses through and through screws with bottom nut traps. I have the files posted for the 2-line display and am working on the 4-line displays.
 

Bryan Mayland

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Wow very nice! I had to leave town suddenly last week and just got back late last night so I still haven't had a chance to calibrate my printer. Last thing I remember my esteps were way off and I had coarsely calibrated it down to 870/mm from 945/mm. I'm curious what you ended up with, Ralph. Also your slic3r settings might give me a leg up on getting it done.

I used the hairspray on my tests and I thought it worked pretty well except after maybe 4 prints it mostly wore off. I think that's not bad for the amount of effort it took to apply it.

I looked at the model of the case with the interior nut traps and honestly I'm not even sure how you built them because once I moved a part of them I couldn't get them lined up at all any more. I can see how they'd be a complete pain in the keister.
 

RalphTrimble

TVWBB Diamond Member
The hairspray has been working pretty great for me, I haven't had any problems. I am using Garnier Fructis "Extreme Control", I apply it fresh every print. Before I apply I wash the glass with some windex (which helps break down the hairspray), then scrape the glass with a razor blade (cause the hairspray will leave a film), then wash it again and wipe down with a microfiber towel to make sure there are no fuzzy's left behind. Then I hold the glass upright and spray about 3-4 layers of hairspray on the glass. I use a lot, just make sure not to put so much that you get drips. Then let it dry, by the time the glass/bed is up to temp it is definitely dry....

Bryan, I had been wondering what was up, hadn't heard a peep from you.... The end stop adjustments are not all that critical EXCEPT for the Z-axis which sets the height of the hotend over the glass. IDK how to make heads or tails of how Maker Farm expected the endstop screws to work, they don't thread into the wood and using a nut on both sides of the wood to lock them in place is way beyond a PITA. What I did to make life easier is I took a piece of solder wick with a little solder in it (basically used solder wick!) and cut a small section, bent a right angle then put it down the hole where the end stop screw goes. Now when you put the screw in it will cut threads into the wood and braid. Now you can simply turn the screw and it will hold its position without any nuts to lock it, you can still leave the nuts so you can lock it down more securely when you have it dialed in. I plan to make some parts that will accomplish the same goal without using the solder wick soon.

As for the Slic3r settings, MakerFarm does have a config file you can download and that is what I have been using. It's been working pretty well for me. For some reason when I load a stl into Pronterface and it uses Slic3r to slice it up the resulting G-code has the hotend temp set down to 200 degrees, even though my slic3r settings say 230, I just edit the g-code to say 230 and its good to go. On my first prints it threw me for a loop, cause I had the bed and hotend heated to temp and when I hit print it paused waiting for the hotend to reach temp, while I sat there watching the temp drop the first few tries I wondered if something fried, eventually I figured out the G-code was telling it to do that.

One thing in general about the wooden Maker Farm i3 I found is the frame could be a bit more sturdy. When you start tightening up the belts it puts pressure and can pull the frame out of melvin just a bit. My left z-tower tends to lift just a tad, if you place the hotend on the glass on the left side and wiggle the left tower you can see the hotend move a mm or so, which is the difference between a perfect first layer and a squashed or not sticking first layer. Another thing is the motors like to work loose! My first print almost completed when my y-axis motor loosened up and skipped, chaos insued! I had to tighten up all the motors, since then I check them often, and have tightened the y and x motors mid print, the Z motors seem more stable. The y motor is the most likely to come loose. I also don't care for the y motor mounting bracket, the bracket tends to bend a bit when tension is put on it, the bearing mount on the bed can actually hit that motor if it bends too much. What I did for the meantime to firm this up a bit is after the belt was tight I took a piece of scrap wood from the kit and cut it to size to wedge between the motor and the back board furthest away from the motor mount. I plan on making a Y motor mount with a leg on it that will prevent this without the wedge.

I put the printer on a flat tile and that helped a little bit, I am able to print reasonably accurate. There is still a little bit of flex that happens, I think if I eliminate the flex my prints will be even better. I am going to put the printer on a piece of plywood and screw it down with L-brackets, that should eliminate all or most of the flex I think. I am planning on making the brackets with the printer.... IMHO they should have either used thicker wood to build the frame or included a bottom to screw things to and eliminate the flex in the frame.

Once I have the printer mounted to a base and all the flex is gone, and I have her tuned up and running a while I am going to put a little loctite on the motor screws, cause they come loose far to easily and that is a recipe for disaster...

Don't forget about NetFabb, I was late to the game on that one, running your stl file through it to fix errors before you print is a good idea. It will eliminate holes and other errors, and allow you to rotate the item before it prints etc.
 
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RalphTrimble

TVWBB Diamond Member
Ive been trying to design a few parts and am really finding the 3D design apps to be frustrating. I am having a hard time placing items accurately with 123D beta, for some reason it does not display coordinates for all items, and I have yet to find a way to position items exactly where I want them. For instance, if I have a circle I want to move I would like to set its center point coordinates and radius, but am unable to find a way to do that? It would be nice if the coordinate of the cursor would always be displayed somewhere on the screen so you know where you are at. I get some of the basic items built up and then have a hard time positioning additional items relative to the original for the above reasons. The GUI of 123D seems to be a bit "incomplete".

I've tried sketchup as well, that GUI seems more complete and is more to my liking, but still find it very frustrating....

Are these the two major players in the 3D design software? Are there others I should try that I am missing?

I am proficient with Corel Draw, which is a very precise, accurate and complete program, I can click items and define them the way I like easily, I wish I could find a 3D program that worked for me like Corel Draw....
 

M Miller

TVWBB Fan
Ralph,

the best way is to think in relative distances. You want to position a cylinder relative to a cube. First create the cylinder at the corner of the cube. Then select the cylinder on the component tree to the left and select "Move/Rotate/Scale" and use the compass to move the cylinder to where you want it.

It took me a while to get the hang of it.

You can also use the alignment tool to snap objects together. Once you have them aligned you can delete the alignment in the tree and fine-tune the move that way.

Maybe I should do a brief tutorial...
 

RalphTrimble

TVWBB Diamond Member
Funny you said that, cause after being frustrated trying to position things absolutely I pondered how to make the options they do give me accomplish my goals. What I came up with was... place the circle at the corner and then use MOVE to put it where I really want it, exactly what you said...

To me this seems crazy, I would much rather be able to position items in 3D space by coordinates rather that relative to each other, but I guess I have to learn to use the tools that are available to get things done in this round about fashion. The good news is I'm pretty sure 3D apps are going to be developed fast and furiously....
 

RalphTrimble

TVWBB Diamond Member
Is there any way to make 123D always display a ruler or grid? And show the cursor coordinates at all times?

I really think there are bugs in the program, If I try to sketch a circle I enter the coordinate of the center point and then it skips right over the radius and does not create a circle?
 

RalphTrimble

TVWBB Diamond Member
I'm watching the 123D tutorial vidoes again now, maybe they will have more impact this time since I have already dug into the program and been frustrated, rather than watching them cold with no experience...
...but once again I find it lacking, the tutorials seem to have no audio? geeze... There is a lot going on and it would be nice to have a voice speaking the description rather then having to read that while watching the actions taking place at the same time. I know I know, it's free, what do I want...
 

RalphTrimble

TVWBB Diamond Member
The videos show some impressive work, but I accidentally overcame the hurdle that has been frustrating me on my own. When entering the center point with the keyboard I typed the first coordinate, hit TAB and entered the second, then TAB just went back and forth so I hit ENTER, at which point it seemed to jump right through the radius definition and not create a circle. I figured out if I click the mouse instead of hitting ENTER I can get the circle created (where I want it too, which is a bonus!) I was reluctant to click the mouse cause I thought that would select the location the mouse clicked as center instead.

I seem to be on my way now, live and learn I guess...
 

RalphTrimble

TVWBB Diamond Member
I've been progressing with 123D Beta a bit, have been able to design a few basic parts that printed well...

EDIT: I just figured out the answer to the question below on my own, guess I just had to take a step back. I played around with all the tools and finally realized if I select the polygon sketch and use EXTRUDE it will push a nut trap shaped hole in the surface. I had thought PUSH would do that, and then SHELL... lol Live and learn I guess...

Right now I am stuck though, I'm trying to make a nut trap over a hole, I sketched the polygon on the surface but I can't figure out how to turn that sketch into a polygon shaped impression in the part? I've tried the "Push" feature but it seems to push a solid polygon, I've tried setting the polygon "solid features" to shell with a very thin shell, but when I try to push that it seems to only grab one side of the polygon instead of the whole thing.

I've hit the frustration point where my back is hurting and I need to step back from it for a bit, I thought perhaps you guys would take sympathy one me and help me figure out how to get this done without pulling my hair out?
 
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Bryan Mayland

TVWBB Hall of Fame
This sort of confused me a bit too. When you sketch on the face of a solid, you make a new face. Usually that's what you push to make a hole, you're not pushing the sketch, you're pushing the face the sketch made. However, if there's already a hole there, and you sketch something over it, it no longer creates a face you can use to extrude down into your solid. The secret is to zoom in and use Shift to select the 6 faces created between the hole and your hexagon, then press push/pull and type in a negative number for how deep you want the trap to be.

This was a quick demo so I didn't line the corners up right, but is this what you're trying to do?

 

Bryan Mayland

TVWBB Hall of Fame
I also managed to print some nice looking parts with my printer, replacement gears for my extruder. The little gear looks warped but that's just the flat part where the set screw goes in


I've still got some tweaks to do but looks like I'm in business which is good because I haven't got a whole lot of time over the next 4 or 5 days. I've also picked up some nichrome wire that I'm going to put under the heat bed and add 7.5W of always-on heat (when the power supply is on). It serves two purposes. One is to put a 1.5A load on the 5V rail which brings my 12V rail back up to 12V (from 11.4V) which should give it some more oomph. It also allows my bed to heat up I'm guessing about 10-20% faster and hold temperature a bit better when the 12V bang isn't on.

I also picked up some festoon bulb holders I'm going to use to mount some 12V LED lights along the sides of the printer to light the print area so I don't have to use a flashlight to get a good look at what's printing.
 

RalphTrimble

TVWBB Diamond Member
Bryan, thanks for taking the time to demonstrate that, I got it done another way, but knowing to use SHIFT to select all those elements would have been the key to avoiding frustration from the beginning...

Looks like you're well on your way with the printer, I like the idea of LED lights, I have a goose neck lamp now which works but it's kinda in the way and makes a lot of heat, and we already have enough things heating up around here!
 

RalphTrimble

TVWBB Diamond Member
Got my bearing mounts for the bed printed and mounted up, finally there is reasonable amount of space between the bed and the Y-idler...

Since I modified the bed I need to go through the leveling process again, I am wondering if you guys know of a bed leveling test print I can use to test the adhesion to the bed? I guess I could makes something up, but I've learned before you start making something from scratch you should check to see if it already exists first.....
 

Bryan Mayland

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Even though my bed doesn't clip the front piece like yours does, Ralph, I still have a noticable slope in the bed in that direction:


The giant orange spike is where the probe hit a binder clip, but the front left corner of my bed (back right in the graph) is about 0.3mm below the Z=0 point. I replaced the nylon spacer with a spring but the M3-16 bolt is just not long enough to hold the nut at the right height. If only I had some M3-20 bolts on hand! I'm going to either replace all the spacers with springs or shave the other spacers down a little to make it all level out.

I also got my nichrome wire last night and rigged it up under the bed and hooked it to +5V switched power. The length of wire is about 3.6ohms so it pulls about 1.4A on the 5V line, which makes my bed always about 5C over ambient. The 12V rail is now rock solid 12V (instead of 11.4V) and my bed heats to 95C in 9 minutes.

Does anyone ever stop upgrading parts on their printer?
 

Bryan Mayland

TVWBB Hall of Fame
What did you do as your bed leveling mechanism? Springs over screws? My front left spring doesn't really push hard enough to hold the nut securely so I'm concerned about it slipping over time. In any instance 0.09mm is pretty good I think, considering the slop in the switch is about 0.05mm
 

 

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