Adventures in 3d printing.<img src="" title="" alt="" class="bbcodeimg" align="absmiddle" /><br /> Last year, I acquired an Anet A8 3d printer from my family, as a christmas present.<br /> After looking them up, they are rather inexpensive compared to most, and assembly is definitely required.<br /> They are definitely also not one to count out either. while they take a good deal of work, they do produce quality results if you have your settings right.<br /> Most of the stuff you need to start is free. Ultimaker Cura works great for getting the files set up properly.<br /> Some code required, but the work is already done there, and just needs to be copied, and pasted into the right areas.<br /> <br /> Once I got that set up, and the bolts tightened, I was ready to do my first prints... needless to say I failed... a lot....<br /> Things got better after learning that PLA binds to blue painters tape like it was glue.<br /> <br /> I was however able to print one important thing.<br /> &lt;div&gt;<br /> <br /> <a href="" rel="nofollow"> </a> (Spool bolt) The giant bolt and nut from this model<br /> It wasn&#039;t perfect, but it worked well enough that it was able to spool by itself properly without needing to be constantly monitored. I may reprint this eventually, and get the spool guide set up.<br /> <br /> &lt;/div&gt;<br /> I eventually learned that I was leveling the print bed wrong. It doesn&#039;t refer to actual level, but level in relation to the position of the extruder head. once I had that, I was more or less good to go for my first, at least partly successful prints.<br /> Theese ended up being a few parts that were not included in the kit.<br /> <br /> <br /> <a href="" rel="nofollow"> </a> Y (Bed) belt tentioner,<br /> <a href="" rel="nofollow"> </a> X (Extruder) belt tentioner<br /> <br /> <br /> These two parts are key to making anything with any amount of precision. as they get the belts tighter than is doable in the assembly process.<br /> I had to do them twice, because the belts were loose when printing initially. and the resulting parts needed to be forced together.<br /> The 2nd attempts worked perfectly, however. I shot for a level of tension that allowed the belts to vibrate much like the E string on a bass guitar.<br /> Less slack=Higher precision<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Once I had those, I had my first precision parts. They amounted to being basically nuts and bolts, but still. they worked!<br /> <br /> <br /> I did end up needing a few more things. but those were able to be gotten at the dollar store.<br /> A sheet of glass, and binder clips...<br /> It turns out that glass makes the perfect surface for PLA plastics. I just took one out of a dollar store picture frame and held it on with some binder clips. It&#039;s a bit ugly to look at, but it works like a charm.<br /> The object bonds to the surface while printing, and breaks off easily when it&#039;s finished and cooled off.<br /> Once the excess is scraped off, simply cleaning the surface with glass cleaner makes it ready for the next print.<br /> <br /> <br /> The rest comes down to configuring the print settings. This comes down to good old trial and error.<br /> My prints are rather slow, compared to many other people&#039;s, With a max print speed of 60 mm/s, a layer height of 0.06 mm/layer, and the infill being set to 100% for most tasks, things can take a day or more to print. My settings are unusual compared to most however, but this guarantees me the best possible print quality.<br /> In the case of the object being printed in the picture above, which is handle grips for Nintendo Switch in portable mode, it&#039;s expected to take 6 days, and two hours to complete. That picture was taken at around 30% completion on day 3.<br /> <br /> <br /> So far my printouts have been relatively few.<br /> In addition to the things noted above, I have also printed: <br /> <br /> 4 Raspberry Pi B+ housings<br /> Various nerf gun parts<br /> 1 Raspberry Pi 4 housing<br /> A Mario themed ? block coin case with lid<br /> <br /> A dead-bolt for my bedroom door.<br /> A small sprocket chain (as a fully assembled linked part test, [Test Successful])<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Currently active print (As of typing)<br /> Handle grips for Nintendo Switch: portable mode (3 days of 6 expected. no problems in printing)<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> And for things that were actually my own work:<br /> <br /> An [poor] attempt at a virtual sculpture of a head (As of writing this, this is the only 3d printed object that is of my own creation)<br /> <br /> <br /> And things in planning:<br /> RC Car/truck body(s) ... So far hasn&#039;t gone through however...<br /> 52Tue, 30 Jul 2019 21:39:07 +0000Bibby: stuff. Thanks for sharing your findings - and for making that Pi 4 case! I&#039;m definitely looking forward to seeing what you do next.1Fri, 02 Aug 2019 01:50:44 +0000Nite:<br /> Any time! Always glad to share my work. Ya never know when it may come in handy.<br /> My current printout should be ready tomorrow, or the next day. I&#039;ll definitely share the end results of that, and especially after I get it painted.<br /> 52Fri, 02 Aug 2019 02:45:35 +0000Nite:<br /> There is definitely a learning curve to these units. <br /> Unfortunately, the print I was doing failed when the extruder stopped feeding plastic. My first thought was that it had clogged. <br /> <br /> After testing the plastic, it did become apparent that there is something amiss with it. Some of it breaks far too easily. <br /> however it would seem this wasn&#039;t the cause of the failure.<br /> <br /> After taking apart the extruder mechanism, I found the filament feed cog had come loose on the motor bore. This was corrected by repositioning it and tightening the lock screws, then reassembling it.<br /> <br /> It&#039;s working good now, and so far isn&#039;t having any issues printing for my second attempt.<br /> I do however suspect that this might have been like this for quite some time, and I only just spotted it.52Sun, 04 Aug 2019 04:40:19 +0000Bibby: cool! Knowing you, I think you&#039;ll be able to resolve these technical gremlins pretty quickly.1Tue, 06 Aug 2019 01:50:47 +0000Nite:;s all fairly basic.<br /> I do have some good news: I got the parts I need ordered, and the printer should be all set to get back to work within the next week.<br /> <br /> on a lesser note, I may be relocating it to a different location, so that it isn&#039;t exposed to the elements so bad.<br /> <br /> I&#039;ll also be getting a vacuum bag to store my plastic in, when it&#039;s not in use.52Mon, 12 Aug 2019 22:00:05 +0000Bibby:, that makes sense.1Tue, 13 Aug 2019 01:00:10 +0000Nite:<br /> Update: Got the new parts in and installed, and everything was working good... for about 10 seconds... the extruder fan decided to blow apart... <br /> <br /> <img src="" title="" alt="" class="bbcodeimg" align="absmiddle" /><br /> <br /> It&#039;s the easiest fix of the bunch, but... Curse you Murphy and your d***ed laws.<br /> <br /> <br /> Edit: Added picture of fan.<br /> I still have no idea how this happened.<br /> 52Sun, 18 Aug 2019 21:28:15 +0000Bibby: ol&#039; Murphy... he&#039;s such a persistent uninvited guest. I wish he&#039;d show us more manners.<br /> <br /> I&#039;m glad this won&#039;t be hard to fix, though.1Mon, 19 Aug 2019 01:42:17 +0000Nite: hear ya. Been making sure that everything is good to go for when the fan arrives.<br /> Only other issue I came across was that the feed cog came loose from the bore shaft again.<br /> That&#039;s been tightened up, and seales in place with a generous amount of loctite.<br /> That thing should never come off again.<br /> <br /> Also been doing research on possibly exceeding the max print size on this thing.<br /> It&#039;s a simple enough concept, simply involving slicing a model into several jobs.<br /> Still in the early stages of this. Some models extracted from the elder scrolls seem like a good start point.<br /> I&#039;m thinking about shooting for a fill sized daedric claymore.52Tue, 20 Aug 2019 14:22:18 +0000Nite:<br /> Back in business!<br /> <br /> <img src="" title="" alt="" class="bbcodeimg" align="absmiddle" /><br /> <br /> Replaced several parts, and this thing is running strong!<br /> Here&#039;s hoping it succeeds this time.<br /> <br /> <img src="" title="" alt="" class="bbcodeimg" align="absmiddle" /><br /> As an added bonus, the new PLA filament glows in the dark.52Tue, 20 Aug 2019 20:40:36 +0000Bibby: to hear. Good luck! I hope Murphy will leave you alone this time.1Wed, 21 Aug 2019 01:01:14 +0000Nite:, a timing belt failed....<br /> <br /> Sheesh... I don&#039;t think there&#039;s much else that could fail at this point....<br /> <br /> This will delay things awhile. I had to order a new belt from china.52Sat, 24 Aug 2019 04:46:04 +0000Bibby: well. Let&#039;s hope that this really is the last visit from Murphy and his laws!1Sat, 24 Aug 2019 14:02:59 +0000Nite:;s hoping. At least this doesn&#039;t stop me from preparing for a major project.<br /> <br /> Which reminds me.<br /> <br /> <img src="" title="" alt="" class="bbcodeimg" align="absmiddle" /><br /> <br /> This thing has been a task to be sure, but on the computer-end of things, I have seen success.<br /> The model was extracted from Skyrim&#039;s data, and edited so that the normal map acts as displacement. I had to increase the polygon count of the object in order to do this with any level of accuracy, then using blender, I applied it as displacement. the end result is that the polygons of the object are now permanently offset in relation to the normal map, thus setting the textures as something that can be printed. This thing will look like it does in the game if all goes well.<br /> <br /> That obstacle out of the way, I had a few more steps to go through. One of which, I wanted the sword to be life-size.<br /> Clearly my printer wasn&#039;t doing this, so I found a program called MeshMixer, that was able to, not only split the object into several jobs (a total of 8) but also remove several parts that existed in the model, that were used by the game it was taken from. thus reducing the file size.<br /> <br /> THIS has just been on the software end of things. I need to make extra certain my printer is going to handle the job, before I actually start this one.<br /> Especially if it is going to be a Christmas present for my brother this year.52Sun, 25 Aug 2019 04:27:31 +0000Bibby: ambitious - and very cool! A 3-D printer that manufactures swords would also be tremendously useful if it existed in video game worlds!1Sun, 25 Aug 2019 17:52:02 +0000Nite:<br /> <img src="" title="" alt="" class="bbcodeimg" align="absmiddle" /><br /> Final version of this project. Everything is good to go once I get my printer fixed.<br /> Sliced up into 7 parts, at roughly 1/2 the max Z size of my printer. Just to keep things safe.<br /> <br /> <br /> <a href="" rel="nofollow"> </a><br /> This and all parts have been uploaded here... not sure why the thing view isn&#039;t working though.. it might need to compile.52Fri, 30 Aug 2019 20:32:37 +0000Nite:, as much as I like to think that I can&#039;t do much else to this thing, about as soon as I say it&#039;s final, I do more to it.<br /> <br /> <img src="" title="" alt="" class="bbcodeimg" align="absmiddle" /><br /> <br /> I can only hope the print looks this good.52Tue, 03 Sep 2019 20:30:39 +0000Bibby: luck! That&#039;s looking pretty sharp!1Wed, 04 Sep 2019 21:06:05 +0000Nite: begins!<br /> <img src="" title="" alt="" class="bbcodeimg" align="absmiddle" />52Thu, 12 Sep 2019 16:38:26 +0000Bibby:;s off to a good start!1Thu, 12 Sep 2019 23:37:44 +0000Nite:<img src="" title="" alt="" class="bbcodeimg" align="absmiddle" /><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Current progress. 4 of 12 parts completed.<br /> the tape is used to keep parts together while the epoxy cures.<br /> 52Sun, 15 Sep 2019 16:49:28 +0000Nite:<br /> <img src="" title="" alt="" class="bbcodeimg" align="absmiddle" /><img src="" title="" alt="" class="bbcodeimg" align="absmiddle" /><br /> The next couple of steps don&#039;t capture well on my camera, however, I filed down the grooves with a bastard file, then I filled in the gaps in the segments with some automotive clay, and sanded again. As of current it is awaiting primer, and paint, before I clear coat it, and post the final result.<br /> <br /> 52Tue, 08 Oct 2019 22:04:43 +0000Nite: the final stretch now. some minor touching up to do, then I clear coat this thing.<br /> <br /> <img src="" title="" alt="" class="bbcodeimg" align="absmiddle" />52Mon, 21 Oct 2019 20:58:26 +0000Nite:<br /> And finally: apart from needing to dry, this project is completed!<img src="" title="" alt="" class="bbcodeimg" align="absmiddle" />52Tue, 22 Oct 2019 00:36:00 +0000Bibby:! That is very impressive indeed.<br /> <br /> I know this one&#039;s a gift, but if you wanted to go in this direction, you could probably make money from high-quality 3-D printed things.1Tue, 22 Oct 2019 01:54:10 +0000Nite:;ve considered it actually.<br /> I wouldn&#039;t mind selling some projects. perhaps even make some toys.52Tue, 22 Oct 2019 02:02:14 +0000Nite:, I turned up a couple of interesting modifications that will grant me higher capability with this printer.<br /> <br /> Both are a ways out of the picture though, since I would like to have replaced this printer with a better one, before I attempt a project like this.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Laser engraver (This is amazingly simple, and easily well within my abilities)<br /> <br /> <div class="media youtube"> <div class="summary"> Watch Youtube Video: <a href=""> </a> </div> <div class="open"> <a href="" class="popout"> Popout </a> &middot; <a href="" class="inline"> Inline </a> </div> <div class="movie" style="display:none"> <iframe width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src=""> </iframe> </div> </div><br /> <br /> <br /> CNC mill (Also simple, but looks like it would require some major modifications, which would render this modification permanent.)<br /> <br /> <div class="media youtube"> <div class="summary"> Watch Youtube Video: <a href=""> </a> </div> <div class="open"> <a href="" class="popout"> Popout </a> &middot; <a href="" class="inline"> Inline </a> </div> <div class="movie" style="display:none"> <iframe width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src=""> </iframe> </div> </div>52Wed, 26 Feb 2020 04:13:34 +0000Bibby:! I&#039;d love to see what you could do with your fancy new toys...1Sun, 01 Mar 2020 19:31:53 +0000Nite: soon as I can get them... I kinda want to replace my 3d printer with something else before I go and convert it into a laser engraver.52Mon, 02 Mar 2020 00:21:17 +0000Nite: slightly different this update:<br /> My sister pointed me to a surgical mask strap, that would help her, and her co-workers at KFC/Taco bell.<br /> <a href="" rel="nofollow"> </a><br /> <br /> She requested about 3 of them. <br /> Next thing I know, I got requests for several more.<br /> <br /> It&#039;s not much, but as these things require a minimum of plastic, I&#039;m going to print out as many as I possibly can today, and send them with my sister tomorrow. I should be able to reach about 20 if I stick with it.52Fri, 10 Apr 2020 15:46:25 +0000Bibby: is a very good use for a 3-D printer! I&#039;m glad you&#039;re using it to help out.1Fri, 10 Apr 2020 22:02:43 +0000Nite: just seemed like a good idea after thinking about it for a bit, as well as discussing it this morning with my parents.<br /> <br /> And don&#039;t worry, I&#039;m not going empty-handed either. My sister is getting me a new computer mouse to replace the one I broke recently in return.52Fri, 10 Apr 2020 22:30:52 +0000Nite:<br /> I&#039;ve taken the opportunity to run some trial and error on the glow in the dark filament I have, and have gotten some results.<br /> <br /> I&#039;ve since switched to a tungsten carbide nozzle to help against the abrasive nature of Strontium Aluminate. (The glow in the dark material which is laced into the PLA plastic)<br /> <br /> After switching the print nozzle temp to 220C, I have been able to print those surgical mask straps with this material, showing usable results.<br /> <br /> The higher temp seems to make the material slightly more stiff. this doesn&#039;t appear to be a problem. It doesn&#039;t appear to have compromised the strength.<br /> <br /> For me, this is a good finding. I can use the glow in the dark PLA now.52Tue, 14 Apr 2020 03:31:28 +0000Nite:<br /> <img src="" title="" alt="" class="bbcodeimg" align="absmiddle" />I feel that I have things about as optimized as they are going to get without my printer malfunctioning. Stepping up production. I have an entire roll of glow in the dark fillament, and I intend to use it! These will be distributed around places my family and I frequently go to. my brother and sister&#039;s place of work, and a few stores, in particular.52Sun, 19 Apr 2020 03:17:20 +0000Bibby: is very cool!1Sun, 19 Apr 2020 14:08:07 +0000Fri, 30 Oct 2020 23:00:29 +0000