Logo
Username:
Password: Forgot?
Register
 
Adventures in 3d printing.
Posts: 1525
Status: Offline
Group: Member
Member: #52
Quote

Last year, I acquired an Anet A8 3d printer from my family, as a christmas present.
After looking them up, they are rather inexpensive compared to most, and assembly is definitely required.
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.
Most of the stuff you need to start is free. Ultimaker Cura works great for getting the files set up properly.
Some code required, but the work is already done there, and just needs to be copied, and pasted into the right areas.

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....
Things got better after learning that PLA binds to blue painters tape like it was glue.

I was however able to print one important thing.
<div>

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2059082 (Spool bolt) The giant bolt and nut from this model
It wasn'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.

</div>
I eventually learned that I was leveling the print bed wrong. It doesn'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.
Theese ended up being a few parts that were not included in the kit.


https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2149867 Y (Bed) belt tentioner,
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2507473 X (Extruder) belt tentioner


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.
I had to do them twice, because the belts were loose when printing initially. and the resulting parts needed to be forced together.
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.
Less slack=Higher precision



Once I had those, I had my first precision parts. They amounted to being basically nuts and bolts, but still. they worked!


I did end up needing a few more things. but those were able to be gotten at the dollar store.
A sheet of glass, and binder clips...
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's a bit ugly to look at, but it works like a charm.
The object bonds to the surface while printing, and breaks off easily when it's finished and cooled off.
Once the excess is scraped off, simply cleaning the surface with glass cleaner makes it ready for the next print.


The rest comes down to configuring the print settings. This comes down to good old trial and error.
My prints are rather slow, compared to many other people'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.
In the case of the object being printed in the picture above, which is handle grips for Nintendo Switch in portable mode, it's expected to take 6 days, and two hours to complete. That picture was taken at around 30% completion on day 3.


So far my printouts have been relatively few.
In addition to the things noted above, I have also printed:

4 Raspberry Pi B+ housings
Various nerf gun parts
1 Raspberry Pi 4 housing
A Mario themed ? block coin case with lid

A dead-bolt for my bedroom door.
A small sprocket chain (as a fully assembled linked part test, [Test Successful])



Currently active print (As of typing)
Handle grips for Nintendo Switch: portable mode (3 days of 6 expected. no problems in printing)



And for things that were actually my own work:

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)


And things in planning:
RC Car/truck body(s) ... So far hasn't gone through however...

---
Edited by: Nite , Jul 30th, 2019 @ 11:13 pm

^ Top
Never change your avatar
Posts: 2910
Status: Offline
Group: Admin
Member: #1
Quote
Good stuff. Thanks for sharing your findings - and for making that Pi 4 case! I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what you do next.
Course clear! You got a card.
^ Top
Posts: 1525
Status: Offline
Group: Member
Member: #52
Quote

Any time! Always glad to share my work. Ya never know when it may come in handy.
My current printout should be ready tomorrow, or the next day. I'll definitely share the end results of that, and especially after I get it painted.

^ Top
Posts: 1525
Status: Offline
Group: Member
Member: #52
Quote
Update:
There is definitely a learning curve to these units.
Unfortunately, the print I was doing failed when the extruder stopped feeding plastic. My first thought was that it had clogged.

After testing the plastic, it did become apparent that there is something amiss with it. Some of it breaks far too easily.
however it would seem this wasn't the cause of the failure.

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.

It's working good now, and so far isn't having any issues printing for my second attempt.
I do however suspect that this might have been like this for quite some time, and I only just spotted it.

^ Top
Never change your avatar
Posts: 2910
Status: Offline
Group: Admin
Member: #1
Quote
Pretty cool! Knowing you, I think you'll be able to resolve these technical gremlins pretty quickly.
Course clear! You got a card.
^ Top
Posts: 1525
Status: Offline
Group: Member
Member: #52
Quote
It's all fairly basic.
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.

on a lesser note, I may be relocating it to a different location, so that it isn't exposed to the elements so bad.

I'll also be getting a vacuum bag to store my plastic in, when it's not in use.

^ Top
Never change your avatar
Posts: 2910
Status: Offline
Group: Admin
Member: #1
Quote
Yeah, that makes sense.
Course clear! You got a card.
^ Top
Posts: 1525
Status: Offline
Group: Member
Member: #52
Quote

Update: Got the new parts in and installed, and everything was working good... for about 10 seconds... the extruder fan decided to blow apart...



It's the easiest fix of the bunch, but... Curse you Murphy and your d***ed laws.


Edit: Added picture of fan.
I still have no idea how this happened.

---
Edited by: Nite , Aug 20th, 2019 @ 8:42 pm

^ Top
Never change your avatar
Posts: 2910
Status: Offline
Group: Admin
Member: #1
Quote
Good ol' Murphy... he's such a persistent uninvited guest. I wish he'd show us more manners.

I'm glad this won't be hard to fix, though.
Course clear! You got a card.
^ Top
Posts: 1525
Status: Offline
Group: Member
Member: #52
Quote
I hear ya. Been making sure that everything is good to go for when the fan arrives.
Only other issue I came across was that the feed cog came loose from the bore shaft again.
That's been tightened up, and seales in place with a generous amount of loctite.
That thing should never come off again.

Also been doing research on possibly exceeding the max print size on this thing.
It's a simple enough concept, simply involving slicing a model into several jobs.
Still in the early stages of this. Some models extracted from the elder scrolls seem like a good start point.
I'm thinking about shooting for a fill sized daedric claymore.

^ Top
-/+
Users Viewing This Topic
 
Lithosphere skin 1.0.0 © 2009-10 Matt