Current Setup

Slicer:

“Slic3r” http://slic3r.org/

PC Host Software:

“Printerface” http://replicatorwarehouse.com/pronterface/

CAD Software:

“FreeCAD”http://www.freecadweb.org/

Printer: 

“HE3DC230-Mendel Reprap Printer”:


Assigntech blog on 3D Prototype Printing:

2014/05/30

It has been a while since last post on this forum. I have spent lots of time on doing new drawings and trying to calibrate my printer. The calibration was actually the big problem. When printing a circle I got an oval object. According to the measurements I did on my printer I found that the Y axes is of by -0,75 % and the X axis +1%.

Based on these findings my intention was to upgrade the firmware on the Melzi board. After several attempts I gave up and started looking into Software that could rescale the object on STL file level. I landed on “netfabb”. Here is a few words from their “about” textbox:

“netfabb Basic is a free (as in free beer) software for handling triangle based mesh data. Its compactness and its modularity offers a new technology that is highly superior to common CAD suites.”

After rescaling of the object I was able create circles. That’s very needed when you are working on gearboxes.

2014/04/04

Link to site With information on calibration of XYZ

Triffid Hunter’s Calibration Guide

RepRap Commissioning – Calibration

 

2014/03/11

PLA printing.

Today I had my first successful print. After a couple of days with problems on the filament, being stuck in either the extruder head or the extruder gear the first successful print finally came through.

GearPinCase

Here are the settings that worked with my filament and print:

Bed surface:

  • Painters Blue Tape covered with a thin layer of hairspray.
  • Temperature: 70 C.

Hot End:

  • Temperature: 220 C. for some reason the extruder became much more stable after switching to manually setting of the set point for the temperature control loop. Before, with setting the set point in the slicer process (gcode), the extruder was stuck after some ~30 min. of printing.

Slicer:

  • Slic3r version 0.9.9
  • Printer Settings
    • Layer Height: 0.2mm
    • Perimeters: 3
    • Solid Layers: Top and bottom -> 5mm
    • Fill Density: 0.4
    • Fill Pattern: Honeycomb
    • Generate Support Material: true
    • Pattern Spacing: 5mm
    • Raft Layers: 0
    • Speed Perimeters: 30mm/s
    • Speed Infill: 60 mm/s
    • Speed Travel: 130 mm/s
    • Brim width: 3 mm
    • Filament Settings
      • Diameter: 1.75 mm
      • Extrusion Multiplier: 1
      • Temperature Extruder
        • First Layer: 0
        • Other Layers: 0
  • Temperature Bed
    • First Layer: 0
    • Other Layers: 0
    • Printer Settings
      • Z offset: 0mm
      • G-code flavour: RepRap (Marlin/Sprinter)
      • Nozzle Diameter: 0.35 mm (0.01 lower than actual spec of nozzle. This is get a little extra filament onto the object being printed)
      • Retraction: 2mm
      • Lift Z: 0mm
      • Starting G-Code
        • G28 ; home all axes
        • G1 Z5 F5000 ; lift nozzle

2014/02/25

Tested the new Slic3r program (ver1.0.0RC3). But unfortunately it gave some really strange results on a fairly simple print consisting of three objects. I didn’t analyse the gcode before printing, something that I have now learned to be worth the time.

I was trying to print a box, top and loose shelf with fairly thin surfaces. The printer did the job without any stop or problems for once, but the result was not as expected.

The box and the top was surrounded with a strange looking shelter around, that was impossible to remove. I went back to Slic3r ver. 0.9.9, created a gcode file and analysed that with an online gcode analyser (http://gcode.ws). That was remarkably different. Input and configuration of the slic3r was the same.

Did a new print (based on Slic3r ver. 0.9.9) and it looked fine.

2014/02/13

The 8th attemp on the same object went well, but after ~8 hours of printing the feeding of the filament got stuck again in the extruder gear. The print was very successful. No warping and the print was very nice.

However, a new problem showed up. The slicing gave me a problem. The object was layed out wrong. Before I start new prints in the future it is important to analyze the gcode from the slicer. It is important to compare the STL file with the CGode file.

2014/02/12

Tried the hair spray solution on the heated bed, and that gave the best start on a print ever. Here is how I got that result:

  1. The print bed is cold
  2. The glass plate was thoroughly cleaned with normal house hold window cleaner.
  3. I sprayed the glass plate with hair spray.
  4. After 10 min idle time I started to heat the bed and prepare the print in general.

However, after 2 hours of printing the filament jammed just after the hobbed bolt in the extruder gear.

  • Solution: The tention between the idler wheel and the hobbed bolt might be to high. Therefor the filemant get deformed and jammes in the tube on its way to the hot end.

2014/02/11

The last couple of days I tried printing an object with a diameter of 110 cm and volume of 130 cm3. Estimated print time 8 – 10 hours, with no succes.

I get 2h into the print and it stops for one of the following reasons.

  • Print doesn’t stick to the bed (will try hair spray or dissolved sucker in water next).
    • Solution: Not really sure yet.
  • Filament gets stuck in the nozzle. Heat is traveling up the feeding line. That causes filament conjestion in the feeding pipe.
    • Solution: Make sure the fan above the hot end is running at all time.
  • Host machine just stops sending commands to the Melzi board.
    • Solution: Dedicated a Laptop to run protorface and nothing. Other programs uninstalled and network detached.
  • Filament jamming on the coil before the extruder.
    • Solution: Make sure the thread of fileament leaves the coil with out pulling out more fileament than needed. Added a little break so the coil only so the spool reels only if extruder pull the thread.

So proper preparation of the print bed is the next thing to work with. I will start out with the hair apray approach first since that is very easy.

On to 8th attemp to print this object.

It might also be worth trying the PLA filament. Haven’t tried that yet. PLA is strong at low tempratures but the melting point is lower than ABS. In the application where this is going to be used the temperature can easily exeed 50 degrees celcius.

2014 January

Building the printer took me some hours (13 hours to be exact).

The printer is now ready for calibration and hopefully soon for printing the objects that I need for testing out the design of the original project (http://assigntech.com/?page_id=759)

Calibration:

  • The initial bed leveling was done in 1 hour
  • Firmware update (skipped that for now)
  • Adjusting the bed to ensure 90 degrees angle between Z axis and the printer bed took 30 min
  • Testprint, I printed the a hollow box 20mm * 20mm * 10mm.

<<20mm-box.stl>>

First I set the width of filament to 3 mm (correct value is 1.75 mm) and that caused really strange looking print result. There was simply too much plastic coming out. After correcting this a nice box become the test result.

Using ABS Juice on the print bed.

Mixture: 20mm of abs filament dissolved in 10ml acetone (1.75 mm filament)

After cleaning the glass carefully with acetone it is wiped with “ABS Juice”.

If you like to have a fun electro mechanic project, I can recommend you to go for a RepRap project. It gives some really fun challenges. However, this cannot be recommended for anyone that just want to focus on printing. In that case you should just spent a minimum of 5000 NOK (Date: 20140120)  and receive a fully assembled printer.

2013 December

I received the printer (more correctly a kit) and started building it. The frame and the steppers was in Place after 8 hours of work. Next step is to wire the Application and to calibrate all axes.

2013 November

First move with 3D printer
I’m in the mittle of a project where I need to design some kind of gearbox and a clutch solution (project: http://assigntech.com/?page_id=759)

For me to do easy prototyping I need a way of create objects for testing. First I spent lot of hours on searching for standard components for creating a suitable solution. That approache didn’t take me anywhere.

Then I came over an article written by someone doing 3D printing. That sounded as a good approach for creating custom made objects without investing too much in machinery.

Most of my 3D drawing is already in place at this time so I decided to give 3D printing a try.
While searching for a affordable 3d printer I came over the RepRap project.
I decided to buy “He3D-A230 3D Printer Kit Package Reprap” from Reprap.cn. Price 3.000 NOK.