Mochery Blarg

The Prusa is Built!

After a new addition to the family arrived, I was finally able to build the Prusa i3 Mk2 after sitting in the box for a month.

Here it is in all it’s glory!  The build was super educational and I’ve learned a lot about the structure and design of the i3 and the technicalities of everything with this printer.  It took me around 10 hours in all of building, testing, calibrating every aspect.  Definately recommend the printer and this kit to build on your own.

Now I’m off to printing upgrades!  Print on, brethren!

The Rex is finished!

Latest print was 8 months in the making after countless troubleshooting and tweaking of settings.  Finally got it dialed in and put my nose to the grindstone and finished it.

Printed entirely in 0.1mm resolution, typically 50mm/s at 190C.  Material is Hatchbox PLA silver.  Here it is in all it’s glory!

 

link to model

More Adventures in Printing

Update to the 3DPO project I’ve finally hashed out adding a 2nd extruder.  Searched around for the parts on my own and figured what was needed based on the one extruder I already had.

The 2nd extruder parts was around 90$ and I’m printing the other parts needed for filament loading and spool holder as I type this.

  • 40mm Fan – link
  • Heatsink – link
  • Extruder loader + small feeder gear for the filament + spring – link
  • Screws – I used #4 x 1.5 ” screws at home depot

I already had:

  • All Metal Hotend – link
  • Heater block with thermocouple and ceramic heater – Monoprice replacement hotend.

The whole thing would probably have been only 60$ if I used a regular PTFE tube tip + hotend guide, but opted to use this side for PET so the all metal hotend will allow me to go hotter and faster.

Here’s the result:

IMG_3098IMG_3103IMG_3099

 

I’m pretty happy with the result.  I’ve only heated up the new extruder end and found I had miswired the fans so that was a fun discovery.  All is well.

Octoprint + Wemo

Since I setup Octoprint on my 3d printer I’ve wanted to find a way to turn the printer completely off (power stop) when a print had finished.  The scenario is when you’re on a long print and you’re not necessarily going to be in the same room when it finishes, but when it finishes you’d like it to turn off the printer when it’s done.  This keeps my mind at ease that nothing bad in the wiring should happen and the cooloff of the hotend is sure to occur when there’s no power to the printer.  It’s a Win-Win.  I’ve achieved just that and also have set up controls in the UI for turning the printer off and on.  I’ll tell you how to do it:

First of all, I’m assuming you’re using the amazing piece of software known as octoprint.  For my install I put it on a raspberry Pi 2, but it could be installed on any linux distro for this setup.  Next enters Wemo, the remote controlled outlet switch.  Belkin’s software for the mobile phone is terrible, but we’re only going to use that for a short while in order for it to get your wifi setup.  With a combination of the linux distro on your raspberry pi and a piece of software called “Ouimeaux,” we’ll get things automated.

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It is pretty straight forward to setup your wemo.  Download the app, install, send the wifi credentials to the switch and you’re done.  That’s the easy part.  The next part is setting up the controller package on your raspberry pi.  First download the latest package of Ouimeaux on GitHub.  At the time or writing I installed 0.7.9.  It doesn’t take too much to setup and get it working correctly.  See this page for details.  To install you’ll untar/gzip the package on your pi and make sure you have python (required for octoprint anyway) and run the setup with elevated credentials.  Once you go through the setup process, check to see if you can find the switch by running the following commands in your shell:

If you’re not seeing the device, you might either need to connect up to it with the mobile app again or recycle the power.  It took a few times to be able to see it.  Also make sure you are connected to the same network with the wemo as your raspberry pi.

If all has gone well so far, there is only a bit left more which is the configuration in octoprint.  These changes will take place in the config.yaml file which is under the “.octoprint/” directory of the user that octoprint is running as (mine was  under /home/pi/.octoprint/).

We’re going to add new commands here so that we can tap into them via the GUI as well as a plugin.  Open your favorite editor and add in some new commands and actions like so:

Once we have that, let’s head on over to the octoprint plugin github and download the zip for the plugin “AutomaticShutdown“.  We’re going to tweak this plugin slightly in that we’re going to run a different system command when the print finishes.  Open up “octoprint_automaticshutdown\__init__.py” and change the following line:

You can also look in the other files to make edits to the labels if you want.  For instance I changed the js file included with the plugin to read out “shutdown printer” instead of system or the like.

That should be all you need in order to set this up.  Go ahead and reboot just the octoprint service and you should see the new sections in the UI:

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Enjoy!

3d Printer Crazy

The past 4 months have brought on a new hobby for me: 3d printing.  It’s something you really have to witness to behold the magic of it all.  Seeing an object on the screen come to life layer by layer is an experience I hope everyone gets to enjoy.

With that being said, I’ve had my troubles as well.  Last christmas I was given a 3d printer from monoprice as a gift (Monoprice Architect).  It’s a flashforge creator clone.  And by that I mean exact duplicate since the board and several other parts say flashforge on it.  Out of the box it is a fantastic printer, but after working with tons of PLA I wanted to try some other plastics out.

My only upgrade so far has consisted of parts used to go with the printer (LEDS, octoprint, etc.) and a glass bed. The glass bed is fantastic.  Gives a really nice surface to it and all around looks amazing.

The problem was with the bed that came with the printer.  It is a plexiglass, non-heated bed that leaves the user wanting more.  My long goal was to find a new heated bed for this printer.  However, that was the same idea that came to mind of every other person who got this 300$ printer last christmas.

I tried my hand at flashforge usa parts store.  They were out of stock and for 3 months I had it on backorder.  No go.  Next up was flashforge china.  I THOUGHT I had gotten the right part.  It was for a flashforge creator according to the website, but they shipped me a flashforge creator pro heated bed plate.  Well shucks.  The creator pro board has three leveling screens instead of two.  What to do…

Before I got a new bed, I needed to upgrade the 3.2A power supply that came with the printer.  In no way  would it sustain any sort of wattage that was needed here.  Amazon to the rescue.  I received the popular Meanwell 350-24 prime for 40$.

Next up was finding an aluminum plate for the printer.  I’ve scoured the internet and I found on amazon they are selling magnetic build plates from a company called “Maghold.”  Yes please!  Here’s a video and a link to the item.

I received the plate, it looks fantastic.  Really nice piece of steel.  However, I ordered one that went to a 2015 creator / creator pro.  APPARENTLY, the board I received from flashforge was a 2016 board.  Who knew.  Again, the holes were Juuuuust off.  So that’s messed up.  I carefully used a file and made the wholes a little wider on the board.  It fits snug on the build plate now so all I need to do now is drill three holes on the build plate arm (wood) that is attached to the z-axis.  I’m wanting to do that without having to remove the damn thing, because it looks like a nightmare to try and do.

Once I get that installed it’ll be a much needed upgrade and better than the OEM plate.

Next up was the fact that these printers have MK10 extruders installed.  There’s been several versions of the MK bowden extruders.  My coworker had a 2013 flashforge creator model with an MK7 and had problems with feeding exotic filaments into it and having it gunk up.  This was apparently fixed with an MK8. Since then, various manufacturers have been changing the model due to cutting costs or fixing issues and what my printer was shipped with was an MK10 hotend.  The nozzles are wider (6mm I think) and they have a thicker PTFE tube that resides inside the nozzle to go to the aluminum tube from the hotend.  For most PLA usages this is fine, but I’ve seen complaints on the forums that this was a poor change due to the fact that you’re unable to heat your extruder above 240C without having problems with the filament melting too much inside and clogging, as well as the fact that you can’t run the filament faster than 65mm/s.  Meaning you’re stuck with being in that range.

A relatively new market has been the all metal hot ends.  These replace the PTFE tube which causes some grief as well as keep a clean, clear path for the filament to reach the nozzle, without giving any to filament creep back up the tube.  A company called Micro-Swiss in Minnesota makes them.  I  had previously thought the printer had an MK8 so I made the purchase to buy a new aluminum tube from them.  Turns out it was an MK10.  Who knew.  Regardless, these guys were fantastic at customer service.  They allowed a return on the hotend and shipped me out a new hotend for the MK10.

Here’s the before hot end.  Notice the thick PTFE tube.  This can be the cause of many issues:
DSC02469(mk10 on left, mk9 on right)

And this is the new hotend.  It’s solid metal throughout:
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All in all, parts so far have been around 200$ which.. for a 300$ printer originally isn’t too bad.

When everything arrives I’ll update with screenshots to show it’s glory.  It’s been a long road, but I’ve learned much along the way and I see the light at the end of the tunnel.