3D


3D printing Aegis Dynamics Avenger

As I’m a Star Citizen fan and have thrown a good amount of money on the game already I though it would be cool to try to print some of the ship models. So the last days I’ve been searching for a usable 3D model of some ships and right now I’m printing the Avenger model. It’s a pretty simple model compared to some of the ships and makes for a great first try. I scaled the ship to 100:1 and parted it up into 4 pieces so it would fit the print surface.

First part is now printed and the result looks good, need some finishing touches but I’m satisfied and looking forward to completing the 3 remaining pieces.

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3D printer update 4

SolderingIt’s been a while since I posted any update at all, but here’s whats going on with the Cube 3D printer.

I got in contact with the creator of the Cube3DFree device, and he basically told me how to do it, and that it was described in the manual. So note to self: RTFM! So the time goes by with other stuff to do, but I finally dig out my soldering set and knowing how bad I am at soldering I was not looking forward to attach that little chip to the board. I have a quick look on YouTube to see if I could get some tips on soldering. And I did, YouTube is the best place to learn stuff.

Soldering that little chip was much easier than I expected, and the machine now though it actually had a cartridge attached. Haha, progress! Next thing I had to do load the new filament, which went easy enough. Now there’s the test print with the new external loaded filament.

Printed a 20mm test cube again, no problems at all. Printer works fine using the external filament.

 


Cube 3D printer

Cube 3D PrinterA couple of months ago I came across a 3D printer for sale on a local buy/sell group on Facebook. The 3D printer in question was a Cube 3D Generation 2 printer, and the owner of it stated that it didn’t print and he had no clue what was wrong with it. I asked him a couple of questions and he confirmed that it did work earlier and that it still worked to the degree that it could extrude and move all axis. He was selling this printer dirt cheap so I told him I was interested and would visit him a couple of days later to check it out and most likely buy it.

So a couple of days later I got into my car and 2 hours later I met the guy, I asked him if he could show me some prints he had made before he started having problems with it but he then said that he had really never gotten any prints out of it. I then asked him when he bought the printer where he answered that he had bought it just a couple of months ago.

At this point I feel really comfortable on buying the machine. The price for it new is $1399 USD plus shipping, and I bought it for roughly 1/7 of that price. So I hand him the money and I drive home again with the printer in the backseat.

When I get home I start installing the program, find a test cube stl file which I then make a build file from, dump it on a flash drive. Put the flash drive into the printer and turned it on. Checked the bed leveling which was spot on already, adjusted the height and then pressed print. The printer worked flawlessly.

So I ended up buying a perfectly working printer for a really cheap price, only down side with that printer is that the manufacturer uses chipped filament cartridges. Thankfully there is a way to bypass that, and it’s called “Cube 3D Free”. Now since I did save a lot of money buying the printer I have no problem spending a little more on the bypass device, so I ordered one.

I get the device in the mail and start fiddling with the machine, turns out the device is a little bigger than the cartridge slot. I file of the edges to make it fit, but right now I’m kinda stuck where I get the device into the slot and I’m pretty sure it has connection with the cartridge pins. So it should work, but the machine still insists “Cartridge not found”.

And there’s where everything stands at the moment. I’ve tried out things myself, but now I need to wait for the creator of the Cube 3D Free device to help me out.


MakiBox A6 Known Issues and Solutions

As I have a lot of time to read the forums and try to get grasp on what the overall build quality and what kind of problems are out there for the current MakiBox A6 I’m going to try to make a list of major and minor problems in the design and solutions for these. I’m only going to write about the major problems.

Now, I would like to point out that I still don’t have this machine around, so what I write here is basically what I can find on the forums and try to piece together the solutions others have pointed out.

 

Extruder:

  • Issue: The original “Zen” drive seem to have issues with the idler wheel prone to cracking and lack of tension adjustment.
  • Solution: User “jbarnhardt” on the MakiBox forum and Thingiverse has made a new drive called “FroZen” that will fit perfectly into the machine without any modification.

Hot End:

  • Issue: Several reports on the forum from users with hot ends no longer heating up.
  • Solution: Contact support and get it replaced.

 

USB Port Snaps Off:

 

Motor couplings:

  • Issue: Several users on the forum have the problem with the couplings slipping.
  • Solution: Replacing the couplings with better ones would be great, but finding a coupling with 5mm/8mm and with an outer diameter of maximum 15mm is impossible. You could however make one yourself if you have access to a machine shop.
    • Other solution 1: Glue the part in place.
    • Other solution 2: Drill through the coupling and putting in a pin to keep it in place.

 


The failed printer

If you’ve been to this page earlier or come by using old search references left from my old site you probably remember me buying a TechZone Huxley 3D printer. And if you wondering what happened to it, here’s a quick summary:

  • When I first got the package a couple of parts were damaged, mostly the build bed. So I had to make a new one.
  • A lot of the important structural pieces was too small, machine had to be reduced in size to be able to be assembled.
  • One of the timing belts was way too short, had to fix it with a couple of zip ties so it could reach around.
  • Many of the printed pieces was poorly made with warping and shifting.
  • The Z axis cogwheel was failing due to both warping and shifting, timing belt slipped constantly during -Z motion.
  • Drive gears in general slipped now and then.
  • The hot end was catastrophically damaged during testing due to faulty tolerance in the ABS filament (My bad!). The hot end was pushed out of the Teflon holder and since I couldn’t do anything to fix it I ordered a new and better hot end.
  • When I installed the new hot end I tested it out extensively and all looked good.
  • After mounting the hot end back onto the machine with some minor modifications I was ready to test it out once more.
  • Temperature sensor suddenly didn’t work and the hot end wouldn’t heat up.
  • Then the controller board popped and smoked.
  • The machine was then disassembled.

So after all the hard work trying to put the damned machine together I never did make it work, and each time I thought to myself that I finally had everything done right something nasty would happen. Now that was about 3 years ago, and the market for 3D printers have changed dramatically. So many new printers out there it feels much safer to get out there and try again, the machines are cheaper, better built and a lot of changes to the designs have happened. Just look at the Orion Delta from SeeMeCNC. Using better construction materials instead of relying in stuff bought from the nearest hardware store really makes everything easier to put together.

So when I was searching for a new 3D printer to buy I had a couple of different machines to choose from, and I wanted a small and portable machine with “OK” print space for a decent price. There was some machines out there that I really would like to own, but they were way to expensive. I’m going to use it for fun/hobbies and so on.

 

I finally went for the MakiBox A6 HT because it seem to be very easily assembled. The man behind it built one in about 2 hours, so for someone who hasn’t the experience he has still should be able to do it in one day, and not in a couple of weeks like the machines earlier.

There are still some “bugs” in the design, but they seem to be minor and constantly fixed and upgraded by both the developers and the community. I really want to start printing parts now. 😛


Trying out software

Today I’ve been looking on programs for modeling 3D parts to print and other software needed for the process.

Right now I really like how SketchUp works and have made a couple of simple things that would fit on the MakiBox. I then downloaded Slic3r and config files to generate G codes just to try it out.

I added STL support on SketchUp and I’ll also want the “RoundCorner” plugin.

I have a couple of ideas on what to print whenever I get the printer, I did some calculations on when it’s supposed to be sent, and it’s in between 21. Mars and 18. April if the 6-10 weeks is correct. So quite a long time left.

So until that time I should have a really good understanding on how the software works at least. 🙂


Recap of todays activities

Well, after I got home from work today I ended up surfing the net for 3D printers… Aaaand ended up ordering a MakiBox kit that I need to assemble myself. They had a really good site with detailed building instructions and lots of videos describing the procedure. So I feel confident putting it together whenever I get it.

They currently have a 6-10 week lead time plus shipping time so I won’t get it any time soon.

In the mean time I can get more into learning the RaySupreme 3D program I purchased on Steam not long ago, I just hope they fix the reference image problem soon. I’m thinking of using it to create models for the 3D printer as it uses a really nice system of creating objects.