Monthly Archives: February 2014


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.

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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. ๐Ÿ˜›


My plan so far…

Tomorrow it will be 10 days since I ordered the MakiBox A6 3D printer and it’s a long way from completion. I would assume 2 months at least, but hope that their output keeps rising and their shipping arrangement works good. According to their blog posts on their site they have a weekly output of 300 kits. But their shipped counterย at the time I’m writing this post is at 736 shipped units. And they have been shipping since autumn last year.

Update 17.02.14: According to an answered question on their Facebook page they are scheduling to have all existing orders out before the end of March. Some people are still having doubts about this but Jonathan Buford reassures that the shipped counter will show an increase the next coming days. Here’s the source of the discussion.

This could be because of their shipping arrangements, if I’m not mistaken they ship in bulks to different regions before each single kit goes out to the customers. The counter doesn’t count before each kit has got a tracking id number, and that only happens on the last stage. So the counter may suddenly increase a lot. At least I hope so. ๐Ÿ™‚

maki_cylonIn the meantime I’m getting the hang of SketchUp, and planning other stuff to do when I get my MakiBox. The plan is to make a lot of time-lapse videos for YouTube and I might do some live-streams on Twitch if there’s an audience for that. I haven’t found any 3D printing live stream on there yet. Might have a look at some other sites also. I have a Synology NAS that I can use to record long videos with using the Surveillance system and an IP camera. It has a couple of terabytes with available space, so I should be able to record pretty long prints with it. I don’t know how much space one hour of video on the best quality settings take yet as I’m currently waiting for an IP camera. It will be here shortly.

 

And I’m really happy with this theme by the way. It’s really nice and I hope to tweak it a little bit more, but I’m a bit lacking on content on the site right now. There will be a 3D printing page whenever I get some things sorted and can start writing about that.


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. ๐Ÿ™‚


Star Citizen

I’ve been funding this game for some time now, and I’m really looking forward to its arrival. Release date is still a long way ahead, but the basic idea and all the information that’s been released is quite stunning. If you have played Freelancer you will definitely like this game.

This game by Chris Roberts was a kickstarter project which succeeded and went over to crowd funding. Right now they have gathered over 38 million USD.


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.


A new start

So, after about a year not writing anything on this page I yet again thought to start all over again. It’s been some changes, some new hobbies and some old ones still kicking. More to come as I get this layout stuff done.