I’ve continued to have major issues with the printer, so I’ve been reading even more, and stocking up on new parts and tools so I can perform more intensive maintenance and upgrades on the 3D printer.
One of the issues that I’ve had is that sometime mid-print the printer will appear to lose track of where the carriages are located, and also appear to not register the end-stops.
I finally branched out into soldering, and got a soldering setup and heat gun.
I’ve used this to replace all the end stops. I cut the wires, and spliced new ones on, albeit clumsily. There is an extra layer of heat shrink that I apparently thought was a good idea at the time, but I chose the wrong size.
Build Plate Upgrade:
I decided to attach a metal build plate onto the printer, so that it would be smoother and more resilient than the standard plastic build plate. I’m tired of having a plastic build plate that gets deeply scratched and deformed by a hot nozzle. I think that having a metal bed will eliminate some of those issues, though it might cause more gear grinding issues if the printer loses it’s z-axis calibration again.
I had planned to do this by either 1) using binder clips to attach the plate or 2) use 3D printed mounts (along with some purchased screws, springs, and nuts). I found that the binder clips that I bought were far too big for the printer, and also realized that I would need to make some gcode changes to account for their presence so that the nozzle wouldn’t run into them. Even going with smaller clips would have had this issue.
Photo of clips for illustrative purposes only
I also realized that the springs I had ordered were entirely too long (and possibly too stiff) to be used to mount the metal bed. Maybe I’ll find a way to re-purpose these parts for another project later.
So, I went with my default solution to problems.
Command strips. I taped the plate to the plastic bed, and seems like it might work out alright. I used the tape because with command strips, if it doesn’t work out you can easily remove them. Down the line I’m wondering if I might need to replace them and add some sort of supports underneath the plate so it is even less likely to flex (it’s only supported in those 4 corners).
Filament Spool Issues:
A separate issue I have is that loading and unloading filaments of different types was a pain. The original spool holder that came with the printer requires disassembling and reassembling the holder around the spool every time I want to change filament.
Also, from the angle the filament travels there is clearly a lot of friction over time. The feed hole was originally round.
I’m not sure whether this filament drag was contributing to some of the issues with the print head moving in unexpected ways, so I tried out adding an easier-to-use spool mount on top of the printer.
The large parts are 3D printed, but it also uses 2 skateboard bearings. I didn’t design this one, I found it on Thingiverse here:
Printrite horizontal spool holder
I figured that it would make loading and unloading filament much easier, and the different position plus the bearings would reduce any drag caused by the angles the filament had been travelling through.
Sadly, I’ve found that the spool will occasionally fall off the top of the printer when I try to use the new holder, and with a heavy spool that is too much of a risk of damage to the rest of the printer, so I’ve had to stop using it. I may end up trying the version with the steps on it, in the hopes that the steps will keep the spools from falling.
I also designed and test printed a spool holder design of my own, but that ended up being it’s own separate set of issues.
Note: This post is a case in point of why logging/blogging can be good for your hobbies. You look at what you’ve done, what your problems were/are, and re-evaluate while you write. I’m catching up on this a few weeks later, and I had forgotten that there was a stepped version of the spool holder that I can try.
To be continued…