Sunday, September 11, 2011

First part printed

After the printer parts were ordered for printing, a revision of the design happened, and I ended with an "old" idler part for the extruder. I made do by gluing some pieces of ice-cream cone stick to the sides, and awaiting for my printer to be operational to print the new version. This is now done! But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's take things in order. First, I decided to print a calibration part from Thingiverse ( ) :
From RepRap
The first attempt is on the right. I started with the head too far away from the build platform, and the first layer did not stick properly. Obviously, when dropping the bed down for the second layer, there was no chance of things improving. I let if print a few more layers, and then restarted the print. On the second attempt, I paused the print after the printing of the "skirt" around the part, and adjusted the height of the Z axis so the head was about two tenths of a millimeter away from the bed. That seemed to be the correct height, and the first layer was laid down correctly. The print ended without drama. After lunch, I decided to print the new version of the extruder idler. I first downloaded the stl file from the Git repository, rendered it using Skeinforge and started printing. After a short while, something looked odd. It appeared as if the Y axis had not completed a movement, and everything above that level was offset on the Y axis. Then the print stopped abruptly, the printer stayed motionless, and the Pronteface program hung on the notebook. I'm not sure if the printer hanging caused the program to hang, or the reverse...
From RepRap
Back to the drawing board. Sort of. Just a plain restart of the print. This time, I decided to print from the SD card. It was simple enough to copy the .pla file to the SD micro card on the other notebook, put the card in the card reader on Bertie, and select the print from there. About half way through, the X skipped some distance, and everything from there got shifted. I stopped it then. No point in wasting material.
From RepRap
On the third try, the tubing that leads the filament between the extruder and the hot end came off the fitting. Obviously, no material was being extruded, so I stopped the print once again. I suspect the printing temperature dropped too much with the quantity of material that has to be heated up, increasing the extrusion pressure, so I decided to lower the speed and increase the hot end temperature. On the following try, I obtained a part of a quality acceptable for a replacement of the "old" idler. Tomorrow, I'll order material from Faberdashery and from China, so I can compare the delivery times, prices and material quality.

No comments:

Post a Comment