Monday, 1 May 2017

Printing galore, with minimal problems

With the new bolt in and working well, it's time to get back to the Z probe, and otherwise organize the printer. The Z probe unfortunately is made for the Dibond Mendel90, not the Sturdy. But that merely means that the cylinder for the belt holder is a bit larger. I did a partial print with a 12mm Ø cylinder, and it was a slightly tight fit. At the same time, it's clear that the probe mount will hit the little extra piece I added to allow enough space for the winged nuts on the Wade's. So that will need to be accounted for, too. Might as well remake that in something nice, why not one piece?

The black at the bottom is because I had just changed from the black soft PLA

While getting that designed, I decided it would also be good to get the 'Pi a bit under control. I had printed Nophead's Pi mount that goes on top of the power supply, but it turns out most of my (fairly many) USB connections go elsewhere - camera, humidity sensor, Lilliput, keyboard, mouse. Plus the Nophead design was for the Pi that has two screw holes, mine has four.  So hop onto Thingiverse and find this nice design. Slice, upload, print, altogether slightly over an hour. Cheaper and faster than even Amazon Prime Now could do it, if they even carried such a specialized item. I <3 my printer - though the vibrations on my rather unstable printing surface ironically made the Pi fall off the table mid-print.

I also printed some more tips for sword cores for my Belegarth group, a good use of my flexible PLA. This was while the printer was expanding due to, I believe by now, pressure changes - my little humidity sensor says the humidity and temperature is nigh constant, but the weather got nicer over the weekend. This led to some of the tips of the first print coming loose, and the entire second print coming off and sticking hilariously to the print head:

I have a mold of my extruder tip now

The poor things never stood a chance

The tips came out nice in a third print, though, and are already being incorporated in my next set of swords.

I did a toothbrush head holder, but didn't think of the fact that Mickey has a stand for hers already. I might design a stand for mine, including my standard toothpaste (without sodium lauryl sulphate, so my teeth get less sensitive and I get fewer canker sores- there's only one that I know of, so I'm not going to change.)

Current Z offset: 0.9mm. Current pressure: 1008 hPa.

I weighed the Pi mount print to 14.3 g (we have a fine scale now for other purposes), and Slic3r says it's 12.66 cm^3 of filament, so the density is 1.13 g/cm^3 - heavier than water, I can double-check that, yes it checks out. With this value, the filament for the battery dispenser costs just over 1 Euro. The printer itself, having previously measured at around 60W while printing (less than various calculations show), will take about 4 hours, so 240Wh, which is currently priced at €0.27/kWh (if I understand this correctly), for a total power usage of €0.06. Even if the extra costs of Pi, monitor, Arduino, and other pieces end up doubling this, I'm still paying much more for the filament than the power.

Designing the probe holder took several tries of increasing precision, each requiring taking off the clamp on the belt and the little extra X axis piece. That's how working on the printer is. Test #4 had an X axis offset at one point (unfortunately right before it would have mattered little) of about 1cm. That's not supposed to happen. It's not the motor overheating, they run nice and cool. It might be a problem with the belt, since I keep loosing and refastening it.

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