3D Printer Updates

posted in: 3D Printing | 0

Over the last 7 or so months since I more or less “finished” the big 3D printer project I was working on, I am continuing to do small changes, and finish things along the way. The printer itself is probably about 60% fully done… since I still need to finish the upper enclosure and get the door mounted.

Lighting and Camera

I finally installed the LED light strips I designed mounts for back in early summer. This including installing a 24 to 12v converter so the lights could be powered off the main PSU for the printer. Since the 350W PSU doesn’t power the heated bed there is plenty of power available there. There are 4 strips all angled down around 45 deg toward the build surface. Two from the front and one on each side, this keeps the camera in the front from getting too washed out.

I also installed a camera on the printer and power it off the PSU as well via a 24v to 5v converter. So anytime the printer is powered up, it will be active. The camera feeds into my Blue Iris security camera setup.

Sealing the bottom

After getting all the polycarbonate glass installed on the printer I had 2 big gaps I needed to fill. They are around the bottom edges surrounding the Z motors, and the lower Z table mounts. So a normal sheet of polycarbonate can’t go there. I designed up 4 blanks that fill in the gaps and with some clear tape I seal the intentional gap between the polycarbonate and the PETG inserts.

I went with PETG for the inserts 1. Because I had extra to use up, and 2. even if the chamber is heated that area will be the coolest part of the printer. I ran out of the Orange PETG mid way through so I switched to black for the rear parts. The front two parts are the same just mirrored, the rear are different side to side due to the power box being in the way. This now keeps scraps and stuff from getting near the electronics and also makes it slightly less noisy when the PSU fan and the Duet fans go high speed.

Cleaning the heads

One of parts/designs that I have been pending on for a long time, even mid design of the printer was where/how to clean the heads. This isnt a huge issue normally, but when printing with stringy materials from both heads, there is a lot of priming, and stringing that can happen. I was trying to print with multi material TPU/TPE the other day and the stringing even with a ooze shield and prime pillar was unworkable. So I sat down and finally designed some functional head cleaner brushes and a prime bucket.

These are made out of NylonX because I wanted them rigid, but also because the bucket end will be right next to the hot heated bed and at some of the temps I print the bed at, it would soften PETG. Also NylonX is just so nice to print with.

The mount to the 3030 frame is a modified version of the bracket that mounts the upper Z rod, to keep consistent looks and because it was already designed.

The buckets are mirrored side to side so the opening faces forward. Really the removable door was done to make printing easier and faster, but if you are doing a lot of priming and just want the debris to go to the bottom of the printer in a controlled way, you can just take the door off.

I just installed them, and now I need to setup a tool change routine in the Duet firmware to ensure the heads get wiped on a tool change and when a tool is selected it is primed in the bucket, cleaned and then quickly moves to the build area.

Configuration changes and alignment tweaks

Next up is to change the alignment of the printer so the 0X 0Y is located dead center of the platform. This will let me print mirror prints just as I already print duplication prints right now. This requires a new setup on all the Duet config files, as well as a reconfiguration of all the profiles in my slicer. In the long term this is a better way to go for printers like this.

Setting up the routines for tool change to have a prime/purge/wipe functionality is going take some trial and error as well. Then I am going to start testing with mutli-material TPU printing again and see if I can make it work better with the wiper functionality.

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