First face shields shipped and Maintenance Time!

posted in: 3D Printing, DIY Geek Things | 0

When I was finishing up the 80th face shield hoop for Genesis Plastics I had my first print failure of the entire ordeal!

Not something you want to see when you walk back into the room…

In the end, the leg of one of the hoops popped up and caused the whole part to get mangled… it also started tearing into the silicone sock that is on the hot end and and you can see bits of it embedded into the plastics. So that was a good time to wrap up this batch of parts for the COVID relief and get the 78 I had done shipped out.

Here is a nice news article about what Genesis is trying to do for the COVID pandemic in CO:

I cleaned them all with warm water, and then dried them in a dehydrator, and packed them up. A friend dropped them off at Genesis plastics this morning where they will ship out to Colorado medical professionals ASAP.

Taking a minute to tune up the printer

This printer has been printing and used for most weeks since it was “finished” (its still not 100% finished) The first week of April 2019. Since that time either one or both print heads have gone through ~10+ KG of filament, most of it highly abrasive CF Nylon/Glass Nylon at nozzle temps up to 290C and bed temps of 110C. Movement speeds on the printer are ~ 250mm/sec which is about the max the steppers can do with the 24v PSU.

For a year of printing with those kind of temps and speeds, its taken a toll on the printer. So its time for some TLC.

  • Lubricate and check the linear rails and blocks – the linear motion system for the X and Y axis are based on genuine HiWin MGN12 and 15 blocks/rails. Just for the 3 rails and associated blocks it is close to $450 in materials, so letting them fail is not an option. I used HiWin spec lithium soap grease and the HiWin grease gun to lubricate all 4 linear blocks and ensure they are moving smoothly.
  • Removed/loosened the belt tensioners to check the state of the bearings and the idlers. letting the belts go slack let me move the individual blocks without the motor to ensure they were moving smoothly.
  • Re-calibrated and adjusted the E0 and E1 hot ends to be exactly the same height off the Z table. I used a flashlight, some tape and a lot of small adjustments to get the E0 moved up about .05mm to be in perfect alignment with the E1 hot end.
  • Lubricated the 12mm linear rods and cleaned them for the Z axis, and cleaned the acme screw for both motors.
  • Cleaned the heated bed of all the glue that built up with the first batch of head halos.
  • Checked for play in any of the plastic to metal interfaces.
  • Redid the bed mesh calibration
  • Re-wire the filament sensors – I’ve had some issues with them erroring out with “Extruder # Sensor Reported as not working” errors out of no where. I think its cause I am using the CONN_LCD on the Duet2. I am going to try using 2 of the more normal end stops for them.
Picture of the grease gun injecting HiWin grease into the linear block
Y-Belts removed, and grease being put into the MGN15 Y blocks.
Here is a video of the print of the Halos, the failure, and my maintenance work.

Overall after the work cleaning and checking everything, I am impressed at truly how little wear and tear there has been on the printer. The nozzles look brand new (they are E3D NozzleX hardened/coated nozzles that are supposed to last a very long time), so no replacing them anytime soon.

I threw new silicone socks onto the hot ends and it was good to go!

Next Projects

I am looking to use up the 2nd PETG Orange spool I have to print another 50- 80 halos for Genesis plastics. After that I will see what other needs are for PPE for medical professionals and how I can help with them.

I am also getting motivation to get the website up and running to sell print services, basic design services, and some on-demand printed parts I’ve designed. Not sure when it will get done or online, but its becoming more and more front of mind for me.

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