Nanners' Blog My rantings


Thing-O-Matic Calibration III

My printer has been pumping out some good quality prints in both ABS and PLA for the last week or two.  I've upgraded to linear bearings and a ball bearing follower on my x axis, a mk8 nozzle, and rigged a fan to blow on my extruder stepper, and my filament gap.  With this setup I've been printing both high quality ABS prints, and even gotten off a few hour or longer prints in PLA.  I was having some heating issues on Sunday night were the temperature seemed a bit low during a print, soon into a PLA print my safety cutoff board's light went out and it caused the heater to turn off.  Upon restarting my machine the light comes on and all connections on the board are secure.  As soon as I try to heat up the head(as soon as voltage is sent to the board) the  green light goes out, given this I assume it's not a loose cable on the main boards end, but rather a blown component.  I suspect the relay, the big 2w resistor, or the power rectifier are either shorted or blown, so I've ordered replacements for all of them.   This will end up leading to more general maintenance on my bot: installing linear bearings to replace bushings, greasing the rods, checking all the screws to make sure they are tight ,and re-wrapping the extruder.


Thing-O-Matic Calibration II

I spent about an hour and 1/2 working on calibration on the Thing-O-Matic last night.  My prints are coming out very oozy on top.  The fan on the extruder also isn't running, so I need to open up the bot tonight and check out the connection.


Thing-O-Matic Calibration

Last night I did some calibration on the Thing-O-Matic, I was able to print faster than I've ever printed before, and was able to get some petty good detail.  I find that my printer leaves flat areas a bit rougher than I'd like, but then again it might be the plastic.  For some reason I find that the Tardis blue ABS that I've been using seems to come out a bit gooey from the extruder.  I think I'll re-run my gear test prints using a bit lower of a temperature and see what I get.


Thing-O-Matic Firmware

Last night I upgraded my Thing-O-Matic to use Jetty's Sailfish firmware, along with upgrading the extruder firmware.  The extruder was a bit harder to upgrade since it required getting a USB cable in at a very odd angle and detaching the connection to the main board, and the power connection to the PSU.  The main board upgrade to sailfish was easy as could be to do.  I'll be running calibration tonight so I'm hoping to get some good speed and quality.



After working with the ABP (automated build platform) on my thing-o-matic for several months, I'd changed to using the heated build platform with an aluminum top. It's been working pretty well so far, and I feel like it's giving me less errors and better resolution. I've been working on trying to get the leveling on it right, once that it done I should be set for some larger prints.


Thing-O-Matic Y-Axis Issue

Once again my Thing-O-Matic's Y-Axis is getting stuck on prints and offsetting each following Y layer. I thought it might be the belt being to loose, but I'm thinking somehow that it's sticking on something, perhaps the HBP wiring on long trips on the Y-Axis. I'll need to look into this over the next few days.


Thing-O-Matic Update

At this point my ToM is working pretty well.  The fix for the belt issue was actually to tighten them up a bit more, and now they run pretty darn smoothly.  I actually ended up removing the rods from both the X and Y axis' to realign the bearings a bit.  To align them you really just take the rod and flex it about in the bearings to push them to align, pretty neat.  I also took the Z-stepper off and realigned the bearings for the Z axis and then reinserted the threaded stepper rod into the Z-Axis platform.  In the end my bot has better resolution, and makes a lot less noise.


Thing-O-Matic Belt Issues

Right now I'm having some issues with my Thing-O-Matic.  Both the X-Axis and Y-Axis are catching near their minimum stopping points.  This has caused some of the prints to come out slanted to one side, at this point I need to pull apart both Axis' to see what might be causing the issues.



Thing-O-Matic Update 3

As of Sunday night I have a fully functional Thing-O-Matic.  At this point it does still have some kinks to work out, but it is working, and printing.  I was able to print a few test objects, and a companion cube before hitting any snags.  While trying to print a tardis the build nozzle snagged on the model and caused it to come free.  I figured this was a fluke and tried it again with much the same result.  I again this morning tried to print a companion cube, but as it was in the last few minutes of the build it once again snagged the top of the model and pulled it off the build platform.  I'm hoping this is being caused by a now quite level build platform and that I'll be able to fix it by the use of some plastic spacers or shims.

The other issue I've suffered it that I've had a few cables come unplugged while printing.  This has occurred due to poor cable management on my part, and I've been doing my best to fix it by means of zip ties.  I'll be posting later this week about all the major and minor problems I've had so hopefully other people can avoid them.


Thing-O-Matic Update 2

As of right now the Y-Axis is the last mechanical part to get working.  It seems that I have a short somewhere on the Y-Axis ribbon connector on the motherboard.  Tonight to correct the issue I'll need to remove the motherboard and hunt for bad solder joint.