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Old 01-22-2013, 06:30 PM   #16
PoundSand
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Any idea how labor intensive this kit is to set up, calibrate and keep calibrated?
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:38 PM   #17
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No idea.

It really depends on what you get. The kits, especially the 2.0, look fairly easy to assemble. The electronics, at least for me, look a little daunting. I ordered most of the stuff pre-assembled, meaning I hopefully won't have to do any soldering- just running wires from motors to controls, etc. As far as calibration and keeping it "tuned", again, no idea. Stay tuned, I'm about to find out.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:50 PM   #18
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Can't wait to hear. ;)

It is one of the things that had scared me away from a makerbot but I've heard very little direct experience....
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:34 PM   #19
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Parts!

Got the stepper motors, the power supply, and the plastruder.




I bought a few limit switches with the stepper motors, not sure if I will end up needing them or not. The power supply looks pretty straight forward, although it looks like it got dinged in shipping- one corner is a little bent. The plastruder... "Some assembly required". Looks like fun! The black and white coils are some sample plastic. I was surprised at how thin it is.

Here is what a plastic printed part looks like.



Hoping to start assembly on the plastruder tonight, but we'll see how it goes.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:20 PM   #20
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We looked at getting one, but they are so slow, so it would be hard to develop student projects around a 3D printer. However, if you need a special part, that would be really hard to make, it's the way to go. I might have another look at one soon. We have a laser cutter, that is getting a lot of use, but it was really expensive.

I am keen to find out how you'll get on with yours.

That's the one I'd be going for.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:54 PM   #21
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Started putting pieces together. Power supply is pretty simple, all I had to do was cut the end off an old computer cord I had laying around and wire it in.



This power supply is a 24v, which is what the kit required so I hope thats right... Plugged it in and waited for it to blow up. It didn't, so I adjusted the potentiometer so it put out darn near 24 volts.



That was easy! It looks like it got a little banged up in shipment but still seems to function fine.

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Old 01-29-2013, 05:10 PM   #22
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The "plastruder" is a little more involved... It was one of the more expensive pieces, which I guess is understandable as it is the business end of the printer. I bought it in kit form here: http://www.makergear.com/products/plastruder . For only $10 more I could have gotten it with a pre-assembled hot end, and having mostly built mine now I think the extra money is a bargain unless you really enjoy teensy wires, solder, and wet ceramic paste.

Maker Gears instructions were pretty good, and can be found here: http://www.makergear.com/pages/stepp...r-instructions . There were a few things that I found confusing, mainly putting the larger pieces together, but overall its pretty straight forward.

Start by assembling the hot end. This is covered nicely already, so I'll just include a pic or three of what I did.

Start with this little ball in the center, attach clips to it, attach wires to the clips, and solder. The little ball is a piece of brass with nichrome wire wrapped around it and a first coating of ceramic already applied.



Thread it onto the included bolt and washer (these are only used to hold the pieces together while putting the paste on).



Apply goopy paste.



The paste looks ugly but when you cure it it smooths out nicely. To cure it, you have to zap it with 12 volts for 2 minutes to heat it up, then let it cool, then repeat several more times. The heat cures the ceramic and hardens it apparently...






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Old 01-29-2013, 05:33 PM   #23
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Few more pics... This is the part that was a little confusing to me, but it was pretty easy to figure out.

The directions for this part were pretty straight forward.





On their website they have about 4 different choices of assembled plastruders, and none of them seem to match exactly what I have, so here's what I figured out. Here's all of the parts in an exploded view.



Follow the pics, its pretty straight forward. The black plastic tube gets slid into the notch in the wood. Notice the screw in the bottom of the pic is shorter than the one in the top... Thats important in a minute.




The wood plate is attached to the plastic extruder block.




See the shorter screw? Don't know why they didnt just use 2 short ones...




Install the stepper motor. The one screw is short so it doesnt hit the motor.




The rest of these pics just show the innards of the hot end. Once the hot end is complete, its not really something you take apart. It's designed so that you just take the wood plate off, and everything from the black plastic tube to the nozzle comes off as one piece.







Thats where I'm at now. Tomorrow I will finish the hot end with the temp sensor and wiring, and them I'm out of stuff to do until the rest of the printer shows up- probably not until the second week of February.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:44 PM   #24
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One last thing... I figured it would be a good idea to record the time I've spent on this. I'm only going to count the time I spend working on the printer- not counting time spent sourcing parts, scaring up funds, figuring out software, etc.

So far, with the assembly of the plastruder and wiring of the power supply I'll call it an even 2 hours. This DOES include time spent re-reading the instructions and double checking I was doing things right.

Time today: 2.0 hrs.

Total Time: 2.0 hrs.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:07 PM   #25
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thanks for taking us along. I figure I'll end up with one these sooner or later.

I don't have a good reason to have one, I just want one
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:31 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry.mc View Post




thanks for taking us along. I figure I'll end up with one these sooner or later.

I don't have a good reason to have one, I just want one

Me too.
So I'm just sitting here watching this unfold.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:47 AM   #27
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Dude, what happened?
Did you melt yourself into a cocoon?
We want to see results!!!
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:13 AM   #28
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We sell Stratasys [FDM and Polyjet] systems but I'm looking at one of the "Maker" grade models for fun.

I'm leaning towards one of the Delta arm models just because they're different.

Make: magazine published The Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing that has a lot of information on process, software, hardware, and 15 reviews. It's well done.
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:44 PM   #29
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No puddles of plastic yet...

I got an email from Maker Tool Works the other day saying they had discovered a bug in the beta kits and were in the process getting parts made to fix it. I opted to have the original parts shipped now so I can start assembling- the new parts will be free of charge other than shipping- part of the deal with it being a "Beta" kit.

The kit wasn't even originally supposed to ship until yesterday, so they aren't too far behind. I understood up front that the printer is still under development and that this was a possibility, so I'm not too worried. Still havent seen hide nor hair of the drivers and controller board though... getting a little worried about that.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:17 AM   #30
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We may soon be able to print body parts:

http://venturebeat.com/2013/02/06/fi...an-stem-cells/
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