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Old 03-09-2013, 11:28 AM   #121
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Any particular reason for those speeds? Still learning, and there seems to be a huge range of speeds people use. I tried cranking mine up a bit- 120mm/s for the spool although the cylinder part is all boundary's so it only printed at 60. Seems like others with my printer are running at 130 without problems.

Finished spool holder installed. One screw down through the center. Still need to make and instal a tensioner to keep the spool from unwinding itself but I have an idea for that.



Spool on.



And why I think its WELL worth the extra $$$ to buy the plastic on a spool.



Thought I could adapt that wire feed welder spool to the plastic, and it would probably be okay but I've been using the plastic and its got itself snarled up pretty good. Not looking forward to untangling that mess.
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:34 AM   #122
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Any particular reason for those speeds? Still learning, and there seems to be a huge range of speeds people use. I tried cranking mine up a bit- 120mm/s for the spool although the cylinder part is all boundary's so it only printed at 60. Seems like others with my printer are running at 130 without problems.
The small parts don't seem to work well with the higher speeds. I just experimented until I was happy with the printing time and finish. Still learning to diagnose issues by looking at the print result. I don't think these things are an exact science.


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nulluser screwed with this post 03-09-2013 at 02:27 PM
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:09 PM   #123
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Wow, that's pretty cool!

Playing around with cooling fans... Had an idea. It's rather pointless, but thats kinda how my mind works anyways.

Most printers, if they use a cooling fan, just hang it off to the side so it blows on everything. I'm wondering how it would affect prints to just cool the fresh extrusion, so I designed and printed a duct for the fan, and piped it in by the nozzle.

Eventually, I want to build a cooling jacket around the nozzle itself so the cool air goes straight down, all around the nozzle. For now, if you can't tell by the tape and zip ties, this was a test.









The test piece. Its teeny- about 1/2 an inch cube.



Test results.



Cooled piece on the left, uncooled on the right. Not much air is moving out of the tube, but enough to make a difference!

Next step, design a cooling jacket to go around the nozzle...
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:45 PM   #124
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Next step, design a cooling jacket to go around the nozzle...
Dyson makes a room fan. You might look at that for inspiration.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:29 AM   #125
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A fan isn't a good choice for a directed jet of air. They move volumes of low pressure air. Your shop doesn't have a compressed air line you can use?
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:05 AM   #126
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Some of the Stratasys FDM machines have a plastic air plenum which directs thermostatically controlled cooling air to both sides of the tips (they have two).
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:12 PM   #127
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I have read that it's a good idea to insulate the nozzle if you are going to have a cooler. Helps with temperature stability, and keeps the controller from working too hard.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:51 PM   #128
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My extruder has two layers of "insulation" over it already...


Here's my nozzle idea.



Tried printing the nozzle part earlier but the stupid program froze.
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:34 PM   #129
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Made some changes and reprinted. Got most of the way done and one of rods popped out and the extruder knocked it off before it was done, but its close enough that I'll give it a try. Might even be better this way- more air flow...



















Betting it melts on the very first print. We'll give it a try later this evening.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:30 PM   #130
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Well it didn't melt...
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:32 PM   #131
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Well it didn't melt...
Nice!
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:05 PM   #132
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Nothin new to report... Havent been able to touch the printer all week. I *DID* finally get the updated z-axis parts from the beta 2 kit, so I'll probably be swapping parts around next week or over spring break. SOoooooo many things to do, so little time!
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:56 AM   #133
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Ok so I have finally caught up on this thread. Great stuff dorkpunch. Very comprehensive.

I have also been reading all sorts of other stuff. Theres more than a few people stating that this technology is going to be the biggest thing since the industrial revolution itself.

So my question to all and sundry - With some knowledge and experience under your belt, is there a machine you would recommend for someone starting out, as a good device to learn on?

Knowing what you know now, what if anything, would you do differently if you were starting over?
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Old 03-17-2013, 05:09 AM   #134
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What's your goal and your budget?
Are you a designer or engineer or is this a hobby project?
Do you want to assemble a system or buy one ready to run?
Do you want to be able to use the parts in the real world or just make shapes for fun?
Do you have CAD software?

Press references to "3D Printing" have increased two orders of magnitude in the last year, culminating in President Obama's discovery of the technology [first introduced in 1988] in his Inaugural Address. The upside is that more people are becoming familiar with the technology and exploring ways to use it. The downside is there are a lot of ridiculous claims. One industry estimate is that 40% of all kits sold are never completed.

IMHO the best thing about the Maker Movement in general and 3D printers in particular is that it is helping interest kids in math, science and engineering.
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:40 PM   #135
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Ok so I have finally caught up on this thread. Great stuff dorkpunch. Very comprehensive.

I have also been reading all sorts of other stuff. Theres more than a few people stating that this technology is going to be the biggest thing since the industrial revolution itself.

So my question to all and sundry - With some knowledge and experience under your belt, is there a machine you would recommend for someone starting out, as a good device to learn on?

Knowing what you know now, what if anything, would you do differently if you were starting over?
Tough question, one I don't really know if I can give you good answers to.

I looked around at a few different printers when I first was wanting one... I did what I thought was a fair bit of research and comparisons. There are hundreds of different kits out there, with new versions continually coming out of the woodwork. It seems a useable desktop version will run you anywhere from $700 to $2,500, and they can be fully assemble or a total kit. You can choose whatever you want that will meet your needs- the hard part is knowing what your needs are.

I don't feel like I can recommend one printer over another, because this printer is literrally the only one I have ever seen / used in person. That said, from my research I think the Mendelmax 2.0 is a great kit. WAY less parts to put together, good quality prints, EXCELLENT support from makerstoolworks.com, and overall a well thoughtout product with the ability to be modified and expanded very easily. Price isn't too bad either... Its definitely not the cheapest kit out there but its far from the most expensive too. I do also like the use of aluminum for the frame instead of printed parts- I know that means its not really a "reprap", but in my opinion the ability of a printer to reproduce itself is more of a novelty. As more materials become easily printable (like metal) the "reprap" end of it will be more... Usefull?

So my answer, I guess, is that if I were to start over I would probably still get the Mendelmax 2.0. I really lucked into getting it, and I'm glad I did. My next choice was the Mendelmax 1.5m which also seems like a good kit, cheaper, and does good prints. The wiring / electronics are basically identical, but there are way more parts in the frame.

I also agree with what garandman said- From what I have seen lots of people buy the kit, and either loose interest or get frustrated and quit. It was a HUGE learning curve, and to this date I estimate I have about 30 hours invested in building the kit and then learning how to use it. If its something you want to do, DO IT! Just realize that a kit is NOT plug and play- there are alllllllllll kinds of things to fiddle with and adjust- frame (squaring, leveling, etc.), electronics (wiring, correct ports, etc.), programming (firmware installation / setup, print control software, etc.), operating the stupid thing, and then of course we haven't even touched on the question of what are you making your 3D drawings with and how are you converting them to a format the printer can understand...

I would hazard a guess that in the next 5 years you WILL see plug and play printers, probably at your local Walmart. Until then, buy a kit, experiment, and HAVE FUN!
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