3D Printer Progress
Published by aknipe

It’s been a while since we last talked about our 3D printer.  When we first built it, we were super excited about all the possibilities.  As it sat in my office, I started to print as may things that I could.  Unfortunately, each print seemed to increase my frustrations.  The more I printed, the worse they got.  I was being to get frustrated.  Things were not looking good.  I worked hard to try to get everything calibrated, but each fix brought on more problems. For a while, I didn’t give up.  I wanted better prints.  I wanted the investment of Barrel of Makers to mean something. 

Eventually, the frustration got to be a too much. I gave up on the printer.  It just sat in my office, mocking me.  After a few months of having an expensive paperweight in my room, I was given a challenge.  I was told, not asked, to bring the printer to a Make Along in December.  I was told to have it up and running and that I would be printing out ornaments for everyone who came.  After a full weekend of work, I finally got it printing.  It was happiest day of my life.  I had successfully printed several snowflake ornaments and everything was running smoothly.  Then, I brought it with me.  After setting everything up, the first prints were a disaster.  I spent the entire two and a half hour Make Along trying to figure out why, again, it wasn’t printing correctly.  It was embarrassing and the end of my journey with the 3D printer.  I had had enough.  It was time for someone else give it a try.

I reached out to another member of Barrel of Makers, Greg Cheng.  I told him about my struggles with the 3D printer and he agreed to help.  It was in his hands now.  I could breathe freely now that every time I walked into my office it was no longer mocking me.  Shortly after giving the printer to him, I started receiving text messages about what he had done with the printer.  It was almost embarrassing all of things that he had to fix or align during his calibration.

Have a look at what Greg has done:

  • Replaced power supply
  • Tightened all bolts
  • Lined up 3 endstops
  • Printed New Endstop to replace broken ones
  • Realigned y axis belt
  • Realigned Z-axis on both sides
  • Changed Baud rate to 115200 in configure.h and reflashed firmware
  • Changed Slic3r option to have 0.1 mm layers and reprinted endstops (better result)
  • Tighten y Axis Belt
  • Tighten x Axis Belt
  • Printed Spool Holder

I can’t even tell you what I did, but it wasn’t all that (obviously). While it was a little embarrassing, my frustration did not fully manifest itself because I was just happy that someone was able to get the infernal machine to work.  Things are far from being perfect (we are still having problems printing with abs plastic), but right now we are moving in the right direction.  If you don’t believe me, take a look at the differences in our prints:

As you can tell we have come a long way, or at least Greg has.

I will try my best to keep everyone up to date on the progress with the printer, but finally things seem to be coming along quite nicely.

-Brad J. Glassco

Return to List