Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Build Log #34 - Custom QU-BD Mount

Documenting my custom QU-BD mount mod and this time I mounted the 2nd QU-BD extruder onto my Printrbot Plus. It's basically the same exact setup on my 3DPrintMi so it's fine to use this post as a reference. The advantage of this mod is that it allows you to mount the QU-BD parallel to the universal mount. The weight is evenly distributed and the motor isn't sticking it's fat ass out in the open. 

Universal Plate marked
Cut the blue line with a dremel, turning the holes into a slot. If you have a mill, use that instead. 

Should look like this. Cut as close as you can to the tangent.

File it down to get a nice straight slot. Debur the edges.

Nice and clean

Personally, I would scrap the filament drive block and replace it with MickB's lever mod. It's way better than using the screw and you won't be able to access it when you mount it.

Just need one nut on the stainless steel barrel. 

Use the other nut to lock the stainless steel tube on the cold end

Remove the 4 screws holding the extruder mount

Install the new extruder mount

Test mount.

Assembled with lever mod

I like to use teflon tape aka pipe thread tape to insulate my hotend. I would wrap the hotend with ceramic insulation and secure it with kapton tape. Then I give a few good wraps with the teflon tape, giving it a nice clean look. Stuff never burns.

Insert the universal mount and tighten the nut down.

Should have just enough space to insert the bolts. If you can't see the slots, it's on the wrong side.

Works on the first try. Yay.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Build Log #33 - Bigger can be better

For the past 3 weeks, 3DPrintMi has been working really hard, printing out set after set. To this date, 3DPMi produced three whole sets and starting on the 4th in a couple days. The glass swap method really sped up the production process and if I were to print back to back, I can get a whole set done in 4 days. Since it takes about 11 print sessions to finish a whole set, I have a schedule to print one in the morning, afternoon and at night.  

I've been thinking about how to speed up the production process, aiming to have a whole set in 3 days or less. Speeding up the print speed gave diminishing results, probably saving me only 20 minutes which is not what I'm looking for. In order to tackle this, I would need to increase the bed size to the Mendel standard size, 200mm x 200mm. With a bigger build plate, I can add more parts into the print session thus speeding up the production process. Since it's physically impossible to print a carriage larger than the build plate, I would need to add an attachment instead.
CAD assembly of the Y carriage with attachments.
The Y carriage will have an additional hole in order for the attachment to remain secure. 
I have already ordered the necessary parts to start increase the build plate on my current printer. As I wait for the parts, I will need to play with the dimensions of the frame so the parts don't crash into each other. I am just hoping the threaded rods will not flex as I move farther away from the base frame. 

Mutant Printrbot Overhaul
Decided to rebuild the first 3DPMi or "Mutant Printrbot." Once I figure out how to get the Brainwave to work and the 3DPMi plus version is completed, I will transfer the small 152mm x 152mm plate to this guy. I starting to run out of space so I need to figure out where to put it.
Mutant Printrbot Disassembled

 Since my Printrbot Plus sits idle most of the time, it would be great if I could use him to help with the production. I purchased another QU-BD MBE since it's the cheapest extruder out there and wanted to continue using the 1.75mm filament. Just seems nicer to work with but 3mm isn't all that bad either.  Sporting a .25mm nozzle, my Ubis Hotend has been configured to print highly detailed parts. Even though parts will come out real nice, it would take forever to print a set and if there's one thing I learned about 3D Printing is that time is valuable. 

In my next blog, I will document how to retrofit a QU-BD extruder to the Printrbot LC machines. It's pretty much the same setup as my 3DPMi, just with a new extruder mount made for the PB LC. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Build Log #32 - Gada Prize Bronze Medalist!

Wow! I never thought my RepRap would become a Bronze Medalist for the Uplift Prize aka Gada Prize. I'm still pretty stoked about it. My RepRap machine was initially just a side project to me but it quickly turned into a Gada Prize worthy contestant. 3DPrintMi was up against two awesome machines, the RepRap Morgan and RepRap Simpson, and I was very impressed with them. They are both unique in their own rights with ingenuity and pure awesomeness. Morgan eventually took the win while the Simpson placed second. Congratulations to both of you!

I still plan on developing the 3DPrintMi even further. I'm currently working on an attachment that will enable the 3DPrintMi to mount a 200mm x 200mm heat bed. I'm still sticking to my guns by going fully printable and no pre-fab parts because that's the RepRap way.

The announcement