Apr 20

Lab rebuild…

Well, now that we’re all locked down at home, the lab/office had to get rebuilt a bit because otherwise two people can’t work from there. Also, this was probably the jankiest setup for a printer ever…

So that desk becomes Claire’s and all the stuff on it has to get repacked into a couple of crates…

I mean, it’s a little messy.
So a few full days of assembling Ikea furniture and repacking stuff into crates and boxes, and the desk is now emptied except for Claire’s plants and all the electronics and 3D printer…

And that’s the arts&crafts stuff on one shelf, the 3D printing stuff on another, the raspberry Pi boxes in one of the drawers and the printer needs to be put on feet still, but it’s not doing too badly right now. Plus, I finally got the PETG settings on the printer dialled in.

So some of the dust collection parts are printing, but that’ll take…. well, ages. 3D printing is not fast. Flexible and great for prototyping or emergencies; but not fast.

Mind you, that thinkpad needs to be retired so all the data on that has to come off and be transferred to the old games PC which has a lot more oomph, then it can go to the attic and the part of the desk behind the laptop is getting yanked out and I’ll make some shelves for there and claim a bit more desk back.

In the meantime, the tidying up turned up some hardware I’d forgotten I had 😀

Can’t believe I remembered the password…

And this was the mobile internet before the iPhone showed up 😀

Mar 20

World’s Fastest Shop Tour

I mean, it’s a shed tour to me, but…

Been meaning to do this for a while. All those shop tours on Youtube, taking an hour to walk round a palacial shop with enough room to store between four and forty of my little shed and still get work done…. meh. I can do that in under two minutes 😀
And since we’re all locked down in Ireland thanks to COVID19 right now…

Mar 20

3D Update

Over the last few weeks, the stringing problem kept going with the 3D printer. And of course, that caused things like the printing head snagging on a piece after 12 hours and dragging it off the bed…

Not great timing. I did reprint and it worked, this time with the experimental tree support structures which look really neat mid-print:

That orientation was pants though, so for the next segment, it was rotated through 90 degrees:

That worked much better.

Of course, when trying to plug one into the other…

Well, sod.
Print another in the right orientation though and…

Mind you, snapping those together was right on the edge of breaking them and it seems like PLA is *not* the right material. Also, that was the last of my first reel of PLA – I came within an inch or two of running out mid-print:

So I got some more, this time not from Creality because a lot of internet experts were sure that creality filament was the source of reliability issues with prints. So eSUN is the new hotness:

First up, as this is PLA+ not PLA, a new temperature tower…

Final layer stuck to the head, but that’s okay, it’s expected that the print ends in failure because you’re looking for limits.

Looks grand under the magnifying glass. 210C it is so I think. Calibration cat time!

And now I have a cover for the end of the Y axis bar as well. I also printed off a light bar to hold some LEDs for lighting….

And then printed a centerfinder/caliper setting gauge that I’ve been trying to print for ages.

The idea being it can be a centerfinder for spindle turning and give you preset (in 5mm increments) references to set a turning caliper off of. Handy.

But for the dust extraction stuff, it looks like both PLA and PLA+ are non-runners. There’s no flex in them so when you push hose segments together, they’ll snap in half rather than flex a little and snap together. So I ordered some PETG as well, but ordered the refil instead of the reel by mistake (eSUN does refillable reels) so now I get to print off a filament reel using filament and this is getting a tad meta…

Two sides down, one hub printing now, and then I can change filament over to PETG, print off a temperature test tower, and get back to dust collection parts.

BTW, finding that blue tape on glass is a much more successful surface than the ones I’ve tried so far. Even hairspray didn’t help much.

More pressing on the 3D front though is that the setup is currently the jankiest setup I’ve janked in a very long time.

That’s three separate power lines in that photo, between the ender3’s PSU, the lab PSU and the raspberry Pi. There needs to be some rewiring, but since all this is getting moved off its desk when the nice man from Ikea arrives, I’ve just not done it yet. (This whole room has to become a home office for two people now, so the printer is going to its own table in the corner).

I have, however, switched over to using OctoPi to drive the ender, and it’s marvellous, it’s where all those timelapse videos come from for a start. It also gives a browser UI to control the printer and monitor its progress via a webcam (a repurposed PS3 Eye in this case because I had one and they’re cheap as chips, but the Raspberry Pi camera and a few others are supported too).

Oh, and I even managed to print a dial indicator holder finally. So. Progress 😀

But next up, moving all of this, rewiring all of this, possibly enclosing all of this and generally a metric buttload of changes. So, y’know, that dust extraction system may take longer than planned. But these days, that’s the standard state of affairs…