Monday, March 12, 2012

Adventures in 3D printing...

So a while back I contributed to an Indiegogo (like kickstarter) for the eMaker Huxley. A RepRap based 3D printer kit.  When I got the kit I built the thing pretty quickly and tried to print some stuff. It kind of worked, but the I could only print very small simple things and even those were low quality compared to what I saw others being able to do.  So I let it sit for a while as other things came up.

What it looked like then...
A few weeks ago I decided to try "fixing" it. So I rebuilt the extruder and hot end (more carefully this time), and I spent a bunch of time adjusting everything to be square and level as best as possible.  After that it did start printing much better, but still I wasn't totally happy.

I did a bunch of research on different firmware and host software and the ones I really wanted to use wouldn't work well on the Sanguinololu board I had without first upgrading the MCU chip.  I ended up buying a RAMPS 1.4 board and an Arduino Mega 2560 to run it for now (I am starting work on an interface adapter for the RAMPS 1.4 board and a Propeller Platform or Quickstart board.) .  The software I am currently using is the Repetier firmware and host with Slic3r to produce gcode from STL files.  I am pretty happy with the print quality now.

What it looks likes now.
Here are some of the things I've printed with it:
A spool for filament coils
Some random test objects and stuff

I've been watching the new Doctor Who
The bracket for the RAMPS board &
a bracket for  hooking servos together
Minecraft creeper
want's to give you a hug!
This is what I was able to print with 1 pound of filament.
Quite a bit of stuff, lots of failed stuff from early on, and
lots of test objects as I was tuning things.