Saturday, 31 December 2016

Nearly There

Having had a push to get the tron finished over the last day or so, I delegated the annoying fiddliest soldering, and finally got the wiring up completed.

We'll see how much blue smoke escapes on power on...

Sunday, 13 December 2015

ABS Coaster Doodles

Author in actually making stuff out of plastic filament shocker!!

So I was also a 3doodler kickstarter backer, and received a version 1 pen as reward. Which has also been sitting in its box on the shelf waiting for my round tuit drought to end.

Fortunately for it, 3doodling something needs a considerably shorter round tuit than getting the other 'trons going.

I decided to start by making a couple of coasters on the grounds that they are at least semi-useful.

I needed simple designs in primary colours to get started with. The Homestuck theme..? Well, even if they did turn out a bit crap, my daughter would still love them.

Firstly, I printed out the designs I was planning on making, scaled to the size I wanted.

I then loaded up the pen with ABS filament and doodled directly onto the paper - going around the edge of each colour area first and then filling in the middles with short, closely-packed scribbles. Once completed, the doodles lifted easily from the paper.

Finally, I sandwiched each coaster between two sheets of baking parchment and pressed with a warm iron. Slightly cooler than cotton setting, and press for a minute or so on each side. Once it's cooled, separate from the paper to reveal the finished coaster.

Annoyingly, you end up wasting the ends of filaments once they get too short to eject, and on colour changeover. Next time, I think I shall start a set of "granny square" style coasters or placemats that can be filled in with small squares of random colours to use up this otherwise wasted filament just as the original crochet squares are to use up odds and ends of wool.

The other thing I learned is that constantly holding down the extrude button whilst making small hand movements leads to hand cramp in short order. Looks like the optional pedal control is a necessity for making anything seriously on this thing.

New Toy...

So this thing _finally_ turned up over the summer.

I have yet again had insufficient round tuits to get round to getting it fired up to see if it actually works yet. Mind you, given iBox's recent unresposiveness - as widely reported on various forums - there's probably no-one left to complain to if it doesn't.


So... it's been a while.

No, it's not completely built yet. The next stage is wiring up, but I have had a distinct lack of round tuits of sufficient length to get any further recently.

I'm hoping to get a chance to get things finished over the holidays this year.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Building the Thing-o-tron Part Three: Heated Bed and Filament Drive

And so it is time to get the soldering iron out. I've not done any soldering in anger for years - in fact probably nothing serious since the microelectronics practicals at uni. But the heated bed needs assembling now, and that needs a couple of components attaching.

The led to show when the bed is powered (and its resistor) are soldered to the small holes on the edge, and then the power lead for the bed is soldered through the larger holes. Finally, the heat sensor is soldered to a lead and fixed in place in the centre hole under the bed.

A quick check with the multimeter shows the right values so I appear to have good enough connections rather than shorts or dry joints.

Finally, the metal sheet / circuitboard / fibreboard support sandwich is screwed to its y axis mounting points. We'll see if it all works later, when the wiring up is done.

With that out of the way, I can now build the filament drive. This will pull the feedstock from its reel and push it to the extruder hot end for melting. It all fits together pretty easily - a couple of cogs and a bearing to allow the stepper motor to pull the filament, an adjustment screw to loosen/tighten the grip on the filament. Then the whole piece fits onto the top of the frame with plastic clips.

Not much to do now - just the hot end and then its wiring up time!