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  1. #11
    Student
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Croatia
    Posts
    4
    I'm glad to see somebody bought from createc because I am planing too. I still can't decide should I take Alu or Steel and E3D direct or light. I can see that you are satisfied with steel one. That's why is more likely to buy steel over Alu. If I would like to print ABS and PLA is it E3D direct better nozzle?

    Are there any updates of your build?

  2. #12
    Engineer-in-Training
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    350
    Steel has half the thermal expansion of aluminum; my whole reason for a metal frame was stability, and with the steel it's nice to know I can move it around and it will not change alignment over time (even years). Also I had to have black, and the black powder coating was very good (none came off when tightening the screws). Also the steel is very very heavy; not sure of the aluminum weight, but I wanted the heaviest possible to avoid jumping around, and to avoid the printing being affected by vibrations in the room.

    I now have the Lite6 dialed in, using black PETG only, and it works great. I would not use ABS:
    http://3dprintboard.com/showthread.p...l-PET-filament

  3. #13
    Engineer-in-Training
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    350
    This corresponds to Createc's video for the steel X axis:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi_K...nPV_K&index=12

    (don't use the video for the plastic X axis, which is video #3).

    Aside from being a steel i3 (which is rare but very stable), and aside from being the only one I could find where the LCD was built into the frame, the X axis is also steel. It's the only steel i3 X axis I've seen. It is harder to assemble, and it does help if you are good with metal. But if there is any truth that key alignment parts printed in low-melting point plastic is not a stable solution, then a steel X axis should be good for many years and many mods.

    For me the X was the hardest steel part to assemble, mostly because the force you need to get the smooth rods through the friction-fit holes tends to push the friction-fit metal away (because it is not supported laterally). Meaning, the structure is meant to hold well and perform well, but not necessarily be easy to build. The force I had to use to get the rods through the holes would surely have destroyed any plastic X structure, including nylon and PC. But it's permanent, and is never going to crack, doesn't care about humidity, and has half the thermal expansion of aluminum. No powder coating has come off, either.

    The trick I found after building it (which I'll use for the second printer) and getting the smooth rods through the holes is to not build the X assembly first and then push the rods through (like their video does). Instead, get the metal plates (with the friction-fit holes) over the rods first, and then build the X assembly. Pushing a flat metal plate (with the friction-fit hole) over the rod is relatively easy, because you can push ("hammer") the plate with a circular tool such as a large socket wrench. This applies the pressure to the plate in an even fashion, around the rod, so the plate goes down evenly. Once the plates are on the rods, the rest is easy screw-tighening.

    Also, the brass nuts for the Z threaded rods is a friction-fit ("hammer into place"), so it's probably best to also put those into place before putting the assembly together. And get these nuts very very straight, because any mis-alignment causes binding. Be prepared to adjust them later so that the top of the threaded rod spins without any wobble at all.

    Unfortunately, I don't have pics of assembling the X the proper way, since I did it the "hard" way and built the assembly first and then tried to get the rods through. But I'll try to point out the correct way in the pics:

    X1.jpg

    X2.jpg

    X3.jpg

    X4.jpg

    X5.jpg

  4. #14
    Engineer-in-Training
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    350
    And some more X pics:

    X6.jpg

    X7.jpg

    X8.jpg

    X9.jpg

    X10.jpg

  5. #15
    Engineer-in-Training
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    350
    This corresponds to Createc's video for the Z axis:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjYbHEGWtPI

    Remember you are using the black steel X pieces; not the blue plastic ones in the video. Other than that, the main thing I can stress is to be prepared to spend some time positioning the X carriage onto the X smooth rods, and the brass nut in the X carriage, so that there is absolutely no binding of the threaded rods as the Z moves up and down.

    This binding comes about because of the very slight tilting of the brass nut that is press-fit into the X carriage. Although you will never have to worry about warped wood, cracked plastic, or the higher thermal expansion of aluminum, the steel X carriage is a challenge to put together without binding because there are no screw adjustments for the Z brass nut; the press-fit is permanent and non-changing. But it must be perfect, and this takes some time to adjust.

    So one thing to do differently from the video is to leave the threaded rods loose for a while (not connected to the motor), and experiment with the brass nut and X carriage placement. Then connect to the motors and test the position by hand-rotating the Z motors and watching the top of the threaded rod to see if it stays in the center of the hole in the top plate. It needs to stay dead center to avoid binding.

    Also, raise one of the Z sides up more than the other, and then vise versa; if they start binding at about the same tilt, this is good. However if one direction starts binding way sooner than the other direction, then that tells you the brass nut is tilted.

    The brass nut should really have been put in perfectly before assembling the X carriage, but if it needs adjustment (you cannot use a hammer now) you will have to use large pliers to very slightly tilt it. Then try the threaded rod rotation test, and the vertical Z test, and the tilted Z test again. Eventually it will be smooth, and permanent, because there is nothing to warp, expand, or crack.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #16
    Engineer-in-Training
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    350
    More pics....
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #17
    Student
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Croatia
    Posts
    4
    any new updates or pics?

    Next month I'm ordering this printer.

  8. #18
    Engineer-in-Training
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    350
    Sorry for the delay. I have all the pics but lack to time to post them. Hope to get them up soon.

    I ordered a second printer, and it's still in the box. They were changing the LCD to a slightly different one, but I got the last of the original ones so that my config files would be the same.

    Current printer is printing all day every day. Had some LCD garbling, but put a ferrite bead on the ribbon cables and it went away.

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