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  1. #11
    Engineer Marm's Avatar
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    Sep 2014
    Add Marm on Thingiverse
    Even if you can't find a stl for that piece, reverse engineering it would be a snap. Might even be easier than clicking page two of the google results looking for a stl.

  2. #12
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    Know what you mean. But if someone printed it then the fil is out there somewhere. With some fine sanding this can be made smooth. Just be better to start with a decent print.
    Probably be a few days before i get that far anyway :-)
    just about to empty box and lay it all out on the table.

  3. #13
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    Right had quite a good go yesterday. After mounting a stepper motor the wrong way round - twice, I called it a night.

    I tell you what though - she's a big girl !
    Not fat, just heavy boned ;-)

    Here's the bits laid out on the table. Leaving everything in the relevant boxes till I need it.

    And here's where I stopped last night. Frame isn't actually bolted together yet, I just loosely stuck it together to see what she looked like.
    That's a litre bottle of Russian standard vodka for size comparison :-) Best vodka money can buy !
    Top and bottom are done. pulleys and stepper motors mounted. Just needs 9 bolts to make the frame solid. And loosening bottom of base so struts fit. See point below on not tightening every thing up too soon ;-)

    So far it's been pretty straightforward. The corner pieces are very solid injection moulded, I presume abs.
    I absolutely love the way the weird shaped nuts grip the channels in the aluminium struts. Need to find somewhere to buy these from as I can see myself bolting all sorts of things to the outside of the frame in the future :-)

    So far I've just been using the video guide to building. Once I get to installing the ramps board and upgraded psu (which will not, no way, no how fit inside the base) I'll start using the other videos out there. It'll have to attach to the outside somehow and I'll need to make a cover for the contact area.
    There are only a few wires to connect to anything and clearly labelled on the board.

    Two pieces of advice so far:
    1) do not tighten the bolts when building the top and bottom frames untill you have the entire frame together. Otherwise you'll just end up having to re-loosen them every time you add something else. Yep, learn from my experience lol

    2) if you have a small child around - use them. Fitting the stepper motors in particular would be much easier with really tiny hands.

    Oh yeah - this only comes with an american plug. So if you don't live in the states you'll need to supply a plug and cable yourself - like me.
    If you don't go for the heated bed option - I think all you'll need is a travel adaptor. I have to wire the cable directly into the psu, so I need a plug and cable.

    Everything so far has been good quality and gone together with a minimum of fuss. It's all quality and heavy duty. The printed extruder carriage is interesting in that while it was printed, all the holes were clearly drilled afterwards.
    Wendy from reprapmall is going to send me the stl file so I can print a higher resolution version.

    Won't have time to do anything else today, but tomorrow should have time and the weekend's clear.
    I envisage the biggest issue will be the belts and sliding carriages. We'll see.

    Including the printbite (which has got a lot more expensive since I bought the last sheet) and import taxes, (cost was listed at $99 - so they weren't too bad) I'm currently in for almost exactly £250:- £193 for the machine, £26 for import tax and charges for the privilege of paying it and £30 for the printbite. If I didn't already know how good it was - I doubt I'd be tempted to try it at todays prices. Personally I think they're going to price themselves out of the market if the cost continues to rise at this rate.
    All In all I'm happy with the cost - assuming she actually works :-)

    I did look around on amazon and ebay and an equivalent kit sourced from the uk - but with smaller (much smaller in some cases) build volumes would have cost me well over £300
    With the upgraded psu and heatplate - nearer £350.

    I think, the closest in build volume was 180x250.
    Bear in mind the k200 is 200x300.
    At 0.3mm layer height it'll take a 1000 layers to build something the full 300mm height !

    Oh yeah the auto calibration 'kit', consists of a piece of wire with a plug at one end and a pressure pad at the other that fits over the extruder nozzle. That's going to be an interesting experience :-)

    Right, more as it happens - but most likely over the weekend.
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 05-18-2017 at 06:38 AM.

  4. #14
    Well, I think that photo provides a lot of information. Good size reference, and very likely the reason why you mounted the stepper motor the wrong way round. LOL

    You can buy packs of those aluminum channel nuts on ebay or aliexpress, just double check the size & style you need. They usually come in M4, M5, & M6 sizes (M4 & M5 more common) and the style I believe you have you can drop in from the front of the channel, it will then self-lock after half a turn. The other style has to be inserted at the end of the channel and slid into place, which sucks if there is already something else mounted.

    That calibration kit you describe, does it possibly have more components to it? Under the bed perhaps? Like FSRs? Or is it just the contact switch setup?

  5. #15
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    these are m4s and you just insert in the channel and tighten and they turn and lock. Great things.
    Took me a while to figure out that's how they worked though :-)

    The calibration kit is just a wire with a pressure sensor one end and a plug the other end.

    This is the tutorial video.

    Have to admit I wasn't expecting all the calculations that goes with it. Oh and he's stuck it on with a bit of tape. Presumably it doesn't fit very snugly over the nozzle.
    Hmm there was a longer video where he does the bed touching thing and then gets a calculator out and gets all complicated. I'd have thought the software would automatically do that kind of thing for you.

    Wondering if simplify3d or indeed slic3r or cura - as this is a pure gcode printer - can use this to auto calibrate without all the attendant maths. That would be the ideal situation.
    I'll have to ask on the s3d forum.
    I would have thought it would all be handled in the firmware. Can i use different firmwares with this ?
    I have absolutely no clue - yet, lol

    The other thing is that the heat plate is mounted on adjustable long bolts with springs to hold it well above the motherboard - presumably so it doesn't fry the board.
    So that's not going to be as level as the non-adjustable glass plate - or it might be more level lol.
    I think initially I'll just build it with the glass plate and leave the hotplate off till I've got my head round how it all works and calibrates (ah maybe I can't might not have the bits.) Cross that bridge when I get there.
    I have to get it out of the dining room by tuesday - so the simpler I keep the initial stages the better :-)

    Oh and thanks for telling me what to look for: aluminum channel nuts.
    I often find that buying anything online is 90% knowing what the people selling it actually call it.
    (looks on ebay) bloody hell those things are pricey !
    Around 40p each. I did wonder why there weren't any spares in the kit. At the margins these guys must be working on, I wouldn't have added spares either.

    edit: found cheaper ones:

    That's not too bad. nearer 12 pence each. I can live with that. 50 nuts will attach an awful lot of crap to the frame :-)

    I do have an aluminium engineering firm I do work for. Might drop round and see if they ever use them or the struts and then 'borrow' some nuts and see how much the struts cost for the future 'how tall can I maker it with longer struts and belts' experiment :-)
    In all honesty I'm not expecting to pay for the struts, I like to keep the favour balance well in my favour with firms. If they have to order in, then at worst I'll pay cost with the firms discount.

    New carriage currently printing at 0.2 layer height. Be interesting to compare the two.
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 05-19-2017 at 04:24 PM.

  6. #16
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Right 2 sessions later and I've finished the actual physical build. Does it work ? I have absolutely no clue. Haven't connected mains power yet - reasons for which will be plain later :-)

    So wiring stuff up. The board fits in quite nicely and has a couple of little legs that support one end while the other end is bolted onto the frame.

    Have a think about how and where the wires run before you plug anything in. The plastic wire wraps press into the strut conduits good and tight.

    You also need to consider the wires coming out of the extruder. I added a couple of cable ties to lift them to the horizontal so that they can't interfere with printing.

    Will the cable ties melt when it's heated up. I don't know. If they do, then I'll replace with wire - just didn't have any in the room when I was doing this. We'll see.

    Now one thing I feel this kit is desperate for are feet and a baseboard. This is what the underside looks like when you've tidied the wires by stuffing them under the board.

    So that's going to be one of my first mods. I'll print some polyflex feet and then bolt a base on, probably just cardboard with some metal skewer reinforcements.
    I have a number of spares including 7 of the locking frame bolts and nuts. The feet I'll probably just push into the struts.
    I did feel the wires could have been shorter, as some are ridiculously long - but then again, if they were too short, I'd probably have complained about that too and they are most likely standard cables that work with a variety of different kits :-)

    Now as I bought the heated build plate, I have an actual power supply, rather than a simple power adaptor. I like to keep things neat (those who have seen my workshop, will now be rolling on the floor laughing uncontrollably). So I wanted to attach the psu to the frame to keep the printer a single piece and also protect the connector on the psu.
    Used one of the strut bolts in a convenient hole to attach a bottom corner and then used a cable tie to attach to a strut.
    It's surprisingly solid and doesn't budge when you pick the printer up.

    I've got the extruder mounted quite high for a couple of reasons.
    1) it gives a straighter path for the filament. Never used a bowden before so tried to make it as easy to push the filament through as I can.
    2) I can attach a filament holder to the frame below the extruder, fairly easily and needed the space for a full size reel.
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 05-22-2017 at 06:51 AM.

  7. #17
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    So here's views from all three sides.

    And a big one from the front.

    Now I did have some spares leftover. But I also have a bag of springs that I have absolutely no clue why I have them, let alone what they could be for.

    Any ideas ?

    So does it work - I have absolutely no idea.
    The one thing I haven't done yet is attach a mains cable and plug it in. Couple of reasons.

    1) there is no on/off power switch anywhere. So before I plug it in, I would like to fit an actual on/off switch to the power supply. Seems like an obvious thing, but this kit doesn't have any power control.

    2) my mate is a sparky and I want him to check I'm not going to fry anything. I am notoriously crap at wiring plugs up. I mean totally wireblind.

    So hopefully we'll get that done in the next day or so.

    So my thoughts on the actual build itself.

    I love the main how to build video. Being able to see all the nuts and bolts for each part from a variety of angles, beats am obscure 2d diagram, hands down. I'd recommend setting playback to 0.25x and checking each part several times before making or attaching.
    The extra videos are also very good.
    All the components come across as well made and substantial - apart from the extruder carriage - why that isn't injection moulded abs or perspex like everything else - I have no idea.
    The wire routing could cause problems with novices. I've spent the last 30 odd years building computers, so that kind of thing is second nature to me and with a little thought you can make the whole thing look pretty neat and tidy.


    1) lack of an on/off switch. having to pull the mains to cut power is just mental.

    2) Would have been good to have some kind of feet and base cover, to protect the wires if nothing else - there's really nowhere else for them to go.

    3) Mounting options for the upgraded power supply. Okay so it took me a minute or so to come up with one. But back in the day I was used to cutting sections out of cases to fit components as case manufacturers and motherboard makers never actually talked to each other. Given that the contacts are essentially uncovered, you want it somewhere they are protected from stuff being put on them.

    4) the control panel comes with a circuit board cover and a turning knob and a basic bleep speaker. But while there is a cutout for the push button there is no actual button to go in the hole. You literally put your finger through the cutout and press the switch directly on the base board. Again it's something you can make yourself. But just seems daft not to include one.

    With the exception of an overall on/off power switch. They really are very minor and cosmetic issues that can be easily done yourself.

    I built it in three sessions. Overall time probably somewhere between 10-12 hours. It's my first printer build so I was taking my time and making sure that - as much as possible - I only had to do each thing once.

    The kit and instructions are great.
    I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to someone who'd never done anything like this before. But most makers shouldn't have any issues with the build. And once you'd done a couple, you could probably knock one out in 3-4 hours.

    So that's part one done.

    Part two is where it gets interesting.
    Does it work ?
    Will it print ?
    Can it be auto calibrated ?
    Will I be able to switch it off ?
    Can it predict the lottery numbers ?

    For answers to these and many more questions, you'll just have to wait :-)
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 05-22-2017 at 06:46 AM.

  8. #18
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    Apparently you don't have to wait very long :-)

    So after a chat with my mate I realised that what i needed was a cable for a bedside lamp, and I also realised that I had such a thing upstairs attached to the bulb holder for my old biltong making box.

    10 minutes later we're all wired up :-)

    Securely fixed the cable to the top of the psu so that it can't pull on the actual contacts. Did I mention I was paranoid about electrickery ?

    It Lives !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And that's exactly everything you can do with the control panel.
    The thermistors are working and the endstops register.
    And no matter what you twiddle or press it doesn't do anything else.

    So my first question. Can you get a delta version of sailfish that runs on a ramps 2 plus board ?

    I'm used to an onboard firmware that actually lets you do stuff with the printer, not just a glorified readout.

    Pleased that it works, but disappointed that you can't do anything practical without attaching to a computer.

  9. #19
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    right got pronterface, attached usb.
    And by george it works !
    So far I've just been playing with moving the head around.

    heated the bed - that works.
    Hmm, extruder doesn't work.
    But hey, the rest is good :-)

    Had thought - maybe extruder won't feed till it's heated up.
    That seems to be working - heats up super fast too.

    Yep that was it - everything working :-)

    Had a play. Did extrude some plastic, but not much.
    Think it's having problems pushing it through the tube.
    Probably have to move the extruder and shorten the tube again.
    Figure I can mount the filament on the neighbouring strut and bring it across and up slightly.
    Might also switch to the 0.5mm nozzle.

    But all in all - everything works. Just need the tweaking and furtling to get it where I want it.
    Had simplify 3d moving the head around. Wouldn't do a phantom print, but that's most likely a gcode issue.
    Need to update the s3d on this computer and load it in as a new printer.

    Overall I have to give it two thumbs up :-)
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 05-22-2017 at 11:37 AM.

  10. #20
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    So my mate and i both reckoned the extruder wasn't 100% straight.

    My first extruder carriage attempt had minor warp so got thrown.
    Just re-printed and installed and the extruder now looks straight :-)

    Also re-did the carriages with the bolts and washers the right way round. Much tighter and smoother rolling with no play.
    Also sealed the base off with some cardboard and sellotape (to protect the wires) and just about to print some fairly basic feet.
    Basically a round edged cube with cylinder sticking out the top that should push into the centre hole in the strut.

    We're getting there - one of these days I'll even try and print something. Still got to clear space on my desk.

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