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  1. #231
    Staff Engineer printbus's Avatar
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    FEBRUARY 2019 STATUS UPDATE

    As a courtesy to anyone still subscribed to this build thread, I thought I'd summarize where I'm at with the 8-inch i3v. As suggested by the opening paragraph in the thread, the i3v is still the only 3D printer in the house. Much of the status update from December 2016 still applies. I pretty much only use the printer when I need some functional widget, and I still only print PLA. The wife and I have been through two moves and some health issues since the last update, so it's easy to say the printer can still sit unused for months at a time. Quiet times and winter weather have allowed some focus on the i3v recently, and I've taken advantage of it with some upgrades I'll summarize over the next few days.

    I'm still pretty content with the mods I made to the i3v. All maybe weren't necessary, but I'm into 3D printing for the tinker-pit aspect as much as anything. The most recent mods with the aluminum bed and PrintBite print surface has worked out great - at least for the PLA printing that I do. I can't recall complete loss of adhesion on anything I've printed on it. Once in a while I'll see first layer artifacts suggesting I was starting to lose adhesion, and I use that as a reminder that it may be time to wipe the PrintBite down with acetone. The aluminum bed is pretty flat. Some custom g-code routines accessible from the printer LCD makes it a quick exercise to walk around the bed and check/adjust for my preferred nozzle clearance. Yep, I still manually level the bed. Updates to follow won't change that.
    Last edited by printbus; 02-01-2019 at 04:39 PM. Reason: typo

  2. #232
    Super Moderator RobH2's Avatar
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    Thanks for this update. I still have the 8-inch rail version that I bought just prior to the release of the i3v. It's still working great and I use mine pretty much the same as you, now and then, and often big lapses of time goes by. It still prints very clean and beautiful parts. I've made a few upgrades as well. One is a "leveler" that I posted on this site and get 4 or 5 downloads a month. The other was a dial head design called the Itty Bitty (designed by @Clough42). Like you, I print only one material, but I use PET.

    I'm glad to see your iv3 is still going strong.
    Prusa i3/ Makerfarm (8" rod version) / Dual Hexagon Extruders with Itty Bitty Double Extruder, Simplify 3D Slicer.
    NVision4D http://nvision4d.com

  3. #233
    Staff Engineer printbus's Avatar
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    RobH2 - great to hear from you after so long. 4 or 5 downloads a month, huh? Yeah, I typically glance at my stuff on Thingiverse just about every day to see what the traffic has been. I used to get real excited when something hit a couple of hundred total downloads. That bubble recently burst, though. Whatever time I spend these days helping people with 3D printers seems to be with Ender 3 discussions. Looked at some Creality widget the other day that had something like 45,000 downloads.

    Always wondered how many machines Colin sent out. Had to be a pretty small number compared to machines like that.
    Last edited by printbus; 02-01-2019 at 06:18 PM. Reason: clarity

  4. #234
    Super Moderator RobH2's Avatar
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    Yea, I too wonder how many machines Colin has shipped. He's the best Customer Service on the planet. I wish my cable company was as nice...

    45,000 downloads is a lot. Wow. Anything I've ever posted was pretty specific and had little attention. The simple leveler I mentioned was pretty handy. People download it but I never hear if they liked it. I guess if not I'd be getting mean emails and I've never had one.

    Good to see you again too. I originally got into 3d printing to build drones. Then I bought an Inspire 2, and then a Mavic 2 Pro. All of a sudden, I didn't need my 3d printer for making drones and I've gotten less visibly active here. I'm still here helping out but I spend most of my time deleting spam and answering direct questions.

    I did print some parts recently for my Inspire 2. The good old Makerfarm made perfect parts for me and never skipped a beat.

    Carry on...
    Prusa i3/ Makerfarm (8" rod version) / Dual Hexagon Extruders with Itty Bitty Double Extruder, Simplify 3D Slicer.
    NVision4D http://nvision4d.com

  5. #235
    Hello Printbus. Your thread was my first and only post up till this moment. I did get my sons I3v up and running flawlessly. It has given me very little trouble. I've read your thread form end to end several times. I ditched the stock end of limits switches and have added ABL. 2 years and very happy with it.

    The only issue we really have had was just having one printer. We print a lot. About a month after the first printer I got the wild and crazy idea to build a homebrew. It evolved in to a fully enclosed printer 300x300x 400mm print size. It is the most used printer in the house. We usually print 3-4 rolls a month on that one. The boy uses his I3v a lot too.

    I also picked up a 12in Pegasus that was someones failed build. I have that up and running too. It is a spare but we do use it from time to time. I should probably post up some pics and info on the 3 printers we have.

    So, I have you to blame for the 3 I have now. lol. It is a fun hobby. I am doing things in CAD I never dreamed I could ever do. Zero regrets. Thanks for the inspiration! I will pull some pictures together and do a thread soon. I also have some designs on Thingiverse, same screen name. Thanks for the inspiration! And all the great tips and I deals I got from this thread!

    Larry

    PS I have been collecting the stuff to do a SLA as the next project.

  6. #236
    Super Moderator RobH2's Avatar
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    Larry, I'd like to welcome you to this forum. It's populated with some very, very gifted people. Do take advantage of them and you'll enjoy the journey.
    Prusa i3/ Makerfarm (8" rod version) / Dual Hexagon Extruders with Itty Bitty Double Extruder, Simplify 3D Slicer.
    NVision4D http://nvision4d.com

  7. #237
    Quote Originally Posted by RobH2 View Post
    Larry, I'd like to welcome you to this forum. It's populated with some very, very gifted people. Do take advantage of them and you'll enjoy the journey.
    Thanks Rob! Will do.

  8. #238
    Staff Engineer printbus's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback, Larry. Glad to know the build thread was helpful, and that it helped sink the hook as far as your interest in 3D printing.

    I'm sure that if our kids were still home, we'd be printing a lot more. I haven't used any of them, but the range of filaments (silk, wood, marble, etc. ) out there is pretty amazing. Based on what I see in the various reddit and discord channels that I follow, the fine detail models that are available for cosplay, gaming, etc. is also incredible.

  9. #239
    Staff Engineer printbus's Avatar
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    RASPBERRY PI AND OCTOPRINT

    I've relegated the i3v to our unfinished basement, and opted to install a Raspberry Pi with Octoprint so I could control & monitor the printer from upstairs. The pi was mounted to the area I specifically left for it when I mounted the Smoothiboard case high-up on the right sidewall of the printer.




    The Raspberry Pi 3B+ is loaded with Octopi and controlled either through the Octoprint web interface or through the Printoid app. In addition to controlling or monitoring the printer remotely, this also seems to have resolved the periodic issue I've always had with prints locking up when printing from Simplify3D connected to the printer via USB. Simplify3D continues to be declared incompatible by the smoothie developers because it isn't an open source product, so they could care less about the people reporting the lockup issues.

    I wanted a small and basic camera to use with Octoprint, so I went with the Raspberry Pi camera module mounted to an IKEA Jansjo gooseneck LED lamp. The pivot clamp and the cable clips are available on Thingiverse at Raspberry Pi Camera System for IKEA Jansjo LED Lamp.



    Adding the Raspberry Pi opened up questions on how I'd power the Raspberry Pi and the overall printer. After evaluating various options, I opted to power the Raspberry Pi from the 5V regulator I populated on the Smoothieboard for use with the LCD panel. With only the camera as a peripheral on the Pi, that 5V regulator should be able to handle the Pi 5V load as well. I added the original MakerFarm 30A relay in the dedicated wiring the Smoothieboard gets for the larger MOSFETs used for heater control. The relay is controlled through M80/M81 gcodes that I now add to my slicer output, and Smoothieware is configured to turn off the relay if it detects a temperature runaway condition or other fault.

    AC power is controlled through Wink and a compatible smart plug that I already had. I realize there is a TP-Link compatible Octoprint plug-in that can be used for this, but for now I'm just using our existing Wink system.

    In a nutshell, when AC power is turned on, the Smoothieboard logic, the Raspberry Pi, and the printer motors and fans all have power available to them. The heaters won't work until the additional relay is turned on.

  10. #240
    Quote Originally Posted by printbus View Post
    Thanks for the feedback, Larry. Glad to know the build thread was helpful, and that it helped sink the hook as far as your interest in 3D printing.

    I'm sure that if our kids were still home, we'd be printing a lot more. I haven't used any of them, but the range of filaments (silk, wood, marble, etc. ) out there is pretty amazing. Based on what I see in the various reddit and discord channels that I follow, the fine detail models that are available for cosplay, gaming, etc. is also incredible.
    My son got us in to 3d printing. He really wanted one. That is what got us started. We print with mostly PLA. i have PETG and ABS I use for some projects. I bought some Ninja Flex to try but haven't used it yet.

    I have a RPi project box I designed on the plater at the moment. I'm having a lot of fun with this stuff.

    I have a couple Orange Pi Lites I use for cameras on homebrew. I am using a program called motion. I am using the GPIO pins to control canceling prints if I see a issues and turn cabinet lights on and off. I am using Python to control the GPIO. It works good. I don't print over WiFi. I have used Octoprint. It does work good. I used the OPi's because they were dirt cheap.

    I am putting another RPi setup to replace the OPi's. I am having as much fun with the harderware/software stuff as I am with printing.

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