3D Printing update

I’ve been fairly busy the last week or so; first fixing the z axis bolts and then the z endstop. Adjusting it has been a bit of a pain, especially when a print starts too far from the bed and you have to scrap it. Actually adjusting the endstop is difficult as it’s intentionally stiff so it won’t move by accident and you need 1mm or less resolution in the adjustment. I can see why many have elected to design endstop mods that include a fine tuning bolt. I may do that, but there are other options…

Doing more digging I found parameters in slic3r that allow me to ‘manually adjust’ the starting position offset to compensate if necessary. I now have the bed level and proper height, so don’t need to use the parameter at the moment, but it’s nice to have it. A “virtual fine tuning bolt” if you will.

There are also parameters to create fill for undercuts. I’ve had a few prints fail due to undercuts in the design, and this should help.

In the meantime, I’ve now printed several ‘toys’, including several cubes, an easter island head and a small skull, plus a toy soldier for a game that seems popular.

For more interesting projects, a few weeks ago I printed a ball mount for my SOLA 1200 video light that works very well. Last week I printed a quick connect ball mount for my underwater housing. It was two parts, and there were undercuts that didn’t print properly, but it does fit and work. I bought some cyanoacrylate glue (Loctite 420) which works very well gluing close facing items.

Finally, after much testing and frustration, I found one gear that would work in my other underwater housing as a focus gear. It needed scaling (120% x & y) and also additional cylinders to fit the lens. After trying many things, I bit the bullet and tried designing it myself using TinkerCad. TinkerCad is from Autodesk and is a 100% on-line browser based tool. It was easy to get working and took little time to design my set of cylinders to fit the gear. Trial #1 broke (too thin on the upper cylinder) and the gear was too thick. I redesigned the cylinders and re-scaled the gear, and after gluing it works and fits perfectly.

Later I designed the same cylinder set in Autodesk’s Fusion 360, which is a bit more complex a program than TinkerCad, but resides on my PC which I prefer.

All in all a productive and fun week with the printer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.