My Thingiverse experience

Today I thought I’d talk about the Thingiverse environment and the community as I’ve experienced it, so far.  My Thingiverse experience started with sharing my mounting solution for the Prusa MMU2S filament buffer.

Immediate responses

It has been a couple of days and the initial comments and likes have diminished.  I see when someone adds the thing to a collection in addition to the likes and comments.  I see a count of visits and downloads.

The initial response was exciting.  The likes seem to have slowed down but the downloads are still increasing.  The one comment was a great question and was appreciated.

Thingiverse is a Friendly environment

There is no thumbs down, you can like something or not.  I appreciate getting something for free.  If it doesn’t work out as expected I still get ideas from  examining it or printing it and finding out first hand why it won’t work.

Sharing is fun

I hope to walk into another maker’s space and see reels of filament hanging on a wall above an MMU2s with a version of my mount holding the filament buffer.

My first Thingiverse Publication

I couldn’t wait for the Filament Buffer to be shipped from Prusa and my effort was rewarded.  Today I published my first Thingiverse item, a wall mount for the Prusa MMU 2S Filament Buffer.

Wall Mounted Filament Buffer
Filament Buffer Wall Mounted

Desk Space

The MMU 2.0 had trays that held filament and had to be 16″ behind the printer.  I couldn’t fit all five trays back there even after turning the printer sideways.

Clean look and feel

With the five filaments hanging sideways against the wall above the filament buffer everything is clean and off the desk.  I simply attached the filament buffer to the wall and slid the printer into a comfortable spot.

Easy Access

I was able to leave a lot of room above the Filament Buffer and the latch is minimal so it is easy to remove the buffer from the wall to deal with any filament issues or to move the printer. The buffer is easily freed from its ledge.

Filament Buffer Latch
Top filament buffer mount is a light ‘latch’.

Summary

I like the end results and look forward to seeing it in action.

 

Considering a Silicone Heated Pad? Do it!

heated pad installed

Two days ago I  dealt with heat bed failures  where I talked about ordering a silicone heated pad.  It arrived yesterday and today I am up and running.  It is absolutely great!

heated pad installed
Silicone heated pad installed

What a Difference

One of the most annoying aspects of starting a print job is waiting for the heated bed to make it to temperature.  With the silicone heated pad the bed reaches 85 C before the hot end is up to temperature (240 C).

The Silicone Heated Pad

The FLSun Cube does in fact uses the same heated bed size as the  Creality 10 so this silicone pad was a perfect fit. I removed the wires and sucked off the solder from the original bed and then cleaned the back surface with rubbing alcohol before applying the pad.  The hardest part was removing the solder.

The Wiring

The silicone pad has very long electrical leads of a flexible 10 or 12 G wire.  I simply added cable wrap and a male plug.  The Solid State Relay (SSR) is the on/off switch for the silicone heated pad. The pad will remain off until the signal line is pulled high to turn it on.

Solid State Relay for Silicone Heated Pad
Solid State Relay for Silicone Heated Pad

The wire on the silicone pad is very flexible and heavy duty, a lot higher quality than most cords.  This was an unexpected upgrade.

Configuration change

The Thermistor is 100K “3950” (Marlin Type 11).  A thermistor attached to the pad is not as ideal as one embedded in the build plate but I did check it out and it seemed to be within 5 C.  I want to research PID tuning the bed but I will leave that for another day.

Summary

My first print is completed and was better than I have ever from that printer.  I feel a lot more comfortable knowing the load from that heated bed is no longer flowing through the control board and whats more I didn’t have to replace the controller.

The Solid State Relay generates no noticeable heat with the heated bed at 85 C.  The wire to the bed remains cool even though the bed is now up to temperature before the nozzle.  I’d say this was a success!

 

Ender3 – Yet another printer

It seems one printer isn’t enough, but why buy another printer?  First, the technology is changing fast.  Second, they are cheap.  Third, it is a good way to get a lot of electronics cheap.  Fourth, even if you have a great printer you want to know that it is really the ‘best’.

Ender 3

A pre-sales sale isn’t typically for the novices.  As I’ve gotten to understand printers my upgrades have gone from printing accessories to changing out the brain, display, extruder, and trying different designs. The ANet A8’s with it’s acrylic frame has been a concern but replacing just the frame cost more than I spent on the printer.

Looking for a solid structure the Ender 3 seemed to have nailed it.

Looking for a 24V heat bed for fast heating, that is covered.

Looking for the compact Prusa i3 form factor…

At less than $200 and decent reviews I finally decided to pick one up for it’s frame and some extra electronics.

Starting Point

I’m no longer a novice and while I have a lot to learn still I can say I’ve come to understand what I am looking for in a printer.  I almost didn’t buy the Ender 3 despite the ridiculously low price because in my mind it is just a starting point.

My ANet A8 was my original starting point and while it has been a ‘real’ learning experience I don’t have a lot to say about the A8 that is good other than it has taught me a lot.  I am hoping the Ender is a little better as a starter.

Upgrades

The reviews were decent but not glowing.  It doesn’t have auto-bed leveling to start.  Also the build plate is ‘tacky’ and things get stuck which messes with the bed level when you are prying them off.  Printing on a removable surface (like glass) is probably a good idea.

The print quality will be slightly less than a E3D head so that might be an upgrade.  Since it is a Prusa i3 like design I plan on switching to a direct-drive head anyway unless it’s stock extruder prints better than I expect.

Finally, I’ve replace the ANet printer controler with a Rumba board and over time I may swap with the Creality Ender 3 and try running my Diamond Head or multiple heads.

Summary

My ANet has been my ‘project’ printer but I really don’t like the Acrylic frame.  After doing a lot of research I determined replacing the frame didn’t make sense and have purchased yet another printer instead.  I think I will get the frame I am looking for and expect it will quickly become my project printer.  The ANet frame may or may not keep printing afterwards because it seems to require more of my attention than other printers so I may just parts it out.

I have enough hardware now that I can start re-purposing some of my equipment.  Even my FLSun Cube, which I really feel was a ‘bad’ purchase’ isn’t really a loss.  It is slow, big, and needs upgrades and I’m not going to spend any more time on it for a while.  It needs a new brain and display!.  Don’t go with the color touch screen.  The menus aren’t there!

Everything about the Ender 3 frame appears great and is exactly what I want.  The machine itself… I prefer a direct drive extruder but I’ll wait and see.  It will be interesting to see if the controller is open to upgrades or if I will have to replace it to upgrade.

I was looking to spend as much to replace the frame on my ‘project printer’ as the Ender 3 cost.  As long as the frame works out I don’t see how I can go wrong.  So yes, another printer is on it’s way!