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  1. #531
    Posted a thousand or more times jhitesma's Avatar
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    I should have done this a long time ago!

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    Wow, what a nice upgrade. 98% of the rattles the machine made are just gone. There's still a tiny tiny rattle from my binder clips sometimes...and the Y stepper is a little louder than I expected but I can probably turn it down a bit more now since the Y axis moves so much easier now. I also noticed I'm still running a stock stepper driver on the Y axis so it's only at 16 microsteps...I still have some spare upgraded drivers so I could pop one of them on there which would make it quieter and then quieter again if I jumped it up to 32 microsteps. Might have to try that tomorrow.

    This was easier to assemble, square and adjust than the stock parts. The machine is stiffer, the bed is stiffer, it's quieter...just...all win across the board!

    I also finally put some cork under the heater while I was at it...but need to come up with a way to attach it to the bottom of the bed...I'm hesitant to use glue or tape since that seems likely to make a huge mess given the heat situation. It's better than nothing having it in there but I'm sure it could do better.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The one complaint I still have is bed leveling. I'm really thinking I need to break down and get an aluminum bed. Or a bltouch. I added an extra sheet of HD aluminum foil and the M48 tests still look great...but my bed leveling results still seem odd:

    5:14:26.929: Bed Level Correction Matrix:
    5:14:26.929: +1.000000 +0.000000 +0.000375
    5:14:26.929: +0.000000 +1.000000 -0.000179
    5:14:26.932: -0.000375 +0.000179 +1.000000
    5:14:27.752: X:187.00 Y:170.00 Z:2.39 E:0.00 Count X: 14960 Y:13600 Z:1941

    That's after I leveled it manually and all four corners and the center felt "equal" to me using the piece of paper under the nozzle test.

    What's odd is that +1 diagonally across the bed. The rest is pretty much on...but why I get that is beyond me. I tried turning those corners down and even with a big change on the corner adjustments got the same basic results. So I have to assume it's something causing my probe to get false readings in those locations.

    M48 tests of my sensor look good to me:

    (Center)
    5:42:19.688: M48 Z-Probe Repeatability test
    5:43:18.012: Mean: 1.396500
    5:43:18.037: Standard Deviation: 0.000750
    5:43:18.066: X:137.00 Y:100.00 Z:2.40 E:-1.00 Count X: 10960 Y:8000 Z:1918

    (Front Right corner)
    5:44:22.505: M48 Z-Probe Repeatability test
    5:45:21.484: Mean: 1.462625
    5:45:21.509: Standard Deviation: 0.001038
    5:45:21.538: X:170.00 Y:0.00 Z:2.46 E:-1.00 Count X: 13600 Y:0 Z:1970

    (Front Left Corner)
    5:46:19.636: M48 Z-Probe Repeatability test
    5:47:18.603: Mean: 1.440875
    5:47:18.628: Standard Deviation: 0.000800
    5:47:18.656: X:50.00 Y:10.00 Z:2.44 E:-1.00 Count X: 4000 Y:800 Z:1954

    (Back Left Corner)
    5:47:49.166: M48 Z-Probe Repeatability test
    5:48:48.363: Mean: 1.234125
    5:48:48.391: Standard Deviation: 0.000800
    5:48:48.416: X:50.00 Y:170.00 Z:2.23 E:-1.00 Count X: 4000 Y:13600 Z:1787

    (Back Right Corner)
    5:50:09.183: M48 Z-Probe Repeatability test
    5:51:08.203: Mean: 1.401250
    5:51:08.228: Standard Deviation: 0.001118
    5:51:08.257: X:187.00 Y:170.00 Z:2.40 E:-1.00 Count X: 14960 Y:13600 Z:1921

    That back right corner isn't great...but they all seem fairly close. A friend who uses a servo mounted endstop for leveling and says he never has any issues gets a standard deviation in the 0.02 range so I seem way more consistent. Which is why I suspect it's what my sensor is triggering off of more than my sensor itself and why I want to try an aluminum bed.

    I could definitely adjust my z offset a tiny bit still since I'm asking for a 0.3mm first layer and getting 0.4 But it's an even .4 all across the bed and measuring that bed test I just printed all locations are within 0.01mm of each other - which is within the range of error of my calipers so tough to do much better

    So a bit of room for fine tuning still but already seems like a huge improvement. Need to get a few prints done and then maybe I'll get silly again and try 1.1.x one more time....
    Stop in and say hi in the unofficial FT IRC channel!

  2. #532
    Grauwulf's Avatar
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    I printed a very similar spool holder for my FT-5, I found it made a big difference since I was having issues with missed steps/layer shift because of the filament binding up. Works really well for me.
    In the hangar: HZ SuperCub X2 (one modified, one stock), FT Bloody Wonder MKII, EFlite P-51, PZ Decathalon, HK EPP-FPV, HK AT-6 Texan, FT Mini Arrow, HobbyLobby Cessna 337, FMS P51 & Corsair (1450mm), Quanum Trifecta, Flamewheel 450 clone.

    Building: FT Simple Storch

    'Re-kitting my airplanes, one crash at a time!'

  3. #533
    Posted a thousand or more times jhitesma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grauwulf View Post
    I printed a very similar spool holder for my FT-5, I found it made a big difference since I was having issues with missed steps/layer shift because of the filament binding up. Works really well for me.
    Yeah bearings help a lot. Adding the bearing mounts to the original sidebar solved 99% of my filament issues. But sometimes some rolls would still start to unwind and get tangled - so I added a popsicle stick taped to the side support that would rub against the bottom of the spool. Ugly as sin but solved 99% of the last 1% of my issues. Every now and then something would still sneak past it but very very seldom. This design seems like it should be immune to that. It is a bit louder due to the spool rubbing against the sides sometimes but overall I'm liking it.

    I've had this one marked since I got the printer...but since it needs the flanged bearings I've never bothered to try it:
    http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:597170

    And I really like this one...but wouldn't work well mounted above, I don't have room for it anywhere else (and I wanted a top feed) plus I suspect it's a bit noisier
    http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1234760
    Stop in and say hi in the unofficial FT IRC channel!

  4. #534
    Grauwulf's Avatar
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    That last one may be noisier, but it would be immensely entertaining!
    In the hangar: HZ SuperCub X2 (one modified, one stock), FT Bloody Wonder MKII, EFlite P-51, PZ Decathalon, HK EPP-FPV, HK AT-6 Texan, FT Mini Arrow, HobbyLobby Cessna 337, FMS P51 & Corsair (1450mm), Quanum Trifecta, Flamewheel 450 clone.

    Building: FT Simple Storch

    'Re-kitting my airplanes, one crash at a time!'

  5. #535
    Posted a thousand or more times jhitesma's Avatar
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    Just a heads up since I'm loving this Y upgrade so much. Openbuilds is having a free shipping event today only. I just took advantage of it to order the parts to do the matching X upgrade: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1285301

    Though I'm thinking about some changes on the X upgrade...I didn't order the plate since it's available as a CAD file and I want to redesign my extruder (I've been wanting to switch to a geared extruder for some time) ... so I'm thinking about designing something more like this version: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1939056 Where the extruder stepper is over the top of the rail and the extruder extends down in front - with the extruder body incorporating the plate.

    Anyway, point is if you've been considering doing this upgrade I highly recommend it and with free shipping it's a great time to pull the trigger and make it happen
    Stop in and say hi in the unofficial FT IRC channel!

  6. #536
    Posted a thousand or more times jhitesma's Avatar
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    Wow, openbuilds blows me away again. Took advantage of their one day free shipping sale on Friday - today when I went home for lunch there was a box from them waiting!

    NJ to AZ in one business day...for free

    Unfortunately I haven't finished printing the parts for the upgrade or designing my new extruder!

    I did get the extruder body redrawn in Onshape:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Only took me about 2 hours, so I guess I'm getting better with Onshape

    It's basically the exact same as the one I built a year ago (From Thingiverse: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:725082 ) and have yet to install...except I filleted a few of the edges, and since it's drawn in Onshape instead of openscad it's a lot easier for me to manipulate now.

    I just debating how I want to go about attaching it. I could just make an adapter plate to go between the stock mounting of this extruder and the openbuilds mini gantry...but since I printed my gantry that seems silly. So Instead I plan on modifying this part to include the gantry plate so wheels will attach directly to the extruder with no separate plate. I just haven't decided yet if I want to keep the gantry vertical like the current mount - or try and work a way to put it in horizontal so more of the extruder is over the top of the X axis instead of cantilevered out front.

    Here's a really rough mockup of what I'm thinking:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The plate is just kind of jammed in there for now, and I'd have to remove all the stuff under it...but I think it has potential.

    The other issue I still have to figure out...and the reason I never installed that extruder - is how to mount both a layer fan AND my inductive probe. I have a few ideas...but I'm going to have to figure out the basic mount plate first and then print and test assemble this thing to see how viable they are.

    But I still have one more piece for the basic X axis to print and all of them need a little bit of massaging. The openings for the 20x20 rail are sized at 20.3mm with a 1mm fillet in the corners. My rail measures 19.97mm with my calipers and the actual printed opening measures about the same...but that fillet in the corners gets in the way. So either I need to redesign the parts or do a bit of work with a file on the ones I've already printed. The guy who originally designed the parts said he shared them on onshape but I can't find them...so I'd have to redraw them from the STL's or the one STEP he shared on Thingiverse....hmmmm
    Stop in and say hi in the unofficial FT IRC channel!

  7. #537
    Gravity Tester Snarls's Avatar
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    Today I received a package with a fresh roll of Hatchbox filament. It's actually only my second kilogram of filament . How could that be? Well I print mostly small parts and rarely anything large. I am also away at college and without my printer for many weeks of the year. So finally on to the second spool. I got black this time instead of white (I know I am super colorful with my choices).

    I also picked up a 50g 'splash spool' of Sainsmart TPU in blue. I only got 50g because I am unsure how the printer, and specifically the extruder, will perform with the TPU, and I also don't anticipate printing a whole lot in TPU just yet.

  8. #538
    Skill Collector rockyboy's Avatar
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    A quick note of warning on this particular machine or any that uses a RAMPS 1.4 or 1.5 board.


    My FolgerTech i3 Prusa melted a power connector - complete with smoke and plastic dripping this week.

    Seems the screws on the green power connector where the primary power comes into the RAMPS board tend to rattle themselves free in a couple months. As the screws loosen, the power connection gets looser creating higher electrical resistance and increased heat at the junction.

    I was alarmed when the smoke started coming out of mine but even more alarmed when I searched on the net and found I wasn't the only one with this issue by far. The real recommended fix is to remove the green screw down connector and direct solder the power leads to the RAMPS board, which is what I'll be doing when my new board comes in.

    Just wanted to make everyone with this machine aware - either check those screws for tightness every week or two, or change out that connector. I'll upload a picture of the nice melted mess it made when I get back home today.
    I want YOU to join us in the 2018 Flite Test Forum WWII Design/Build Challenge!

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  9. #539
    Posted a thousand or more times jhitesma's Avatar
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    Yeah, those green power connectors on RAMPS are horrible. They aren't even rated for the current that the board can draw with the hotend and heated bed running, so even if the screws don't come loose you can have a meltdown. The protection circuits aren't great either - a lot of people replace them with automotive fuses for security as well.

    My upgrades have been a little stalled out. I got all the parts from openbuilds for my X but have run into some issues printing the printed parts for the X upgrade. I've been slacking posting about it because the bulb in my good lamp died so it's tricky to get detailed photos of the black filament I've been using...so please excuse the photo quality in this post, I hope to get a new bulb this weekend so I can get back to my usual quality

    The problem is the parts are almost all designed to be printed with supports...LOTS of supports. And frankly I've never had a ton of luck with slic3r's supports and PLA. With ABS - no problem, supports pull right off. But with PLA or PETG - they never come off cleanly.

    The tanish piece was my first attempt, printed as it's sitting with full supports. Removing them was a major pain...and I still didn't get them all. I could make the piece work but it would be ugly.

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    So I decided instead to try rotating it 90 degrees to the right and printing it with supports only on the bed. This is the orientation I next tried printing the pieces in.

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    That worked better...but the inside of the square section of course wound up with one side that wasn't great since it was all bridged.

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    I could probably get it cleaned up and get the V rail in there...but wanted to do better...So tried redesigning the part in Onshape so it could print without supports but would give up a bit of constraint on the V rail:

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    The photo doesn't show it great...mostly shows off the way I filleted the part to make it smoother and fit my aesthetic better. But if you look closely you can see that the back is now a J shape that loops over the rail and has holes to attached with T nuts on two sides.

    That worked...and test mounting it I was pretty sure it would work:

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    Except....I forgot that the belt has to pass through the groove on two opposing sides. So T nuts on sides 90 degrees apart isn't an option. Crud. I had also opened up the square section for the V-rail a bit more the original design was 20.3mm on both dimensions and was SUPER tight, I opened it up to 20.5 but had a bit more slop than I liked.

    On on the next revision I shrank it down to 20.4 but still had a tiny bit more slop now that I didn't have to try and get it to clear on all four sides. I also removed almost all of the 3rd side since the mounting holes over there were worthless. And finally I further refined the overall shape a bit more for cosmetic purposes:

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    But - with that 3rd side that short and still having a bit of slop I just don't trust it. Even though it feels good once I tighten up the T nuts on the top I worried that they could come loose over time and cause an issue. So I tried another revision with the opening down to 20.2 (smaller than the original!) It needed support again but with one side open I figured it would be easier to cleanup:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Well, there's a reason I only have a rendering to show. The supports failed and caused the whole print to fail And the bits that did come out showed that 20.2 was probably too tight. So...back to the drawing board.

    I went back to the J shape, and decided to keep both sets of holes even though only one can be used at a time. That was the same parts could be used whether the gantry is mounted on the front or top of the rail. The original design puts it on the front with the extruder cantilevered off...but some people have done designs with the gantry on top which I prefer since it puts more weight over the rail instead of hung off it and it makes for more Z clearance. I kept the tight 20.2 spacing since this is only constraining the V rail on 3 sides...I may have to revisit that...but since this will print without supports again I think it will do better, I haven't had time to try printing this version yet though:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    You'll notice I also simplified the bearing retention to make it easier to print. Honestly I've been running my printer for a year and a half without even installing the screws on that part since the bearings are held so tight even without them...and I confirmed that this design does just as well. In fact the only reason I kept the Tabs is so I can use a screwdriver to wedge it open to make installing and removing the bearings easier. I left the holes for the screws in case anyone else wants to use them but I won't be bothering again.

    I'm hoping to print this tonight and am quite hopeful that it will work. I think with 3 sides constrained and the two T nuts it will be retained well enough for me to trust it.

    I've also been working on tweaking the tensioner setup. My first take on it was almost purely cosmetic, though I did open the inside up just a TINY bit so the V rail would fit easier and so the tension slider could move more easily. The tan version is the original, the black is my first redesign:

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    The original design attaches with 2 3mm screws in T nuts. But since this is the tensioner it's under tension and I worry that that wouldn't hold up to the tension. So I added a bit more material on the sides the belt doesn't run on so the part had shoulders that would rest against the edge of the V rail and keep it from sliding under tension:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    That seemed to be an improvement. Except the extra material took up enough room that the tension slider only had 1 or 2 mm of travel now

    So...one more revision which I haven't had time to print yet:
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    It's a little longer and I rounded over the shoulders so they don't take away as much travel. This should allow for 10mm of travel by the tension slider. Where the shoulders meet the verticals it's a little wonky...but I can live with it.

    It all looks pretty good in a full mockup:
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    I've also done a bit more work on the extruder...but ran into an issue there. I forgot about the gear. I haven't figured out how to draw the herringbone teeth yet...but got the gear mocked up enough to check for clearance issues...and realized that hanging the extruder off the front of the rail is going to be harder than I expected due to the gear:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    So at this point I'm looking at either just attaching it to the front like I wanted to avoid...or completely redesigning the extruder. Not sure what I'll do there yet.


    Of course since I'm doing all this in Onshape the files are public and anyone who wants to can copy them and make their own changes:

    Tensioner:
    https://cad.onshape.com/documents/94...5fbf6cd32a335d

    Rail mount:
    https://cad.onshape.com/documents/6b...9efa2b65deb9fc

    Extruder:
    https://cad.onshape.com/documents/95...3c24f87449198c

    Assembly:
    https://cad.onshape.com/documents/27...859cd11073dd2d

    Should also have a new aluminum bed arriving today which I'm curious to see if it will stiffen the bed further and give me more consistent probing with my inductive sensor. If not...well I can build a mount to put it on my MPCNC and have an easier to level bed on there so I can start using it as a printer as well
    Stop in and say hi in the unofficial FT IRC channel!

  10. #540
    Gravity Tester Snarls's Avatar
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    I'll have to check out my green connector. I don't use my heated bed very often so I don't think I've put much stress on it, but doing a direct solder may be a good idea.

    I've been really think about doing the Openbuilds V rail upgrades, but first I am going to get some lead screws and raise the Z axis up. I may also consider an extruder upgrade in the future, but one step at a time
    Last edited by Snarls; 05-26-2017 at 06:16 PM.

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