Monday, February 27, 2012

newspaper pot maker

Use old newspaper to make planting pots.  I did this last year and IMO it’s the best way to start plants, and it’s basically free.  With paper pots you can just plant the whole thing in the ground in the spring.  This doesn’t disturb the roots, so you can start things like watermelon early inside; normally watermelon can’t be transplanted because the roots are very delicate.
This is a two part thing that stamps a crease into the bottom of the paper pot to hold it together without tape or adhesive.
I designed this pot maker and printed it on my RepRap printer.  The files to print your own are on thingiverse at this link.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saturday stuff

I finished printing a spare parts kit today.  If history is any guide, someone will come along and want to buy one any minute now.
I finally gave up on that bad ABS – it clogged a nozzle a few days ago, I baked it again, but it clogged again today.  I give up, it’s in the trash and I’ve broken out the 5# spool of black ABS I got from UltiMachine and fed it into a freshly-cleaned nozzle.
I also discovered/remembered when I opened the UltiMachine box that I ordered three optical endstops to experiment with.  I soldered one of them up, then had to redesign the endstop holder a bit to be able to hold them since they use a 19.5mm hole spacing.  So henceforth my endstop holders will have both 10 and 19.5mm holes.
I also did a bunch of cleaning up in the lab, and decided to bag up my spools.  I don’t have dessicant for them yet, but I discovered that two full spools in the orange wire spools will fit in a Ziplock XL bag.
I also ordered an SDSL card reader for the Sanguinololu electronics. I had to go to a UK seller on eBay to get one, but shipping is actually less from the UK than from most US sellers ($3). This will allow me to disconnect my computer once I start a print, and possibly to mount a hostless control panel eventually.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Aluminum FTW

I went down to the metals supplier in Ann Arbor today and grabbed a hunk of 1/8″ aluminum plate from their scrap pile – it was even almost exactly the right size (close enough) without cutting.  I replaced my glass print surface with this and started a print this evening.  It’s very nice, I like it better than the glass.  It heats more evenly and weighs less, and is plenty flat.  Just have to make sure that there’s tape over the edge where it might touch the power leads to the circuit board.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Keep your filament dry

I have some black ABS that has caused me TONS of grief – it kept clogging my nozzle.  I’ve cleared easily 20 nozzle clogs from the stuff and wrecked one entire hotend (about $80 worth) and done a lot of wear on two others.
Thanks to a friend’s suggestion, I seem to have solved this issue.  I put the stuff into the oven and baked it at 225*F for two hours.  I haven’t had any trouble with it since.
I suspect that the supplier does not have good environmental controls.  I’ve had trouble with other filament from this supplier which seems likely to have been caused by environmental issues as well (moisture or light damage)