Friday, September 5, 2014

Printer tune-up

I didn't use my 3D printer for several weeks, then this week it seemed like I was needing one or two things a day printed.  Then I got an order for a full set of printer parts from a friend, which is about 20 hours of printing.

I was about to start the print, but decided that it was a good time to do some tune-ups.

First, I decided to see if I could make the heated print bed work a bit better. I've had trouble in the past.  I removed the blue tape and put down kapton on the glass.  Powered it up, but the temperature control was very bad.  I tried something different - I put a small dab of heat sink compound on the thermistor sticking through the middle of the heater, then clamped the glass down on to the bed, squishing the compound down.  Powered it up again and the temperature control is excellent now, reading spot on what the IR thermometer reads on top of the glass.  Cool.

The blob of heatsink compound under the glass


Then I tackled the fact that the hotend was kind of wobbly - I have been using a piece of plywood as a groove mount and on the E3D it's way too thin.  I cut a new groovemount out of a piece of 1/4" aluminum bar stock.  It would have gone a lot faster if I had more tools, but I made do with a hacksaw, drill press and hand files. I may pick up a disc/belt sander at HF tomorrow.

The old plywood groovemount and the shiny aluminum one


Anyway, I have the first plate printing now.  It seems to be going quite well.  I won't know if the new groovemount improves prints until it gets up 20 or 30 mm, which will not happen for a couple of hours.  I'll see in the morning how it goes.

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