Friday, March 24, 2017

New printer: JGAurora A3

This week I decided I'd had it with all the other printers in my stable.  The CTC is stable and decent but it just bugs me (can't stand the nonstandard GCode or the extremely primative control systems).  The Geeetech G2S Delta breaks at least once a week and I've had to replace several major components.  The Monoprice MP Select is actually a nice printer that I enjoy, but it's small and is a little delicate, I've had to fix a few things.

The Prusa i3 type printers are the ones that I have enjoyed the most, so I went shopping for one that seemed to solve the problems that I have had in the past.  Those are primarily:

  • Mechanical stability
  • Clean design (no wires hanging all over, multiple bits, ugly design)

Other problems I've had but wasn't specifically shopping to avoid:

  • LCD display instability (display garbles after a few hours of printing)

I wound up buying a JGAurora from Amazon for $369.  It arrived via Prime shipping in 2 days. I unexpectedly had the evening available to build and I got first power up on it in 4 hours and first print the following evening.  Total build time was about 5 hours.

This printer is a very well thought out i3 clone that addresses pretty much every problem or shortcoming that I've experienced with other i3s.  It's not plug and play but it is a straightforward build, everything needed is included and the instructions are clear and complete.

It came with an 8GB SD card inserted in a small USB reader containing excellent videos covering every aspect of assembly and calibration. It also came with a set of allen keys and a small stamped metal wrench. In contrast with the Geeetech (which was missing or short on a number of small parts) this printer came with everything needed, minus a pair of wire cutters and a screwdriver. It even came with a filament spool stand.

I did replace the firmware with Repetier, but the included version of Marlin is entirely adequate. I just like to tinker. There is a user group on Thingiverse here, and there is also some discussion of it on the i3 group.

If you want to try Repetier on this printer, use their online configurator.  Here is a link to my config.json file which will set you up immediately with my working configuration. Also I wanted the "home" position to be around -30/-30 but the EEPROM settings were already set, so I had to do these two commands with Repetier to set these values.

M206 T3 P133 X-30.0

M206 T3 P137 X-30.0

If you decide to move back to Marlin, this is the latest (1.1 RC8) helpfully provided by a user on the Thingiverse i3 group.

Here's a quick video I made on the printer.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Quick rant: Geeetech G2S Rostock delta printer

I picked up a Geeetech G2S last November and I'm far from impressed.  So far I have:

replaced the hotends with E3D clones, which wasn't strictly necessary but did result in an improvement in print quality
Replaced both extruder drives from plastic (both of which broke with probably < 50 hours on the printer) with aluminum drive mechanisms, which FINALLY made the printer vaguely reliable
Realigned it MANY times - it just does NOT hold alignment.
Finally overnight it died badly during a print. Today it kept powering off. I discovered that the main power connector now looks like this:

Everything about this printer has said "barely adequate to last a few weeks"

I'm done with this printer. I've ordered what looks like a nice i3 clone from Amazon. I'm going to tear this thing down for parts.

I've really tried to use this printer because WHEN it's aligned and working, it does make nice prints.  The problem is it only stays working for a few days at a time and I just can't waste my time fixing my tools all the time.

New printer: JGAurora A3

This week I decided I'd had it with all the other printers in my stable.  The CTC is stable and decent but it just bugs me (can't st...