Last summer I backed a 3D printer building project through Kickstarter. It came from my favourite hotend builder, E3D. This thursday it finally arrived on my doorstep and I happened to have a long weekend to put it all together. It took about 2 days of work to get it all together, but it’s now happily printing away.
I already tried printing a casing for my LCD screen on the Prusa, but back then I had some issues with the piece warping and it being slightly bend, which caused the LCD to not fit. Today, I tried again, this time with this thingiverse case, which has a slight recess to access the SD card. This time it came out perfect and the LCD fit right in. I modeled in some holes in the back side and created some wedge like shaped to fit into the mount I created some time ago, and they fit perfectly. Now it’s just a matter of wiring things properly, including the SD card, but I’ll do that once I’ve got the hotend replaced by the dual head Chimera.
The power supply for my Prusa i3 was always laying somewhere closeby the printer, usually on my desk. Today however I designed and printed an enclosure/mount to attach the PSU to the right side of the Prusa i3. I did get some warping, and the on/off switch was such a good fit, that I damaged the print when I tried to pull it out so I could wire it. I’ll likely end up reprinting it, but the idea works well. I just have to order a couple of M4 bolts to attach it properly.
I also moved my Megatronics controller board into it’s casing (a process which took longer as expected, as I had not left room for the reset button, and after screwing the board in place, the reset was held down, preventing the board to boot). All I need to do now is design a lid (and ofcourse trim all the cables to size) and then that too will be neatly stored out of sight.
Today was a long day of printing. The first six hour print (which failed after 1 hour due to a overheating protection that had no reason of kicking in, as nothing was overheating) was a housing for the Megatronics board that controls the printer. It’s currently mounted somewhat directly to the frame, but with this case and some proper wire management, it should look a lot more organised. All I need now is a lid to go on top of it, which I haven’t designed yet, but given that it just needs to be a rectangle with a fan mounted on top, I’m thinking I should be able to create that quite fast.
The second print was an extruder mount to fit it to the printer frame, rather than having it screwed to the table. While the design fit nicely, the small part that holds the EZStruder in place needs to be made somewhat thicker, as it already cracked partially when I tried how solid the construction was. So this will need reprinting, but the new location has allowed me to take about 30 centimeter of the bowden tube, which can only improve things ..
My current setup includes an EZStruder, but it’s mounted in a bracket somewhere next to the printer, screwed to the table it’s standing on. Today I started designing a bracket that I could attach to the right side of the printer itself. The angle is still a bit off compared to the lines of the frame, but the initial print seems to match quite nicely.
All motors and electronics have been moved to the new frame. Running the first test with auto bed leveling. So far it all seems good. Now to design the connector circuit board so that I can run all wires properly, but can still swap hotends easily.
After quite a few weeks of work, I’ve finally created the last piece of the improved Prusa I3, fixing all the things that I did not like with my first printer. The overall idea is still the same, but I’ve replaced the threaded rods with ACME rods that are much better suited for linear movement. Additionally I added cable chains so that all the wires don’t get tangled up and get stuck.
Now that I’ve completed the mount for my captive proximity sensor, all axes now have a proper end stop (which were lacking on my first Prusa), so in theory I should not run the print head into the bed again.
The Z-axis should also be more precise, and with the addition of the proximity sensor on the print head itself, I can even try automatic bed leveling, which should improve bed adhesion and overall print quality.
The next step is going to be to take the original Prusa apart for the electronics, motors and the heated bed, since those need to be reused. I can then put those pieces on the new printer so I can test if all functions according to plan.