Building a 3d Printer

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My dad decided it would be a good idea to build a 3d Printer. He’s planning on handling the hardware end (minus electronics), while I handle the software end. So far it has been an adventure. He purchased a Prusa i3 kit from Geeetech and got to work building it. There isn’t really much I could do on the building side of things, but I know it was quite the ordeal. Either way, it turned out alright.

Then we move on to the log…

Our first print went terribly. It took literally HOURS to get our printer working well. Getting end stops in the proper location was a huge task and all of the intricacies of the firmware (Marlin) were getting rather annoying.

The biggest problem we were experiencing at first was with the end stops. The Prusa utilizes three microswitches to know when an axis has met it’s “home” position. First, our home positions were going in the wrong direction. After some digging, I found that needed to be editing in the firmware. While I was at it, I figured I should update the firmware, so I found the most recent version of Marlin on GitHub and downloaded it. Upon opening, I found that most changes you will be making will be in the Configuration.h file. These were the lines of code I needed to pay attention to:

const bool X_MIN_ENDSTOP_INVERTING = true; // set to true to invert the logic of the endstop.
const bool Y_MIN_ENDSTOP_INVERTING = true; // set to true to invert the logic of the endstop.
const bool Z_MIN_ENDSTOP_INVERTING = false; // set to true to invert the logic of the endstop.
const bool X_MAX_ENDSTOP_INVERTING = false; // set to true to invert the logic of the endstop.
const bool Y_MAX_ENDSTOP_INVERTING = false; // set to true to invert the logic of the endstop.
const bool Z_MAX_ENDSTOP_INVERTING = true; // set to true to invert the logic of the endstop.

This area defines where the endstops view as home. So playing with True and false eventually got me the proper functionality!

Next up, the prints were looking pretty poor…

IMG_20150206_113827I discovered that I was extruding too much per mm, and had to play with this settings:

#define DEFAULT_AXIS_STEPS_PER_UNIT   {80,80,4000,21000/29.325}
#define DEFAULT_MAX_FEEDRATE {500, 500, 2, 25}

These are the final settings that I came up with. 21000/29.350 is the extrusion rate for the print head. This was calculated by extruding 30mm of filament, and calculating how much filament it actually extruded. This site was useful for that.

After that, the prints improved a bit.

IMG_20150208_131629 (2)

I slowly began to learn that Slic3r isn’t the application for me, I seem to be having issues primarily due to that. i switched to Cura and the prints GREATLY improved.

Using the following settings worked out very well

Which resulted in this general quality

Overall a great improvement, but I’m still experiencing stringing which may be due to no fan. I’ll report back with more info once I have time to get a fan on this thing!

1 comment

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