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My first 3D printer!

Discussion in 'Tools and Garage' started by BrooklynBay, September 28, 2017.

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    1. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Moderator & long time member. Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      After checking the specials on the Micro Center's website, I saw that they had some open box specials on 3D printers in my local store. They keep marking down these returned items until they are sold, so I actually received another mark down as it was being purchased. I contacted the manufacturer before I made the purchase in the store, and they told me that the parts it needed were available. After emailing the warranty department with photos, and a detailed description, I found out that they don't have any warranty on used items from third party vendors! I wasn't told this when I called them, and didn't see this mentioned anywhere on their website. Now, let's get to the good part.

      The printer is made by a company called Robo. The model is the Robo 3D R1 plus. There was a manual on the enclosed usb memory drive. In order for the machine to work, I had to download the device driver from Arduino's website, and the control program from Matter Control's website. The only version of their program which worked with my hardware was version 1.7. Here are some photos of the machine, and what it's capable of doing:

      Crack around the hot extruder..JPG

      Missing 4 rubber feet & crack around the extruder..JPG

      The machine is printing a card holder..JPG

      The machine is printing the card holder at 20%..JPG

      The business card holder is complete..JPG

      Printed sample ring..JPG

      TI-83 battery cover..JPG
       
      Last edited: September 28, 2017
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    3. Rick

      Rick Pumpkin Pilot Staff Member Admin Elite Explorer

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      Congrats. I know you will be having a lot of fun with that :D
       
    4. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Moderator & long time member. Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Thanks Rick. So far I've been experimenting with existing files of objects, various types of filaments, and temperature settings. It's not like an inkjet printer where you just send a command to it, and it does the rest. You have options for extruder temperature, print bed temperature, and fan settings. This machine has automatic leveling which makes it easier to use. I would like to find a program to draw my own objects, and modify existing objects.
       
    5. dizzybeak

      dizzybeak New Member

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      That is so cool!!! Dang!!! I believe that you'll have so much fun with that printer. I'm so excited for you!!!
       
    6. Rick

      Rick Pumpkin Pilot Staff Member Admin Elite Explorer

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      Anything to report? Pics?
       
    7. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Moderator & long time member. Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      So far I've made a bunch of items such as a wrench, screwdriver, cup holder, flexible protective corners, rubber feet, and various parts for the printer such as cable guides & spool bushings.

      My old desktop which uses Windows XP only runs an old version of the software which is 1.2. That version doesn't have all of the functions of the later version of the software such as 9 point leveling. Since it's an old Pentium 4, the processing speed is very slow. This affects how the machine functions. Something which should take 40 minutes to print takes 138 minutes. The object doesn't come out so smooth since there are numerous pauses during printing, and to add to this the lack of proper leveling so I don't use the printer with this computer.

      The netbook which uses Windows 7 has a low resolution screen, and causes the software to work in a weird way. You can't click directly onto anything, so instead you have to play with it, and click near any text in the program which makes it difficulty to use.

      I'm using a laptop which uses a dual core processor, and has Windows Vista. It seems to work the best with this set up. I would like to upgrade to a dedicated tablet controller for the best performance but I don't have one yet.

      I've been mostly printing with PLA plastic filament, but I occasionally use other types such as flexible filament which is TPE. As a future project I would like to get TPU filament, and make stabilizer link bushings. I didn't find a file for it online, and I don't have a drawing program, so this will take a while. There is an option in the software to take a picture of an object, change the size to the proper scale, then save it as a printable file.

      Each type of filament uses a different temperature range for the extruder & bed. PLA is supposed to run at a lower temperature range compared to ABS but I've noticed that the print quality is better when I use the ABS temperature range.

      I've been having issues with the extruder which came with it. I knew that it was something that had issues even before I got the machine so this is the next thing to upgrade to get it to work reliably. The original extruder assembly doesn't have a way to keep the thermistor connected, so I have to keep reattaching it with wire ties until they break.

      I tried using aluminum filament yesterday, and it clogged the extruder. I don't have a good cleaning kit yet, so I didn't have too much success trying to unclog it. I used a long needle which worked until it went part way, then it wouldn't reach into the main area. The nozzle is jammed on since it's an old design. Hopefully all of these issues should be resolved after I get the later version extruder.
       
      Last edited: October 23, 2017
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    8. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Moderator & long time member. Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Here's a long awaited update. I've upgraded several things on the printer to make it more reliable, and improve on the quality of the prints. I have it running on a dedicated desktop computer with a solid state drive. I still have more upgrades in mine to do at a later time. This was a used machine, and it needed repairs on the RAMPS 1.4 control board, and the extruder assembly. Several parts were missing, and had to be printed.

      I'm still learning to draw, and modify existing drawings. I was able to find an existing file for heels for boots, then modify the file to make heels for my son's shoes, and my boots. A couple of things which I've designed are two different sizes of stabilizer bushings (5/16" & 3/8"). Here are the TPU bushings which are for my van:

      Stabilizer link bushings..jpg
       
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