Over a year ago I started building a RepRap.  During that time I’d say it was operational for about four months; the rest of the time was spent troubleshooting, learning, waiting on parts and fixing things (mostly the hot- end).

In the last two weeks things have accelerated tremendously.  The key to this success was replacing the Makergear hot-end that came with my kit with a J-Head; after that things started to come together.

2012-12-21_14-45-10_178 Finally back to where we left off before the “headaches”

Once I was able to print for more than a couple minutes I stared to find other areas to improve, and this is where the RepRap really comes into it’s zone, because the RepRap is born to be hacked.

Here’s a list of modifications I’ve made so far:

2012-12-19_08-33-54_447 The first mod: a thumbwheel to make leveling the bed possible…

I’m still working on addressing the z-wobble.  My prints are starting to turn out pretty good but I’m still getting a rib pattern on the walls that seems to come from a bend in the threaded rod that raises and lowers the nozzle.  The first thing I printed seem to make this better, but it was still present so I’m trying something more drastic and replacing the threaded rod in the z-axis alltogether.  We’ll see how that goes but I may end up going all the way to a proper set of leadscrews to fix it once and for all.

2012-12-22_14-57-07_295 Not bad but…still a bit wavy on the sides

I’m also troubleshooting a problem printing circular overhangs, they tend to get ahead of the nozzle and from the discussions I’ve had this has to do with laying a new layer down while the previous layer is still cooling.  I’ve printed an improved fan mount/duct that is supposed to help with this but I’m also going to try and slow down a bit while printing shapes like this to see if it improves.

\(1\) …one fan duct to rule them all!

This might sound like a bunch of problems but really it’s been a blast to work on.  The cool thing about the RepRap is that the more you are willing to do the better it gets; the printer is capable of producing useful parts as-is (otherwise it couldn’t improve itself) so I could just stop and use it (and to some degree I have), but I love to hack and this device, more than anything I can remember working on provides such an awesome reward for someone interested in putting in the extra work.

IMG_20121228_151909_960 Of course not all of the prints are serious engineering improvements

I have an album on Google+ where I’m collecting all of my RepRap related photos if you’d like to follow along the adventure visually: RepRap Album .


529 Words

2012-12-31 00:00 +0000