Just a quick tip on obtaining adhesion to your build platform. There’s three things that I have found to be highly effective:
- Cover your bot’s windows with clear acrylic to help heat the air in the build area and to reduce drafts
- Use “mouse ears” or “anchors” on problematic edges
- Prep your build platform with a dilute solution of acetone and ABS
Covering your windows with acrylic is a general tip as I’ve found it helps reduce drafts and helps keep the build area a bit warmer which is helpful with ABS.
"Mouse ears" work well if you have one particular spot on a print that likes to lift off consistently. One part that I found this highly effective for is the Nautilus Shell (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:9177). The outside shell edge consistently lifted off the build platform before this tweak. Pogden has written a nice OpenSCAD script called “openSCAD print anchors” to add “mouse ears” or “anchors” to a model and it’s available on Thingiverse: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:16728
The final tweak that I really like is the ABS/Acetone solution. I took roughly 1/2 cup acetone and dissolved pieces of ABS from failed prints in it and keep this in a capped glass bottle. Before a print, I paint the surface of my Kapton tape covered HBP with a light layer of this dilute solution. This dries very quickly — especially as the HBP heats up to temperature. I now have to pry parts off of the surface! This tweak really helps with prints that take a long time to complete (>2+ hrs). Generally I end up tearing the tape in areas when pulling parts off so you may end up replacing tape more but the adhesion is excellent to it’s a small price to pay. :)
One caveat to this is do not use too much ABS in your acetone solution. If you have too much ABS in your acetone solution you will have a very hard time prying your part off the kapton tape. You want just enough ABS in solution that after painting your HBP that there is a slight haze to the surface.
I’m hoping this will be of benefit to someone as it took me a while to figure it out. :)
OpenSCAD has a module called rotate_extrude() that allows one to rotate a 2D cross-section DXF image around the z-axis to make a 3D part. For my particular project, I wanted to use a cross-section of an eductor to render a 3 dimensional part that I could print on my Cupcake.
What I found from my research is that Inkscape can export vector images to DXF format but the format isn’t compatible with OpenSCAD. In the end I found an extension for Inkscape on Thingiverse called “Inkscape OpenSCAD DXF Export" that adds a menu option to the Save a Copy menu called OpenSCAD DXF Output (*.DXF) that works - and works well. See the information on that Thing for specifics on how to use and install it.
A couple things I learned:
- Inkscape must be version 0.48
- The origin (0,0) is located at the lower-left corner of your Inkscape canvas
Also, for converting images to vector images use the information from the following two links:
Once you have your image converted to DXF, it’s a simple matter to use:
Use the scale() module if you need your part bigger or smaller.
Latest iteration of my frag plugs - now featuring a removable top! I’ll be posting the files to thingiverse Monday night. :) I’ll post an individual plug (one top and one post) and then plates (one plate with nothing but tops and another plate with nothing but posts).
One thing I’ve learned from this is that the tops need to be printed “tight” (no slop added to the pin hole) and that the posts need to be printed pointing up instead of laying on their sides. The posts don’t adhere well to the build platform when laying on their sides due to how they are modeled.
This version will allow someone to easily remove the post by simply squeezing it and popping it out of the cavity in the plug top. This is my #1 pet peeve with existing frag plugs out there as when I want to position a coral frag on a plug in my display tank, I have to either find a hole of the right size in my display tank to put the post in or I have to break the post off with wire cutters. My version allows for reuse of the post.
This Thing is a coral frag plug that is used when propagating (i.e. “fragging”) coral in the saltwater aquarium hobby.
Coral fragments are either cut or broken off of the mother colony and then glued to this frag plug using cyanoacrylate gel (superglue). The resulting fragged coral plug is mounted into 14mm eggcrate that is submerged in the saltwater aquarium where it is left until it is either traded with another hobbyist or sold at a frag swap.
I have uploaded four variations on a concept that I have been toying with for what might be useful to a coral farmer. I am keenly interested in optimizing this concept so that it Works for those needing a good, quality, multi-purpose coral frag plug so please leave comments on how I might improve this Thing.
Yep, it was a Skeinforge setting that needed adjusting. Using SF35, I increased the reverse times from 12 ms to 50 ms and that took are of the bulk of it. :)
Rob Gisebert was nice enough to add cleaned-up instructions to the 3G 5D wiki entry on wiki.makerbot.com for the needed firmware / software updates that need to be made to Cupcakes that implement his 3G 5D Shield / Ugly Cable Hack:
I performed the Ugly Cable Hack to get my bot up and running but eventually I’ll be buying the Shield as a more robust / cleaner solution.
Now that I’ve successfully flashed the extruder controller and the motherboard along with installing RepG 0027 with the custom machines.xml files it’s working great!
Now to print something… :)
Ugly Cable Hack, http://thingiverse.com/thing:11837
I decided to bite the bullet and perform the MK6 Stepper upgrade to the bot (using the MK6 upgrade kit from Makerbot Industries) after my second DC extruder motor burned out on my MK5. Fortunately I had everything laying around my bench to perform the Cable Hack so I was able to hack a solution in place without having to buy header pins. This will be a temporary solution until I have time to buy and put together the 3G 5D Shield.
Now that this is done, it’s time to dig into the software / firmware upgrades…
The ultra-rare black Linckia sp. 3D printed starfish poses for a photo in the author’s nano tank.
Advanced Aquarist Pomacanthus sp. angelfish logo printed on the bot.
Dinosaur scaled down from http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:8505
I printed out http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:9646 for my son’s presentation on tarantulas last night. 7 makerbot plates, ~3 hrs print time.