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Jarred Baines
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I'm asking this question in this group because I know all the cool people hang out here ;-)

No seriously, its cos I feel there are some and mostly awesome minds in this club.

I'm looking at making a Delta out of some excess t slot and an old Mendel 3d printer as a donor for most other parts.

Question is: what is the best (most rigid and strong) plastic for printing printer components? I want the corners to be stiff AND strong... Nylon was a thought but I'm not sure that it will be rigid enough? PET-G or ABS? PLA is very stiff, then there are more exotics and branded materials such as colorfab XT etc...

Opinions? Information will be relevant to any reprap 3d printers. A lot of builds use ABS for hi temp parts and PLA for low temp parts, makes sense but what would be ideal? Quality over price, don't mind paying for better materials.

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This is an older post I've moved across from my old blog to my new one.

How a tiny printer and CAD tools are used to transform a boring lamp into something a bit more interesting :-)

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Just starting a new blog based on all things 3D!

This first post is about an embossing rolling pin design I had suggested to me recently. Perfect project for 3D CAD design and 3D printing!

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My home-made 3D printed robot gripper!

First test run ;-)

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Quick video of Techne printing snowflakes @80/100mm/s.

She works beautifully when everything's going well but when there are curling parts / high blobs the carriage snags and looses steps.

I'm not new to 3D printing in any way, these blobs should not cause lost steps, I just don't have the torque necessary to overcome them.

The machine is mechanically free and glides easily without motors attached. Motors have no trouble printing these snowflakes at something like 1500-2000mm/s^2 acceleration, but it just lacks torque.

I am using 1.7A .9deg steppers (ingentis BOM) and DRV8825's (found the large drivers I had were causing problems). Motors are connected directly to the shaft and I'm using 32t pulleys to move the carriage. Used a multimeter to set the Vref on the pololu's to .8v giving 1.6A if I know what I'm doing... (I may not)

Do you guys have speed at the expense of torque? or you do have enough to overcome small blobs?

I do suppose my setup is EXTREMELY rigid, perhaps too rigid - the carriage and all connecting components are aluminium, so they don't have any 'give', and my table is supported by some fairly heavy (12mm) springs. On my old reprap mendel if there was a 'snag' the table leveling springs would 'give' and the table would drop to allow the head to pass over the blob.

Just looking for peoples thoughts, I feel like I should be able to achieve enough torque to deal with snags if I can print at speeds like this? even at 50% or less of these speeds the snags happen, I'm convinced it's not purely an acceleration / speed thing.

Stepper / driver woes :-(

How are you guys? Again I've been away for a while, got some time to jump back onto things and I've been trying to troubleshoot a x/y axis problem I'm having - I have ruled out mechanical issues as it is almost the same problem at 10mm/s as it is at 100mm/s (and the mechanics are really beautiful).

The problem is I'm loosing steps, repeatable each time I print the same part, I have a hunch this is 'stepper high delay' related or similar firmware issue.

I've narrowed the missing steps down to this:

Parts that involve a lot of XY detail are FINE.
Parts that involve a lot of E retractions are the culprit.

What settings do you guys use for your machines (I'm specifically using repetier firmware v.92)?

Keeping in mind I've CNC machined most of my components from oh-so-heavy (but oh-so-shiny!) aluminium, I have reduced the acceleration to 1000 (have had it as low as 500 trying to sort this out with no positive results). I have jerk set at 5 and I have reasonable microstepping (100steps/mm).

I've used the A4988 and DRV8825 drivers, both had issues, and I've since grabbed a few wantai DQ420MA drivers which give me much smoother, more powerful operation but, freak out when e retracts...

The loss of steps is EXTREMELY small, I can do things like vases that have no retraction and have no error, but noticed it when I started printing some lettering and with 8+ retracts per layer it started skewing. It's an almost perfect skew, not random in any way, so I'm guessing it's loosing the same steps at the same point on each layer. If I rotate the model 90 or 180 degrees the skew follows it. If I change the start point of my loops from front left to rear right the skew changes direction with that. (might be a hint - printing the word "Techne" it prints from left to right so, 6 retracts where it moves right immediately after and only 1 retract where the move is in the opposite direction)

I see for 'gantry systems', we do need a stepper high delay (according to repetier firmware setup) and I may also need to increase 'stepper direction delay' and 'quadstepping delay' but I'm not sure where to start.

Anyone have any issues/tips/information about movement / steps / firmware?

What sort of retract setting are people using for an e3d Bowden? I used 4mm on my RepRapPro and it worked well but the same settings seem to be giving me trouble printing PLA, specifically; each time I retract the extruder has trouble pushing the filament for a few seconds, often loses a step or a few and then things start to go smooth again until the next retract. Detailed parts with many retracts are unprintable because the hit end is contently starving for filament and it products large gaps.

I know that PLA can expand in the hot end and assume my problem may be related to this, about to try with 1.5mm retracts but, does anyone have experience and possibly tips on using an E3D v5 Bowden?

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I think I may have inadvertantly set a record!?

Do I have the world longest single-piece 3d printed screw here @ 630mm total length?

Printed on #Techne, my custom built 3d printer based on the #Ingentis and #Eustathios printers. This is the 4th print I've done on her and took 8 hrs at .3mm layers, .6 nozzle and PLA material at around 50mm/s... Reckon I can go faster when I print the next one!

Screw is part of a "mini" (lol) planetary gear set we are printing other parts for on our large format printer at #3DGroup / #3DIndustries.

Video here:
2 Photos - View album

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Techne build pics and first few prints

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