3D Printer Update 7/2/16
I have all the feeds and speeds to the point where I can make some decent prints. At least as decent as the machine is capable. It is clearly evident it is not going to replace the precision machine work I can do in my real machine shop but I see I will have a lot of less demanding projects to assign to it.
As I write this it is busy extruding a reducing adapter for the center of the PLA filament spool. I need to make two, one for each side. I made sure the first one fits. The picture shows the second one about 1/4 finished. The part looks like one of those old 45 rpm record center hole adapters and serves the same purpose on my application. No, not to play music but to reduce the size of the center hole. Actually the stepper motors do make a music all their own. The sing as they are driven by audio frequency pulses.
I am working with one of the lowest cost printers available. I saw that Amazon raised the price by $30 since I ordered mine. I am glad I am on the right side of that timing. Still a bargain for a low end machine.
One of the critical printing factors with 3D printing is a level and flat surface on which to start printing. On this machine there are two steppers driving the Z axis. They must be at the exact same height when levelling the printing platform. I will soon be making (printing) a height gage for setting these heights equal. The exact length is not important so just a single fixed height gage any convenient length can be used to set both ends the same. A nifty easy project.
The bed revelling screws are an abomination so that will be the next task to make them more user friendly. The present screws are not solidly fastened at ether end. That is a mistake. I am going to bolt the screws solidly to the heated bed, then use thumb nuts for adjustment only from the bottom. The bed is held by spring tension and the existing springs seem adequate. The problem is both ends of the bolt up the middle can turn making exact adjustment nearly impossible. An easy fix
After that I think I will be doing a lot more printing. The process is slow, running into hours for each part printed. So it will be a set and forget and then go do things like carving my wax masters for investment casting in silver.
BTW, the output of this 3D printer is a far cry for being anywhere useful in making of casting masters of jewellery quality. Those machines do exist but bottom end start at $5K and go far up from there. Not in this man’s budget.