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[Buildlog] DIY 3d printers

Arphaxad_23

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A little background of myself, I’m a avid hobbyist in all things CNC. Simply love it! My long term goal is to diy build not only 3d printers but also cnc wood router, cathode tube laser cutter, cnc plasma cutter and a cnc mill. My journey started back in sept 2015 when I bought my first 3d printer, a clone i3 kit from DIYElectronics. Assembled the kit and got the printer up and running fairly quickly.

One of the first successful functional parts I printed was a filament spool holder (sadly it broke a few months ago, but just shows you how durable PLA truly is.)
Also printed a box to hold rifle casings while reloading. This is still in use this to date!
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With that being said, boy did I struggle with this printer. I never could get prints running for more than a hour or two and then the extruder would grind the filament to bits because the nozzle would just clog up.I gave up and left the printer stashed in the corner of the room and occasionally tried to tinker with it and getting it to work properly. No luck.

Fast forward to Jan 2017 where I finally pulled the trigger and imported a genuine E3D v6 hotend with a titan extruder. It was very pricey, but wow...what a difference that made. Never had a clogged hotend again!
But the poor little printer is still not perfect, especially the heat bed. Its 12V and takes ages to reach 60-70 deg (could never reach 80 deg). A bit of investigation showed the board has way too high resistance and it simply will never draw the rated current. I even considered a external mosfet to switch 24V to the bed, but that won't help much.

The journey did not end there and I‘m not a fan of the cartesian style printers.
Off into the research rabbit hole I went. I decided that a coreXY system sounds great (build plate that moves as little as possible makes sense to me).I decided to venture off and start sourcing parts for a Hypercube Evolution diy printer and printed the parts needed(all in PETG).

Fast forward yet another year (wow time goes by so quickly) I have all the printed parts, mechanical parts, electronics and now only assembly is required.
But wait...that's not the end. I also sourced parts for a second printer. This one is called Voron 2, which uses linear rails and quite an interesting auto leveling procedure. It's also based on Klipper firmware not Marlin and I can't wait to play around with it.

I want to document and share the building process with you guys!

Oh yeah, I also bought a Ender 3 Pro early in jan (esih...CUD)

TLDR; Have a small i3 clone printer that I will upgrade and use to print the ABS parts needed for the two new coreXY style printers I am building. So yeah...I'm documenting my progress here.Stay tuned for updates.

Edit: Added the pic of the casing box. One of my very first prints!
 
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Arphaxad_23

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Ok, first order of business. I need to upgrade my clone i3 to enable me to print ABS.
PETG is not rigid enough as I thought initially. I will keep the HEVO parts in PETG for the meantime, but want to print the Voron parts in ABS.

The new x-carriage to mount my E3D titan aero extruder, pancake stepper and inductive sensor for mesh bed leveling.
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Here is the aluminum build plate with a 230V silicone heater that will help me to reach the desired 100 deg temps you need for ABS.(I hope at least)
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Things on my TO-DO list for the clone i3:
  • Alternative filament spool holder
  • New x end stop bracket. The new x-carriage hits the side before triggering the end stop.
  • Setup Octoprint with klipper on a pi and start testing it on the clone i3 (maybe)
  • Getting a cam for the pi to remote monitor the printer (maybe)
 
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valiente

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//snip
  • Getting a cam for the pi to remote monitor the printer (maybe)
This is very simple, if you using OctoPi/OctoPrint then any Webcam does wonders - Some reverse proxy magic and I can monitor my Print from anywhere in the world

* The view right now of a completed print from last night
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Arphaxad_23

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Update on the clone i3:
Printed the stand alone enclosure for the ramps and LCD. Slight issue with the ramps/atmega not fitting on the printed stand-offs of the enclosure. I'm sure hot glue will fix it😅

Another thing I should do is to properly calibrate the Ender 3 x,y&z axis step/mm. I did calibrate the extruder steps/mm, correct filament temps and flow. I'm still not happy with the overall dimensional accuracy of the prints. In the past (with the clone i3) I sent fixed (say 50mm) movements through Repitier-Host to the printer and measured the actual distance moved. But I'm thinking to just print a 20x20 cube, measure actual dimensions and change steps/mm accordingly. Thus test all three axis at once! Any tips?
(Prints shown are eSUN PLA at 0.2mm)

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Arphaxad_23

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Hmmm I really should install my Pi Zero W in my MK3.

Strength to you wish I had the skill to build my own printer
Thank you! Yeah do it, I've only installed OctoPrint on the pi3 to test....and wow, quite nice! I will add one on all the printers!
 

Arphaxad_23

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Update on the HEVO:
All the parts I sourced last year. I will be installing a smoothieboard for the HEVO, I'm interested in the smoothieware firmware how it will compare to the well known marlin.
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And here are the printed parts. All in PETG and was printed on the clone i3. Not happy with all of the parts as I printed with supports (which I didn't need...guess you have to learn the hard way) and can't remove them cleanly🙈
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The beginnings of the frame taking shape. This HEVO will have a 300x300 bed and a z-height of 400mm. The reason I like this kind of setup is the bed only moves (very slowly) in the z direction, thus no sudden or quick movements on the print bed itself. Less disturbances on the models being printed.
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The frame is 3030 profiles and the bed will be on a 2020 base structure. Think this setup will be super rigid.
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Notice the clone i3...those horrible LCD mounts, those filament holders kept together with insulation tape:p
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WiZard

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Hmmm I really should install my Pi Zero W in my MK3.

Strength to you wish I had the skill to build my own printer
From the OctoPrint site:
"Please note that the Raspberry Pi Zero W is not recommended since severe performance issues were observed, caused by the WiFi interface when bandwidth is utilized (e.g. the webcam is streamed), negatively impacting printing results. "

Should be OK if using wired network or not using a webcam?
 

Arphaxad_23

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Update on the clone i3:
Decided I will simply mount everything on a piece of wood, leaving enough space to later enclose the printer alone and have most of the electronics on the outside.
(And decided to ditch the printed enclosure for the ramps and just screw all to the wood board)
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With this I designed a few brackets to screw down the printer to the wood. I think it worked out great.
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I also printed a random x-endstop bracket I found. Works perfect for what I need at this time, although the screws split the printed part a bit 😅
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Printed a cable chain for the x-carriage wiring. I love clean organized looking stuff, this now needs to be integrated into the x-carriage since there are no dedicated mounting points.
Mmm...need to still think of an adequate solution.
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I found this cool little pcb that have a 6-35V (I think) input and a set 5.1V output with a usb port. Works great for the Pi since I don't have to bother with the bulky psu. (or rather getting another 230V outlet for the printer)
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Tatty

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I found this cool little pcb that have a 6-35V (I think) input and a set 5.1V output with a usb port. Works great for the Pi since I don't have to bother with the bulky psu. (or rather getting another 230V outlet for the printer)
View attachment 51429
Where did you get this lil thing from?
Working on a project that needs a 12v psu, but I would love to not have a huge power brick for it.
 

MSI1104

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From the OctoPrint site:
"Please note that the Raspberry Pi Zero W is not recommended since severe performance issues were observed, caused by the WiFi interface when bandwidth is utilized (e.g. the webcam is streamed), negatively impacting printing results. "

Should be OK if using wired network or not using a webcam?
Except it plugs straight into the MK3 Motheboard via the GPIO pins... and runs its own custom flavour of Octoprint
 

Arphaxad_23

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Where did you get this lil thing from?
Working on a project that needs a 12v psu, but I would love to not have a huge power brick for it.
You can get it here.
Keep in mind this is only a buck converter for a 5V dc output. This is not a stand alone psu.
 

Tatty

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You can get it here.
Keep in mind this is only a buck converter for a 5V dc output. This is not a stand alone psu.
Meh, thanks anyways.
I need a small something thats 220v to 12v, but can't find anything thatst the size of your pcb etc, which would be ideal.
 

Arphaxad_23

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Meh, thanks anyways.
I need a small something thats 220v to 12v, but can't find anything thatst the size of your pcb etc, which would be ideal.
It depends what you need it for. You can have a look at this psu, 100mmx50mm and is 100W.

Or this, but its only 10W. Like I said...depends what you need.
 

Arphaxad_23

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Update on the Clone i3:
Small update, not a lot to really take photos of. I configured the klipper firmware yesterday, and it was not that complicated. Now I need to test and tune the settings.
But...a small detour, this morning I was curious if I could get the steppers moving. So after connecting the endstops and stepper I switched on the power....and...disaster :eek:
I accidentally let the magic smoke escape the 5V regulator on the atmega2560 board😢
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I'm not too sure what caused it at this stage, my suspicion is that it was the endstops that I connected incorrectly. Will investigate further tonight.

Edit: Yup, I'm a noob... just checked the ramps 1.4 schematic and I must have connected the 5V rail directly to GND (These pins are next to each other and the signal pin on the other side...sigh)
 
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Arphaxad_23

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Update on the Clone i3:
I replaced the atmega board, will attempt to fix the 5V regulator on the other one eventually.
So this weekend I finished the Klipper firmware setup and calibration. Here are some photos of the results. I still need to get the z height correct, late last night I realized that S3D setting for auto extrusion width causes alot of issues and creates requests that Klipper sees as unusual.
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Here is how the setups looks like currently.
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I also printed ABS on the printer. Was nice to finally have a bed that can reach 120deg C. Unfortunately I did not take any photos of those prints, only one had minimal warping on the corners. I'm impressed with the results even though the printer was not enclosed.

But all is still not lekker. I'm struggling with first layers, It seems that at a bed temp that high the mesh bed leveling is not always functioning. Had two prints that the first layer was 100% out of maybe two dozen attempts🙈
But that being said, maybe I tinkered too much with firmware settings and inadvertently messed stuff up. Think I should leave the firmware as is, and tune the slicer a bit...and try another one aswell
 

Arphaxad_23

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Here are some pics of PLA prints from the clone i3
Keep in mind that this was a generic profile generated by S3D, I only tuned the extrusion multiplier and temps at this stage.

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Arphaxad_23

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Clone i3 update:
Got the mesh visualizer working with klipper, and sjo...the bed is warped bad. Almost 1mm lower in the corners 🙈
This is the mesh when the bed is at 120deg C.
53037

So I think I might have screwed things up with this piece of whatever it is to retain the bed heat as much as possible.
But in all honesty I think its not necessary with the new 230V heater. This might cause the flimsy aluminum plate to bow when the corners are tightened too much.
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I think I also found the cause of why I cant seem to get consistent first layers. The mounting bracket for the probe is printed in PETG and with a 250deg nozzle and 120deg bed so close to it, it softens enough and the probe droops slightly.
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I'm curious, any of you have an idea where I could source 6mm or 8mm aluminum plates in small sizes like these?
Would also like to machine the top to a better tolerance than 1mm
 

Arphaxad_23

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So my suspicion was correct. PETG not suitable for brackets this close to high heat sources. The photos doesn't look that bad, but remember the weight of the probe flexes the bracket quite a bit when its soft.
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I managed to print a replacement part with ABS (On a side note that ABS is over 🙈 3 years old)
Will see how things go now, which me luck
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For those using Octoprint, I found this app Printoid to manage things with a tablet. Will give it a try and give feedback:)
 

Tatty

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So my suspicion was correct. PETG not suitable for brackets this close to high heat sources. The photos doesn't look that bad, but remember the weight of the probe flexes the bracket quite a bit when its soft.
View attachment 53289View attachment 53293

I managed to print a replacement part with ABS (On a side note that ABS is over 🙈 3 years old)
Will see how things go now, which me luck
View attachment 53296View attachment 53285

For those using Octoprint, I found this app Printoid to manage things with a tablet. Will give it a try and give feedback:)
Looks like a nifty app, did you at least get the premium version with all the features? :)
 
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