Evolution of a Blog

This blog has evolved as I have as a maker. It starts at the beginning of my journey where I began to re-tread my tires in the useful lore of micro electronics and the open-source software that can drive them. While building solutions around micro-electronics are still an occasional topic my more recent focus has been on the 3D Printing side of making.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Finally Comfortable with Print Quality

I am finally, after a LONG time, comfortable with my print quality.   Still working on the balance between speed and quality but have enough speed to declare victory.

Here is an image of the before and after for my final step in tuning.   The layers are just not as uniform as I would like.   This also shows in the corners.   In the after print the layers are uniform and the corners largely smooth.
The top of the circle still needs some help but I am happy with the rest of the print.  Frankly the printer is a bit slow at the top of it's quality curve but I will have a couple configuration files that allow for a choice of quality vs speed.
Getting to the point of the before print entailed adding some acceleration limits to my Slic3r settings and a jerk limit to my Marlin firmware.   Getting to the final print shown above required the below contraption to iron out some vibration of the Prusa I3 frame.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Summary of Stuff that I have Designed and Printed

The very first thing that I designed and printed.   All of these things are available on Thingiverse.
Then I did this thing.   In both cases these were prints that helped me with the printer itself.   I also printed a number of improvements designed by other people such as hot bed adjustment wheels and a Z-axis adjuster.
Then I tackled this which was really a large part of the initial motivation for getting a 3D printer in the first place.
This was a spin off from the above as I wanted to mount the encased LCD on the side of the printer.
Then I got onto the theme of organizing things.   There was actually a critical piece of work prior to the below, namely some pieces that allowed me to hang a very heavy mirror in our spare bedroom.  Not very easy to take pictures of though.   The designs are on Thingiverse as a 'Heavy Object Hanger' with the rest of what is shown here.  My motivation for that design was not just to hang the mirror but also to demonstrate how useful having a 3D printer can be!
This design was an evolution of the first version from the top of the page.
Another organization thing.   This one has also been used under the kitchen sink for a towel hanger and a place to put the washing up liquid.
Yet another organizer thing!   And another thing to demonstrate to Sara how useful a 3D printer can be!
One last organization thing.   This one for me.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Still Working on Print Quality / Speed

Here is a photo of two calibration prints and screen shots of the Slic3r settings for speed that I used for the tests.

The test case on the left takes almost 70% longer to print than the one on the right but the quality is obviously a lot higher.

I have tried a lot of individual changes to the speed of printing but it seems that the whole thing needs to be SLOW to get the quality that I would like to achieve.

The question is...what mechanical issues are greatest contributors to the reduction of quality as speed increase?
Finally printing with some really good quality...and...SMOKE!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

New Project - Combining Disciplines

My latest project combines 3D printing with a Raspberry Pi driving a couple of servos and the Pi Camera Module.

Not completely sure of the application for the creation at this point...but more to come.