Cute octopus family

We spent the evening with a lot of brainstorming on work to do on BadPrinter2, future upgrade, new material and other stuff… during our discussions the BadPrinter2 tirelesslyย print this classic object (Cute Octopus Says Helloย byย MakerBot;ย http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:27053) with our new light blue PLA ๐Ÿ™‚

We print a little family and we are pretty satisfied with results, some tweaking can improve the quality of the little one (there are some small defects due probably to the retraction parameter), but considering a closer look through theย magnifying glass we can see the finish difference between 0.2 mm (0.1950 to match the screw pitch) of the large one and 0.05 mm (0.045 mm) of the small one!

 

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Double color printing

This weekend we made a cooling system for the motors drivers and so we finally close the rear cover. It’s quite hot there…

After a couple of version we finally fix the rear cooling fan on the main head-block.

We also decided to “freeze” this version of the printer.
Now we have only to replace the plate frame with a new one and make the covers.
And yes, we need to repaint it. ๐Ÿ™‚ […I wanna see it painted black, painted black…]

We tested again the double color printing.
We designed and printed a couple of dices , and then, because we are greedy we printed the world ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€
You can see the result ๐Ÿ™‚

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We didn’t printed it in “hi-res” but with 0.2mm layer thickness
We know that this printer can do a lot better, but we lack the skill about slicing and printing, plus, this model, found on Thingiverse, takes a lot of time to slice and to print, if we want to increase the resolution we need to work also on the model, but stl is hard to manage… we will try with blender…
However this test told us many things that we can summarize as:
“having two heads is not so simple as we thought”
For example, after a double-color print both the heads can have on the tip a little ball of solid material, while the first head will melt the Pla drop because is starting to print again (single color print), the second drop is still there, hard as rock, ready to engrave the new model…
Sometimes this can happen also with the tip of the second head perfectly clean If there is too much material in some place (for some reason, sometimes happens you know…)
Another problem is the material leakage of the head in hold. While a head is printing, the other one must be ready to print, but if you keep it at the right temperature the material start to melt in the chamber head, and can loose some drops while moving. The solution is to use retraction, however is not so easy to find the right parameter.
We think that there isn’t the right parameter, is ever a combination and compromise depending on the model and how you decide to slice it.
We are wondering if would interesting or not to have a system that can pull up & down each head to avoid all the problems…

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Keep it cooled!

These days we had some trouble making good quality printing with the nuclear green PLA that we use for the parts of the BadPrinter2; strangely the other PLA has a better finish with the same parameters, so we mount another part that was missing yet.. a cooling fan on the printed object.. and voilร .. the prints are perfect!
At the moment we put the fan on the bed, but we will integrate it into the carriage ๐Ÿ™‚
Using Slic3r the cooling fan can be actively set to start in defined conditions and with different speed. The prints are at 0.2 with medium speed of 70 mm/s (100 m/s infill), we will try higher speed now.

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And now a panoramic view of the BadPrinter2 almost completed with its black/nuclear appeal! Some aesthetic details are missing and we are working on it. All the scratches on the black paint are war scars ๐Ÿ™‚ (the spray paint used does not adhere well to the aluminum, we will repaint it)

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Double Color, here it is!

Finally we are able to print a double color piece! it is the first, so not perfect: the second hot end is a little bit offset in Z axis so the yellow layer is a little bit too high respect the blue.. some oozing that we will now start to fight with parameters tweaking, but it’s done ๐Ÿ™‚

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Yesterday we play and try to print a nokia lumia 920 case modified to add some hooks for a strap in order to transform it in a necklage camera for timelapse lifelogging. Thanks to Marco for the idea and for the Nokia ๐Ÿ™‚

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The cover is derived from object: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:70948

cover / case for nokia lumia 920 (b_key) / CC BY 3.0

BadPrinter2 almost finished and ready for Bi-color

We completed the work late at night, but very satisfied of the results.
We updated the printer with the new electronics and so the new display is now active!

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With the new electronics also the second extruder and hot end is full operative, so now it is time to test the bicolor! but we try tomorrow, so stay tuned for the update.

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Now it is time to complete the machine with some details like this green honeycomb grid for the power supply fan ๐Ÿ™‚

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A week of work on BadPrinter2

The summer holidays arrived and also the hot weather of this week, but BadDevices never stops ๐Ÿ™‚
We work all of this week to the upgrading and fixing of the BadPrinter2.
The most important upgrade is related to the new motherboard and displayboard. We redesign them completely and we spent some time playing with UV light and chemical baths and here is the result:

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We also design and print a custom fan duct to cool the DRV8825 stepper drivers; it is a first concept so probably we change and evolve the design.

Other upgrade was related to the “mantis” extruder; we shorten the levers and make them robust; also the base has a more robust structure and the upper part was modified with two small cones that contains a piece of PTFE bowden to guide better the filament. With Black PLA is less mantis like, but it is still has a good looking ๐Ÿ™‚

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Here a short video of the BadPrinter2 in action printing the extruder base:

Then we finally print and install the twin fan duct (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:128047) on the E3D hot ends and it fits and look perfectly ๐Ÿ™‚

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Moreover we do some other minor modification like, install some white leds illuminating the printing bed, print and use two spool holder on the back of the printer and install a new Z coupler.

At the end we can relax with some funny printing like the classic Mr.Jaws ๐Ÿ™‚

Printing experience with new all-metal Hot-ends

Finally we build and mount the new all metal hot ends. They are from UK based E3D (e3d-online.com) and they are awesome. Easy to build and works very well.

In the week-end we test it with a lot of sample pieces like this Grey Owl. We are verifiyng parameters so at the moment not concentrating only on quality (the owl is without infill so, some errors can be seen on the outer layer), but on a general tweaking of the machine. In this week we will launch some torture test to check everything is ok.

We had two tandem mount hot-ends, so we will also try printing in double colour. At the moment a problem on the first motherboard prototype cannot allow us to make the second head function, but we have already redesign the board and we plan to build one these days. The two head are 28 mm close one to eachother, so we can’t use the original fan and fan duct for both so we redesign a “common” fan duct and soon as we check that the dimensions are ok we upload it on thingiverse.

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The two heads are mounted on a single clamp with two J-head style groove mounts; the cold end of the printing head is very cold (almost ambient temperature) so we can redesign it as a 3D printed part without problems.