Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Assembling the Printer, Part I

Saturday was spent cleaning the study to the point where the printer assembly could begin.  Ugh.

Assembly started around noon on Sunday.  Here's the contents of the box, unpacked.

The fasteners came in their own box, sorted in the order called out in the bill of materials.  Nice!

I did a check of the contents of this box vs. the bill of materials.  There appeared to be a few extra fasteners, but I think that may be because I ordered the dual extruder option.  We'll see if I have anything left over when the assembly is done.  One of the items in the miscellaneous bag was a pair of fine tweezers, useful for picking up the tiny nuts and washers.

The instructions are fairly clear, if obviously translated from Dutch.  Lots of good diagrams, and divided into discrete tasks with estimates of time to complete.  The web site said I might need a variable speed drill, but there have been no signs of that yet.  There was one odd tool called out that no one I knew could identify.  I found out to day it is a type of adjustable wire stripper.

 First step, build the frame...

Not too hard.  With the help of my friend Bill, I was able to get through the assembly of the X and Z axis drives without too much difficulty.

One issue we did run into was that the orientation of the Z axis cart wasn't super clear from the diagrams.  One end had just a screw over the real, and the other a knob sticking out.  Our best guess was that the knobby end was supposed to go as shown in the pictures below.

Also, on step 22, where you were supposed to fit the Z-axis carrier on top of the aforementioned cart, we had to use a little pressure.  The cart is rectangular, but the opening that fits over it is slightly trapezoidal.  So you had to fit the wider, back part on first and then depend on some compliance to get the front part to fit over.

This is where we got to by around 5PM.  This was up to around step 70, and about 60% through the entire assembly.  X and Z axes complete, Extruders and some sensors mounted.  Lots of wires hanging around.  After assembling the build platform and Y axis drive, a lot of the rest of the steps are just routing the wires.

Just noticed now that their advertising pictures either conveniently leave out all the wires...

...or present the pretty side, with a lot of the wire routing invisible:

We started running into a few hiccups at the end of the day, which I'll go into in my next post.