Saturday, June 21, 2014

Finishing the build

My friend Bill Hegarty from work came over again today, and together we finished building the printer with around 5 hours of work.  It was relatively straightforward work, which Bill gets most of the credit for.  Really a one-person job for the most part.  We did encounter a few minor problems, though:

  • When attaching the kapton sticker to the build plate, a speck of metal (FOD!) somehow got onto the plate and created a dimple.  We peeled the sticker back a bit, removed the speck, and proceeded onward.  I think getting a very flat surface is very important on that step.
  • We had not labeled the fan wire ends (wasn't called out in the instructions that we were supposed to), so when we got to the point of connecting them up, we weren't sure which was which.  The solution was to grab a 3V CR2032 battery and test to see which wires made which fans move when connected.  This worked well, and we were quickly able to establish which fan was which.
  • There was a step missing for inserting flat nuts into their slots in the power supply case, so when we went to close the power supply up, there was nothing for the bolts to screw into.  This was easily corrected.
  • The instructions say that the board is sensitive to ESD (electrostatic discharge), but I didn't have a good grounding station.  Our solution was to plug in the power supply (establishing a ground) and then clip my grounding strap to one of the power supply screws.  I hope this worked.   Of course we were careful to make sure the power switch was off!
  • The 3D-printed knob for the display didn't have an opening for insertion on either side!  Looks like there is support material that needs to be cleaned out.

See below for a picture of the wired-up board.  Again, Bill gets the credit for doing most of this.  My count was 57 wires to be attached.

Front and back pictures of the assembled printer:

Me and Bill posing with the completed printer:

When the job was done, there was still a fair amount of leftover material

In particular, there was a thermistor that was unused.  I think this is a spare in case one of the hot-end thermistors dies.  A few of the pieces are clearly intended for the filament spool and cleaning accessories to be added later (I have to print the main parts).

Tonight I finished annotating my PDF copy of the assembly manual and uploaded it to the support board.  Also ordered a couple of kilos of PLA filament from Amazon.  Tomorrow I will start going through the User's Guide and see if I can do my first print!