Nerdy Derby Wheels Keep Rolling!

checking-print

We’ve been printing wheels… lots of wheel! We tested some at Madison Mini Maker Faire’s Nerdy Derby event last weekend, and we’ve been using Son of Megamax to crank out little plastic wheels.

finished-wheels

Yes, we are printing 37 wheels at a time! And we’re using ABS filament from CoEx in Appleton, Wisconsin. They were kind enough to supply us with some spools of filament to keep SoM busying printing pretty much day and night!

webcam-wheels

I know you’re wondering how we keep an eye on all those wheels being printed. Well, when we’re not at the space we just check out the Milwaukee Makerspace Webcam. (As long as it’s pointed in the right direction.)

nerdy-derby-anime

Coex 3D Printing Filament
(Thanks again to Coex for the filament donation!)

Replacing the Glass Print Bed on the Taz 3 Printer

The glass bed on the Makerspace’s Taz 3 printer recently did what glass does- it broke.  Time for a repair and upgrade!

I started by cutting the under carriage down and modifying it for a three point leveling system instead of the stock four point undercarriage/bed plate bending scheme.

Modified undercarriage mounted on the printer

Modified undercarriage mounted on the printer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The original heater was separated from the shards of glass and glued to the 12″ x 12″ x 1/4″ cast aluminum tooling plate using high temperature silicone.  3x #10 countersunk screws and springs support the plate on heat resistant teflon blocks.  The whole assembly stands about 1 cm taller than the original bed plate so I printed a small extension for the Z=0 set screw so it would trip the switch from the higher position.  I tested the heating time and found that the bed gets up to 110C in about 16 minutes- a little slow, but we probably won’t be printing much ABS with this open frame machine anyway.  Next- run PID autotune for the bed heater and adjust acceleration (greater moving mass means lower acceleration and print speeds).

New bed plate and undercarriage mounted on the printer

New bed plate and undercarriage mounted on the printer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of you might ask why I would replace the glass bed with a piece of cast aluminum tooling plate.  Thermal performance is one good reason.  Here’s an IR photo of the original glass bed:

 

 

Taz_glass_thermal

IR image of the Taz 3 printer with original glass bed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notice the hot and cool spots- 30C temperature variation across the bed.

Here’s what the new aluminum bed plate looks like:

 

Taz_aluminum_Thermal

 

 

Temperature variation is just a few degrees over the entire surface (the bright almost horizontal lines are not hot spots- they are reflections of the X axis guide rails).

 

I have run the PID tuning on the new bed and modified the firmware with the new constants.  It heats from 25C to 100C in about 9 minutes.

I officially declare the Taz printer ready for action.

Pi Day!

Just in time for pi day this month the Raspberry Pi foundation released it’s newest Pi.  Even though it been less than a year since the Pi 2 this Pi is even better.  Although it looks the same it’w what you wont need that will get you excited about this new slice.  Never again will you need bluetooth and wifi dongles hogging your Pi’s USB ports as this newest slice of Pi has both built in.  With out a doubt your placing our order at the link below right now but while you wait here are a few cool projects to read up on while waiting for your UPS man.

 

http://www.amazon.com/RS-COMPONENTS-RASP-PI-3-Raspberry-Model/dp/B01CD5VC92/ref=sr_1_6?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1458323126&sr=1-6&keywords=raspberry+pi+3

Media Center:

Forget popcorn with your move, have Pi.  If there was ever a Pi perfect for a media center this is it.  The processor bump on the Pi 3 makes it a video champion.  This life hacker article will show you everything you need to know to get started on your delicious media center. Continue reading