Saturday, 8 November 2014

-=( Aluhotend V6)=-

Aluhotend - V6 now available

after some review information from Thomas Sanladerer i have made a few changes and now the V6 version of my hotend is up for sale

- The nozzle has been upgraded with a small round flat around the orifice.  - this has improved the quality of the top solid layers

- The heat-sink is now tapped all the way through and a hollow grub screw locking the thermal barrier in place which allows the hotend length to be micro-adjustable which is very handy for those who want to do a dual extruder setup this also means there is nolonger bowden specific version - this was something that has been on the cards for a while, however due to the availability of hollow grubscrews they all have to currently be drilled by hand

- The hole for the heater cartridge is smaller measure 6.2mm down from 6.5mm for more contact with the heater cartridges - this is something a lot of people have asked for  however the next version will more than likely have a clamp style system similar to the E3d configuration

as always the hotend is available for purchase at :
Ebay , Ebay

Friday, 25 July 2014

Thursday, 24 July 2014

-=( Thermal runaway test #1 )=-

This is the video of the thermal runaway test, it's not very scientific however it does the job, in future i think i will just timelapse it on the samsung or the nikon so i can upload it as a 4k video

below is the images of the aftermath of the hotend 

depending on the weather i will do it again only with a 19v powersupply 

Sunday, 20 July 2014

-=( Aluhotend status update )=-

Status update for the Aluhotend:

currently it is at version 5B and there is plenty of stock of all components for both 3mm and 1.75mm

there have been no reported problems with this version so far

it is currently being sold on ebay in the configurations:

- single pack hotend only
- dual pack hotend only
- single pack kit
- dual pack kit
- single pack prewired
- dual pack prewired

available nozzle sizes 0.3mm , 0.4mm and 0.5mm

future plans:

- so far it has been suggested that the 2.5mm hole could actaully be tapped with and M3 thread
- possibly reducing the length of the stainless thermal barrier and the threaded section of the heatsink
- possible heater block and nozzle in one combination

Saturday, 28 June 2014

-=( 13 days later )=-

Its been 13 days coke and fizzy drink free, infact it's been pretty much a couple of glasses of milk and nothing but tap water ( which raises a few interesting questions about our local water supply ).

To say that quitting coke is an experience is a bit of a understatement, it seems to be one of those easier said than done things as the temptation is quite interesting i think ultimately the key to quitting stuff like his is realizing where the temptations are and avoiding them eg like not walking up the soft drink isle in the supermarket or going to fast food places.

If anything positive is to come out of a decade of coke consumption then it would be the addition of a still to my long list of projects. not so much for alcohol but for clean drinkable or water that doesn't smell badly of the chlorine hat has been used in an attempt to "clean" the water.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

-=( Substance Abuse - Quitting cola )=-

After a decade of consumption i have sat down and done the maths on what has turned into a scarey addiction, and that is the consumption of cola it's hardly a secret that one of the ingredients in these things is Sugar or what we think is sugar which has been used in increasing quantities over the years to sweeten foods , and while sugar by itself isn't necessarily bad for us it turns out to be the quantities of sugars you are consuming which does the most damage.

Symptoms others and I have observed from my own consumption:
- extreme tiredness after getting out of bed nearly 1 hr after the alarm wakes me up ,
- very little to no energy
- crankiness after short periods without my favorite drink
- limited paranoia
- slight weight gain (nick named the coke belly)

To date in the last decade i have consumed somewhere around 4.5 litres per day which in hindsight is scarey on it's own, however it gets worse:

According to the label on the bottle there is 11.5grams of suger(s) and 5mg of sodium for every 100ml

that is 256grams of sugar(s) in every bottle  and since i am consuming 2 of these bottles everyday that is 513 grams per day ..... I must admit i get those chills down my spine just recalculating the numbers several times and until someone else does the maths and confirms these numbers i'm living in denial

at this rate of consumption: (4.5 litres/day)
over a day 513 grams of sugar(s)
over a week  that is 3,591 grams of Sugar(s)  [3.591kg]
over 1 years that is 201.096 grams of Sugar(s)  [201.096kg]
over 10 years that is 2,010,960 grams of sugars(s) [2,010.9kg] (2.010 tons)

this is very scarey.... and not good...

I have tried over the years on occasions to give the stuff up which has usually resulted in consuming slightly more as soon as the headache/migraines set in.

most of my efforts to quit in the past have involved:
- Teas:

the results were migraines/some type of hangover experience the tea wasn't particularly attractive to taste either and crankiness came about after 1/2 a day

- Coffee:

tried more recently and not to insult coffee drinkers out there , seriously how can you honestly drink this stuff and even look like you are enjoying it. i remember my taste buds jumping for more joy in contact with Brussels sprouts before today still the result was the same as Teas , splitting headaches and crankiness

- Cordials

this had an interesting effect where the headaches we're as bad, however the Sugar intake isn't much better if not actually worse this is not really a viable option to reconsider

- Caffeine tablets

didn't do anything , other than keep me awake

- Cold turkey

tried a few times , gave in to the headaches,

in conclusion and after confirming the above numbers it looks like the reason is because i am on a massive sugar "high" and my body has become dependent on it so when i stop consuming it i experience a huge chemical change in my body , in hindsight none of the above in any quantity would have done anything for me, so it looks like the path forward is to go "cold turkey" and suffer the pain and drink plenty of water. apologies to everyone around me for what is about the ensue... again.....

Monday, 9 June 2014

-=( Github - learning to love it..... )=-

I have since worked out the working of git-hub , and now got my own variant of marlin with all my mods in it

Modifications included:

- Hardware/software pwm choice settable in configuration.h
- M42 is now buffered - this is usefull for when you need buffered triggering of leds ,cameras , lasers, solenoids... anything

Modifications todo:

- variable pulse width out for use with the tb6560 and similar stepper drivers

Friday, 25 April 2014

-=( GitHub ,Marlin and madness )=-

For those who know me somewhat, i have struggled with Github and the quite frankly "weird" way it works,  i have tried to follow quite a few of the "idiots guides to Github" to no avail mostly because they are either outdated or just assume some miss-understanding around the inner un-published workings of Github. i have managed so far after many months to put the modification i made with the author help into GitHub and submitted it for merging, but this was done on GitHub through the web based editor , i have yet to master the art of uploading a damn file.....

in the interim since i'm now email links to dropbox for the modified copy of marlin i have to people who want them and pasting links on Facebook, i'm going to link it here and in the wiki,

[click here] to download a copy out of my dropbox

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

-=( Powersupplies and Pwm )=-

One of my many problems with power supplies have been solved by the location of a decent supplier of bulk 180watt power bricks:

these things are advertised with overload protection and short circuit protection, and actually have it in there.

the downside to these power supplies is that it is relatively easy to  trigger the overload protection or hiccup mode as these powers supplies are designed to plug into very specific piece of equipment and usually there are capacitors built into the device.

so Marlins style of low frequency (7hz) pwm may as well be bang bang in this particular application, the solution is to make it do genuine pwm using the avr's pwm module.

after talking to Evdz on #reprap irc it turns out that it's rather simple to make use of the hardware pwm, the reason it's done with the bangbang style in software is because of compatability across the range of boards,

so inside temperature.cpp you will find this line (line number 1075):

if(soft_pwm_b > 0) WRITE(HEATER_BED_PIN,1); else WRITE(HEATER_BED_PIN,0);

 and replace it with this:

if(soft_pwm_b > 0) analogWrite(HEATER_BED_PIN,soft_pwm_b); else analogWrite(HEATER_BED_PIN,0);

what you should see now is pwm frequency around 500hz on your bed heater output, this will only work provided the output is pwm capable which for me it is on the rumba board , this could also be done on the other heateroutputs and on the fans as well if you really wanted to but i haven't quite gotten that far yet

Sunday, 23 March 2014

-=( up close and personal )=-

I have recently acquired for myself a reversing ring for the Nikon D3100, this little $3 contraption allows me to attach a lens on my DSLR the wrong way around and allow me to photograph a miniature world otherwise not possible using the lens in the traditional manner,

if you do this, do not do it with the newer plastic type lenses as there are only two threads supporting the weight of the lens , get an older lens to do this with preferably on of the many aluminium built ones that are available, it doesn't even really need to be the same brand as the camera...

Friday, 7 March 2014

-=( filament market thoughts and pla production )=-

As some of you know the filament market in Australia is somewhat interesting/weird

- On one hand we have various small companies imprting filament and reselling it and making a mere several dollars per spool.

- On another hand we have one or two big companies that dominate the import brands market for those who want cheap filament because they use a lot of it (like me).

- Then there is the one and only producer in Australia that produces PLA at $48 to $50/kg, the reason they are the only one is because NatureworksLLC's Australian distributor has an exclusive arrangement with this company to only sell them pla resin and no one else, aside from raising legal questions if anyone wonders down the track why Australian produced pla is more expensive than anywhere else in the world and priced so that importing yourself is not economically viable by comparison... you know why.

as a result the first question i ask is what does it cost by comparison to get Chinese produced pla the answer is around $10/kg or roughly double and a bit more the cost of natureworks pla we should have access to, so we are left with the only other option aside from buying it on the spool and that is to polymerize it ourselves and extrude it into our own filament,

as i see it there are basic rough 4 steps to it
1 - mix raw materials dextrose + water + bacteria to ferment lactic acid
2 - heat and apply vacuum to remove water to polymerise the lactic acid ( catalyst may be nessary )
3 - collect powdered remains and further dry
4 - run through extruder to get something hopefully resembling filament

there is a lot of detail to go into about each step and i will as i go through them currently i am going through the first bit, i am on my third test batch and so far there is what looks to be some sort of gooey jelly like substance suspended in the water which i suspect is the lactic acid but i'll know better int he morning (it's friday ngiht atm)

Friday, 14 February 2014

-=( variance )=-

One of the things I've been aware of the dramatic variance in filament behaviour between batches, getting proof is another matter entirely, so I've collected some samples from my last 40 spools and printed from them one on top of the other, and this was the result:

i suspect either it's just a difference in dye lots and maybe the different volumes of bulking materials used, 
the reddish tinge on the top one is rather interesting as is the 2nd one from the bottom.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

-=( 3d printing multicolor and text )=-

Something i have always wanted to do was be able to 3d print signs and i've spent a little bit of time doing playing around with different methods of doing so,

having been finally successful i thought i would tell how i did it

- Step #1.  create a dxf file and make 2 layers
- Step #2. create your text on one layer and a square on another like so:

highlight the whole lot and in the menu system select "explode" in qcad/librecad it's :( modify>>explode selected[click]) then save the file in it's own directory eg "ishootraw.dxf"

-Step #3. start openscad , put this line in the code section
"linear_extrude(file = "ishootraw.dxf",layer = 0, height=4);"
and save the file to the same location as the dxf file

-Step #4. hit f6 then export the resulting stl
-Step #5. change the layer parameter to match the next layer (the text) and hit f6 and export the resulting stl
-Step #6. import the base layer in slic3r using your normal settings only for the end gode part put in:

G0 Y-50

and slice your stl
*make sure to remove any code that issues a G92 as the position will be compromised , as wel;l as any code that shuts down hotends, if you are feeling adventurous you can have it eject the filament out of the extruder as well

-Step #7. slicing the text is where things get tricky,  you need to turn off perimeters and brims and skirts
and in the beginning of the gcode file insert:

G0 Y0 

-Step #8. print the base first , then swap filament taking care not to move the extruder in either the X or Y direction then print the text layer right on top

your first attempt may or may not be successful (took me 5 goes to get the above) however the results are well worth it,

Friday, 31 January 2014

-=( Hotends , Hobbies , New Years Resolutions )=-

-=( Hotends )=-
I have been building and prototyping hotends for a while now, and have built and tested a fairly large number of them in many many different combinations, some have worked great in some respects and some have been complete flops,  early in the peace i did an all metal hotend which functioned well with pla and abs and was capable of producing some reasonable quality prints in abs and slightly less reasonable quality prints in pla.

in the quest for better print quality i added a ptfe liner in the more recent versions and changed the thermal barrier to a much simpler to produce M6 threaded rod with a 4mm bore, which leaves a 0.6mm wall thickness so far this configuration has worked and worked well i've upgraded the heatsink in V5 with thinner fins to make it better at removing heat from the thermal barrier

the result after 5 versions now is a hotend that has extruded every single brand and color of pla both high quality stuff and the worst i can get my hands on, not jam regardless of the speed i run it at , and has done print runs lasting more than 3 days in some cases.

to date in testing the v4 and now the v5 i haven't had a single jam without having to make one by turning the cooling fans off and even then it's kept going for a while

not bad for a $38 hotend if i do say so myself

towards the future i will probably stop producing the 3mm version and concentrate on the 1.75mm version

-=( Hobbies )=-
Since my hobby has become my buisness ( mostly due to a lack of local work and the desire not to be a low paid slave ) i have a new hobby thanks to my father in law ... Photography or more specifically HDR Photography HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and allows you to show up details in a photograph you otherwise just wouldn't get due to underexposing and overexposing in different parts of the image,

depending on how far you take HDR (and a lot of people have gone too far) you can create quite a nice picture out of something that would otherwise look dead and boring if it were taken on a Iphone for example
goto flickr and search for HDR for many many examples.

-=( New Years Resolutions )=-
Normally i don't bother and treat it as a total waste of time, and this year at least 1 has already been broken

one of them is to put more content up here, for two reasons 1, a lot of other 3d printing related blogs have slowed down and people don't seem to be putting as much up, 2, for some reason even with a relatively small amount of content here this blog actually gets more visits than my web-store does i'm going to aim for at least 1 post per week possibly more, depending on how interesting the week has been.
I've got the update the for sale section as well which i might do later today. the Theme might change too kind of getting tired of the old one a bit

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

-=( AluhotendV5 )=-

Here's a status update on the Aluhotend v4 and v5

the V4 is currently out of stock on heatsinks and those are in longer in production

so we're moving on to the V5 which will consist of two different versions

The first one that will pop up is the V5A which has thinner fins the and the updated nozzle geometry which the latest few of the V4 had, but will still use the round heater block, somtime just after febuary 15th the V5A will become the V5B with a square heater block with a few improvements , 

- there will be two thermistor holes one for 2mm and one 2.5mm thermistors, the 
- the block itself is square  12mm X 12mm X 22mm

after February we'll be doing much bigger production runs than we have in the past and we're going to be talking to people in various countries about carrying these hotends on consignment or partial consignment