Howdy all o' y'all!
Normally I'd hate to revive a necro-thread but, seeing as I'm trying to get back into the swing of doing the 3D thing, and being that it's a continuation of where I'd left off from over a year ago now, I didn't see any point in starting a new thread.
I'd like to do a quick thank you to all of the people who have purchased my parts via my Shapeways Shop. I've been unable to really do anything new to upload onto there over the last year and I've not been doing any upkeep for it either so I'm really appreciative of the sales, few that they generally are. As you'd likely suspect, any monies gained via my shop always helps me to buy more parts/supplies/etc. so, truly, thank you for your purchases/support everyone.
My 3D Printer:
I've been trying really hard to get my Tevo Tornado back up 'n running over the last 2.5 weeks. I was pretty disheartened when I'd lost all my slicer settings (and, as it turns out, firmware settings as well) due to a corrupted update so my printer has been sitting on my desk for the past year and a bit (year and a half, maybe?) as nothing more than an oversized paperweight. At the beginning of the lockdown (the last week(ish) of March 2020) I'd resolved to get on with it but, in true procrastinator style, I'd left it until the last week of April before I screamed at myself for not starting sooner.
The Tornado has proven to be a lot more difficult to re-engage with than I was prepared for but, and I do want to say this tentatively, I seem to have gotten things running a lot better than I'd had it running before. All carriages were really wobbly, something I'd failed to notice before, so they're all tightened up. The e3D v6 heat block & nozzle was assembled correctly but the settings went completely out of whack after a couple of prints so I really couldn't print anything taller than 2 or 3mm until I'd found a solution for that problem.
The stock BuildTak-like print surface bubbled up (a common problem with it) so before I'd lost my settings I was using a small 300x300mm mirror on top of it to get prints done. Coming back to my printer I'd decide to just strip that BuildTak-like surface off of there and get a genuine BuildTak print surface installed. To my joy (and to the sorrow of my ailing bank account) BuildTak not only produce their BuildTak FlexPlate system in the correct size for my printer but they also have an EU distributer so I don't need to buy & ship from the USofA. Once installed I was able to do a couple of nice prints which came free from the surface really easily... Until I had the aforementioned problem with the e3D v6 heat block & nozzle combo.
The BL Touch Smart sensor was fitted with relative ease. Getting it to work was the difficult bit. Unlike the version that would come out less than a year after I'd bought it, my BL Touch didn't come with all the wiring premade for me. Crimps & Plugs needed doing. Thankfully I had the correct tools to make that job easier but, unfortunately, I didn't have the talent or skills to go with it... Ruined crimps all over the place... Eventually though, I did manage to get the wiring done and the sensor powered up. It just wasn't powered correctly. After much fiddling I found that I had to replace the housing on one of the plugs because one of the points, a point that was singled out on its own for some unknown reason, was too loose to hold on its own. Combining it with a couple of other points inside a 3 point plug sorted that problem out for the most part. There is still an intermittent power issue that I can't seem to iron out. It's so sporadic that it disappears before I can start troubleshooting it.
The set of TL Smoothers I’d bought have been fitted as well. They’re the 4 diode versions which, in hindsight, I shouldn’t have bought. Instead I should’ve bought the 8 diode versions. This being said, I did a test print of a model which has multiple curved surfaces and it turned out really well. I really couldn’t see the weird rippling effect that the TL Smoothers are designed to counteract. Then I thought “I’d bought them so I might as well fit them,” so that’s what I did. I fitted them and did another print of the same model only to find almost no difference… almost. The difference was so slight that they’re really not worth buying, I’d initially thought, but there really wasn’t much to correct in the first place so they’ve not got much to work with. All in all I’m still pleased that they’re in there to take up the metaphorical slack. I guess I just thought I’d need them more than I did in the end.
Filament… What can I say? I simply DO NOT recommend buying cheap generic stuff like I did. To begin with I have to say that I didn’t want to print in PLA. The whole point was to print in ABS (or possibly HIPS as well) in order to match the materials used in our hobby. I’d bought some cheap, generic, ABS right at the beginning but it was too difficult to print with, it likes to shrink and/or warp as it cools, so I figured I’d get some cheap PLA to get me started. I come back to my printer a year and a half after losing all settings and, unsurprisingly, I still have this cheap, generic, filament lying around. The ABS is still vacuum bagged so I haven’t bothered to touch that stuff again. The PLA hadn’t been stored correctly (read: not stored at all) so some of it had become brittle. I broke that brittle stuff away until I got to a nice supple piece and started printing. It still printed well but, just like when it was fresh & new, I had issues with bed adhesion. This cheap stuff kinda wanted to stick but kinda wanted to NOT stick, creating a mess of melted plastic everywhere around the nozzle whenever I tried to print. I’d hoped that the BuildTak would sort out that problem but, for all but one print, I’ve had to use a glue stick to get that primary layer down. After that the filament seemed to print almost flawlessly… almost… The issue I’d had with a weird ‘perforated’ layer randomly appearing/printing mid print (an issue which I’m not sure I’d mentioned anywhere on here), sometimes appearing several times in a print, still happens. I’m not entirely sure what conditions are causing it so I’ve been unable to troubleshoot that problem either. I’ve tried speed changes, temperature adjustments, changing layer heights, checking/adjusting stepper motor settings, but I can’t seem to figure out what causes it aside from when I’m doing something to affect the filament.
Things left to do…
I need to design and print a permanent enclosure system to allow me to print ABS properly. An enclosure will allow me to have better control over the ambient temperature, thus allowing the ABS to cool slowly enough to avoid those pesky warping/shrinking issues. I’ve ordered some samples of a newer “ABS-X” filament which is supposedly manufactured to not be so prone to these issues so, if they work as well as I’m hoping, I might not need an enclosure. In the meantime I've got a large portable photobooth to use as a temporary enclosure. I'm hoping it'll do the job.
I have the rest of the e3D v6 hotend to go with the heat block & nozzle combo I’d installed. I still intend to finish the direct feed conversion as it’ll better control the pressure inside the hotend. This’ll be handy, probably even necessary, when I start printing with the smaller size nozzles.
I have a really nice Olsson Ruby nozzle for when I can properly get printing but I’m not going to fit that thing in until I’ve got my printer dialed in right. I’ll probably leave it until I’ve finished the direct feed conversion.
I also need to reprint the nasty ABS parts I’d printed at the beginning. They’re poorly printed and suffering from delamination. I could also reprint the PLA parts at the same time so that everything matches.
After all these bits are done I can then move on to sorting out the wiring. I’d bought some of those drag chain things to house the wiring in a way to allow safe movement, movement without running the risk of undue wear & tear or catching wiring on something. It’ll also make things look nice and tidy.
Now this right here is a big deal for me… I’ve bought myself a 3D scanner to help things along. It’s an Einscan-SE from Shining3D. I’ve had it for about a week and I’ve only just managed to set it up today. I’m still testing it so I can’t tell definitively if it’s good or not. So far I can say that calibration was simple as its semi-automated. Scanning doesn’t seem as simple at this point. I’ve tried scanning a front wheel from the Blitzer Beetle but the back face is too deep past the supports for it to get a clear enough view. The rest of the wheel scanned rather nicely but without that data to close off things it's simply not a useable model. I’ve also tried scanning an ORV A Parts tree (Parts 5-8) but it’s too long for the scanner’s standard range and things wouldn’t align properly when scanned. I’m thinking that it’s my laptop that’s not got the processing power to work the scanner properly but it probably doesn’t help that the whole tree is too large to scan. Maybe if I cut it down to size, give the program less to deal with, then maybe that’ll work things out for me in the short term. In the long term, the 200x200x200mm standard advertised scanning range isn’t worth my time. The maximum advertised range of 700x700x700mm is what I’d bought it for so I need to figure out how to scan to that range, especially if something with the length of the ORV chassis tree is causing problems. Anyhow, I’ve got to redo the setup for my desktop PC as it has more processing power at its disposal.
So that’s where I’m at coming back into things. Bit of a long read, wasn’t it?