A little update…

I’ve been trying to run parts to get a better feeling on what the FDM1650 can/can’t do. I made up a platter of parts for a Mendel Extruder back on 4/13. I hadn’t checked how much of the MG-47 was left, and I ran out of filament early in the run. Sadly, I wasn’t checking the ‘cams, so the machine cooked for more than 22 hours (31 hour run) —rrr… The photo of the partial run shows the parts were looking pretty good, but I doubt the gears would mesh to good with the Y Axis backlash.

Filament Out Error
Filament Out Error

This pointed out two things I need to learn. The first is ‘how to recover’ from this error without throwing away partially completed parts. The second is ‘how to NOT cook the heads’! It took several hours of trying to get the old P400 I had on hand to load and spurt out. Then once loaded, Insight didn’t seem to to want to restart the run. Perhaps there was something I needed to do to save a restore point?

I needed to make some wire spool holders to organize a workbench a bit. I ran these using the old P400 and sliced with Insight using sparse settings. They were tall so the build took forever, and then some. All done, there were a few hairs but not too bad:

Wire Spool Holders Building
Wire Spool Holders Building
Finished Front View
Finished Front View
Finished Left View
Finished Left View

When I went to remove the parts from the foam, I grabbed one of the uprights and tried to pop it off. Instead of seperating, the joint to the base cracked. I guess I need to redesign a bit to strengthen that joint, and quit trying that technique to remove parts. Another thing I noticed is the Stratasys P400 really grips the support compared to the MG-47 I had been running. I still haven’t finished getting it all off!

I’ve only got ~70 wraps of MG-47 on Stratasys spools, so I need to get started  on a respooler setup that doesn’t span two lathes — also, needs a much lower RPM & a way to lay the filaments evenly. The 70 wraps I have left is what wouln’t fit on a spool with a random lay. I used to have an old coil winder I had hoped to duplicate, enlarge, and add a motor — of course I haven’t been able to find where I stored it (if I still have it?), but I did come across a PDF for building a Gingerly Coil Winder. I figure to mesh some of the coil winder features with the respooler HaveBlue found on Thingiverse. Gingerly used a adjustable right-angle drive to drive a circular cam to move a rod having a wire guide across the spool. I’d need a way to get pulses out of each rev of the spool to drive a stepper (that I’ll mount the cam on), so I modeled up a couple of gears to see how they might work:

Gears Front View
Gears Front View
Gears Left View
Gears Left View

As with the spool holders, the support is real hard to remove with the P400 model material. The smaller sector wheel, I’m going to try with an optical sensor, and the larger I’m going to try a mechanical pulse generator with a microswitch. Both are going to take a little playing.

Now for a cam. An offset circle is not going to be linear (0.070″/rev), so I designed up a heart shaped cam that will do that across the 3 1/2″, and return:

CAM Front View
CAM Front View
CAM Left View
CAM Left View

Somehow, these pieces need to fit together with an flea market air drive motor — this guy goes REAL SLOOOOOW, but noisy like all air drives. Hopefully, should work pretty well:

Air Drive Main Drive Motor
Air Drive Main Drive Motor

So, some bench work ahead to see how this all come together….

—-John

Insight Support Calibration Works With Quickslice Parts….

I adjusted the Y Insight Support Calibration back -0.8 to 1.2 and ran another set of parts. The model was pretty well centered on the support:

Insight Front View
Insight Front View
Insight Left View
Insight Left View

I resliced the STL having the three parts in Quickslice, and sent to the FDM. The models came out centered on the support, but Quickslice did add some support scaffolding as Quickslice had twisted the part in the middle to create overhangs. Pretty wierd:

Quickslice Front View
Quickslice Front View
Quickslice Left View
Quickslice Left View

—-John

More on Insight Calibration Dialog

As I looked at the numbers beening fed back by the FDM in the Insight Calibration Dialog window the other day, it dawned on me that these were millimeters – not inches. The X was 28+ the Y was 0, and the Z 5+. No way could this be inches. I gotta start eating more fish, as this was a no brainer.

I punched in a 2.0 mm offset for the support Y (maybe too much), and ran an anti-backlash nut that I’ve been running lately:

Front View
Front View
Left View
Left View

A definate improvement! The front side was almost flush, and a 1.6mm overhang on the backside — almost opposite of what I had before. I’m going to adjust back -.8mm and run another when power comes back up. No wonder I couldn’t see any improvement adjusting 0.010 to 0.030!

If that’s good & centered, I’m going to try the same part using Quickslice to see if the Insight adjustment also affected the Quickslice setup.

—-John

Stepper Motor Endpiece — What is it?

I took off the endpiece of the bad stepper motors. It seems to be just a weight (balanced), as there’s no wires or sensors around it. It is marked 01-0035-00A. There’s 18 nubs around the outside on the rear end. It weighs 11.2 Ounces (318 grams). Each motor had one attached. A photo:

Damper?
Damper?

Any ideas what this is? A damper? Just a cap for the second motor shaft?

—-John

Jogging new steppers…..

I drug out the FDM 2000, and got things connected good enough to test the new (surplus) steppers. It’s amazing how much you forget in just a few months! It took several hours of no power to remember there was a little widget on the back of the stage that two blue wires were connected to. They were some kinda protection so you wouldn’t try to run without an XY Stage.

Protection Widget
Protection Widget

The patched setup using ‘joystick’ extension cables:

Machine Front - XY Stage to Right
Machine Front - XY Stage to Right
XY-Stage
XY-Stage
Joystick Cables From Control To Stage
Joystick Cables From Control To Stage

Then with power-on, the XY Stage comes to life using the jog keys on the keyboard:

Not remembering exactly how I hooked up to send commands to the Asymtek Control, I’ll have to figure out what I did another day….

I do think I’ll snatch up some more of those steppers in case I futz these up!

—-John

Old Automove 302 motors changed out…

I picked up some surplus stepper motors on eBay to see if I could get the frozen Automove 302 moving again. The motors that were in there were PowerMax II M22NSXB-J08-NS-02, and the ones I got are P22NRXB-LNN-NS-00

Old (left) -- New (right)
Old (left) -- New (right)

The big end on the old motors, is just something clamped to the double-ended shaft. The new motors only have a single shaft, so I won’t be moving that over to the new motors. The new motors also don’t have a flat on the shaft, but the drums have two set screws, so that shouldn’t be a problem either.

Installed
Installed

The wire drums were removed from both motors. Of course, they unravelled a bit on me, so you may want to wrap some tape around to save the mess. Then the screws removed — the bottom screws between the motors was tough to get to — you’ll need an extra-long 9/64 Allen (with a ball end would be ideal).

Installing the new motors was just the reverse of the dis-assembly. As some of my wires went awry, and fell off of pulleys, it took me awhile to get things straight.

The X-Y stage now moves, but seems a bit stiff. Now to get the old FDM 2000 back together enough to test it. I have some extension cords for the X and Y cables to Automove 302 so I can leave it out of the machine. Pehaps, this weekend or next, I can give it a try.

—-John

Blue Screen of death in middle of run…

I had sliced up some prototype anti-backlash nuts, and started them on a long run. When I came in, the FDM was stopped. Turning on the monitor of the sending computer I found:

Blue Screen of Death
Blue Screen of Death

At least it was early in the run, so not much material was lost:

Front View
Front View
Left View
Left View

The support in the small round spring pockets was digging in to the  Y- side of the pocket instead of being centered. I used the SSCAL batch program to send a correction to the FDM 1650.  I sliced up the two parts and sent to the FDM, rather than doing a whole trayfull.

Front View
Front View
Left View
Left View

The support was still way off center in Y to the model material.

Off Center Support
Off Center Support

Figuring I moved the wrong way with the SSCAL batch file, I did an opposite move of twice the value, and ran two more parts.

I didn’t have time last night to take photos of the results, but a quick look showed the support had moved even farther off center than the first batch!

I wonder if the SSCAL batch file is stripping the minus sign (-) from the value being passed to the FDM?

—-John