Now in 3D (Part 3)
February 20, 2014
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This is part 3 of my MakerFarm 8” Prusa i3 build progress, see here for previous posts. Last time I covered the final frame assembly. This update is focused on the electronics installation and testing. As an aside, I went to the local Home Depot to pick up my glass only to find out that they will not cut it for me. Derp. I bought a few 8×10 pieces anyway; I’ll only need to lop off one side.
Before I start running wires, I need to assemble the hot end and extruder. These will then be installed on the X Carriage.
Extruder with Hot End
Next up, I need to do a quick solder job on the three end-stop switches. I will also attach the thermistor to the underside of the heated bed, and then attach the bed to the frame. The last electronic component to install is the RAMPS board, which mounts onto the right side of the frame. So I will run all the wiring over to this location using the convenient wire guides, and after checking that everything works I can gather up all the loose wires with some strategically placed cable ties.
With all the wiring hooked up, it is time to test. Aside from a little user error with the end stop switches, everything seems to function properly. The motors move when instructed and in the correct direction, the switches are detected properly, and the extruder extrudes!
Here you see the fully assembled printer with cables tied back and loaded with a bit of filament for testing the extruder. My plan was to follow up the extruder test with a test print, but the electrical demands of the printer (along with who knows what else on the same circuit in my 90-year old house) were too great and I tripped a breaker. Since this was at 10:15 PM on a weeknight, it was a clear signal that it was time to stop for the night. Added to the to-do list: put in a dedicated breaker and outlet for my workbench.
My plans were foiled again the next evening when I encountered some issues with the power supply. Specifically that it is not able to provide sufficient current without tripping an internal shutdown. Rather than messing with it (I’ll shelve it for use on a less demanding project), I ordered a real 12V supply, which should arrive in a few days. In the meantime, I will work on some of the calibrations that can be done under limited power.
Next time I will have an update on the calibration and test print(s), possibly with some video of the machine in action.