Sunday, 12 April 2015

3D Printing - Printrbot

I first saw the Printrbot kit on a Tested week of builds and as they seemed to like it I decided to order a kit. I was just about to order when a friend who I had discussed the printer with told me he had ordered one so I decided to wait and see how he got on with his.  Pretty much everything I heard was positive so after something of a long wait whilst other things got in the way I placed an order which arrived about a month ago.

Finally had a bit to spare time this weekend so decided to build my Printrbot Metal with heated bed kit.  I've had the kit for some time so was itching to get it done.  It was all in all a pretty simple build but there were a couple hassles / problems along the way.

  1. There are currently no instructions for the version with heated bed, you have to figure it out using the the Printrbot Metal assembly instruction and the upgrade to heated bed instructions. This is not the end of the world but you do have to think thing through, some one not experienced in this type of thing might find it a bit confusing.
  2. The kit came with the heated bed insulator for simple metal, which is a good thing as with out it it would appear the bed struggles to get to a high enough temperature for ABS. There is however no mention of what to do with these in either set of instructions.  I did later find some upgrade instructions on the Printrbot site, although not until I had completed the rest of the build.  When I am ready to start printing ABS I will fit this upgrade but until then, I will leave things as they are.
  3. The biggest issue I had was that I could not get the Printrbot to power up to start with, naturally I assumed I has made a mistake somewhere along the way.  I started checking everything thinking I might of shorted something out or plugged something into the wrong port.  After a lot of trouble shooting I traced the fault to the scotch block they had used to plug the switch line low.  It had not made contact on the switch line.  It was a quick fix but finding the fault wasted a lot of time!
Other than the issues mentioned above everything went pretty smoothly and whilst its a bit early to draw any conclusions I pretty happy with it. So far I have only printed a test block and the fan cowl but I am looking forward to having a go at printing something a bit more complex.  I am also keen to have ago at using OctoPI to control and monitor it, when I do I will post how I get on.

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