Monday, March 11, 2013

PrintrBot JR Review

To start off, the shipment was  fast and every thing was well organized. I liked how they kept the laser cut pieces in sheets wich made it simple and fast. to make sure that all the parts were clean undamaged and most important included. 

I checked all the parts with the list that was provided and every thing checked.  Went to the online directions and found that it took a little bit of close looking to make sure that the parts were set in the right position. Over all I'd say it was designed very well every thing was thought out and fit great. One thing I found is if you take a razor knife and score the tabs on the wood they will break out cleanly otherwise it could splinter a little. 
 The wires were a little long for how close the controller is but with good wire management every thing will fit with no problems even though its a very tight fit over all. 
As with every project there is a little problem, I didn't get the bed leveling springs. So i wasnt going to give up and leave a almost ready printer sitting on my desk because of simple bed leveling springs. After searching my spring box and only finding 3 that would work I set out to figure out a solution. I came up with striping 12 AWG silicone wire and using the insulation for a spring replacement and it worked. 

The Z axis rod was a very tight fit so I filled the top plate just so I could tap them in with out snapping it and left the bottom tight and supported it on a 2X4 and pounded it with a rubber mallet; there is no movement at all in them they are super solid. 

For the Y axis the ends the fit in to the rods were tight and I ended up filing them a little too much they fit nice but they really need to be tight other wises the hot end and extruder are a little loose. I was able to fix it by taking some paper and cutting slices and putting it in the rod holes to tighten it up. 

Next up was the extruder and after a little bit of playing with it i got it together and it is quite an amazing design and is pretty simple to assemble.
The hot end i got the new cartridge 1.75 mm hot end. it has a .4mm tip and its well made and solid i really like the insulating band on it. 

Few hours later boom the printer is all together and after playing with end stops and getting the bed level it was time for a print. After filament jamming and jamming and oh yeah jamming I found the temperature had to be at 220c for the extruder.  Having a fan  blowing on it proved its self because iv found the the filament will start to get soft before it hits the hot end so it needs a fan to keep the top part of the hot end cool. But after playing with it for a little i was starting to get results. 

Was so excited when the box finished because the lid fit and i thought it was amazing. 

I would recommend the optional Jr Fan Mount that replaces a few parts but gives you a spot to mount a 40MM fan i have it set to always on at 40% and have had no jamming since. Of course you can print one but I like how clean and solid the laser cut wood is. 

 Final Thoughts 

Over all I would recomend this printer. It was not easy but not impossible to assemble. It was well thought out and every thing has its place and way it fits together. I have printed almost 3Lb of filament thorough it and havent had a major problem.  It takes a little bit of time to get it completely dialed in but once it is it seems to stay pretty solid. As for price its unbeatable at $399.99 you almost cant go wrong. If you are on the edge about it like i was i would say buy it.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Soldering Fan

I was looking for a way to keep the solder smoke out of my face when i was soldering. So took a 120mm computer fan and mounted it on a 2X3. I ripped and hollowed out the 2X3 to house a LM317 and a Pot and Switch its powdered by a 12volt wall wart. It has a variable speed and has proven to be very useful.