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Topics - shawdreamer

General Discussion / repetier server
October 26, 2018, 02:51:27 pm
dunno wether anyones really gave this much of a look at.

personally I gave it a quick bash when repetier host first introduced it a while back and though I found the overall concept a good idea and tbh quite workable I also found their application awful clunky, glitch ridden and unreliable.

However They recently brought in 0.90.07 and so far Im very happy to report its working like a charm, all the annoying hiccups seem to have been ironed out and for the last two days or so of testing its functioned perfectly, even while running two printers at the sametime maintaining live progress visuals, stastistics, eta's, temps and control functionality aswell as the optional webcam integration (though I havnt bothered trying that yet)

I currently have My Poltur XL running an ABS 18650 battery holder test print while my pro B is running the same print in Petg and the server isnt showing any signs of the struggle, pauses or general bad behaviour it showed on prior software builds and the biggest bonus is the previous browser comparability issues have also vanished so I can now control all my printers from just about any device I could possibly desire too.

theyve also better integrated multiple firmware variants so the server can cater to a wider scope of printers running different firmware versions (the original one I tested only seemed to work fully with Repetier firmware where as this new build works well with Marlin, Repetier and reprap so far)

I was just about to pull the trigger on a new Pi octo setup for the Poltur too but as Ive got a half decent laptop just knocking about doing nowt (so can act as the server hub) and the newest server build actually seems to now work as intended Im gonna put the octo on hold and see how it go's.

aslong as it holds out it might be a more applicable alternative to an octoprint setup for those running multiple printers but would like to be able to do so wirelessly from anywhere in the house and all at the sametime like myself.

figured Id give it a shout out and see if anyone else wants to give it a whirl too seen as its performed excellently for myself over the last two days ~~
Members Projects / diy filament dryer
June 11, 2018, 08:01:08 pm
made this thread simply because I didnt want to keep filling Hozza's topic with all my posts and due to the fact that the little "on a whim" project actually became a full blown and actually surprisingly productive project :shrug:.

Anyone who spent any lengthy amount of time 3d printing will have eventually came across the dreaded "moisture effected filament" problem, In my case it often only occurs with Petg as my workroom is such a relatively dry environment its rare that I see similar issues with ABS or PLA, Petg though is renown for its ability to soak up even the most minor moisture in the air, If global warming ever gets to the point were we suffer sudden ocean level rising.... just lash a couple of dozens rolls of petg in the nearest sea and bobs your uncle, problem solved :huh


to stave off the aforementioned petg sponge effect I generally keep my rolls sealed in a large storage tub with a handful of silica gel sachets which works well enough for short term storage and IF the filament is more or less still in its original dry state.

however a recent purchased roll has proven to make all previous petg rolls seem positively arid in behavior... this stuff soaks up water like its been left in a bathtub full, ceased to be usable after only 4 days even though it was kept covered and more or less sealed away.

Hozza himself recently purchased a solution to such cases himself (please see his thread for details) http://www.printing-3d.co.uk/index.php?topic=118.0

but it got me to thinking about whether I could come up with my own version..... and so here we are.

Ill dive straight in,

you'll need :-

1x 200x200 heatbed (a old mk2a/b will do nicely and can be found for under a tenner)

1x sealable tub (big enough for the heatbed to sit in the bottom)

1x 12v thermostatic control board (there a fair few different ones available but I have two I tend to use)



basically very simlar boards but the second is slightly smaller :rolleyes:

1x 12v fan (a 92mm pc case fan works just fine)

now heres how the thermo board is wired to power and the heatbed...

both the boards I listed use their own thermistor sensor probes which can be kapton taped to the underside centre of the heatbed

you can either leave the boards bare and dont bother encasing them (theres very little chance of shorting them out barring chucking a load of water over them) or you can enclose them for a more clean finish (Ill add links to the two versions of enclosures Ive made for both of these board, very easy to print off)

youll want to put a "just big enough" hole in the side of the tub to thread the heatbeds feed wires out and the control boards thermistor probe wires in.

then you can wire it all up and fasten the controller to the side of the tub (if youve used one of my enclosures that is) or simply double sided foam tape it to the tubs side for that "I was gonna do it properly but then I realised I couldnt be arsed" look ~~

now you can slot some feet on each corner of the heatbed (agian Ill supply a simple printable design) and put it in the bottom of the tub.

with a suitable power supply your pretty much done (I just used a old ATX psu I had knocking about which obviously supplys enough volts but also enough amps)

one last thing to do is cut a 90mm hole in the tubs top and slot your pc fan in there, with it wired into the same 12v feed the board runs on the fan will kick in when the heatbed starts to heat which inturn draws the warm air up from the tubs bottom, over the filament roll inside and out through the top... carrying that nasty moisture as it go's (drill a couple of holes in the tubs base to aid air passage upwards)

All thats left to do is lash your troublesome filament roll into the tup, slap on the lid, power the board and set your temp (I recommend 70c for 6hrs for petg)

easy right?

Gaza (iirc) also mentioned it'd be handy if you could use the dryer as you print which tbh makes quite a bit of sense, firstly the roll would rotate inside the dryer (as the extruder pulls it on) which aids drying generally, secondly it also means that layers beneath the top strand of filament that might not have got a good dose of drying will get there share.

It also means when your not using your petg its still relatively safe and sealed still inside the tub were that nasty nasty moisture cant creep back in so easily (additionally you can leave the silica gels sachets that come with rolls in the tub too and the dryer when on will serve to somewhat refresh them when on and the gel will help stave of moisture when its off)

simple way to do this is to just drill a appropriate sized hole in the side of the tub and screw in a ptfe tube coupler, slot in a length of ptfe tube and feed the filament inside out through it and off to your printer.

promised STL files :-
large board enclosure - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2956308
smaller board enclosure - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2956311
heatbed feet - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2956321

all pretty simple print jobs which shouldnt be a struggle to do.

Ill leave you with some build and results pics...

before drying...

after drying...

and so it can be used during a print run...

spool holder STL - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2956363
you'll need a 8mm bolt and nut and one f608ZZ bearing oh and dont print it out of anything with a lower glass temp than ABS or you'll be getting a very wobbly holder as your dryer heats up :laugh:

Ive probably forgot other details but feel free to give me a shout if there's anything your need to ask ~~
3d Printer Builds / new build, 2020 extrusion frame
March 21, 2018, 12:35:44 pm

one of my long term printing acquaintances has been struggling a bit with building a PolturXL, the main cause being he cant seem to source any of the alu square tube I used for it construction in anything like dependable dimensions, it either turns up too wide or too thin walled :rolleyes:, also hobbyking doesn't seem to want to ship the carbon square tube alternative too his country?

eventually he asked....
"podrías hacerlo usando extrusión 2020" (or something along those lines)

...... he's argentinan btw but after we got past the whole "their called the Islas Malvinas......no their the Falklands..... Malvinas.... FALKLANDS......MALVINAS.........FALKLANDS.... F-you... F-YOU TOO....give them back...GTF............ can I use your design?.....sure go for it" thing we got on pretty well ~~

oh btw, he was asking if I could re-design the XL to use 2020 extrusion which he can get hold of easily in reliable quality.

now I could just re-size the original parts I made for the XL so they except 2020 but I have a personal dislike of doing that sorta thing, I find there's always some form of design clash further down the line, that in mind I'm pretty much started over while still keeping the generalized concept and design setup of the original so as not to adversely effect the additional mechanics and electronics required.

that meant basically designing all new parts suited for 2020.

the original....

its been an absolute workhorse beast and rarely if ever lets me down while still putting up with the stresses of my constant tinkering, testing and upgrading :whistling:...

and after two days of head scratching, measuring, designing, re-designing, drinking to much coffee and occassional bouts of swearing....

the newer 2020 version....

took the opportunity to include all the proven upgrades into the new design,

*Large build area, 300x200 stock but will run a 300x300 with little to no hardware changes
*full bearingless conversion, no more rattly linear bearings for me
*future option to change the X-axis out for a v-slot 2020 axis instead of 8mm rods
*Magnetic multi surface removable printbed
*few other bits and pieces I'm probably forgetting right now

now technically I don't "need" another printer, however I don't like designing something and not physically testing it for defects or design issues so that in mind its only ethically right and morally correct for me to build this printer before releasing the design to my Arge comrade..... least that's what I told the missus

so underway.....

by my reckoning its probably gonna take a good couple of days+ to get all the parts printed, then Ill get the 2020 in and cut, Ive got control boards, extruders, and most of the mechanicals knocking about so will probably just need a set of stepper motors and make up a harness then Ill be somewhere like ready I think :hmm:

update as I go ~~
3d Printer Builds / i3 bearingless X & Z axis design
March 14, 2018, 10:24:12 am
just finished doing some final touches to my bearingless conversion on my PolturXL and publishing them, however all the designs are also applicable for use on any i3 prusa type printer so feel free to wander over to my thingiverse and grab the STL's if there any use to anyone.
General Discussion / Acetone Vaping made easy.
December 09, 2017, 01:43:23 am
I know alot of people who wanted to try vape treating their prints but didnt know how to go about it, many of them considered it a bit of a dark art due to some of the near pro looking results that can be achieved.

well, Ill simply say what I tell them, Its just not as hard as it seems.

infact its remarkably easy to do, and done right it can produce excellent results.

so here's my own method, but before we start...


ACETONE IS FLAMMABLE, MORE SO ONCE IT VAPORISES SO BE CAREFUL TO NEVER DO THIS NEAR ANY OPEN FLAMES OR OBVIOUS SOURCES OF COMBUSTION..... eg dont spark up a ciggie while you've got your head over the bottle you moron :laugh:

first I need a fresh print....

luckily Ive just finished printing out a new canopy for my sparkie project so that'll be a willing volunteer...

MMMMMmmmm I love the smell of ABS in the morning

next we'll need to do some generalised tidying up, trim away any brim, support material etc, Its also at this point you can give the surface a light sanding with some fine grit sandpaper, it'll look a bit scuffed up now but thall dissappear later and it'll help eliminate any layer ridges in the print after vaping (Im gonna forgo the sanding on this one as Im not to fussed about the layer ridges)

lets take a quick look at the pre-vaping finish for later comaprison...

you can clearly see the individual print layers, especially on surfaces that are printed just off the horizontal, thats the "wood grain effect" you can see on the top of the print (personally I like the effect :laugh:)

now we'll need some highly specialised equipment,  a Silca & Boric Oxide tempered high heat resistant non permeating container with molded lid...... or in laymans terms.......... one of your missus Pyrex pots with a lid ::) (telling her your using it is optional).

now you have 2 options, the slow and steady approach or the "ffs I cant be 4rsed waiting" approach.... I use the latter obviously.

both methods use the same Acetone liquid.

You can pick it up off Egay for £10 a litre if you look enough

the first method purely relies on the acetones natural ability to evaporate over time, for this method you take some kitchen towel or even toilet paper and give it a light soaking of acetone before you place it in the bottom of the bowl, you then place something metal ontop of it to act like a pedestal for your printed part to sit on (YOU DONT WANT THE PRINT TO DIRECTLY TOUCH THE ACETONE, ITLL EAT THROUGH THE PRINT IN SECONDS!!!!)

you then just put the lid on and wait........... and wait........... and wait......... seriously, some prints can take hours to fully coat.

hence why I use option 2 ~~

This time you place the bowl on your printer heatbed (I also designed a purpose made vaping setup if your not comfortable doing this on your printers bed...https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1696521)

now this time just place your pedestal/s directly into the bowl, you wont need tissue/towel this time.

place your print onto the pedestals with the face you want mostly vaped facing downward (this is so the rising vapours will work directly on it), make sure its not touching the sides of the bowl or the lid when its placed on.

now take a single cap-full of acetone (you really dont need much with this method) and carefully pour it directly into the bowl (be sure not to get any on your print (you could do this before placing the print but if you knock the print off at any point its going straight in the acetone!)

now lid on,

Acetone has a really low boiling point (53c iirc) so itll even boil if the pots placed over a bowl of freshly boiled water..... but thats still to slow for me sooooooooooo.

yep....that'll get things moving along nicely :whistling:

so roughly 10 mins later (or whatever time it takes your bed to hit 100c) you should be seeing the inside of the bowl sides and lid showing condensation, this is the acetone in its vapour form.

now its advisable from this point on to keep a watchful eye for any sign of "drooping" or "sagging" appearing anywhere on your print as this is a strong sign that its had enough time in the vapour and its actually no longer just lightly melting the surface but instead making its way into the print itself, at which point its time to get it out.


until its time for it to come out you MUST NOT lift the lid as the instant you do the acetone vapour will immediately dissipate and all signs will vanish, leaving you with a potentially half vaped print (not a disaster btw, you just might not get the complete finish you were after) and you will either have to be satisfied with what you got or add more acetone liquid into the bowl and keep an even closer watch (fresh liquid into a already warm bowl with vaporise instantly and can quickly over coat the print)

once you can see a nice even sheen appear across your print (even the upward facing parts should show a sheen) its generally about time to take it out (all in all mine was in the bowl for 20mins total).

you still need to be careful while handling the print even once its out the bowl and away from the acetone as the vaping will have left the surface slightly melted and soft to the touch, even the lightest touch can leave an annoyingly clear fingerprint :cry, Its best to limit touching only points that wont be seen later.

At this point the part isnt "cured" or hardened and will need to left to stand somewhere safe while any remaining acetone dissipates and the surface can solidify once more..... this is what gives your your nice shiny pro like finish.

ooooooooooo look at the shiny shiny <dribbles>

and the before and after shot

and finally the cherry on the cake and coincidently the main reason I even do this is the added benefit of increased strength throughout the part, Im not exagerating when I say that a properly vaped print is roughly twice if not three times more strong than a non vaped part which makes it a must for my uses (quadcopters and structural supportive parts for printer design parts)

well then, I hope this helped shed some light on this actually not so "dark art" and gives a few the confidence they needed to give it a shot.

Just remember people, you'll be working with flammable liquid and vapours so treat them with the respect they deserve and you'll be fine.

The bearingless extruder carriage.


Full Graphics display housing


Arduino 2560 & Ramps 1.4 enclosure


Geeetech/prusa i3 small lcd mounts


Geeetech/prusa i3 pro B z-axis top mounts


Geeetech/prusa i3 axis wobble fix


AIO cartesian extruder carriage


ramps small lcd housing


Ramps 1.4 full grahpic housing


there all well tested and been printed and used by various thingiverser's so I know they work well.
3d Printer Builds / PolyCarb specific printer
November 16, 2017, 01:08:12 pm
Ive been wanting more and more out of my quad frame prints lately and Ive been meaning to finish the enclosing of my Poltur XL printer and swap the extruder out for an all-metal again so I can get to work using some polycarb for some of the small high stress parts I make.

So I sat down last night and started making a list of materials for doing just that but as I continued to add more and more to the list I just started thinking "at this rate I might aswell just build another printer just for polycarb printing"

and it occured to me.... thats actually not a bad idea!, its not like I need a full size printer to make the parts I have in mind so something small would surfice, obviously given the requirements PC has to successfully print with it then your average off the shelf mini printer just aint gonna cut it.

290c+ at the tip (that'll kill anything but an allmetal extruder)
120c-140c on the bed (most stock heated beds struggle to get past 100c in my experience)

Now I have confidence that my Poltur XL can achieve both those needs (Ive ran a all metal upto 280c and the silicone pad heated bed will happily hit 140c (and thats on a 12-13.5v feed, 24v setup will probably make the bed surface glow :laugh:) , I tested both when first looking into PC) but.... I just dont need the massive build size of the Poltur, infact it'll just be a massive waste of lecky heating a 300x250 heated bed and ultimately keeping it at temp just for a 30x30mm part build :laugh:

So then the obvious course to me is to take all the usable qualities of my Poltur and shrink em into the smallest design I can come up with while trying to keep the reliability the Poltur has always shown me.

this is what Ive came up with so far...

small footprint (300x270) so it'll not take up to much space on my workbench, might even find its way to a speck on my desk alongside my pc (aslong as I can get it quiet enough)

fully enclosed, Ill have to build in a couple of thermostatic controlled fans to keep a nice stable temp inside though (printing PC can get quite toasty :sweating:)

100x100x150 build volume, which though small is more than enough for intended use

electronics, wiring, psu etc will be housed in the upper enclosed hood (separate from the printing enclosure and separately cooled of course)

not much point going into to anymore fine a detail just yet as its still a purely paper design and will no doubt go through many changes before reaching the physical build stage, just figured I chuck up what I have so far and see if anyone has any suggestions/ideas and opinions

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