Conversion Check List

Here is a place we can talk about using ZTW CNC platform for 3D printing. Your experience with software setup, configuration for different type of filament and etc.

Re: Conversion Check List

Postby roller » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:12 pm

I wouldn't bother making hotends - firstly they are a real pain to make, very difficult to get right and require an element of luck to get a quality solution. It's taken until just now for Makergear to produce a vaguely decent hotend and their move to PLA may even be to get away from the issue or producing ABS temp hotends.

Anyway, most of the crappy 3D print kits are let down by trying to roll their own. They fall apart at high temps, produce inconsistent heating and are just generally evil. I have gone through a few useless nozzles and I just put JHeads and Makergears on all my printers now and they never come back. In fact the delay on finishing off my Zen is that I have run out of micro molex connectors that I use to make them easy to change - I swap hotends when going from ABS to PLA.
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Re: Conversion Check List

Postby ianmurchison » Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:19 pm

Thanks for the info Roller! Looks like I can save a lot of initial headache and cost by starting with PLA.
I'm coming at this from a complete noob on the DIY side. I've used high end 3D printers, CNC machines, etc, but we had a dedicated shop for it run by people trained to run them.

Assembling the 12x12 was a complete nightmare, and I'll be attempting to wire it up tomorrow (again no instructions makes it very difficult for those without electrical engineering degrees).

Basically all I need is the Sang board, Zen Extruder, Hotend nozzle and a slicer program. Also my understanding is that I'll need to mount a fan right by the hot end to cool the PLA right away.
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Re: Conversion Check List

Postby roller » Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:12 am

Two slicing programs to start with are Cura https://github.com/daid/Cura which is supposedly a little easier than slic3r http://slic3r.org/ ... but I haven't used Cura so that is hearsay. Slic3r used to be straightforward but there is lots to tweak now which can distract a new user. It's a shame - slic3r used to be so straightforward. In fact grab an older version like 0.7.2b or maybe a late 0.5 release so you wont be overwhelmed with options. Generally the quality from these versions was great with very little knowledge.

For PLA you only really need a fan to cool the layer before the head comes around again. I find nozzle mounted fans are not foolproof for first timers - it's easier to just start with a desk fan (I use a case fan) that blows across the bed onto your print.
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Re: Conversion Check List

Postby ianmurchison » Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:08 pm

Awesome thanks! Both of the programs were suggested to me as well by one of the local cupcake guys. I will check them out and also look for the older version like you mentioned.

I'll start with a basic fan like you suggested and go form there. The cupcake guy I was talking to had built a small funnel for his fan which seemed to help him out a lot. His setup was also able to control the fan speed based on the material he was using, part thickness, etc.
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Re: Conversion Check List

Postby roller » Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:38 pm

Yup, fan speed control is an option in most slicing programs and a connector is on most controller boards ... but a total waste of time... unless you have a cupcake which needs all the help it can get to print to a fine quality.

I should point out some hotends may need a fan and heatsink towards the top to stop too much heat getting up to the filament guide otherwise you get a jam. I had this problem with some JHead Mk4 I think.
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