Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Failed Print and Recovery

I was able to turn a printer fail into a success. I started printing a toilet for my daughter's 18" American Girl doll. I scaled up this model (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1866716) by 304% to get the appropriate size. Final height is ~180mm. I rotated and sliced the model into a tank and bowl parts. The bowl was going to require supports for a couple areas, but that was no problem.  I set it up to print both parts at 0.20 layer height and let it rock. To my horror the next morning I came in and saw this:

I thought 15 hours of printing was lost. I searched the forums for what this error meant, and it turns out that the thermistor that reports the bed temperature had come loose.  To protect itself and our home, the printer aborts whatever it's doing when this occurs.  I took the bed off, fixed the loose bed thermistor, reassembled everything, and recalibrated the bed. I'm glad I took the photo of the failure screen because it told me it was printing at 61mm layer height when it aborted. Since it aborted the print and didn't make spaghetti of everything I went back into Slic3r and cut the model again at 61mm. I then decided to print the remaining pieces separately:

Once finished, I had 4 parts instead of 2. Oh well! I glued the parts together with CA, and started printing the lid.

The lid is supposed to stick into a receiving hole in the bowl, but there's no way for it to flip up or down. I made a quick pair of supports for hinges in TinkerCad, cut off the tab from the lid and made a hinge pin from some T-pins. After adjusting the fit, I glued the hinges to the bowl with CA.

My daughter is super excited to have a potty for her doll. It only took a couple bucks in plastic and a few days' work. Yay daddy!

New Hobby - 3D Printing

I've been wanting a 3D printer for quite a while, but we could never really justify the cost.  A couple of co-workers were raving about the Prusa i3 Mk2 (http://www.prusa3d.com/) and all the awards it had just won.  I had looked around at others as well, but the general consensus was this was the real deal.  The only thing I had to do now was convince my wife.

She asked the typical questions: "What are you going to do with it?" "It's so expensive!" "You'll just print little doo-dads."  "That's an expensive toy!" What guy's toy isn't expensive, huh?  It wasn't until she saw that it could print doll furniture that she was hooked as well.

My co-workers and I all ordered our printers within a month or so, but with a 2 month backlog at Prusa the wait was killer.  Finally, my kit arrived!  I spent the first evening into the wee hours assembling the main bed.  Wow!  This thing is like IKEA on steroids!  The next day I spent all morning assembling the rest and started the calibration.  All told, assembly was some 8-9 hours!

I've been steadily printing stuff since then: a couple doo-dads, Pokemon characters and stuff for my RC planes.