2019-05-06 to 2019-05-13

A project log for Poor man's Mini 3D Printer

3D Printer using upcycled CD drives, hard drives, and an ATX power supply.

AccidentalRebelAccidentalRebel 05/13/2019 at 08:330 Comments

I'm at the point where I am satisfied with the state of my project. Sure, there are still a couple more improvements that can be made, but as long as it prints then I'm happy.

I still had to deal with a couple of problems that seem to have appeared suddenly out of the blue.

One problem I encountered was the motors suddenly started skipping. After weeks of using it, this only just happened now and it kept on happening. I looked into a lot of possible reasons but it ultimately pointed to the actual cause: the motors were turning too fast

Now this boggled my mind at first. I never changed the speeds and it worked perfectly. My hunch is that my motors may have deteriorated slighlty due to constant use that it cannot handle fast speeds anymore. I am not a hundred percent sure with this but things slowly break over time and this is no exception.

To fix this I have updated my firmware and set the maximum feedrates to an amount where there are no more skipping. I've also made sure that the current towards the motors are at a safe amount, around 200mA for axes with no heavy load (like the y axis), and 300-400mA for those that do (like the x and z axis).

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Another mind boggling problem was prints stopping mid print without any indication as to why. This happened multiple times at different points on the same print.

The head just stops at a certain position and does not move at all. If I try to move it from pronsole or pronterface the axes does not move. Turns out the print was still ongoing so pausing will let it move freely.

After lots of debugging I found that when the bug happens the last command that the pronsole sends is never acknowledged. Because there is no acknowledgement, pronsole just continues to wait.

My research says that this may be caused by a bad USB or electromagnetic interference. i think that the second one may be the culprit as my USB cable is all over the place. So i fixed the placement of my cable and the problem went away. Now this may also mean that it may also be a bad USB problem, moving it may have made the USB work better for some reason. So I am not discounting this.

Another problem i dealt with was that my prints were getting slanted as the z axis goes up. This was way more straightforward. My z axis itself was slanted and I fixed it by making sure that it isn't.

With all of the above getting fixed. I'm ready to call to call this project as done. At least, for now. I'll head on to a different project until I decide to come back and do an upgrade or improvement to this project.

Thank you to those who followed along!