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SecSavr [gd0036]

A 3D printer that I describe as "The FULL Coverage, Extended X, Pro Max, Ultramatrix Solution".

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This is not a printer project that tries to see how many features you can put into an FDM printer. This is just a normal 3D printer, doing normal things... if it was made in the year 2026.

I've come to the conclusion that designing, testing and tweaking a new printer takes a long time, especially if upgrades are involved, so I've decided to instead go with an "[insert feature] ready" approach to fufill the CostApp, SpaceApp and TimeApp.

Short for SecondSavr (as in, saving seconds of time), this specific SecSavr's humble beginnings started from a now-archived printer called the SecSavr Space. That printer, designed to be built in a 800x800mm server cabinet, had 4 printer "bays" where the Z height of a bay was adjustable, depending on what needed to be printed (e.g. compressing bays to print a one-off 700mm print, and then adjusting the bays back to 200mm each for general prints). I took inspiration from the MPCNC for the Z axis so that I could use cheaper 25mm chrome tube instead of 4040 aluminium extrusion. Some designing around unplanned server cabinet rails later, I realised that tool-changing could be possible using a servo driven arm (called the SecSavr Single Arm Machine (S.A.M.). 

After months of feature research investment rounds, otherwise known in the industry as "feature creep", the printer has outgrown the server cabinet. Even though the components for each feature wasn't relatively expensive, all together it's outgrown the initial budget too. Genuinely suprising.

After power limitations, then height limitations and finally budget limitations, the amount of bays I'll be installing is 2. My May 2022 prediction of BOM prices are hovering around £3800 after many cost saving adjustments.

But I haven't even told you what I'm planning on the inside yet. Let me tell you. It's got a-- [breathes in]

  • 4th axis, 5th axis,
  • A copper/white theme,
  • Continuous fibre,
  • Multi filament of 16;
  • Segmented heater bed,
  • Nozzle cam: 330fps,
  • Something called True IDEX,
  • Printing in chocolate;
  • Auto pancake making, (April 1st idea)
  • Magnetic tool changing,
  • Brass insert, supports and nut placing,
  • Full colour inkjet spraying;
  • Solder tool for copper wires,
  • Milling prints and PCBs,
  • Melt zone extender,
  • Max Z change for free; (belt driven Z with adjustable build height)
  • Belt bed mode for infinite Y,
  • Motors that run on 36 V,
  • Auto part eject,
  • Plus a cinema underneath. (SleepCinema frame)

And it should even staple. However, I don't think a heated chamber is going to happen, but the specific enclosure [gd0099] will be airtight.

Anyway, I still haven't found a name in the form "SecSavr [Word beginning with S]", such as the SecSavr Skyrise [gd0092]. I'll likely just keep it as "SecSavr".

  • [R] Worm gear for V axis?

    kelvinA21 hours ago 3 comments

    https://www.instructables.com/Strong-Worm-Gear-on-3d-Printer/

    I just found this. I might not use it because it's a 20:1 and so could be quite slow (but if I can get 60rpm with decent acceleration, I wouldn't mind).

    Currently, my plan is to have a curved GT2 rack and drive a closed belt.

    While this method means that I may not have to worry about backlash, I am still worried about effective torque and elasticity in the axis. Using a large width of belt will mitigate the latter, but if I recall correctly, I'm using a 16T to 60T, meaning 3.75:1 reduction on a standard 40Ncm Nema17. I was planning to counterbalance it, but that currently sounds like it would add complexity to the design and the installed tools would likely have different weights.

    Going cyclodial is probably the route out of this situation, but I thought the DIY worm gear looked cool so I wrote this log.

  • [M][P] Cheap glass found on Ebay

    kelvinA2 days ago 0 comments

    While looking at glass shelves for gd0105, I stumbled on some listings for cheap glass:

    The long pane of glass was miles cheaper than the one I was thinking I was going to have to get for the 4 segment bed:

    And remember that I'd have to get 2 of them.

    The square panes would also be much cheaper than the 300x400mm worktop savers I was planning to use for the 2 segment rotary bed. The last time I checked, which was months ago, the best I could find was 6 for £20. Seems that kind of deal is gone now, because I can only find £10 per each now.

    These glass sizes weren't exactly the kinds of sizes I'd need, so I modelled them:

    They're both pretty close though, and I feel like I'd be able to find suitable binder clips. I hope an edge in the middle of the 65x40cm print area won't be an issue, but from research into gd0105's build area, I doubt I'd even have prints wider than 20cm anyway. As for the 35x35cm, it's likely a better choice than 30x40 anyway because the usable circle diameter increases from maybe 29cm to maybe 34cm if no other limitations get in the way. 

    Glass Arrives

    They came yesterday, together in a well sized box and it was a heavy one. I do wonder what kind of margins the sellers were actually making on this glass and I feel like it's just some sort of clearance.

    The square panes were bubble wrapped in 2 packs of 3, and the bubble wrapped pack of 4 were under them. each pane is then further protected by a wrap of cardboard each. 
    The glass is actually a nice light grey, if not off-white. What interested me was the matte backing:
    According to the listing, this glass is rated to 90C, but since glass is glass, I can only assume that this bottom coating or possible binding agent is what limits the working temperature. 
    Contrary to the listing's image, the 65x20cm "glass placemat" also came in this lovely off-white and matte backing. Nice to have something better than the listing image for once. I was still suprised that the glass was actually delivered at all.

    Testing the glass backing

    I rushed over to the 3D printers my university just happens to have and eventually installed it into the Ender3 V2.

    Don't worry. I eventually realised I could straighten it out and have 3 binder clips holding the glass from the front right corner.

    The first thing I tried was a stringing test as I've also updated to Cura 5.0 now that the Materials Settings plugin has been updated. This PLA+ (never used this before) and printed with temps of 206/60 at a initial speed of 60mm/s.

    That seemed to stick ok and had a gloriously matte bottom layer:
    Thus I printed a 10x80x10mm print to see if I could get some warping.
    No it came out flat.
    The bottom looked like the nozzle was a tad far from the bed, so I adjusted the levelling screws and upped the stakes a bit: PETG, 240/82, 60mm/s, 10x100x10mm. As it was printing, I noticed that the material looks kind of familiar to the stuff ontop of the Ender glass:
    I also tried to scratch it with a filament cutter and there didin't seem to be any visible damage, so it's at least more durable than something like a printer bed sticker, lexan or the Ultrabase I briefly tried years ago. Anyway, the PETG seemed to have stuck even better to the surface:
    ABS, however, wasn't happening:
    It just didn't want to stay on, even with the glass side. It wasn't even on there long enough to warp. It just popped off as if it was too cold, even though the bed was set to 108C.

  • [M] SecSavr Spindle concept

    kelvinA4 days ago 0 comments

    I was going to have a different head instead of the Slime for heavy duty use like milling, but while looking around AliExpress for a spindle motor, I had this idea instead where two SecSavr Slimes come together like some micro version of a giant fighting robot. 

    Hopefully, the dual magnetic holding power and double sets of motors working together will allow me to skip having to model and test a heavy duty head for the SecSavr and having to install it every time I want to use it. I might be able to do 5 axis milling and since the Slimes would be together, the power limit of the spindle can be doubled to 240W. 

    There might also be enough space in this dual sized tool to be able to raise and lower a selection of bits; 2 would already be an improvement but 4 would be even better as it could allow up to 16 different bits to be  installed or switching to another bit if one breaks at the press of a button.

    I expected the milling tool and chocolate tool to be larger than the SecSavr Slight, so I can use this concept to know how much depth space would be needed on the Tool Bar. The concept above is 70mm long.

    Along with the milling and chocolate tool, this dual tool idea is probably also going to be used for the robotic pancake maker I still want to try. Oh and I just realised that, with 2 Slimes, I could have a 2 in 1 out hotend. I'd really like to get the magic sauce powering the Cetus2, who recently made their nozzle removable:

  • [M] Swapping extruder and magnet locations

    kelvinA4 days ago 0 comments

    So I woke up today and thought "Do you think there's enough space to rotate the tool plate 180 degrees?". The reason I've been considering it is because:
    • The fixing location is closer to the end position of the tool, wether that be the nozzle of the extruder tool or the drill bit of the milling tool.
    • The gear of the extruder is likely to be used for things in other tools like lifting or lowering tools in the milling tool or connected to a plunger for the chocolate tool, and the mechanical force is expected to be on the top section of the tool.
    • The extruder is probably heavier than the degaussing electromagnet, so having that higher up means that the centre of mass is closer to the axis rail.

    Modelling a concept

    Yeah it's going to be close alright. It looked promising though so I kept going.
    What else can I say expcept "Barely (TM)"? There is just about enough space for the filament to curve around the 90 degree bend.

    Increasing length for the camera

    I then updated the Slime file and the bottom of the hotend was too close to the bottom of the Slime. I guess that's a nice problem to have, because I increased the length of the hotend assembly so much that I don't even have to cut the CR10 heatsink anymore.

    I went on AliExpress to do some searching on my hotend options again, and found this hotend from LERDGE.
    It's a tad more expensive than the CR10, but it comes with advantages:
    • Easier to add a filament guide as it uses a grub screw instead of an M10 thread for the bowden coupler
    • Uses an M4 grub screw instead of M3 for the heatbreak, meaning that there's a lower chance of stripping the screw.
    • More material around the mounting holes, which I intend to tap in some M4 threads.
    • It's black, increasing both aesthetics and matte black objects emit radiation the best.

    I got to modelling and uploaded it on GrabCAD. Lastly, I modelled the filament guide and fixed the SecSavr Slime model.

  • [M][T] VolcanoV2 instead of CHC Pro

    kelvinA5 days ago 0 comments

    Earlier today, I was looking at spindle motors to see what was available on AliExpress, and I found a 200W 24V motor for about £16. "It's cheaper than a CHC Pro so, worst case scenario, I have 1 motor per bit. Wait..."

    Thus I went around to see what my options were. My first find was the copper Volcano V2 block (modelled above) where I could get 10 for £15, followed a little later by an Ender 3 high temperature kit that comes with a copper plated nozzle as well as the heatsink and bimetal heatbreak.

    While the second find looked cooler, my first concern was the centre to edge distance. The longer this is, the higher a print feature would need to be before the Slime could reach it at a 90 degree angle without hitting the bed.

    On this block, it's 10mm (including sock) wheras the CHC is 6mm. Speaking of silicone socks, I just found out that the max temperature of them is around 300C these days; I thought that it was 260C. 

    While it's probably a less needed feature for SecSavr (because of toolchanging), the HT block allows for single handed nozzle changes.

    What I like about the "Volcano V2" (VV2) was that it finally eliminated those annoying 2 screws that clamp the heater cartridge. I've never been able to get them off, but more importantly, they increase the distance between the orifice and the edge. My main concern was that 300C thermistors don't usually come in beads, but conviniently, there are M3 versions. 

    I also did some research into thermocouples, PT100/1000 and the D500 thermistor, but apparently polycarbonate doesn't usually need over 300C to print so I cancelled that research tangent.

    The highest wattage cartridge I could find was 24V 70W. I was hoping for 80W but it's still more than the CHC Pro most of the time:

    Lastly, one other benefit over the CHC is that there should be more cross sectional area between the block and the melt zone extenders.

    Then came the prices. Below is for a set of 10, excluding VAT.
    • CHC Pro + Heatsink + Bimetal: £209.43
    • HT Kit + Cartridge Heater + Cartridge Thermistor - Copper Nozzle (estimated value of £5.50): £127.91
    • VV2 + Cartridge Heater + Cartridge Thermistor + Heatsink + Bimetal: £80.59

    The CHC is nearly £129 more expensive than the VV2, and I'd need around 18 (8 and a spare for each of the two SecSavr's), so an extrapolated difference would be £232. That saving could go towards the Milling Tool, BTT's fancy new Mantra M8P I'm probably going to use if the price is right or another project, and I'm fine with using a melt zone extender if I really need to get a higher angle for non-planar printing. Thus I quickly got to work modelling the changes needed and it took probably an hour.

  • [M][E1] New heatskink strategy

    kelvinA5 days ago 0 comments

    Due to the pros I mentioned in the last log and that the CR10 heatsink + bimetal throat is £2.30/each (for 10, including shipping and tax) while the MQ Mozzle heatbreak is £3.50/each, I'm switching to it. 

    I plan to cut the bimetal throat while inside the CR10 heatsink.

    Here is the assembly inside the SecSavr Slime:

    While it would most likely reduce the flow rate a tad, it makes the Slight almost 4mm shorter and I could probably make it 5 while keeping compatibility with the CHC Pro.

    [E1] Just went to see what I could do, and I was able to get a 5.9mm reduction.

  • [T] SecSavr Slight Heatsink

    kelvinA6 days ago 0 comments

    It's going to be another one of those "I don't really have much to say but I should probably write a log about it. Oh wait, there actually is a lot to say." logs. I've been thinking over the past 2 days and somewhat worried about this configuration. The delicate nature of this MQ Mozzle throat means that shaving 1mm from its base would probably be difficult. I also still somewhat doubt this tiny heatsink's cooling ability and would like to test this soon.

    After some AliExpress searching, I'm thinking that an alternative could be a CR10 heatsink cut so that it's 15mm in height along with a bimetal heatbreak.

    This combination would be a comparable to the price of a single MQ Mozzle heatbreak.

    Cons

    • The filament would be less constrained.
    • It could make manufacture more tedious. It looks like there wouldn't be that much material to cut through and the fins should act as a guide for the sawblade, so I have hope that it should be very straightforward to do. 
    • It's technically would be heavier too, but I'm not one to be chasing grams. 
    • I've never tried the titanium alloy bimetal heatbreak and only have experience with the copper threads version, and I suspect that clogs could be more likely and lower flow rates. 

    Pros

    • It works and I can have the option for using normal length or volcano nozzles as intended.
    • The parts would likely be easier to source, especially considering if the cheap Mozzle heatbreak would still be around in a few years.
    • May be easier to securely fix into the Slight due to the larger surface area on the sides.

    Other considerations

    • Use a more expensive version of the MQ Mozzle throat?
      • It doesn't seem like any of the £3 - 10 options would have the 5mm long threads, and I'm still trying to go for a cheaper (and lighter) option to the metal BMG hotend.
    • Use an aluminium hex spacer for M7 and stick heatsinks on the flat surfaces.

    Oh sweet, a cheaper version

    I just found this as I was writing this log. It's even got a flat section for better contact with the grub screw. Copper should be easy to cut like aluminium, right? Perhaps an idea is to cut the throat while inside the heatsink to get rid of that 4mm hole at the top.
    Wait a second. This heatsink is drastically cheaper from this seller and a bunch of others on AliExpress. Nice to know.

  • [G][E1] Tapping the 30mm hex spacers

    kelvinA06/22/2022 at 16:09 0 comments

    [G] = Generic Progress Update

    I've been meaning to get an M6 tap for a while to fix the threads in the 30mm aluminium spacers I bought months ago, but today I thought that I might as well ask my uni's workshop if they have one.

    The spacer will be covered with ceramic wool anyway, so I'm not worried about marks from the vice.

    So with the M6 tap the uni's workshop just happened to have, I got to work. I bottommed out, flipped the spacer and threaded from that side too for good measure. 

    Then I got the long M6 bolt to try the threads.

    Failure. Shame. It still didn't want to thread all the way. It really seems that I'd need to thread all the way from one side. Oh but it's so close:
    So I go to the technician and ask if they have a tap that's ever so slightly longer.
    • "How much more do you need?"
      • "About 5 milimetres."

    Then he goes to a machine [below] that I assume is some kind of sander and grinds away at the tap for 1 - 2 minutes.

    So now the wider part of the tap has been ground back approximately 12mm:
    10mm (flat to flat) hex spacer for scale.

    Wow. I was not expecting that. I try it and it goes through pretty nicely. Moment of truth; does the bolt thread through?

    Success. 

    Now I didn't want to find myself wishing I tapped more, and I had the other 19 spacers in my pocket, so I tapped them all.

    My method was this:
    1. Insert spacer into vice.
    2. Put tap in thread and turn it once by hand.
    3. Put on the tap handles and spin the tap with just my left hand until noticable resistance.
    4. Turn with both hands. The left hand is always in contact with the handle and the right hand lets go to grab it again.
    5. On the 4th time the right hand grabs the handle, turn the tap back 270 degrees.
    6. Continue 4 and 5 until I've gotten through the spacer (and bottomed out)
    7. Unscrew the tap by turning it 32 times, then take off the handle and manually unscrew until it comes off.
    8. Insert the 50mm M6 bolt and then the allen key.
    9. Screw the bolt in until very low resistance (the bolt freely rotates with almost no friction)
    10. Unscrew the bolt. Take out the spacer and tap it to remove shavings.
    11. Do steps 1 - 10 for the remaining bolts.

    Now I've got to put the test hotend back together again to see what the temperature difference is between 3 9mm spacers and 1 30mm spacer.

    [E1: 23 June, 20:31] The melt zone extender looks suprisingly professional.

  • [T] Test Driven Development?

    kelvinA06/20/2022 at 15:16 0 comments
  • [M] Branding

    kelvinA06/17/2022 at 12:29 0 comments

    The related log is this one from Teti, but this render is the result:

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