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Author Topic: Prusa i3 DIY build  (Read 12739 times)

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Offline barneyg

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Prusa i3 DIY build
« on: December 11, 2013, 21:48:50 »
BOM :

Frame Kit - £142
Motors - £55 (from china)
Electronics - screen/sdcard reader/RAMPS 1.4/Arduino (genuine)/end stops/stepper drivers/hotbed - £ 145
Hot End ~ £33
Printed parts : don't use the guy I did ... poor print and not all you need. - £35
PSU ~ £20

Total ~ £430

(The guy doing the frame kit also has one with motors for an extra £20 but they are quite low powered ones)



Offline barneyg

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2013, 08:41:12 »
Current build state :

Offline Jumpy07

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2013, 15:30:42 »
Looking good.. I recognise the red bits lol..  hope they were ok
BNUC-S Pilot with PfCo /PFAW.
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Offline barneyg

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2013, 15:53:10 »
Looking good.. I recognise the red bits lol..  hope they were ok

They were brilliant ... much better prints than the bits I bought - I can but hope I can make as good prints when I get set up.

 Though typically I mucked up ... I linked the wrong y axis one ... there was a 15mm and a 22mm one ... I wanted 15 and linked 22 ... I did some surgery with a hot knife :) and the one on the X axis doesn't work as is for my extruder ... Mine has a foot that sticks out to the right that hits the endstop holder ... the design was obviously for an extruder without the foot ... I'll look closer next time ... but its all part of the fun :)

Offline Jumpy07

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2013, 16:24:18 »
Pm me what u need and will print.. I have a run to PO in morning..
BNUC-S Pilot with PfCo /PFAW.
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Offline barneyg

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2013, 16:29:35 »
Pm me what u need and will print.. I have a run to PO in morning..

Thanks but its OK ... I've got enough to get it working ... Got some ABS last night ... waiting on some Kapton Tape for the thermistor on the heated bed ... Going to get the rest wired up tonight I hope - who knows I might even get it working before Xmas.

Offline Hands0n

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2013, 17:40:15 »
So exciting  :smiley:  Don't forget the video of it working when you do  ~~   It is fascinating to watch these things do their stuff
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Offline Jumpy07

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2013, 18:13:38 »
I wouldnt waste my time with Kapton.. get a glass heated bed..


I bought a back of mirror tiles and hold them on with bulldog clips.. that way can just swap quickly and keep printing.. as the cool the prints just pop off.


Also try and get an enclosure.. I just use cheap silver foil stuff they use for loft insulation around it ..  other wise you will get warping as you print bigger prints..


Also spray glass bed with hairspray.. makes it stick like hell..  Aqua Net is what I use.. unfortunately have to get it from the US.. tried different hairsprays.. but Aqua NET was by far the best [size=78%]http://www.amazon.com/piece-AQUANET-UNSCENT-EXTRA-SPRAY/dp/B00GQPR33U/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1386871917&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=aquanet+hairpsray[/size]


Most of the issues you will be face will be getting the prints to stick to the bed.. Glass heated bed with hairspray is by far the best.. believe me I have tried just about everything else lol


PS: The filament is hydroscopic.. ie: it absorbs water.. keep it in a sealed container.
BNUC-S Pilot with PfCo /PFAW.
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Offline barneyg

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2013, 18:48:43 »
The tape is to stick the thermistor to the bed :) ... I have glass,bulldog clips and hairspray.

Thanks for the tip about the filament

Offline barneyg

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2013, 10:35:04 »
Lots of soldering done last night :


  • My electrics pack had a bunch of male to male servo wires in so I soldered the motor wires to a bit of stripboard and added some header pins so I can just connect those up ... I didn't want to join the wires directly just yet till I've got the Ramps and screen placement worked out ( and some cases for them printed )
  • Hacked the connectors off the endstops and replace with header pins since the connector was some molex type thing.
  • Attached some nice 12AWG silicone wire to the hotbed

So now I need :
  • the kapton tape to hold the thermistor to the hotbed glass.
  • PSU
  • Cut the piece of glass I've got to the right size
  • some header extension things ... the barrel power jack on the Arduino mega board inteferes slightly with the RAMPS board ... it does all go together and I think it will work but my OCD won't let it lie :)

Offline Jumpy07

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2013, 10:51:22 »
Sent u the 15mm Y Axis this morning..
BNUC-S Pilot with PfCo /PFAW.
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Offline barneyg

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2013, 11:54:45 »
Sent u the 15mm Y Axis this morning..

That is really appreciated ... you shouldn't have.

Offline barneyg

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2013, 13:20:01 »
result ... power supply scavanged from dead PS3 sitting in the loft ... 12v 32Amp Rail ... should be enough for motors, hot end and heated bed :)

One more step closer.

Offline barneyg

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2013, 14:18:20 »
Hmmmm ... Got a problem with the LCD controller panel.  The ebay seller linked the wrong docs but after a bit of googling I've found more appropriate ones however all is not well.  The screen, encoder and sd card reader all appear to work fine but I can't shut the Buzzer off ... it starts up as soon as the board gets power and only goes off when I cut the power to the board.

I've changed the pins.h file in Marlin so every occurrence of BEEPER is set to -1 just to make sure it's not getting it from some other section than I expect but that doesn't help at all.

No idea where to go next ... posted on the reprap forums and am waiting with bated breath.

Edit : and it wasn't a firmware fault but a hardware one.  I decided to trace the connection to the buzzer to ensure it wasn't connecting to a pin that the firmware was expecting to be connected to something else ... there was a transistor in the line from the buzzer ... it had been bent over in the post and all 3 legs were touching. I've carefully bent them apart again and I was rewarded with silence  ::)

« Last Edit: December 15, 2013, 17:23:40 by barneyg »

Offline barneyg

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2013, 10:16:06 »
First the good ...

Jumpy got your part last night ... perfect fit ... thank you so much ... and to such a high quality ... You've set me a high bar.
Got some stackable headers so I could raise my Ramps board to clear the power jack on the Arduino board and while I needed to trim the pins a bit that all went according to plan

Now the bit that wasn't so good ...

Did the first score on the salvaged glass I had and was about to try to do the break and had a brief moment of doubt so placed a big sheet of foam I had to hand over the top just in case it didn't break cleanly and there were some splinters.  I squeezed the cutter thingies and *bang* the whole sheet literally exploded across the garage - wupps
Time to find a glazier locally :)

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2013, 14:20:42 »
There is a certain art to cutting glass sheet. The professionals make it look so very easy with their steel ruler, glass cutting wheel and a pencil. But that shattering effect is quite the norm for us ordinary people not gifted of super powers.  :rofl:



A slightly longer (and different) version where this old boy makes it look much easier than nuclear physics ::)

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Offline barneyg

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2013, 11:00:47 »
More slow progress ... tweaked the firmware last night to calibrate the extruder rate so that when I say extrude 100mm it actually puts out 100mm and not 110mm like it did initially.

Also cut some more 5mm threaded rod for the Z-Axis as the frame kit seller had made his rods shorted and then said to turn the Z-Axis printed parts upside down which I didn't want to do because that would have put the captured nut on the top and then the only thing holding the weight of the X Carrage would have been the friction between the plastic and the metal nut  :hmm:

and oh boy is that small gear off center.  Once I've got this thing working right my first job is going to be making new printed parts.   I definitely got ripped off on the printed parts :( - Buyer beware when getting these things from e-bay.

Kapton Tape also arrived.

So left to do is :

  • Get 200mm square Glass.
  • Fit glass to heated bed.
  • Affix Thermistor to bottom of Glass.
  • Final Assembly/Confirm Motor direction.
  • Calibration prints.

Offline Hands0n

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2013, 11:26:16 »
If you have the STL for the printed parts I'm sure a few of us with 3D printers would be more than happy to belt you out a new set.  I'm printing in ABS if thats any good.  Happily give it a go if you'll cover the postage.
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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2013, 11:50:43 »
If you have the STL for the printed parts I'm sure a few of us with 3D printers would be more than happy to belt you out a new set.  I'm printing in ABS if thats any good.  Happily give it a go if you'll cover the postage.

Thanks but this is part of the fun  :wack0

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2013, 21:16:59 »
Looks a good job, I've finished my Prusa i3, works very well, and I can certainly agree that the most difficult part is getting the printed pieces to stick to the bed, bed levelling I also found to be very important.

One other issue I had was with the hot end, I used one from a guy off ebay, just didn't cut the mustard as they say, ended up ordering a genuine J-Head, worked straight off.

Mine may already be sold, mate wants it, but too close to Christmas and a house move, in the meantime i'll print the bits for my V2  :smiley:




Offline barneyg

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2013, 16:57:54 »
Had  real struggle last night ... The z axis just didn't want to play ball ... Finally twigged 2 motors coming from the same stepper motor driver = half the current to the motor ... Turned the pot up a bit and got the driver putting out about 1.7 amps and things are much better I could drive it all the way up to 2 since the motors are 1.2 amps each but I'm going to go 1 step at a time.

Realised the metal bed isn't square either ... Really not having much luck with this :(

That said ... It goes up down left right in and out and extrudes ... Just need to cut some more glass and mount the electronics and the I'll be printing ... I hope
« Last Edit: December 21, 2013, 17:10:04 by barneyg »

Offline barneyg

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2014, 10:06:56 »
A quick update
After lots of problems with skipping left or right of front or back during printing I've been getting some good slicing and hence prints using KissSlicer.

I've been busy printing out some newer versions of some of the parts ( the rework version of the Prusa i3 ) - New x-Axis motor mount and Idler end and x-carrage, y-axis adjustable idler and y-axis motor mount.  The y-axis ones needed a little modification since they assume a 10mm threaded rod being used across the y-axis frame but I'm only using 8mm.

I've also build a box to put it in, got some insulation to place under the heated bed in order to decrease the heat up time, some machined aluminium flexible couplers to replace the silicon tube and cable ties that join the motors onto the threaded rod for the z-axis, and a new complete set of linear bearings since I could get 12 from one supplier for the same price as a single one from most  :shrug:

Basically I'm rebuilding the whole thing :)

I took everything apart ... the new x-axis stuff slotted together nicely ... my only concern is while there is no slack in the holes holding the smooth rods they are not very tight so tensioning the belt will easily move the ends - obviously there will be rods holding them apart on the z-axis but I'm not sure yet.  This aside the x-axis carriage moves much more smoothly now.  Even more smoothly than the old carriage on the new rails, so I think the new bearings may well be better too. :)

Then I went on to the y-axis and here is where I hit a snag ... my nice adjusted y-motor mount doesn't fit ... huh ... oh yeah ... when you reduce the holes from 10mm to 8mm you need to adjust the centers of the holes too  :banghead:  :rofl:.  So for the mean time I've got to use the original so I can rebuild to print more parts :)

At this point I thought it would be a good idea to head to bed.  More work to be done tonight to put it back together.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 14:40:18 by barneyg »

Offline barneyg

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2014, 14:51:10 »
This mornings activities ...

Got it back together again ... Adjusted the Y-Axis motor mount ... Printed it out - one of the best prints it has done too ... Took it back apart and fitted the new motor mount.

Maybe one day soon I'll actually print something that isn't another printer part.

Offline barneyg

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2014, 03:09:14 »
Oh I'm a bloody idiot.

Spent the best part of this month printing rubbish because the print would skip off to the left or right and ruin the whole thing ... behaviour was really weird ... if I made the moves manually it would be fine and the skipping would only manifest while actually printing.   Finally managed to print enough parts to replace the X-Axis and the Y-Axis motor mount and idler with improved versions and of a better standard than the ones I'd bought ... things had improved but I  was still seeing the issue :banghead:  :banghead:  :banghead:

Was doing some late night reading and then some comparisons to my hardware and discovered the sense resistor on my Stepper driver boards was 0.2 rather than the 0.05 I thought it was ... this means the VRef of 0.48v I'd set to provide 1.2A to my motors was actually 0.3A ... That might just explain why I was getting skipping and my motors were room temp even after 8 hours of printing.

 :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
Muppet

Offline Hands0n

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2014, 07:38:50 »
Whoopsie! But hey, at least you found it for yourself. Thats a good thing. Right? ~~ ::)
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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2014, 07:54:55 »
Not really on my own ... Google is the font of all knowledge ... and Philtrum from here was a really good bouncing board ... it was some emails to him that made me re examine the problem.

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2014, 09:28:40 »
There is indeed an astonishing breadth, depth and wealth of informed people on this forum.   :cool:
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Offline philtrum

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2014, 12:58:55 »
Glad i could provide some help, was going to make a few suggestions tonight by return of email, one of them was to look a the the extra friction / resistance provided by the actual printing and ensure you ahve enough stepper power to counter it

easy test for this would be to provide some resistance to the print head with your hand, you should not force stop it, but you should be able to provide some extra weight/ or resistance to it without easily being able to stop it moving.

sounds like your well on the road to fixing it sir, look forward to a pic of a print without any lost steps :D

Phil
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Offline barneyg

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2014, 13:45:38 »
Prior to my changes if I'd set the max speed to 350mm/s and the acceleration to 1000 it was jamming mid way across the X or Y axis without any additional resistance.  I did some quick tests last night and with manual moves I had it running at at least double the speed and no hint of jamming.

I have to say that when it did print things successfully I was pretty happy with the result.  I need to work on single walled objects ... they were kinda patchy, the other problem area I'd found was the tips of fine cone type shapes - the layers were kinda stringy like they'd not been pushed down enough ... I think the problem there is slicing options / cooling needed ...  in that the previous layer hadn't cooled adequately to provide a suitable platform for the next layer.

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Re: Prusa i3 DIY build
« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2014, 14:55:56 »
Printing with perimeters @ 30mm/s and travel moves @ 150mm/s ... been having issues with curling today for some strange reason but here are a couple that have worked well today :

8758-0
8760-1
8762-2
nice and even @ 0.2mm layer height.  A little rougher on the corner that is the start of the layer.