Sunday, March 4, 2012

RapMan 3.2: The Build Experience - Part 6

Now the fun REALLY begins... Calibrating and Fine Tuning the RapMan 3.2 Extreme 3D Printer.

I just finished building a RapMan 3.2 Extreme 3D Printer.  While this image was taken at the 3D Systems headquarters, it is the same model that I just finished building.

RapMan 3.2 Extreme
I first want to comment on the last portion of the build, beginning with the hot end and extrusion assembly.  Up to that point, I gave very high grades to Bits From Bytes on their build documentation.  But, at the most difficult and critical phase of the build it seemed to me that the writer just fizzled out.  That may be due to the fact that the 3.2 version was different than earlier versions.  And, it also may be that because the plastic used in the head assembly is clear that the images are almost impossible to convey the construction adequately.

Whatever the reason, I felt that the last 1/3 of the documentation could be improved considerably.

In particular, the long 70mm bolt that hangs from the extrusion head was not completely explained in a way to could have resolved some of my early issues with the hot end dragging along the bed, melting it.  This was compounded by the fact that the firmware for my machine did not actually use the Z-Offset setting from the control panel.  The Z-Offset setting, when working is the best way to fine-tune the relationship between the hot-end and the bed... once the bed is completely level relative to the X-Y assembly.

Once everything was assembled and adjusted as well as my old eyes, augmented by a magnifying glass, could get it, the print testing started in earnest, using the supplied duck model.

I have spotted some interesting things that I will go into more deeply once I have printed out several test models of the duck to see if I can get it to print evenly on all sides of the duck.  Right now, one side is printing better than the other and it could be bed tilt, belt tension or an as yet unidentified problem.  But, at least we can move on to using the RapMan.

I will say this.  The resolution is better than I expected on the "good" side of the duck.  Now to get ALL sides printing that well!  :)

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