There was an immense amount of work that went into getting to this point, and I can only stake claim to a tiny portion of it. It was really cool to see our Makerbot throwing down the plastic… on the 20-30th try.
There were two main wrinkles. One we fixed, the other we lived with.
- Getting the plastic to stick to the foam-core was hit or miss.Â Covering the foam-core with double-sided tape created a much better surface.Â We printed out 4 sets of tweezers without replacing the tape!
- The issue we lived with was the extruder.Â It’s not quite gripping the welding rod correctly yet, so we had to apply downward pressure manually. not that big of a deal for a 9 minute print, but it needs to be fixed before we print 4 shot-glasses on the same raft.Â Man, if only most of us were members of a kickass hackerspace with access to machine tools.Â Oh wait… we are.Â Cool!
The other area just begging for improvement is the temperature control. Because the makerbot is using simple on-off control, we’re getting temperature swings of +/- 10 Â°C. The plan is to put in some data logging to see how bad the problem is, then implement progressively more complicated control strategies until we’re happy with it.