X-Gantry Small Parts

This is part 2 of my X-Gantry Upgrade.  Having completed the left end of the gantry, I decided to attempt to print all of the X-Gantry small parts together in a single run. This will be my first attempt at printing more than a single part at a time, and feeling sure of myself I am thinking a bunch of small parts will be relatively easy.

Laying out my X-Gantry Small Parts

I started by loading Repetier-Host and laying out 4 copies each of the spacer and threaded retainer. Due to printer limitations, I laid the parts out in a 2×4 arrangement to keep them closer to the left edge. I sliced the parts using Slic3r, zeroed the print head and started my print. I watched the first layer of the print and saw lots of strands connecting the parts to each other and the skirt. As the second layer began to print, the parts began sticking to the nozzle and ended up looking more like little blobs than circles. So, I stopped the print and performed maintenance on the printer.

Preparing the 3D printer

After multiple tests printing calibration cubes I have developed a habit that typically fixes prints that won’t adhere to the print bed.  First, I replace the painter’s tape on the left side of the print bed. After I finish resurfacing the print bed I raise the extruder head to the top and set the heat element to 220°C and let it heat until it stops oozing. I then use a pair of sharp scissors to cut off the oozed extrudate, usually a couple of times as this often causes a little more oozing. When the extruder is no longer oozing I manually extrude 10mm of filament to make sure that it is coming out straight and not curling back up on to the heat element. It is important to note that if the extrudate is curling, this indicates a blockage in the nozzle which requires extra work. Finally, being paranoid, I turned off the heat element and when it isn’t hot enough to damage the painters tape, I re-zero the print head.

Printing All the Small Parts at Once

I restarted the print out of the all the X-Gantry small parts.  This time it adheres to the bed better, but the parts don’t seem perfectly round. I have decided to let it finish the print out, and hope for the best; the threads on the threaded retainers look pretty good. After a few hours, I snapped the parts off the print bed and using half of the scissors I used for maintenance, I removed the small lip at the base of the parts.  I still haven’t been able to eliminate that lip, because the parts get too transparent when it finally disappears and I doubt the parts will be strong enough to use as printer replacement parts.

X-Gantry small parts for the right end. Other set is already in the left end of the X-Gantry.Looking at the parts, they are not perfectly round, as I suspected. After I finished removing the lip, I tried to insert the parts into the X-Gantry Left and, once I got them started, the threaded retainers seemed to “go round” and tighten down sufficiently. Unfortunately, the spacers will not go into the X-Gantry without a hammer.  I suspect the issue revolves around the z-index rippling that I have noticed on other parts.  I think that I can round the parts sufficiently using the handle of my scissors, or possibly with a piece of sandpaper.

I’ll work on reshaping the spacers tomorrow while i finish printing the parts for the gantry. Time for bed…
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