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slatronic
03-17-2012, 10:15 AM
With a bunch of people building a 3d printer I figured I should finally finish mine. I bought a mendel kit over a year ago and just never got around to finishing it. This is the O.G. mendel that has quite a few more parts than most printers out there today. My plan is to make another more modern style printer with my mendel I have once its finally running.

All I can say to this point is that it's been quite an adventure. Initially had trouble getting the parts in for the machine. Still haven't received all of them from manufacturer. It has also been hard getting use to the inaccuracy of the printed parts and having to sand and drill to make everything fit. Now that I have it assembled everything seems fine.

This is where I ran into the next issue. Trying to find a firmware and controller software to work right. I have a Gen6 board and using my macbook. Marlin doesnt want to verify in the Arduino IDE. I'm using version 23 of arduino software. Finally I got sprinter to verify and compile. Then I tried replicatorG and that was a no go. Then I tried pronterface and I was able to see my board in the software.

I haven't printed anything yet but it moves around well and homes like it should. So now I'm gonna try to get the extruder fired up and working. Tried a few times and the hot end would not heat up. Gonna try to take it apart and resolder my joints and see what happens. Hoss makes everything look way to easy. :cheers:

I'm using an older model hot end connected to a greg's accessible extruder. The extruder was some of the parts I never received. So I picked one up from makerfarm. I needed to make a new mount to connect to hot end but that was pretty easy. The hot end does use a 6.8 ohm power resistor for heat not nichrome wire. I do have some nichrome around my workshop so if all else fails I might do that. I just hope its not the Gen6 board thats causing issues. Definitely going with RAMPS for next build.

If anyone has any clues on the hot end I would love some help. Been asking over on the reprap forums and no luck yet. I have measured the resistance on the power resistor and I measure 7 ohms. I also measured the voltage and it measures 0v across it after I hit set temp in pronterface. But when I remove the resistor I measure 12.6 volts. So I'm not sure if it's the firmware, gen6 board, or a bad part. The guess on the reprap forums is firmware.

Fastest1
03-17-2012, 11:26 AM
Slatronic,
Dont be discouraged about procrastination. A few of us have that problem (not Hoss). I too had started with the idea of retrofitting a mill and was merrily but slowly going about my way in doing so.
Then 2 or 3 things happened rapidly, Xnaron showed a piece he had made for his G0704 that had a nice finish. Hoss took notice (I had teased Hoss a month or so before after going to a hackerspace meeting in Houston and seeing printers in action) and the H1 became available at such a reasonable price, using Mach and all of the knowledge would transfer when and if I did convert my mill.
Share everything you can and a few of us will be watching it all. Congrats

hoss2006
03-17-2012, 02:03 PM
So if you just connect the resistor to 12v does it warm up?
Is the type of thermistor your using listed in the firmware?
The firmware won't power up the hotend if there's no thermistor set up.
Hoss

slatronic
03-17-2012, 02:47 PM
So if you just connect the resistor to 12v does it warm up?
Is the type of thermistor your using listed in the firmware?
The firmware won't power up the hotend if there's no thermistor set up.
Hoss

Hoss

I connected the resistor to my 12v power supply and it got hot in 15sec. So I guess that eliminates that.

I have a 100k thermistor which is number 1 in the config file.

When I push the check temp button inside of pronterface the temperature fluctuates from 20-30*.

So does this mean it's the board or some setting in the firmware I'm missing? Could it be the MOSFET on the board? I've read that a few places. I can get a new one from digikey for $1.50. That's a whole lot cheaper than $200 for a new board.

thanks
jeff

hoss2006
03-17-2012, 02:55 PM
What temp are you telling pronterface to go to? i.e. 220 then click "set"
Is is fluctuating from 20-30 or 200-230 for example.
Using the RAMPS the temp holds very steady varying in fractions of a degree.
Hoss

slatronic
03-17-2012, 03:11 PM
What temp are you telling pronterface to go to? i.e. 220 then click "set"
Is is fluctuating from 20-30 or 200-230 for example.
Using the RAMPS the temp holds very steady varying in fractions of a degree.
Hoss

I've been having it at 185*. I push the set button then wait a minute or two then push the check temp button and I get back a number between 20* to sometimes up to 34*. Usually I will push the check temp button 3 or 4 times in a row to see temperature. It's definitely not getting hot when hooked up to board. I can grab the heater core and it feels cool.

I have checked the resistance of the thermistor and its about 92k.

hoss2006
03-17-2012, 03:25 PM
Ok, doesn't sound like the problem is pronterface or the resistor/thermistor.
Don't know what the pins the gen6 board is using or if it has an led on board when the heater is on like the ramps,
it has a steady red when heating and flashing red when at temp.
I'd double check the firmware that the heater pin for the gen6 is correctly set.
See If the board has an indicator led for the heater that comes on when you tell it then
measure the output voltage when it's supposed to be on.
Hoss

slatronic
03-17-2012, 04:50 PM
So I think I got it!!! I went looking through the config file and commented out the heated bed thermistor. I guess it wouldn't work without that either. There is no heated bed port on the Gen6 unfortunately. I do have a bed but need a separate circuit for it.

I guess I need to put it all back together and print something. :banana: Any suggestions on what to start with?

I'll post some pics of the blobs I'll be making with my first few prints.:D

hoss2006
03-17-2012, 05:26 PM
Good to hear.
Calibration parts are a good start.
Skeinforge Bridge Calibration Cube by MatthewLaBerge - Thingiverse (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5011)
Search Thingiverse - Thingiverse (http://www.thingiverse.com/search?q=calibration)
Have fun, Hoss

slatronic
03-18-2012, 12:43 AM
This is pretty cool. Haven't made anything nice or useful yet but this thing is neat. Gonna take some time getting it all calibrated and printing good. But for a first try I'm happy.

It started slow but the prints got better as I tweaked stuff. Definitely takes awhile having to change firmware or slic3r settings and try again. Still fun though experimenting trying to make it better.

I'm trying to print the .5mm thin wall calibration block. They got better as I adjusted settings. The last pic is of a few early failures.

Fastest1
03-18-2012, 10:12 AM
I can't wait to make some failures!

slatronic
03-20-2012, 10:59 PM
Got to mess around with the printer again. Fine tuned it a bit more today. Still not quite right. I'm having a heck of a time leveling the bed. Way worse than tramming my mill. Any hints?

Here a couple prints. First one is just a 20mm test cube. Came out ok. Need to fine tune my stepper steps per a little more. Then I tried to make a penny bottle opener. But that was a major fail. The x timing pulley came loose and ruined the print. Oh well. tightened it up and printing another right now. Not sure if the gcode came out ok through slic3r. Dont think the slot for the penny was put in there. There was an error message in slic3r. Said it wasn't manifold. Not sure what that means. Also said there was overlapping. I figured I would run the print and see what happened and fix from there.

Fastest1 don't get to excited about making mistakes cause it seems like its pretty easy to make them. I've made a lot so far. And pretty sure I'll be making many more.

slatronic
03-21-2012, 09:19 PM
Tried some more this evening. Think I finally have a tuned up pretty good. I have a question though. The corners seem to be pulling up a bit. What settings would I need to adjust to make the corners smoother? Not sure if you can see it in the first pic or not.

I also included a couple pics of some fill issues which I think I solved. As the print when on the infill got worse and worse. I was using 25% then 10%. Then I went with 40% fill and it went a lot better. The good one is the first pic.

I was also able to finally get marlin to compile. I had to comment out #define ultipanel in the config file. BUT, now I can't get it to work right. Homing doesn't seem to want to work. I'm sure it's just some setting I haven't found yet.

hoss2006
03-22-2012, 09:09 AM
Have a look at my marlin config, maybe you can compare some of the settings to see what may need changed.
Hoss

slatronic
03-22-2012, 02:40 PM
Have a look at my marlin config, maybe you can compare some of the settings to see what may need changed.
Hoss

Digging through the code I found this extra line of code that isn't in your config file. It's in the endstop settings of the config file. Right after max length setting.

// The position of the homing switches. Use MAX_LENGTH * -0.5 if the center should be 0, 0, 0
#define X_HOME_POS 0
#define Y_HOME_POS 0
#define Z_HOME_POS 0

Do you think I should just try to comment out and see what happens? I guess it can't hurt. I'll try when I get home from work. Other than that I haven't seen anything that's majorly different besides your specific settings for your machine. Back to work before I get in trouble:nono:

thanks

slatronic
03-25-2012, 11:37 AM
So, I'm an idiot. All I had to do was change the endstop_inverting to false from true.:withstupi Marlin still isn't working very smooth for me. I've played around with settings but it's just not very consistant. I'm sticking with Sprinter for now.

I think I'm finally getting it. Still need to play around with Slic3r depending on print but I'm happy where it's going.

I made a calibration cube and it wasn't to bad. I need to play around with my bridge settings. I also tried to make a prusa y axis linear bearing holder. It came out good except for the stringies. Then I tried making a dual tone whistle and that worked really well.

Next is playing around with some ABS once I get my heated bed setup. Thats gonna have to wait since I'm going to China for work next week.

slatronic
03-26-2012, 02:05 PM
Does anybody have any good links to what would be the lastest and greatest Prusa? I think I'm going to convert my mendel to a lm8uu prusa. I'm having a hard time sifting through all the different models on thingiverse and what seems to be people favorites. Figured this might be something good to research during my travels.

hoss2006
03-26-2012, 02:34 PM
MendelMax catches my eye and the extrusions are pretty cheap at Misumi.
MendelMax : MendelMax.com (http://mendelmax.com/tikiwiki/tiki-index.php?page=MendelMax)
Hoss

slatronic
04-07-2012, 11:01 AM
I'm back from China.:banana: I don't know how people do it all the time. I've been back since Wednesday and I still don't feel right.

I have determined that I'm going to start building a Mendelmax. I already have some parts on the way. It will be cheaper than my original mendel kit I bought over a year ago but way more solid. I have order some of the parts from techpalidin and waiting for him to get more printed parts ready to go. I need to make a Mcmaster order and get my extrusions from misumi. Already ordered the steppers from ebay.

I'm excited about going to the mendelmax. It should be much more solid and print way more accurately. I had it trying to get my mendel to work right. The parts are just not accurately made enough and causes it to print sloppy. I feel no matter how much tuning I do it will never be able to print accurately. I think this will be much more like working with a benchtop cnc vs what I'm using now. I think for most of us here the accuracy we are use to just can't be matched by these machines and a sturdier more accurate machine will help that.

Thanks for the suggestion Hoss.

slatronic
04-17-2012, 07:43 PM
Just a bit of an update. I've got most of my parts in. Just waiting on my printed parts from techpaladin.com. Should be here by the end of the week. I'm pretty pumped about going to the mendelmax.

The extrusions from misumi are sweet. They are all cut perfectly. I also ordered my linear railing from them. These are really nice as well. Much smoother than drill rod. I spent a little more on them but I saved ordering the stepper motors hoss suggested on ebay. I'm also gonna try the brass bushings instead of the standard lm8uu bearings. This seems to be the latest evolution of the mendelmax. For leadscrews I'm using 1/4" acme leadscrews from techpaladin. I looked at the ones from the mendelmax store with delrin nuts and I was questioning how durable they would be over time.

Just need to order my hot end, ramps and build platform. For the build platform I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I thought about going with a silicone heater but still trying to figure out the design. For now I'm just going to borrow the hbp I got for my other printer until I figure out what I'm going to do.

Fastest1
04-18-2012, 09:44 AM
Delrin nuts in this application would be excellent.