The Forbidden Object

I’ve been at odds for over a week with a small plastic object that apparently has, encoded in its folds, some devilish conflict with the laws of physics and sacred geometry of the universe

that

makes

it

ENTIRELY

unprintable.

It’s not even that tricky, it’sjust a little box for an r/c receiver, but so far I’ve tried it on two different printers and every time it just curls into a ball of fail.

First layer on blue tape… OK! Looking good, this one’s gonna be perfect aaand

Blaaaarrrggghhh

Ok fine let’s try with the bed hotter, looking good so far, hey wait STEPPER DRIVER ERROR JET PIPE OVERHEAT DUMPING CORE

one cooling duct and blower for the Trigorilla board later

What the deuce? Now the skirt lifts and I get all sorts of unhappy noises from the extruder??

It was about at this point that I grabbed the top of the effector and shook it very gently and it rocked about like a pendulum. I looked and saw that all three linear guides on the towers were not moving, so I grabbed my hex keys and started going around to all the bolts. I found a couple loose by about a whole turn. Now there’s a peculiar offset so I ran the DELTA_CALIBRATE again…

Will I ever get the FORBIDDEN CURSED OBJECT to print? Stay tuned for either a post of blissful success or me giving up and printing it ass over teakettle on breakaway supports.

Tortie.stl

When configuring Klipper to run your delta printer, always set the option silly_cat: true in the config file.

Here, daddy, let me confirm those delta arm and tower measurements for you! That’s one fang, two fangs…..

She likes the feel of the cog belt against her face.

Object has exceeded build area! Harmlessly. Huh.

In keeping with my brother’s Pusheen-based naming convention for the prototyping lab apparatus at the lab he works in at FIU…. this printer is Deltasheen.

For another example of that, here’s a

SheenTel. My idea is actually to have a row of these Pusheens at our studios that light up in a soft green or blue during normal operation, but if one of the Nautel transmitters sends an SNMP alert, the station’s corresponding Pusheen will blink amber or red.

Blue tape (everything old is new again!)

I was getting so annoyed with my printer repeatedly losing its build plate surface… This Malyan M200 / Monoprice Select Mini V2 originally came with a black sticker on the build plate which I replaced with a piece of PEI sheet held down with 3M 468MP adhesive.

Two spectacular failures later, I decided to try covering the aluminum plate with painter’s tape. This was a common technique dating back to very early experiments with 3D printing, and I figured it’d probably just fallen out of favor because PEI sheets or BuildTak or whatever were just better.

Several completely successful prints later….

I’m convinced this is the way to go.

The only odd part I guess is that the tape doesn’t appear to last for more than one print, but that’s fine. The print sticks to it well but pops off when it’s done. Now I just need to adjust my slicer settings a little (see the gaps where the infill didn’t hit the perimeter?)

Guess I’ll be keeping blue tape around from now on!

My brother, who runs a fabrication lab at FIU, reports that it’s specifically 3M blue painter’s tape – other brands don’t have a top surface that adheres to the melted plastic and the printer will just pull a “drag spaghetti around in circles” dance.

Cassie approves because now, instead of me wasting time scraping little bits of plastic off the PEI sheet, I just pop the print off, replace the bed with three new strips of tape, then go back to petting her.

YEET!!!

Well, so much for that PEI print bed!

I was getting progressively weirder leveling on the last couple of prints I ran on my Monoprice Select Mini V2…

The original BuildTak clone sticker on the build plate failed, and actually managed to kill a nozzle when it did by snagging on it, so it was subsequently YEETed into the nearest trash receptacle and replaced with a PEI sheet. Now, that PEI sheet I got came with a big sheet of 3M 468MP adhesive transfer film which I used to apply it to the bed after cleaning it up and scraping off some stubborn bits of the stock sticker… You can see the PEI sheet here after it’d been sanded a few times to improve adhesion with some regrettable no name eBay PLA filament.

The blower and fan duct are the result of the stock fan proving inadequate.

It worked great until I found a print I ran today twisted up like a funhouse mirror, the adhesive under the build plate all bubbled and torn, and the PEI raised up and warped on one side as if it tried to rise like dough.

And suddenly it dawned on me, like every time I see someone’s photos of their printer on the Facebook group, they have binder clips on the edge of the glass or PEI bed. Oh gee, I wonder why, could it be that this method of fastening it Just Works without any complications whatsoever (as long as you don’t place them where they obstruct moving parts and, thus, find themselves YOTE into space?)

Yeah. Worked perfectly, though I think I might do it with four clips next time to avoid the PEI sheet lifting and warping the print (not sure if it’s actually doing this — the first layer showed no signs of leveling issues, so it may just be perfectly fine).

Speaking of Monoprice printers…. My Mini Delta decided to inexplicably spring back to life when given a very old SD card with the Marlin firmware build! I was about to rewire the whole thing to a RAMPS board, but now the stock controller came back. Flippin’ weird.

I now have an Anycubic Kossel Linear Plus that’s waiting for me to figure out how the heck to set the delta parameters on as well.

What craziness is all this??!!

Addendum: it takes a lot of clips. A LOT.

To be the Chief Evangelist?

Found on the box of a Creality Ender 3 printer….

Uh yeah, sufficient levels of fnord are present. I wonder what the instruction manual looks like?

Speaking of things that have leggy frames, Linguini Mountain is evolving into its final form.

And here’s a thing that’s also afraid of wet…. an aluminum field flange…. also scheduled for replacement. I’m really hoping the innards of that combiner contain none of that folderol. My boss told me that the aluminum fittings are common in the cellular industry, where it works fine because they don’t mix aluminum and brass. If only we were so lucky. Fnord.

The MP Select Mini cooling fan, or, why Malyan clearly has no clue what they’re doing.

The 3D printers made by Malyan for Monoprice.com are just silly. There, I said it.

The Mini Delta takes a lot of work to get good results from, and the Cartesian type Select Mini printers need a lot of mods for stability and reliability.

One issue I was having on my Select Mini, aside from the one where it spontaneously emits cats*…

… was that I was getting poor print cooling, leading to things getting slumpy and generally Jacked Up.

Object above is part of an improved fan duct to use a 50mm blower.

So the stock fan is a mystery wrapped in an enigma of misengineering.

It’s a 30mm fan rated for 9vdc. What? Arrggh! If that were a 12v fan you’d have options as to what to use as a direct replacement. With it being 9v, your options are…… whatever sleeve bearing folderol one manufacturer casts on their badly worn injection mold.

In all honestly, I broke the fan, but by doing things that should not have broken it.

I was getting poor cooling as I’d mentioned above, so I was setting Slic3r to run the fan at 100. The resulting g-code is M106 S255

After a couple of prints like this, I heard scary noises from the fan, and upon removing it I discovered the 9v label and a ring of oil it had thrown out of its bearing. Yuck. They didn’t even leave a way to get in there and oil the bearing.

I found this all suspicious. M106 S255 ran the little fan louder than the firmware default settings did. Normally if you send no g-code to override it, the fan will always run at a low speed any time the hotend is heated. It does not automatically stop.

Out of curiosity I measured the voltage using a true RMS meter. I set the temperature to 190C from the front panel and the fan started shortly into the preheat (much better after changing that stupid heat block). Voltage was about 8.7v.

I then sent M106 S255 and it jumped to 12.6vdc and the fan sounded……. lovely.

It broke as I was trying to reinstall it so I put in a 12v fan that came on a $10 eBay E3D V6 clone.

The result… The fan still runs at any speed I ask it for, so stalling isn’t an issue, but now it doesn’t self destruct at 255 / 100%.

When the new blower gets here I’ll have better luck with bridges.

*This is a feature, not a bug

Heat block nonsense

The stock heat block on the Malyan (200?) / Monoprice Select Mini v2 3d printer is a special sort of awful. Out of the box I had weird issues. PID autotune would fail with a “Temperature too high!” error, and I threw various sets of PID values at it to no avail. What’d happen was every time the heater came on, a 5 degree C overshoot was virtually guaranteed, leading to lots of print stringing. It almost seemed like the temp would rise for about TEN SECONDS after the heater shut off. I suspected poor thermal coupling between the heater cartridge and heat block, and ordered a $10 E3D V6 clone off eBay intending to just use the block it came with.

I wound up doing just that.

The E3D silicone sock even almost fits it! Uh, not great though. I cut away one tab to make room for the thermistor retaining screw.

And now, on to the block of horrors. It had this execrable kapton / fiber covering that disintegrated when touched.

Bad picture but you can already see it looks rough, right? It gets worse.

There’s the heater bore. It doesn’t look like the hole was drilled as much as ice picked.

The grubscrew that locks the heater in place, and the questionable looking threads for the nozzle and heat break…

Seems to me the whole damn thing was a heat break 😉

Yeeeeah, so I haven’t fine tuned it with the new block in yet but just switching the heater on at the front panel and watching the temperature reading, it ramps up and just locks in with occasional undershoot of maybe 3C. Much better… Maybe the PID tune will even work now!