After all the mini posts I've been doing I thought I'd do something abit longer.
New Webstore, X3D hotends...
I guess the biggest announcement is my new online store. Please check it out :)
I'll have the hot end kits available through the site as well as spare parts. The site is still very new so please excuse while I continue to tidy it up. I've also decided to name the hot ends (finally =.= hah) to reflect the webstore. I've named them X3D (just like the website :P).
New aluminium mounts, no extra cost :)
Next thing on the list is I'm moving away from the fender washer mounts to a new machined aluminium mount. I'm soaking up the extra cost on this as drilling those washers was a real chore to do!
The aluminium mounts are surface treated on the edges only (deburred and sandblasted) and raw on the top and bottom surface. The main factor behind that was because it'd be sandwiched in between an extruder anyway. It wouldn't take much to polish or brush it.
The X3D hot end has done 2kgs of PLA through it in testing, and it works just like its previous version. Quick heat ramping and uses ~40-60/127 duty cycle (as per pronterface) to maintain the heat.
I also did temperature testing on the mount to make sure not too much heat was transferred to the mounting plate and the extruder. The mount didn't exceed 45C with a 210C hot end. I will still allow the fender washer support as an option on the X3D for those that want to utilise them as heat sinks (a small extra cost to machine the shoulder).
1.75mm hot ends now available too
With the new mounts I decided it was time to finish testing the 1.75mm variation hot end. The nozzle is completely the same as the 3mm variant, so it'll have a larger melt zone. Knowing that, I wanted to test its performance anyway and see if it had a noticeable effect on printing quality, oozing etc. The benefit of this is you won't need different nozzles for different sized filament.
I was quite suprised after swapping the hot end over to the smaller filament that my settings in firmware did not need to be changed at all. Less work for me :). All changes occurred in slic3r, so it made setting up things easy. I was happy with my calibration prints in less an hour. So far I've printed a few extruder orders and I guess I'll let the image tell the story.
Small bits of stringing, but very happy with the finish considering I have very little experience with 1.75 filaments. There is definitely more room for improvement there.
So after all those updates whats next?
Bowden Cable hotends! These will be available for those that want to try these out. They use Push To Connect fittings for pneumatic fittings. I have had to bore them out to 3mm and 2mm for the two different filaments as they come with a 1.5mm inner diameter. For my testing, I simply tapped the Greg's wades Extruder hole and attached the fitting.
For the X3D side, I used a small variant to the current Peek insulator. This shortens the PTFE inner lining and has a thread on the end for the fitting.
I was pleasantly suprised by how easy it was to set up but there is definitely alot of calibration to do to get prints turning out well. Here are two hooks I printed with the bowden cable mod, they are as-is straight from the printer bed. No cleaning done. You can see a typical oozing issue from most bowden cables setups. The second print shows my attempt at increasing retraction. It seemed to help but it wasn't enough. More testing to be done...