Monday, 30 January 2012

Extruder and hot end assembly

Well, it's certainly been a while since my last post, but after an extremely hectic finish to last year, including transitioning to a new role in another function (!), things have finally settled down enough for me to make some progress on the build.

Over the last week or so, I've put together the Wade's extruder from the thingfarm kit I bought last year. I've also started assembly the J Head Nozzle (MKI), also from thingfarm. It's been a slow process, as I've only had the odd few minutes to spare and keep finding little bits that I need to progress. The most recent was discovering the fire cement I bought to fit the power resistor is useless (far too grainy) and instead opted for some rope seal adhesive (off the back of a hophead recommendation in the forums), which turned out to work a treat.

Installing the two M3 screws in the grove mount hasn't gone quite so well.... I clamped the hot end into the extruder, drilled the holes to 2.5mm and then discovered my taps have gone missing :( Being an impatient sod, I figured I'd just drill out the holes a little and see if the M3 bolts would self tap. It kind of worked - the hot end is held rock firm, however, the bolts got pushed outwards by the peek and have ended up, well, wonky is probably the most gracious way to describe it. In conclusion, looks shoddy, but does the job. No doubt something I can remedy at some point .

Can't do much more tonight, as the rope seal adhesive is still setting, but next step is to wire up the hot end and extruder stepper, then see if the whole shebang works!

As a mild distraction, I couldn't hold out any longer and bought an iMac just after the New Year. While looking for any excuse to use it, I took the opportunity to get the Marlin firmware installed, the latest version of Pronterface and slic3r. I've also started incorporating the bezier code I wrote into the Marlin firmware, something I'd meant to do last year, but never got to it. The first quick hack almost works, however, it seems to randomly hang for approx 10sec after processing a bezier curve g-code. Have spent an hour or so trying to debug it with no joy... very annoying, as I can't see any real difference between how the bezier code works vs the arc code. Grr. No doubt will figure it out after a few more hours digging.

Times like this I wish I had an in-circuit debugger...

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