I’ve been building a 3d printer essentially from scratch for the past year. The design I’m using is the Wilson II http://reprap.org/wiki/Category:Wilson_II. It’s not a kit. I had to “source” all the parts myself which means I had to find where they were manufactured and ship them in myself. I’ve learned a lot about these parts. It took about 5 months to get the parts and assemble and in the last month I’ve been calibrating the print. Here’s a picture log of my first to current calibration prints.
1. I first over extruded and the nozzle was way too close to the
print bed so it made it look all smushy. The belts were loose and my steps/mm
settings (amount of motor movement which the motor is asked to move 1 mm) were
way off. Essentially, if I ask the motor to move 1mm it should do that. My
motors were moving about .75mm everytime I asked it to move 1mm.
2. Adjusted it so that the nozzle was the correct distance but still overextruding. Fixing over extruding by changing e-step settings (amount of filament extruded when I ask it to extrude 1mm).
3. Fixed e-steps. Voltage was incorrect to the motor so it didn’t have enough power to extrude as fast as I wanted it.
4. In the 2nd picture from the left: fixed voltage so the motors had more torque (holding power) to do the work I asked.
5. fixed loose y timing belt (looks like strip of tank tire tread)
6. steps/mm all correct! Ran out of red so started on grey again. I knew this because The goal was to print a 25mm cube. The cube was very close to 25mm whereas the two previous prints were 20x20x25.
7. In the 3d picture I printed a 20mm hollow calibration cube to save filament. It worked!
8. Printed something “real.” It works!
9. Last calibration cube. Still works!
Here’s a video of the auto bed leveling procedure I’ve been working on for my 3d printer. For a print to start, it needs to know where the top of print bed is. For past printers I did this manually by hand by adjusting a screw. This method swings a button down to tap the bed and then swings it up after it has found the top of the bed. It uses a rack and pinion system design by Marty Rice, creator of the Wilson II.
Assembled a new upgraded hotend for my 3d printer. It’s a thing of beauty. It also prints 4 times faster than standard ones. E3d volcano if interested.