The design for my modular rotary hydroponic unit is now pretty much complete and ready for testing.
|1 Ring with boards to support a PE sheet sump to hold mineral solution. Can be extended to more rings, and it has been suggested to use a stock drip-tray from garden stores underneath instead of hacking that sump together from scraps.|
Not to mention that if I hope to make back some of the printer cost and pay rent, then I'll have to make ABS parts for new reprappers.
If printing with ABS, then I need some kind of air filtration or extraction to cut out the fumes that would come off, and since my printer was far from a window and I didn't want to release butadiene fumes into the environment anyway, I designed and built an air filter that would use replaceable activated carbon granules.
|Using an easy-to-find 80mm PC case fan.|
Once I got hold of some ABS filament, I needed another spool to run it on, and the cardboard one I made was trying to come loose where it met the bushings I added, while I didn't have enough large bits of cardboard left to make another one anyway. So I designed my own printable one that would be easy to take apart and re-load with filament:
|Adjustable to many sizes.|
But then I had a hectic time just over a day ago when as I'd nearly printed all the parts to make the spool, my extruder had a nasty malfunction that caused it to grind into the filament instead of feeding it through. Eventually I found that this was down to a mistake on my part when I tried to fix something else that had been turning up.
I had occasionally seen filings of plastic appearing on the printbed by the end of a print, and thought maybe the bolts pushing the filament against the toothed wheel that drags it through weren't putting enough force on, and so I tightened them against the springs a bit hoping that this would make it grip better. As it turns out, this was the exact opposite of what I should have done, and they needed to be loosened so that the teeth wouldn't bite into the filament too much.
|Chipped filament visible next to bolt in middle, and the part I had to remove even to get to that is at the top.|
Very annoyingly, as I removed the extruder to clean out some filings, the filament snapped at the point where it had been grinding away, so I had to dismantle the extruder block to get that out. When I tried to pull the filament out there with pliers, bits just snapped off again.
A further accident then caused one of the wires connected to the nozzle-temp measuring thermistor to snap away. Losing the length of copper wire that was actually part of the thermistor meant I could no longer re-attach that with a bootlace ferrule, and I had to replace it. Luckily the kit I got contained one spare, and I actually ended up breaking the old thermistor whilst removing it from the aluminium heating block anyway. :/
|The glue that Mendel-Parts used in the hot end didn't hold up so well after this short time.|
Once that was sorted I had to clear out the length of PLA that was stubbornly stuck in the PTFE heat insulation. This was finally made possible now that I had the heating block working again, and I managed to push the PLA through the nozzle (pulling it back out just wasn't happening for some reason).
Back on track after re-assembling everything, I got the last few pieces of my new spool printed, and I am quite chuffed with the results, as many of the parts seemed to push-fit quite easily.
|Everything fits on there snugly at the same time, yet still has room to move! :)|