Sunday, 4 November 2012

Prep to Prototype

On the way to prototyping my ducted wind turbine design, there have been a few silly setbacks as usual with 3D printing, and that's before even mentioning how awkward part sourcing is when no one supplier ever has everything you need, and I end up forced to waste postage on a few orders just to get electronics to build a data-logging controller with. Also I'm writing this for a second time since Blogger ate my post by erroneously bringing up a blank workspace one morning after I was 90% through this post, and saving over it before I could close the tab. Unlike those lovely etherpads, there was no writing history to revert back to.

I've brought this reprap to its working limits in a couple of different ways over the last few weeks, firstly with a bespoke drill-guide that I made in a similar way to the dremel cutting kit only super-sized so as to allow a cheap hammer drill to make nicely perpendicular holes in the absence of a drill press.
A trouble with this print is its huge width compared to the narrow surface area actually in contact with the print surface, which meant that, being a PLA prototype, it could barely adhere to the kapton-taped surface strongly enough to stay down. When some overhanging edges started to curl up slightly, the resulting light collisions with the extruder head caused the wider of two parts to start lifting up off the printbed with an audible crack. I found a quick fix to keep that part in place before the whole surface dislodged.
Bulldog clips and small allen keys were handy, so they held the part down.
This print was eventually successful, but not before another limit in size surprised me.