Home » 2014 » October

Monthly Archives: October 2014

First thoughts on installing and configuring 3D printer Web Controller REPRAPWEB

I’m beginning my install and configurations of a new 3D printing web based controller from XYZBots and wanted to pass on a few things. This controller is pretty strait forward but it sits on a Raspberry PI b+ controller and having never set on up before I ran into a couple of things. First, Make sure you follow the direction on the software site REPRAPWEB when setting things up or like me when you first plug in your board you’ll get nothing but two solid lights on your board, one green and the other red. The issue is if the image you placed on the SD Micro card is not correct you get nothing and that includes nothing on the video to even tell you what is wrong. Below are my steps to get a functional image on the Raspberry pi b+. You’ll know you’ve got a good image as the red light on the board stays red and the green light flashes as it accesses the card.

1) Run “sudo fdisk -l”. Look at what is returned and then plug in SD Micro card and run again, you’ll see the new device name. Mine was.

“Device    Boot  Start End   Blocks Id System
/dev/sdc1 8192 62333951 31162880 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)”

2) Format the card with FAT32, I downloaded GParted app using Ubuntu Software center.

3) Download the latest image from software site REPRAPWEB. I took the image, I might play with the source some day but it won’t be today.

4) Unzip the Download into directory and go to it.

** before I go further you need to remember two things. First, be careful you run dd command against wrong device you will be in a world of hurt. Second, in the directions on the software download site it explains that Raspberry Pi for this install does not use partitions. If you just use the device name you found in step 1 without modifying it and push the image across it will install on the SD micro card but Raspberry pi will not function.

5) to install the code to the SD Micro card run the following. Obviously you need to use the right image name if it’s changed. What is most important is my Step 1 command returned and device of “/dev/sdc1” but my “of” parameter below only uses “/dev/sdc”. The reason for that is removing the last number from the device copies the code in one partition. Also an FYI is this stuff is case sensitive the “M” in the bs=4M needs to be capitalized, found that out the hard way.

sudo dd if=reprapweb-2014-09-09-wheezy-raspbian.img of=/dev/sdc bs=4M

The command takes a while but once it completes you can plug in the SD Micro card to you raspberry and your good to go.

Thoughts on NinjaFlex filament

Experimenting with NinjaFlex which as the name implies is a flexible 3D printing filament. So far my impression is that it’s a great product if not a little difficult to work with. I’m guessing a Bowden would be even more difficult as this stuff is really, really bendable. I found my standard “Go To” setting for my printer just did not work. So to save anyone some time who might read this here is my quick list.

  • This material seems to melt slower than normal PLA or ABS so I really had to slow my extruding down. I set all slicer settings to 15 mm per second and that seemed to get things going. Funny as it sounds even my manual extruding using “PrintRun” to get my printer set up extruded too fast.
  • If you extrude too fast the extruder will bend the material so if you do start to see slippage in the extruder just give it up, pull out what is in there cut off the 2 inches and re-thread and try again. Once there is slippage the material deforms and the extruder can’t grip it anymore.
  • This stuff needs to run hot. I found 250 was a good number with 50 for the bed
  • Give up using Kapton tape or some type of hair spray to cause it to stick to the bed. The only way I got things to work was Blue carpenters tape.

If it sounds like a pain to work with then, yea maybe just a little but the results are great. To print something with a little give and bounce is really a trip compared to standard hard plastic and by controlling the infill you can create objects that can go all the way from almost soft to hard as normal plastic.