Monday, 25 August 2014


I recently found out about a steel I3 variant the P3Steel

I ordered form  KITPRINTER3D (required vitamins to make a P3Steel from a Prusa i3)

The shipping here was horrendous!!!

It arrived and the box was is bad shape, it was obvious from the holes in the box that stuff had poked its way threw the sides.

On opening it I see why. The packing was pitiful at best.

One bubble wrap pocket and a few very thin zip ties. The pocket is literally one layer of bubble wrap on all sides. All 3 zip ties holding the bit of steel had been ripped open. The medium sized parts where free to move about after the zip ties failed. The rest of the large box had a token 9 of the air filled packing bags, these barely took up any space allowing for things to move inside the box quite freely.

The small pieces of steel where in their own small cardboard box.  This worked well, no pieces got free.

The Y rods where also just in a very thin bubble wrap but where zip tied. This was the only zip tie still intact. Surprisingly the rods seem fine.

Some of the laser cut Steel is not so fortunate.

Now I cant say with any certainly if the packing and shipping caused the issues, but something did. A number of the pieces are bent and scraped up.

The worse bent parts are the spool holders, so I wasn’t to worried about them. Second worse was the Y ends. If you place them together there is a 4 mm gap in the middle while the ends touch! But since they are both curved the same, I think it will be OK.  The Y plate is also not that flat. This will make levelling 'fun'

Other wise the quality of the parts look reasonable, baring in mind they have come straight off the laser cutter with zero clean up. There is some swarf stick to the plates and a clean up is required.

I have loosely put the kit together on an old newspaper (they are quite dirty)

The bed is off to one side for now.

No the pliers and Alan key didn’t come with the kit, but everything else did.

Some personal thoughts.

This Y plate is darn heavy!   I will give it a go, but will probably switch back to a aluminium one.

They changed the y plate from having 3 lm8uu slots to 4... this is bad..  The bed is over constrained. 3 are better than 4 in this instance. 
They provide T2.5 pulleys and belts.. just about everyone has standardised on GT2 belts and pulleys.

Proving new Y rods was a good move, but if they where really serious about this being an upgrade, they also should provide new Z stepper motor screws, as the original ones are to long to be used on the 3mm steel.  

You also lose the ability to adjust your Y belt tension with this. Some other creative people have already published work around for this on thingiverse.

With all its faults I still like this kit. It is a rock solid frame.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Asteeg X5 Kossel mini update

I have wired up the power and motors and endstops of my Kossel mini.

The top stepper driver is the extruder and isn’t finished yet, is just there to test.

There is one got ya here.  I though  would be smart and remove the voltage selector jumper, so there was no voltage on the Endstop pins, making it imposable to accidentally wire up the end stops from VCC to GND.

Even though I was 100% sure I had wired the endstops correcty. When I tested them with the standard m119 gcode they always reported non triggered regardless of their triggered state.

This worried me somewhat... so  rechecked everything as you do... it was still wired correctly. So I took a look at the circuit diagram around the end stops. This is when I noticed the external pullup resistors wired to the end stop voltage selector. Turns out this board has external pullups vs the atmega internal ones I'm used to. I put the voltage selector jumper back in and the end-stops started working as expected. 

I updated the basic smoothieware configuration with the basics of my machine and proceeded with some simple moves. It did move but was so loud and noisy it worred me greatly.

After much mucking about, most of the noise was vibration in the arms. My traxxas joints are a bit sloppy. I did the standard test of motors on (to lock the axis) and push the effector. It moved, a lot more that I would have liked.
I have now added rubber bands over the traxxas joints. this his made it much quieter and all slop has gone.

The extra rubber band around the press fit connector is just to stop vibration 

Here is a video of it 'printing' a test 20x20x10mmm cube..   the extruder as you can see on the left still needs a little work (ie has still to be built!) 
The movement at this stage is still a little rough, considering the stepper are in 1/32 micro stepping mode...  something to work on.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Origins of the news articles featuring my stolen image

I traced down the origin of where the 3d printing news sites are getting the article and my stolen picture from.

It comes from where they clearly say on this page that their extruder arrived May 11 2014.

This is a blatant lie!

The extruder they are proudly showing off is a photo I personally took of my own standard PLA/ABS extruder I made back in 2011.  (Original post)

I have contacted every site I can to advise them that this image is being used without my consent. And that the page it is on is a lie. 

So I decided to dig a little deeper...

Using Google image search for their first image of that nice printed pyramid. no surprise its also taken from the internet seem to have come from this article dated 2012

I suspect this entire project is a scam. Be vary wary when they start asking for money (or anything else)

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Ive been digitaly poached again! (3rd time)

Once again I find one of my photos on another website..  with out even asking me if it OK or giving me any Attribution.

See the Middle image  this is from my repstrap days, back in 2011!

See image 6 from My old post

I have added a comment to the article asking them why... Let see if they publish it.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Electronics Mount

I needed a way to attach my electronics controller to my Kossel mini.

I looked at various options and various placements and was not happy with what I saw. 

Putting the electronics on top means that you stepper motors leads are really long. I also am planing on a LCD at the bottom front so I didn't want the board that far from the LCD, same issue when I go for a HBP, I want those wire short and as loss less as possible.

Another issue is a lot of the t-slot cut outs are inaccessible when you have assembled it.I could drill some hole in the t-slot, but nah.

Also its a Azteeg X5 is still quite new, there is very little out their for it.

The solution:

Freshly created thing:357063


Sunday, 8 June 2014

Kossel Mini mechanical build completed.

Things learnt:

The carriages are not that strong, I’m using thing:221667 and the thin bits of plastic opposite the teeth have a habit of breaking off.  I had to print two more, these could be made thicker without an issue. I also added zip ties to lock the belts into place.

Put the nuts in the carriage before you attach the belts, you can't do it the other way around...

Making arms is not fun. you definitely need a jig.  

I got 200mm CF rods with the intention of trimming these down to 180. I only have a toy lathe, this thing is not that centred.. sadly it just turns the CF into a fluffy mess. I've decided to just use the 200mm. Luckily I have spares. 

The 170 diameter glass sits on 3 tabs, this is meant to be double sided taped into position or something.. this is not what I call ideal. I will have to look at alternatives, especially since I will be upgrading to a heated bed.   

The AluHotend did not fit in the the standard effector, so I tried thing:225718, but that also didn’t fit. So I made my own to fit.

A printed hot end mount/fan mount is provided, but since I am printing in PLA that really not a good idea. So I'm going with the tried and true, wood! Probably going to attach the fan with unfolded paper clips.  

Next, the electronics.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Kossel Mini build

I've been gathering parts for a Kossel Mini for a while...

Still not all of it, nothing for the extruder, and no glass (is in the post somewhere..) + some extra bits for spares and such. But enough to start the build

Quite some time later The frame and linear motion has been assembled. (about 6 hours, I was making sure everything was spot on)

Things Ive noticed: 

The BOM I am using says
  • 100x M3 stainless steel nuts 
It uses more than that.
3 * 10 in the lower frame
3 * 7 in the upper frame + bearing assembly + belt tensioner
3 * 20 for the lenear rods + endstops
2 for the extruder mount

Thats  113, and I have yet to attach a few things

2 for the electronics
3 for the build plate mounts
1 for the z probe toggle stand
119 + any more I haven't thought of yet. (LCD and spool mount for eg)

Assembly of the base and the top is a PITA, the M3 nuts love turning around so they will not fit in the slots!  "patience is a virtue"  They tell me, for this its a absolute must!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Azteeg X5 mini 32BIT controller

I ordered a Azteeg X5 a few days back, its here already!

This is a 32bit Reprap (and CNC, laser cutter etc) controller. It runs smoothieware

As you can see with it sitting next to the supplied SD card, its really small.

The only thing that is bugging me a little is there is no Ethernet support like there is on the smoothieboard, but there are lots of IO lines broken out, so it may be possable as an add one.

There is lots of documentation on suppliers site on how to set it up. Wiring, Setup 


Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The perils of ordering power supplies from china

This power supply lasted about 30 mins, before blowing the house fuse...

The fuse has gone as has the Thermistor, probably other things to 

should look like this
Will be writing a ripping review if the supplier doesn’t be nice and replace.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014


This is the first Kickstater I have backed that has resulted in anything! (out of 4 or so, though i'm still hopeful on most of them)

My smoothieboard arrived today!

A nice packaged appears on my desk, labeled with the Open hardware logo 

 Containing a non descriptive box
Full of goodies!
 A bag full of connectors
And the Smoothieboard!
And the back side of the board, just for those who are curious

Tonight I find out how to program this board with smoothieware