Rigidbot Big 3d Printer

I never really posted about this one, as it just remained an on going project, with no end goal in sight. I thought i ort to show how it worked out since its now ended.

So quite some time ago… Maybe back in 2013 i bought a large 3d printer from Kickstarter. It was a very bumpy road but after long delays and the possibility of not getting it at all. I finally got the kit in the post. It turned up at my university address. It was massive, bigger then i realised, but netherless it was very much welcomes. I named him Alfie (dont know why). Over the course of months i spent an hour here and there, finally getting it finished in around 3 months (there was allot of small things missing such as screws, springs, gears so that didn’t help). Its not the first printer that i have built, this was a Printrbot Jr maybe two years prior or my first kickstarter, this was a “The Vision” 3d printer (which went bust, but i lucked out and got a refund from my CC). The major difference i found between each, was not design, price, size or build material. It was consistency. Both Produced awesome prints, but the printrbot did this day in and day out with no hassle. Where as the Rigidbot printed well, then poorly and well and poor. This plagued with other small problems led me to do various upgrades to find what i had been looking for.

It started when i junked the power supply and bought an internal psu that was able to output 400w @24v.

Next i fixed the bed, the connector wasn’t the best it was right on the edge of its designed power rating , changed it with some 14AWG silicon wire, replaced some of the bearings while i was at it.

This meant that i needed somewhere to start mounting the new items, so after much thought i added a steel plate to the right side and began mounting all there

Added a parts fan to cool as the plastic was laid and a sheet of glass this helped allot with consistency with the first layer sticking.

The controller eventually went, apart from having to fix it several times, prints could take place over several days or weeks and i would need a computer hooked up all that time. So i needed something that would print from an SD card and was fast enough to handle the complexity of some of the designs i printed. So hesitantly sprung for a smoothieboard. Best upgrade i had made so far. It was fast, agile.

Next i wanted to change the print head to a 3mm setup with a bowden style. Again to improve performance and constancy, so i settled on an e3d v6. It arrived shortly before leaving for the Philippines, so remained in its boxed till i returned.  So i dusted everything off and picked up where i left off. I managed to move the motor from the print head, to the frame and drop some considerable weight. You could see the difference and the result was i could run less power to the Y motor, it would move faster and smoother. An hour here and there calibrating the printer and i finally got it where it needed to be. Fast forward to today getting ready for my first print with this new setup and though a move i guess something went wrong and the smoothieboard died, specifically the mcu died. So i guess that’s where this story ends….

I took some recent pictures while we had good weather just before remounting the smoothieboard to the side panel after cleaning everything.

Not sure what is next for Alfie.. I guess stay tuned..


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