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Second printer failure

by Ivan Sentch 17. February 2013 21:04

Had my second printer failure, the first wasn't noteworthy just a loose cap screw but this one took a bit to figure out. First the printer started logging cold extrusion prevented messages (meaning it thought the hot end was too cold to melt the abs so it just ignored that command to prevent the end getting clogged).

This got worse to the point where it would just stop after a while and log "printer stopped due to errors use m999 to restart". I pulled the wiring loom out and did a continuity check but everything seemed fine, even after moving the cable around to see if it only happened in some positions.

I was about to contact solidoodle when I checked again and found one of the sensor wires failed, don't know why it failed this time and not before but i changed the wire, soldered it in this time instead of relying on the crimp and I'm back in business again


3D Printing

Bonnet Assembled

by Ivan Sentch 14. February 2013 07:08

All done, this took a while (you might notice I ran out of black). Now on to the passenger door



Creating the framework

by Ivan Sentch 9. February 2013 13:50

The 3D design tool I'm using is Autodesk 3DS Max 2011, this has the standard feature of creating cross sections of your object which is how I make the framework the panels sit on.

I first give the object depth so the printed sections will sit flush on the framework, then create the sections, no real science with this just as many as I feel are needed to keep it true but i do offset their positions so they do not line up with where my extruded edges will be (otherwise I'll need to manually take more off the outline in order for the sections to sit flush)

I then export the shapes to another program (I can't seem to find a print to scale option in 3DS max so I use another very simple CAD program called AllyCad) and print them out to scale (normal printer that is). With these I transfer the shape to MDF and cut it out (you could use a 2 axis CNC machine for this but a jigsaw works just fine)

These are then glued / screwed together using square blocks to keep it square.

There's a good youtube video about this here:


Body | Design

Bonnet printed...

by Ivan Sentch 8. February 2013 19:30

...still assembling though, this time I'm trying to assemble the border first then work in. With the boot I did one layer rows and attached them from the top and bottom in, I was surprised when there was a gap in the middle, I was expecting with the 0.5mm rail  the printer prints that I would have to sand it a bit to fit snug.

I put this down to the inaccuracies created when the print peals off the bed (due to inconsistent cooling rates) when it rises off the bed it also distorts out or in so if you don't compensate for this when you attach it all together you end up with things like this.

I've got some weights on it now so I'll take an in-progress picture later, for now here's a picture of my 250 GTO kit I built 10 years or so ago, it's also got the RB25DET in it that I'm planning to use in this (but I would like to transplant the v12 from a 750 I have been sporadically working on into it one day, hard to work on something that's already working though)


Body | 3D Printing | Miscellaneous

3D Printing, what I've found so far

by Ivan Sentch 5. February 2013 08:55

I've got a Solidoodle 2 3D printer which has a build envelope of 150 x 150 x 150mm so the first thing I did is cut up the bonnet into to 150mm cubes (I should point out I didn't have the printer at this point so I couldn't test any of this), gave it some extruded sides for rigidity, first mistake. The printer can't print on thin air so I would have to build up the top extruded side at 45° or beter yet cut the squares at 45°. so I cut all the squares diagonally and then gave them 1.75mm depth, second mistake. 3DS Max 2011 (which is the design tool I'm using) gives depth along each segment's normal (imaginary line perpendicular to the average face direction) instead of uniformly in one direction (x, y or z axis). So start again, give the bonnet depth first, then cut, then make the extruded sides (and give them depth as well).

Once all this was done (just the bonnet so far) I had to rotate each segment for printing, export and convert into gcode, given the trouble I had creating the segment I only did one and waited for my printer to arrive. When it did it was pretty straight forward, plug the USB key in, use the software provided to turn the exported .stl file into gcode and print!

The first print worked fine except the printer didn't handle the 45° angle very well, it printed it but it had trouble and it wasn't true (was actually a bit saggy). I need all sides to be true or when I attach them all together it will be misshapen. So start again!! This time I gave it 5mm depth, cut it into 150mm squares and only extruded the sides by another 5mm (as being 5mm thick it's sturdy enough, the sides are only to enhance the accuracy when I stick them together, also it's much much much easier and faster doing it this way as well).

Another problem, converting it to gcode creates rails the print sits on (used to keep it stuck to the print bed as as it cools it wants to distort) and as I've used the full build envelope it looses the sides, also the bed is heated from the middle so the outsides are cooler and the edges curl up too much, but the last straw was the printer got to 109mm, threw errors and wouldn't go any higher. I'm sure there was just some adjustment required to fix this but with the rail and the warping I decided to start yet again, this time I did the boot as I had had enough of the bonnet by now.

Something I found out along the way was you can spray hairspray onto the bed to help keep the print stuck to the bed, also (which I have yet to try) use a pane of glass (sprayed with hairspray) on top of the bed (kept in place by paper binder clips).

The final solution that worked:

1) Give the object (boot) 5mm depth

2) Cut it into 105mm squares

3) Extrude the sides by 5mm

4) Export to .STL, convert to gcode (using the rail settings)

5) Heat the bed up to 95°

6) Spray the bed with hairspray

This works pretty well, occasionally the edges still peel of the bed but most of the bottom is still straight so there's enough to stick them together accurately.


Body | 3D Printing | Design