printrbot GO – suitcase belts and signature panel

Since before I even owned the GO! (v.1), I had a vision in my mind about turning it into a steampunk steamer trunk kinda thing, and critical to that vision were suitcase belts. I can't imagine  a single feature (well, in addition to darkly stained wood) that says "olde timey" like leather belts up the sides of a piece of a luggage, so I knew I needed to get something like that working for me at some point. I got held up for some time on the idea of finding straps that were actually designed Read more [...]

printrbot GO – wireless control with OctoPrint

One of the more functional mods I'd been planning for some time was the addition of a Raspberry Pi with OctoPrint for wireless control and remote monitoring of prints (by webcam). OctoPrint is essentially a host software for 3d printers that allows you to control the printer remotely via a web interface.  It has the same basic functionality as Repetier-Host, Pronterface (PrintRun), Cura or MatterControl but is really designed for printing untethered, most commonly by installing OcotoPrint Read more [...]

printrbot GO – compensating bed mounts

A lot of time has passed (four months) and a lot has happened since I last updated this blog.  When I became fully committed to the idea of using end-stop-wired bed mounts for automatic bed compensation (basically when I figured out that it was viable) I got seriously sidetracked into the world of CNC machining in an effort to realize a more complicated and fabrication-intensive design for the mounts.  For anyone already involved in 3d printing who is thinking about getting into CNC, let me warn Read more [...]

printrbot GO – automatic tram correction (“bed leveling”)

I've been putting off this post thinking that I wanted to "perfect" my setup before making it more public, but I haven't had all that much time to work on it lately and my vision for where I want to go with the hardware has escalated considerably (vaguely hinted at at the end of the post), so I decided to go ahead and write it up for now in the hopes of encouraging others to explore this route. It's a very hot topic in the 3d printing world these days so hopefully my experiences with this particular Read more [...]

printrbot GO – Frankenstein switch

Let me just be up front and say that this little mod does not warrant an entire blog post. The good news is that you're not paying by the word, so drop a complaint in the box on your way out if you must. So it seemed clear that a modern PC power switch was looking more and more out of place on my steampunk monstrosity and someone on PrintrbotTalk forums suggested a knife switch might be the way to go. Although I really liked the idea of finding a genuine antique knife switch, they were Read more [...]

printrbot GO – i take back all the nasty things i said about Oldham couplers

Oldham couplers, if you're reading this, it wasn't your fault. It was mine.  I didn't understand you.  You were perfect. Will you ever forgive me? So while deeply lost in thought about completely redesigning the gantry for the GO v.1 and agonizing over what kind of couplers really are best for my bot, a helpful chap on Google+ (+Joe Spanier) said, "Oldham couplers HAVE to have thrust bearings... to work correctly." Of course this makes sense.  Oldham couplers are only designed to transmit Read more [...]

printrbot GO – i take back all the nice things i said about Oldham couplers

Ok, it's time to man up and say I was wrong.  Soo wrong. The intial test prints after installing my cheapie Oldham couplers were glorious.  They represented such a dramatic improvement over my previous prints as far as Z wobble goes that I was convinced that I'd found the be-all-end-all solution for Z wobble.  I'd been using them for about a week when I started to notice some strange Z artifacts creeping back into my prints however.  The layers were shifting along the Y axis as before, but Read more [...]

printrbot GO – couplers, couplers, couplers

First, a disclaimer: I'm going to talk a lot about something that I will mostly call Z wobble in this post.  I know there are folks in the RepRap community with strong ideas about what Z wobble really means as opposed to Z ribbing or various other artifacts and anomalies found on the vertical sides of printed walls, so please forgive me if I'm using the language incorrectly.  What I will be talking about is the side to side shifting of layers caused (at least in part) by the threaded rods pushing Read more [...]

printrbot GO – wiring woes, duelling fans and a teeny, tiny soldering job

One of the aspects of the initial build of the printrbot GO that I struggled with was how to reliably connect the heated bed.  While it seemed sensible to have the wires for the heating element and for the thermistor come out of the side closest to the printrboard itself, keeping those wires appropriately free for the full travel of the bed AND for pulling out the drawer to fold it up into a suitcase yet also out of the way of the hot nozzle and the endstops for the X and Z axes was a bit of an Read more [...]

printrbot GO – amber LCD, bronze extruder gear

I think it was even in the comments on a blog post here that my friend Jon suggested that an amber LCD might be a nice modification to go along with the steampunk look.  He linked me to one on Amazon and after agreeing with him in concept and thinking about it a little bit (but not enough, as will be made clear), I ordered the panel. I did go so far as to confirm that it was a 20 characters x 4 lines panel, but didn't pay the first bit of attention to any of the other specs.  When it arrived, Read more [...]