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 [...]

printrbot GO – Trapezoidal Lead Screws

So I've been struggling with my Z axis to some extent since before I even got the GO up and running.  While putting the kit together I decided I wanted to switch to metric lead screws for the Z axis to save myself from having to do some math every time I wanted to print at a different layer height, then a short while later changed to larger diameter (but still metric) rods and now have gone and changed them yet again. For the 5/16" zinc plated all-thread lead screws (18 threads per inch) that Read more [...]

World Maker Faire New York 2013

It will perhaps not surprise you that I spent most of my time at Maker Faire ogling the various 3d printing displays.  Although that is what I will focus on in this post AND these beasties have surely taken over huge chunks of land at Maker Faire in recent years (based on what I've been told, this was my first Maker Faire), there is a lot going on at Maker Faire that is NOT 3d printing related believe it or not and I'm sure that folks interested in just about anything geeky, hacky, oddball and Read more [...]

printrbot GO – 8 mm rods, GT2 belts, a belt tensioner and a cooling fan

So after my last round of functional but peripheral upgrades (getting all the tools into handy locations) I decided it was time to focus some time and effort on the printing performance of the bot (an idea that felt almost novel after all of the aesthetic mods I'd otherwise been consumed by recently). It was clear to me that the motion in the Z direction could use some refinement because the x-axis carriage seemed to wobble back and forth a little bit when raising or lowering the extruder manually. Read more [...]

Rounding-Up Tool Exploratory Group

Yesterday we convened the first ever meeting of the the NYC Rounding-Up Tool Exploratory Group. I say "Exploratory Group" because none of the three of us had any idea how to use this tool and there's not a lot of folks around to ask so, as is necessary with many watchmaking tools and operations, we decided to just figure it out. A rounding-up tool (or topping tool if you're British) is a tool for cutting or reshaping the teeth of watch wheels.  As far as I can tell It was used primarily in the Read more [...]

printrbot GO – shootout and new holsters

This post is long overdue so may be scant on details, but I wanted to recount a fun duel a friend and I organized between my printrbot and his Makerbot. He is a horologist (like myself) and interested in exploring 3d printing for watch and clock components and had just recently picked up a Replicator 2 and begun playing with it and I was pretty impressed with the prints he was able to spit out with very little tweaking (from my perspective anyway).  It prints in PLA only and has A LOT of the Read more [...]

printrbot GO – airline travel triumph

Part 1 - Packin' This is the blog post wherein I document the tragedy and/or triumph of traveling with the printrbot GO.  Follow along with me as I tempt fate.   So, I know the printrbot GO is like a suitcase, and I know I said I was totally going to carry it on a plane with me, but I kinda chickened out.  It doesn't help that I've gone to town on the embellishment, but mostly I'm just fearful of getting stopped at security and somehow not being allowed to carry the thing on and Read more [...]

printrbot GO – spoilers and ground effects

I am really not a "pimp my ride" kind of guy.  On the contrary, I lean vastly more in the direction of form follows function and ornamentation is a crime in general, but somehow this project has me stretching my sensibilities in addition to my fabrication skills.  This is a lengthy, navel gazing exploration of that process. You have been warned. So when I put the bot back together after staining it, I had deeply mixed feelings about it. I wasn't thrilled with the color or consistency of the stain, Read more [...]

printrbot GO – LCD, stain and stuff

I told myself that after installing the LCD panel that I wouldn't attempt any other major mods until I bit the bullet and stained the damn thing. Getting the LCD mount sorted out coincided with my last weekend as a bachelor (my wife quit her job that had her working weekends - a mixed blessing as they say) so I disassembled the thing over the course of the week and spent the weekend staining, shellacking, sanding and reassembling. Printrbot apparently only had a very few of these things Read more [...]