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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

printrbot GO – a latch, a replacement part, a handle and a calamity

It took a good long while, but I finally got tired of seeing the front door for the bot open all the time and decided to make a latch for it.  There were some latch designs on Thingiverse, but nothing really close enough to what I had in mind to use as a starting place even, so I just started from scratch in OpenSCAD. What I came up with was a low profile knob on the outside (I wanted it to be lower than the outside edges of the corner protectors) with a shaft going through the door and locking Read more [...]

printrbot GO – mirror printbed and stuff

After printing on an aluminum bed up to now (with an 8 x 8 Kapton square), I decided to install a mirror printbed I had purchased a while back.  I had wrestled with the best printbed material for the GO for some time before giving up and deciding to try both.  The GO being a mobile platform, it makes for some strong arguments in favor of aluminum.  No matter how gingerly I secure a piece of glass inside the thing, a good knock when traveling could bring me seven years of bad luck.  And there Read more [...]

printrbot GO – shoes and a socket

So after months of laboring over these little guys, I was finally satisfied enough with the results I was getting to print out a set of four corner protectors for the bottom corners of the GO. I printed these out in a single print and arranged them all so that the insides of the corners were facing each other (to minimize tool moves over the exterior perimeters) and so that they were aligned diagonally on the print bed (for no good reason). Printing them diagonally was Read more [...]

printrbot GO – some prints, some tweaks and some mods

So I had this fantasy that I was going to assemble the thing, do a bunch of "test prints", perform a lot of calibration (I think that's what you do with "test prints") and then tear it apart and stain it.  Sometimes things don't happen the way we plan. For one thing, it turns out I'm not patient enough for proper calibration test prints (yet at least) and the stuff I've been able to spit out with little to no calibration is good enough that I keep wanting to make more stuff.  Don't get me wrong, Read more [...]