The Printer

The printer is where the magic happens. This is where something that was created virtually can be turned into a tangible object. An object can go from an idea to the physical. Everyday becomes an adventure as you look for ways to improve quality of life. My Printer is a modified Printrbot Simple Metal. It has gone from a pile of parts, to a contributing member of the family. Below is just a brief tale of how it came to be.

The printer arrived to me in 2015 as a box of parts. I began assembling it and getting to know every component.

 

All shiny and new. I had not quite understood what I had built or what it was capable of, but I was itching to find out.

 

Instantly I began learning limitations and how far I could push it. I learned how to make it more reliable, and began enhancing it.

 

A larger heated bed was added. The heat enhances prints and allows for use of many different filaments.  To accommodate the larger bed, extended legs were printed, and customized to my needs (I designed and printed little rubber feat for the legs that dampen vibrations). An extruder cooling fan was added to keep everything printing smoothly on long prints (the CAD and slice of the fan bracket was in previous pages). This was also when I began experimenting with flexible filament (example: the feet).

 

As the heated bed required more power, I upgraded the power supply. I also wanted to keep an eye on Volts and Amps, so I added a meter. I designed the meter housing to accommodate 3 switches that serve various purposes.

 

A gear head extruder was added for more precise control, and reliable printing with flexible filaments.  An all metal hotend was added to allow for even more control, and exotic filaments if desired.

 

The build height was also enhanced, which brings us to today. The original build volume was 6″ wide by 6″ deep and 6″ tall. Today the build volume is currently 10″ wide x 6″ deep and 9.5″ tall.

 

That was just a brief explanation of the tools and equipment I use. If you have any questions about 3D printing contact me and I will do my best to help you out.