Hello everybody and welcome to another video. Today is the first part of a miniseries in which I will be 3d printing a several feet long dragon. Being the intensive project it is, we’ll see if I can complete this in a reasonable amount of time and find out how long it ends up taking. I’m also wondering just how many new grey hairs I will be collecting by the end of this project. I’ll keep a counter at the top right. For today, we’ll be focusing on the conceptual art portions, which will include the basic design and mechanics as the overall aesthetics.

When beginning this project, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to create, but I did have some important requirements to consider. At the time, I had just gotten my CR30 3D printmill and wanted to do an in dept test of its capabilities. Compared to most 3d printers, this one was better suited for small scale production because of its ability to continuously print It also meant, however, that I needed to find a method in which to test those capabilities. So using an untested machine for a time intensive project, seemed like a good idea at the time? This project needed to be printed within the confines of the print volume, and portions needed to be repeatable to utilize the repeat function of the machine. I began brainstorming some ideas to figure out how I would be approaching this creation. I started looking up different types of mythological creatures which were serpentine in nature to get a better idea of which one I would focus on. Likewise, I could do a giant worm like creature or perhaps something more along the lines of a centipede, however in the end I decided to go with an Easter Dragon since I believe it to be the most interesting of ideas. Somehow, I didn’t believe that many people would want to click on a video showcasing a giant caterpillar. I guess we’ll see if that was a mistake or not.

Like any project I start, I had to go searching from some reference materials. In most cases, if I’m just doing a quick piece, then a simple google search will work just fine. For more technical projects like this one, I prefer to create an inspiration board, which normally includes a couple of notes. These boards help establish the mood of the design and help focus your ideas into a consistent design language. I can also include technical specifications to keep in mind when I’m creating the design. Hey Wake up little guy, this part is probably the most important part when creating a concept. Now I did decide early on that I wanted to do a steampunk styled piece, so I started referencing industrial base mechanical objects for this purpose along with animals or bugs which could have some dragon like features. Referencing actual animals and anatomy is in general good practice, since most mythology is based off such creatures to begin with. With reference materials on hand, I could then begin working out the conceptual art for this piece.

All concept art should start off with simple thumbnails, since this greatly reducing overall production time. By not wasting time on a full illustration, I could begin exploring basic concepts like the silhouette and proportions of the creature without investing too much time overall. After having done a couple of these, I eventually settled on this design, which I decided to full flesh out into a full concept and model sheet. Since I knew I would still need to make changes latter on, I decided to go ahead and focus on the plate design since this would be crucial for creating the rest of the aesthetics. I knew that the end of the tail was most likely not going to be printed, so I left that portion a little more open to interpretation. After all this work, here’s the rough the concept model sheet for the design along with the rough dimensions. And yes, you are reading this correctly, it does say 15ft and those measurements don’t include the head or tail.

So with the preliminary portions all completed, I can now begin 3d modelling and refining the design further, but that will be a story for another day. I hope you guys enjoyed the first part of this journey and I hope to see you guys soon. Thank you and take care.


Hello Everybody and Welcome to another video. Today’s we’ll be installing the Repkord Upgrade kit for the CR-30 since the motors lack proper support. Full disclaimer, this is not a paid sponsorship, I purchased this upgrade kit with my own money and the opinions that you see here are my own. As always, do this mod at your own risk, and I’m in no way responsible if any damages may occur.

Before we begin, I wanted to mention that this video is based on the original Repord installation video and although it was jam packed with useful information, I believe that it would benefit from an instructional over hull. For this reason, I will be including the link to the original video as well as the upgrade kit in the description below.

So there’s a couple of main reason why you may which to undertake this modification, however it is mainly to help prevent issues after long printing sessions. As mentioned in my review for this machine, this printer is better suited for a production setting where it can be expected to run 24/7. For a small business, having a machine go down can cause expensive delays while replacement parts come in. The CR-30 comes initially with two stepper motors, which do not have proper supports and could potentially deform or break over time. Depending on the deformation of the D-shaft, you could also experience extra rigging on your 3d prints if it becomes bent to one side. This modification adds a support across the stepper motor D-shaft where the belt applies constant pressure.

To start things off, we’ll first remove the original stepper motors that came with the machine. These motors are attached with a 4 mm hex screw and have 3 connection points. Making sure to unplug the original motors, we’ll completely remove the screws holding the mounting bracket in place so that only the tensioner remains. The tensioning screws only needs to be loosened enough to remove the stepper motor. Make sure to place these screws in a safe location because we’ll need some of them latter on.

Before we begin installing the new stepper motors, we first need to adjust the timing pulley to ensure that it is roughly the correct height. This will also allow us to adjust the orientation of the stepper motors according to our preferences after we’ve attached the mounting brackets. From the upgrade kit, we’ll remove the T-spring nuts and screw, while making sure to place these in a safe location for later. You’ll then need to loosen the 4 screws which are holding the stepper motor in the mounting bracket with a 2 mm hex key. Take care when lifting the bracket away from the stepper motor so that the screws don’t fall out of place. You can then place the mounting bracket flat on the table while you work on attaching the spring T-nuts to the frame of the machine.

I found that putting my tweezers in the slot was a great way to keep the spring nut from falling down the T-slot. In order to actually put the T-nut in, you can place a hex key through the hole to allow you to tilt into place. The pliers will keep the T-nut from sliding down while you attach the mounting bracket with the provided screw. Make sure that the bracket is just tight enough to keep it into place while still allowing you to move it if necessary. You’ll place the timing belts within the mounting bracket, making sure that they are opened over the hole for the stepper motor shaft.

We can now begin adjusting the timing pulleys by loosening the small hex screws holding them into their position. Using the original motors that came from the machine as a reference, you’ll line these up and set them to the same height. You’ll want to make sure that at least one of the screws is making full contact with the flattened portion. This will mean that the motor with the shorter height will need to be flipped upside down for a better connection. With the height properly set, you can now connect the motor to the mounting bracket while making sure that the connector is either facing up or down and that the timing pulley is within the timing belt. With the screws for the motor tightened, you can then slide the assembly up towards the tensioner screw and begin tightening it just enough to get a small amount of tension. If it doesn’t reach completely, the belt is most likely caught somewhere, so double check that it’s correctly threaded through its entire path. You can now attach the final screw to hold the motor into place and begin adjusting the timing belt tension until both belts are adequately tightened. Make sure to fully tighten the T-nut once it’s installed correctly by using a hex key which has a ball tip. Don’t overtighten the belt, it should have just enough tension that there’s enough resistance when you pinch it together Both motors need to have approximately the same amount of tension to ensure a proper operation of the machine.

The final stage is to adjust the steps per milometer for the new motors. Go to” Advanced settings” + “Configuration” + “Steps/mm” and adjust the steps for both the X and Y motors from 80 to 160steps/mm. With this complete, you can now begin printing once again.

So who is this mod for and when should someone consider doing this? Well, if you’re in a production setting then I would consider this a mandatory upgrade since it prevent issues before it begins. In this case, it would recommend that the user do this upgrade alongside the Bowden tube and tinned wire replacement. If you’re a more casual user of this machine, you could wait until a latter date to upgrade the motors since in most cases you won’t be tied to a specific deadline, however you do risk wasting materials and time should the motor shafts become deformed.