Transcript

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.





Transcript

Hello everybody and welcome to another review. Today we’ll be comparing two Resin Cleaning machines. The first is the Elegoo Mercury Plus and the second is the Anycubic Wash and Cure 2.0 and both are very similar yet different machines as we’ll see shortly. Full disclaimer, I purchased both of these machines myself for the purposes of this review, and the opinions you will see here are my own.

Now, before we begin, let’s quickly cover what these machines do and how they might differ to traditional hand cleaning methods. In this case, both machines serve two main purposes in the post-processing of a resin 3d prints. The first is to clean the model to remove any residual resin which might remain after the print has finished printing. The second is to fully cure the print to ensure the material’s full mechanical properties. Both of these machines are designed to take up as little room as possible by combining both purposes into one device.

Now I’ve been using both these machines for a while now, and I can say that both will achieve very similar results, however the user experience for each of these is quite different in certain aspects. Both of these machines were chosen for the comparison because they were the closest in design and function, So let’s take a closer look at each of them one by one.

The Elegoo Mercury Plus uses a series of buttons to switch between the different modes, as well as controlling the operations of the machines. All buttons are clearly labelled and easy to read, however it is more time-consuming to set cleaning and curing times. On this machine, you have to readily press the plus or negative buttons to achieve your desired cure setting, which is inconvenient, especially if your hands are covered in resin. If you want to run the cleaning mode you’ll have to do this with the machine cover on and although you can place the container lid on it will be a very tight fit. The container lid on my unit had issues with closing properly, and I would recommend that the company change this for future machines. In order to clean the build plate, this machine has an added adapter which clips onto the top of the machine to where the cleaning basket would normally be located. This holder is only currently compatible with certain build plates, didn’t work with my Anycubic Photon. I would have preferred a different method of holding the cleaning basket in place, since it must be clipped into the holder for every use. If you choose not to properly secure the basket, it can interfere or damage the rotational stirrer, since the basket does not have a raised portion. As a safety precaution, this machine does turn off the LED’s if the machine cover is not in place. When I opened up this machine, I did indeed discover tinned terminals, which I immediately proceeded to replace them with ferrules. Although this machine does produce beeping sounds, in most cases this machine isn’t overly loud in it’s warning and operation. A newer model has since been released, which does have some improvements and features.

The Anycubic Wash and Cure machine 2.0 uses a rotational knob to adjust its timing settings, which I’ve found to be a faster method for adjustment. When you press down on the rotational knob, it allows you to start and stop the machine. In order to change between cleaning mode and curing mode, you’ll press on the button that has a cycle symbol on it’s surface. I found that the LED which displayed the current mode selection to be very small and difficult to read. What you see on camera is very much the same as what a user experiences as in person, and it would be something that I’d recommend they improve in future alterations. The basket design has raised feet which helps prevent uncured resin from dripping down onto your surface, however you will still need to place something underneath since the base is still open. One of the best features I’ve found yet on this machine is the ability to place the cleaning container on the machine and run it without the cover. This allows me to run the machine the with the container lid on but not the machine cover, which helps contain the fumes a lot better while preventing the evaporation of the liquid. The top of the container is higher than the LED’s, which make it easier to place and remove the lid during normal operations. The cleaning container has another benefit in that it keeps the build plate above the base by using the tab’s which are designed into the container itself. This means that you don’t have to swap out an additional component when cleaning with your build plate. As for the curing portion, this uses a reflective foil and a base which is inserted onto the gear. The only main concern I have is that liquid may fall into the gear system, since it’s a more open design. As a safety precaution, this machine does turn off the LED’s if the machine cover is not in place, which is a welcome precaution. When I opened up this machine I was very happy to discover that they did not use any tinned connections at their terminals which is a positive move forward for the company. This machine does produce very loud beeping noises and humming sounds when in operation and is something I would like to see addressed in a future product.

Both of these machines do alternate directions when in a cleaning mode, which does help ensure that all material is removed from the prints. These devices would benefit from certain changes in their future designs, once of which is a memory of the last timed setting. Both machines reset to zero for both their washing and curing cycles, which is inconvenient in a production setting where time is at a premium. If an owner has a flex build plate installed, they should not place it inside the cleaning station since this can compromise the adhesive being used to hold the magnet into place. While these machines are great for larger parts, I would like to see them included a finer sized basket for cleaning smaller parts, since these are very likely to fall through the openings of the basket. In my case, I’ve started using a tea infuser to circumvent this issue, however it isn’t entirely ideal.

So with all of this information taken into consideration, what is the final verdict? There are certain aspects of each that I do prefer, however for me the clean winner is the Anycubic Wash and Cure 2.0 for several reasons. The main reason is the fact that they had proper wiring in their machine and the cleaning container. Their basket and container designs were well integrated with the rest of the machine, and this does come at a higher price point. So if you’re under a tight budget and won’t be utilizing your machine on a regular basis, then I would recommend the Elegoo cleaning station, however if you’re producing prints approximately twice a week I would definitely invest in the one by Anycubic. The Anycubic model is simply more user-friendly and can potentially save a user quite a bit of time because of how it has been designed.






Transcript

Hello everybody and welcome to another video. Today well be covering a very simple upgrade, which is to replace the standard Bowden tube with a Capricorn tubing instead. As always, do this mod at your own risk, and I’m in no way responsible if any damages may occur.

So why do this upgrade at all? Well, as it turns out, it can often prevent problems before they appear. As some of you may already know, there’s quite a few cloned hot ends on the market, and this does create quality control issues as a result. I’ve actually had the Bowden tube of my CR-30 and Sovol SV1 constrict so much that they completely stopped extruding material. In most cases this can be a minor inconvenience, however in other’s it can be more serious. On my CR-30, the Bowden tube was actually burnt within the hot end and caused the filament to puncture the Bowden tube itself. Most standard Bowden tubes are known to release extremely toxic fumes when heated past it’s recommended levels, so this was a great concern to me at the time. This issue is caused by the heat from the heater block creeping up the Bowden tube, and this is known as heat creep. This is pretty common in most hot ends that come with questionable quality control, however it can also happen to higher end models as well. On my CR10 V3 for instance, I had the same issues when I had added an all metal hot end from a well known company. The most common method to dealing with these issues is to upgrade the Bowden tube to a Capricorn one and is something that I recommend most people do at some point since it’s a very simple upgrade. The Capricorn tubing is made from high quality PTFE tubing along with normally some lubricant within the tube itself. Since the tolerances are much tighter, there tends to be fewer chances of the filament bending within as a result. A standard Bowden tube has a maximum temperature of 230 while the Capricorn one can go as high as 260.

In order to do this upgrade, you should only need one tool, however you have two options available. The first is to use side snips pliers to cut the tubing to the correct length, and then re-open the opening using the tip. You’ll re-open the tubing by using a circular motion to gently reshape it to its original opening size. The second method is to use a PTFE Teflon Tube cutter to get a clean cut on the ends of the tubing. Although the tube cutter does give a cleaner cut, you may still have to re-open the opening of the tubing slightly after having cut it down to the correct size.

The fittings which help hold the tubing in place are what allow for movement in only one direction when they are fully functioning. Putting the tubing into place is the easy part, however to remove it you must apply downwards pressure on the collet of the Pneumatic joint. Applying this pressure helps move the gripping teeth out of the way, which in turn allows tubing to be removed.

Before start swapping out the tubing, we first need to prepare the machine by doing a cold pull. A cold pull helps remove any debris that might be in the hot end and is a highly recommended step to help ensure that the tubing goes in all the way during assembly. Although I prefer to use some TPU while doing this, PLA will also work, but you’ll have to be careful not snap it in the process. To start things off, if you don’t have any filament already loading into your machine, you’ll need to preheat the nozzle so that you can feed some filament through the hot end. Once the filament has been feed through, you can then let the hot end completely cool down. Once it’s Cooldown completely, you’ll restart the heating process while tugging on the filament at the same time. As the hot end heats up, any residue will be dislodged when the filament is pulled out at a low temperature. As you can see, I did this process with both TPU and PLA with the same results. Once again, just make sure not to snap the filament while doing this step.

To replace your Bowden tube, you’ll first remove the existing tubing from your device. Some machines use a small clip to hold the collet into place while other’s sometimes have a zip tie as an alternative, so make sure to remove these before taking out the Bowden tube. You’ll then take this tubing and use it to measure out the replacement Capricorn tubing. By either using a set of side snip pliers or PTFE Teflon Tube cutters, you’ll cut the length of tubing required for your particular machine, making sure to keep the cut as level and clean as possible. If needed, you can use the side snip pliers to reshape the tip of the tubing so that it’s round. You can then begin feeding the tubing into the hot end assembly, making sure that is put all the way in, followed by the extruder.

I hope you guys found this video useful and that you are now more comfortable undertaking this simple modification on your machine.





Transcript

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.