My 3D printer is KOOKIN some plastic. Back in around  Feb 2013 I endeavored to build this thing. I ran into a few hurdles. and let the upgrade bug get me… after too too may upgrades and waiting for parts to arrive what was to be a slam dunk project < 1 month. I was still waiting on parts more than 3 months later. well this all but destroyed my attempt to get it done. the printer project had been demoted to the BACK (and I do mean furthest back) burner… well here its been a little more than 2 years and I decided no more road blocks. get it printing… then worry about what to do next . “next”.  This allowed me to complete (well its never gonna be complete. any one who owns one knows its like a house. “it’ll never be complete”) the printer.

What is it.: MendelMax 1.5+ (3 axis CnC machine with a plastic dispenser for the head)

Hardware: X gantry : HotEnds.com MarkV BV , under a Wades Reloaded extruder. Atop a 2 10mm Shafts using LM linear bearings. The Z Gantry uses Dumpster CnC anti backlash nuts, on 1/4×16 ACME screws. The Y Gantry uses a single Linear rail carrying a heated bed.

Electronics: Arduino/Ramps 1.4, with a Full graphics controller, nema 17 steppers, Fans on each Stepper for cooling, 40Amp variable PS 12-15V, limit switches on all axis’s. Soon to add an optical sensor for automatic bed leveling/head zeroing.

Hurdles I have encountered. and in no particular order.:

UPGRADES: dont do it… get your printer printing. Based on your original plan. then worry about what to do next.

Prints are failing in the first 5 to 10 mins. As if the extruder was clogged. Reason? The new extruder had some brass shavings in it and it was in fact clogging. ALSO. i discovered I failed to tighten the set screw on the smaller herringbone gear (the one attched to the extruder stepper) for the extruder. it was slipping. Also adding to the failure of prints.

After firing it up for the first time and trying to accomplish what would be one of my first prints. I discovered the steppers were getting pretty warm. while they may be within their heat tolerance. I could not live with it so I returned to the building phase and added fans for all parts. Steppers, as well as the electronics.

After the fan phase I decided I would print a 20mm cube…. … … well it printed very loosely. and about 40mm it was akin to a bail of hay. This told me my calculations were wrong for all my axis’s. back to the drawing board. after meticulously dialing it in. my second attempt yielded a  cube 20.35… not bad. I decided the axis were in the ZONE… time to dial in the extruder… same thing went like a charm. except the part where it kept failing due to a slipping gear and a particle of trash in the hot end it self.

I found a lot of useful information regarding my particular challenges. Ill post links and pics. hopefully if anyone has similar issues they will be most helpful.

Pics & link soon to come.