The USB TTL Cable was delivered on a week day, so we burned some midnight oil to get things up and running. With the cable in place, we had zero difficulty connecting to the robot. Aside from a few direction reversals, everything worked perfectly!
Here is our robot actually doing something. The temperature of the extruder has been raised to 220C and we are ready to do some test extruding.
Getting the extrusion to stick to the build platform is the first big challenge. Along the way, we tried different temperatures and different pinch wheel tension. In feeding, pulling the thread back out, refeeding, pushing too hard, and generally yanking on shit, we ended up with a badly clogged and leaking extruder nozzle. I'll let Alan elaborate on his extruder deconstruction efforts (involves toaster oven) in a later post. In addition, he's going to talk a bit in detail about the various extruder tunings that got us mostly in business.
Instead, I will bask in the glory of success of our first prints that did not look like spiderwebs and the corresponding action photography.
You see, we had so much trouble getting the extrusion to stick at first, that we devised our own heated build platform solution. This actually worked surprisingly well until we got annoyed with it and worked out the proper tuning that eliminated its need.
Part of our process was to meticulously document settings changes and results. This is only part of the notes. I've tweaked this in Lightroom to exaggerate the defects. There is quite a bit of variation even between prints without settings changes. Not a perfect machine, but we are very pleased with ourselves so far.
Stay tuned for badly printed and generally useless plastic objects.
Best. Project. Ever.