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Reg's first Voron Build Diary


Reg_B

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Posted (edited)

OK, so at the risk of providing an EVIDENCE TRAIL of my biggest blunders I'll try to document my build.

 

Ordered Formbot V2.4R2 kit on 16 May 24, got an e-mail message or two confirming the sale, also one about the hot end coming directly from China, it took a few days to get the charge to show through PayPal, I guess this is normal.

Supposedly it will arrive tomorrow in Mass from Chino CA via FedEx.

I have driven coast to coast with a horse trailer in 6 days, so 8 isn't too bad given the transfers at freight terminals.

 

I guess this counts as day 0 minus one ?

Not really, I printed the parts a few weeks ago.

I have downloaded Pi Imager and put Mainsail on a micro SD card - actually two, since I don't know if I need the Pi3 or Pi4 version I got both.

A potential problem might be that I will be doing the build AWAY FROM any web network, so may have to disembowel the printer for updates and haul the (Pi equivalent and its power supply) off to a local library.

 

As noted elsewhere I plan on using some corner braces, both for initial alignment while building the frame and as frame stiffeners - if I can leave them in with out interfering with things.

I have been printing with ABS for quite a while now and plan to continue, so chamber temperature MATTERS to me.

There seems to be a lot of effort in the Voron design to get air through the electronics - OK, I understand that.

I am thinking that I would like at least SOME of that waste heat to go up into the print area - - so the thought of somehow venting the deck arose.

Right now I am thinking that expanded metal would work and if there are hot/cold spots I could "tile" it with ....something ?

Basically small panels that I could lay in as required

This is just a thought at this time, could go either way.  Will read MORE to see if others have tried something similar - and regretted it (-:

 

 

 

Edited by Reg_B
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Looks to be an interesting build - I for one will be following this journey.

The idea of tiled panels is an interesting one and opens a bevy of new possibilities. I have not read about this - but we are all pioneers at heart, so why not? And vented bottom panels - now that I like - why not expand it with a "reverse fan" (Electronics extractor fan for a better word)  from the electronics panel into the chamber. so instead of blowing cool air into the chamber, we take blow hot air into the chamber,........ mmmhhhh.

Now there is a science experiment I might just try. (Note to self - write it down somewhere) But then I'll have to remember where the note is......🤔

6 hours ago, Reg_B said:

I will be doing the build AWAY FROM any web network,

I have lately started doing build logs in a "word" file as I go, then posting into my build diary through "cut and paste" . Partly because I hate the autocorrect on the site. "Klipper becomes Clipper, Omron becomes Moron, etc" It messes with my mind, and there's not much to mess with.

WiFi you will only need towards the end of your build, once all the electronics are installed. You can always test your installation on "The Rig" 🙂 

 

 

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The time frame for delivery seems to be on par with what I've experienced with my two Formbot Voron builds. It is a good kit for the money. Looking forward to following your build progress.

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Posted (edited)

OK, first a BAD word for FedEx )-;

 

OK, so I know that traffic and delivery volumes can be a little unpredictable, but they said between 10:20 and 2:20

Would have been OK if I hadn't had to take my wife to a medical appointment at 11:30 - left the house at 10:50, back at around 12:00,

then out again for "NAILS" at 2:00. and collect her at 3:30.   (such a busy life we lead).

Anyway, it seems to have been dumped on the front step at around 6:00

No matter.

=====================================================================

 

First off is the A extrusions;

I didn't figure if they are tapped for the M5 BHCS or if there is so little metal that I was cutting a thread with just finger torque - was careful to not strip.

I am NERVOUS that in the base design these are the corner JOINTS and if they strip you are Outta luck.

Next up is the Tee nuts;

The roll in ones DON'T !

many of the 3 mm ones for the Z-rails are a horribly tight fit even when inserted from the end of the extrusion.

(Yes, I had to take the corners apart.)

Odd thing with Allen keys and Chinese metric bolts; supposedly they are "Metric" but on both the M3 and M5 that I have touched so far I found my "inch" keys to be a better fit.  Ball ended keys would be even worse.

Right now three Z rails are in, but I have not cleaned or lubed them.  I have left the little rubber stoppers in at both ends.

The frame - ah, the frame.   I'll keep banging the frame stiffeners drum.   (-:

I *_LIKE_* diagonal bracing, I won't take it out unless/until it gets in the way of something(s).

Question;  Are the DIN rails "one size fits all" ?

Mine are certainly short enough to fit a 250 frame.   I get that the electronics is the same and all the stuff that clips to these rails only needs the same space regardless of the frame size.

=====================

Anyone care to comment on the gap at the bottom of the Z-rails ?

The doc says 3mm or 1/8 in, but I can't see the harm in more - I don't think the gantry will ever go THAT low and head space seems more useful.

 

 

 

Edited by Reg_B
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The gap at the bottom of the Z rail, if you have the Z belt covers printed use that to set the gap the covers need to slip under the rail.

IMG_2289.thumb.JPG.6c0e8b7bbcbe5759649715c2a67c7deb.JPG

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Yesterday I learned two new skills.

a) How to put in 3 mm heat inserts.

b) How to straighten the damned things out.

 

As with SO MANY other things crooked inserts are a problem better avoided than solved.

I made the BIG mistake of getting one insert in and then rushing to get the 4 sets of 6 into the Z-drive parts - and the other 3 in each of the 4 drives - - before checking any of them for straight.

 

LESSON LEARNED !!!

Suggestion for those who follow;

Have a small piece of FLAT metal in your free hand, don't press the insert all the way in with the soldering iron.

When it is close to flush press it the rest of the way with the (cold) piece of metal.

Test; try running the 3mm x 40 bolts in from the bottom using just thumb and forefinger on the threads.   If this isn't EASY they are running into the sides of the holes

and you will be able to see that they are wonky relative to the bottom surface.

BTW a 15 Watt iron with a pencil tip proved adequate, maybe 3 seconds to ABS melt point,  probably Radio Shack circa 197x

I think it was worth straightening these out, but it took time.

 

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6 hours ago, Reg_B said:

b) How to straighten the damned things out.

Even better = build one of these insert presses. Can guarantee you it is well worth it.

I built the Iconic Fab Stealth press, which I am very happy with. Just finished a second unit (one for the workshop outside and one for the study - much warmer in winter)

IMG_6896.thumb.png.acf05efb6723497fcc7b64a03998d3bb.png

When you do build - make sure the solder iron holder is absolute level. 

IMG_6895.thumb.png.6692352085dfac19eba0442a8ba5920a.png

(The angles of the photos makes it look not level, but it is - error of parallax)

 

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Well, err, umm, if I were planning on doing a LOT of heat melt inserts ....maybe a special tool.

In the mean time I'll (try to be) more dependent on skills than tools - just gotta get betta at it.

 

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Posted (edited)

OK, so in retrospect;

1)

The Tee nut problems seems to have been more of a PAINT issue then the nuts themselves, i.e. as I have done a few more in DIFFERENT bits of extrusion I have found that some are a LOT easier then others.   There is still a LOT of variation in the Tee nuts themselves though and I have developed the habit of setting aside the ones that are hard to get into the current extrusion.   Maybe they will go in somewhere else, maybe I will have more KNACK by the time I need to use them.

IF ever I do this again I will try to find "mill finish" extrusions anyway, anodized would be NICE, but I don't think that is likely at Formbot prices.

2)  I am not going about this QUITE the same way as the assembly manual suggests.

My approach seems to be to build as many of the sub assemblies as I can before putting ANY of them into the frame.

Not sure why this is, it could just be another personality defect, but it seems to be working and it MIGHT avoid having to tear things apart.

This gives me a chance to review sub assemblies against their mirrored parts.

3) The "Heat from below" plan is currently to cut 9 BIG ROUND HOLES with a hole saw in the deck panel, about 4 inches in diameter, 3 x 3 pattern tic-tac-toe.

The recovery plan would be to print some sort of Z ring with the vertical about the thickness of the kerf and to drop the discs back in.  

I will probably print up something like this anyway and glue in fabric bug screen, just to keep stuff from falling through.

4) I have a few 5 mm Tee nuts in extrusions that I would like to get out.   Orientation issue with the Z idlers, I chose the wrong top section.

Not easy with my current skill level, is there  special trick to this ?

Not important if Formbot has over supplied me, but I'd hate to finish up ONE short.

 

Still a long way to go, but I am making progress.  Sunny days haven't helped this week, not that I look forward to rain.

 

Edited by Reg_B
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A bit more progress, so a couple of comments.

 

For getting the gantry into the frame the manual says to use long zip ties.

I don't have any and I hate to cut them up after mere minutes (hours ?)  but I do have a lot of junk.

In the USA house wiring is done with 3 single strands of wire in a plastic sheath, common brand name Romex.
 

I had some laying around and cut 4 lengths of it, bent about a 4 inch long hook on each end and put them over the top of the frame sides, with the lower hooks facing inwards.

Tahh Dahh, I can take it out and put it back as many times as it takes to get it right.

 

I think Europe uses stranded wire, which would probably be too limp.

In previous decades I would suggest coat hanger wire, but who remembers that ?

No need for the helper - that usually causes friction anyway.

 

The magnets for end stops were too tight to push in by hand, but I have a small machinist's vise (with steel jaws.

I let the magnet cling to one law and closed it while aligning the block, no glue needed.

Still having problems with Tee nuts, but I'm learning to live with it.

End of week #1, there has been SUN, so I played on the water (sue me).

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8 hours ago, TitusADuxass said:

Just for info: House wiring in Europe and the UK also uses single strand wire.

Thanks for the update - I left in July '69, so memory has faded.

ONE big surprise to me was that Euro plumbing was NOT metric, but all Brit pipe sizes and threads (in the early '70s, that may have changed by now).

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Can't quite bring myself to sticking the magnetic pad on the heating plate yet.

It will seal in the bolts that hold the plate to the extrusions - unless I cut 4 little windows out of the front and rear edges.

That plate is hefty for sure and I can't help thinking that it should have some edge insulation - and maybe some underneath insulation too.

Z belts are next I guess.

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12 hours ago, Reg_B said:

Thanks for the update - I left in July '69, so memory has faded.

ONE big surprise to me was that Euro plumbing was NOT metric, but all Brit pipe sizes and threads (in the early '70s, that may have changed by now).

Euro plumbing is metric, the steel water pipes were imperial but their usage is not so widespred (mainly industrial) - in houses (domestic) 22mm & 15mm are the main sizes used for water. Less copper is now being used with the development of plastic pipes and reliable fittings. 

Don't ask me what's the standard in the UK, I left there 25 years ago.

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The Formbot kit came with 4 little stand-offs to mount the plate on (instead of the 4 mm thumb nuts suggested in the base design).

Any thoughts on this and the suggestion to tighten down only ONE of the plate bolts ?

(and "snug" the others)

I know the principle is about differential expansion of the aluminum heat plate vs the relatively cooler extrusions supporting it, but how much does this matter anyway given the close proximity and short distances between the bolts ?

 

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Not that I am anywhere NEAR ready to print yet, but I have a question about the gold colored print plate.

Is the smooth side (as received from Formbot) coated with a clear film that I need to remove, or is it an intended part of the printing surface ?

Reason I ask is that it has a small tear, which I assume makes it unusable as is, but if I take it off and it turns out to be an intended coating I'll be out of luck with any sort of a warranty claim.

I don't think they are expensive anyway, so I will probably get a spare at some point anyway.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Reg_B said:

Is the smooth side (as received from Formbot) coated with a clear film that I need to remove, or is it an intended part of the printing surface ?

You remove the film on the smooth side and take a Scotch Pad to scuff up the surface so the filament can stick to the plate. Both of my Formbot kits had a film on the smooth side. Can you easily lift the film edge on the corner if yes then it is the protective film. If you removed the protective film and you have a scratch on the plate then the PEI film is damaged.

Edited by PFarm
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@Reg_B I'm not 100% sure about this but my Formbot kit came with a single sided PEI (gold colored) sheet. It's possible that Formbot is now suppling double sided sheets with their kits.

Here's what I would do... I would confirm that the smooth side is actually coated with PEI. One way to tell is that you will see sanding marks on an uncoated sheet and the color will generally be a brownish bronze color. Another way to tell is by looking at the tab on the front of the sheet. Many times, you can see the step where the coating is applied. Below is a double-sided sheet. As for the clear film... if you can easily peel it off by hand, it will definitely come off or make a mess when you print so, I would peel it off.

image.thumb.png.99b7c47378a4d899465fb678f2386e43.png

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1 hour ago, Penatr8tor said:

@Reg_B I'm not 100% sure about this but my Formbot kit came with a single sided PEI (gold colored) sheet. It's possible that Formbot is now suppling double sided sheets with their kits.

Here's what I would do... I would confirm that the smooth side is actually coated with PEI. One way to tell is that you will see sanding marks on an uncoated sheet and the color will generally be a brownish bronze color. Another way to tell is by looking at the tab on the front of the sheet. Many times, you can see the step where the coating is applied. Below is a double-sided sheet. As for the clear film... if you can easily peel it off by hand, it will definitely come off or make a mess when you print so, I would peel it off.

image.thumb.png.99b7c47378a4d899465fb678f2386e43.png

 

 

Thanks for your response.

Yes, there is a definite a step right at your blue arrow.

So, sounds like I have a defective sheet - I have e-mailed Formbot  about it.

.

I could probably get by with the textured side only, but if this is a QC problem I want them to fix it.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Reg_B said:

I could probably get by with the textured side only, but if this is a QC problem I want them to fix it.

I always use the textured side. The only time I use a smooth-ish sheet is for prints with a special CF or hologram texture. That's just my preference. If Formbot sends you another one, great but if not... don't sweat it. You will make mistakes and you will grind a nozzle into it among other stuff that happens during normal use. In time you'll end up with a collection of build plates like most of us. Build plates are one of those things that eventually wear out like nozzles.

HologramBuildSheet.thumb.jpg.27e13bf9ca0ebf2defc755695eecc875.jpg

HologramPart-01.thumb.jpg.c5966907ff201650d67ab1426cea4879.jpg

CFBuildPlate_Box-02.thumb.jpg.c3713fd7e5dd75f6a0b88ada7d39b6b2.jpg

Edited by Penatr8tor
Forgot something...
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