Last year I took the plunge into 3d printing. It was terrifying and intoxicating at the same time. I jumped at every strange sound the printer made, sure that box of wires and exposed moving gantry of hot spewing plastic was going to jump it’s tracks and shoot it’s guts around the room. You laugh….. I swear I believed. It made all kinds of weird noises and smelled… well….. hot!
Little by little I got use to it. It didn’t run off it’s tracks and it didn’t come apart. I began to leave it alone while it printed. Only a few minutes mind you at a time. And then the time came when I started it up and went off for 30 minutes or more. Then one time when I came back from the kitchen and found it had printed a stringy mess of a test 8bit cartridge shell.
That turned out to be the x axis belt that was extremely loose. Once I tightened it up everything was fine. Time went on and I eventually moved to my new home. After several weeks of unpacking and sorting things out I finally tried the printer again for the first time since the move.
Gremlins had found my printer. I swear… Horrible sounds issued from the inside as the extruders approached the far right rear. It stuttered and ground, then seemed to clear and prepare to print. But everytime it got close to the far right rear unholy noises spewed forth. Print aborted with power switch forced into off position. Some frantic searching on Youtube and Google turned up a possible cause. The X axis wire harness was bad. But I only had about 40 some hours on the printer I wailed….
I assure you that printer didn’t blink an eye. It just didn’t care.
Well this wasn’t the first time something inanimate had turned a cold eye on me. I fixed that right up with ordering 2x x axis wiring harnesses from Flashforge, cursing at the shipping charges all the way to the commit button. They came in and I took the hex wrench to the side and bottom covers. Off they came and after much turning and upside down viewing (not the printer mine you) of the cable pathway I had the harness installed. The covers went back on and everything plugged back in. I powered the printer back on, leveled the bed and started a print.
The extruder traveled closer and closer to the far right rear and then began to studder and grind. Oh *&(#(&%(@!
Off went the power switch again. Now what? There was one other cable that connected to the x axis motor. It was the sensor cable. From somewhere in my memory I recalled a cable that came packaged with the printer. So I dug in the box with the printer parts and came up with the cable. Off came the covers again, I spent more time practically on my head threading the cable through the guides again. All plugged in and buttoned up finally again. Power went on and I bed leveled again. I initiated the print again. And waited for the fatal noise again.
It never came. Instead the extruder moved through it’s paces like a race horse. I danced a victory dance, oh yea…… Oh yea….. 🙂
Two days later I came back into the hobby room and prepared the printer for another session. I had printed two proto parts and after making some adjustments to the 3d model I wanted to print a hard copy to see what else needed to be changed. Print initiated and I turned to my workbench to do some soldering. Behind me came the sound of studdering and grinding.
I shut the printer off and stewed. And regrouped.
Stay tuned for part two.