Replicator 1 Transformation
by solertron, published
When I began using the Replicator, a number of annoying little issues impeding quality and consistency immediately revealed themselves. This is a short account of my quest to solve these problems.
The most recent addition is the front door, which I have attached with the hinges I have already posted here http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:47591
The dxf files for the acrylic covers are included.
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The machine you see in the attached pictures started out as a Replicator 1. I began working on isolated problems pretty much from the time it printed the first item and after performing various mods and fixes I decided to go back to first principles and begin with a solid (rigid) structure and then re-evaluate the issues and resolve each in turn. I was not happy with the plywood approach for reasons like rigidity of the framework, resonance, noise etc. Then there was the obvious lack of air current and ambient temperature control inside the build cube along with other issues like noisy uncontrolled fans, awkward alignment of print heads, uneven temperature spread on the HPB, and some firmware related points (which I am still sorting out) along with the HPB.
So I started with the framework by pulling up the original drawings and making some mods to these (as can be seen) then had them laser cut in 6mm black acrylic. This alone already improved both noise and accuracy (repeatability). Admittedly, the most surprising of these was the improvement in noise. I decided to have the top and bottom panels cut in 6mm Aluminum so they would form a solid foundation for the structure. As a result of re-enforcing the HPB support arms with some bracing, I had to adjust the limits of travel for the print heads which meant that I ended up with a slightly reduced build cube but a much more solid platform. After that I added a 5mm Aluminum HBP with a slight modification to the springs so that it always has good tension on these to ensure there is no "play". The work is not finished yet, as I am about to begin experimenting with Glass and I will be adding a three point levelling system which I am working on at the moment (many thanks to my good friend MECANO - http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:42756 for his guidance in this endeavour).
To cut a long story short, I am still working to implement all of the planned improvements. I am doing this in my spare time so it's a case of investing time whenever my day job will allow. Still I am very happy to be producing consistent, accurate work. And I am sure that I will improve my prints even more with the help of some mods and tips from other intrepid members of the 3D printing community. A short video can be seen here http://youtu.be/ncM7SWQdnxY
This is now a thing that I very much enjoy.
Note: I have included all files necessary to make the full housing including side covers. I will be using the "Quick Hinge" thing I posted earlier to hold the front cover. As I am still to draw the front cover I will add this to this set when I have completed it. Please note that I have supplied file MP2195 (bottom panel) as is since there were no mopdificaitons made to it.