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Posts Tagged M2

MPCNC Drag Knife: PETG Linear Bearing

Having reasonable success using a 12 mm hole bored in a 3D printed mount for the nice drag knife holder on the left, I thought I’d try the same trick for the raw aluminum holder on the right side:

Drag Knife holders - detail
Drag Knife holders – detail

The 11.5 mm body is long enough to justify making a longer holder with more bearing surface:

Drag Knife Holder - 11.5 mm body - Slic3r preview
Drag Knife Holder – 11.5 mm body – Slic3r preview

Slicing with four perimeter threads lays down enough reasonably solid plastic to bore the central hole to a nice sliding fit:

Drag Knife - 11.5 mm body - boring
Drag Knife – 11.5 mm body – boring

The top disk gets bored to a snug press fit around the flange and upper body:

Drag Knife - 11.5 mm body - flange boring
Drag Knife – 11.5 mm body – flange boring

Assemble with springs and it pretty much works:

Drag Knife - hexagon depth setting
Drag Knife – hexagon depth setting

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work particularly well, because the two screws tightening the MPCNC’s DW660 tool holder (the black band) can apply enough force to deform the PETG mount and lock the drag knife body in the bore, while not being quite tight enough to prevent the mount from moving.

I think the holder for the black knife (on the left) worked better, because:

  • The anodized surface is much smoother & slipperier
  • The body is shorter, so less friction

In any event, I reached a sufficiently happy compromise for some heavy paper / light cardboard test shapes, but a PETG bearing won’t suffice for dependable drag knife cuttery.

Back to the laboratory …

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Desk Lamp Conversion: Round 2

A bit of rummaging produced a desk lamp arm, minus whatever lamp it originally held, ready to hold the second photo lamp, after a bit of epoxy on one locking knob:

Lamp arm clamp screw rework
Lamp arm clamp screw rework

The flanged nut will seat on the wrecked part of the knob, with the epoxy holding it in place and somewhat reinforcing the perimeter. I’m not sure this will last forever, but it’ll be a start.

Printing a second cold shoe, though, worked perfectly, and everything fit:

Photo Lamp - right arm installed
Photo Lamp – right arm installed

I love it when a plan comes together!

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Seam Ripper Cover

The cover for Mary’s favorite seam ripper cracked long ago, has been repaired several times, and now needs a replacement:

Seam Ripper cover - overview
Seam Ripper cover – overview

The first pass (at the top) matched the interior and exterior shapes, but was entirely too rigid. Unlike the Clover seam ripper, the handle has too much taper for a thick-walled piece of plastic.

The flexy thinwall cover on the ripper comes from a model of the interior shape:

Seam Ripper Cover - handle model
Seam Ripper Cover – handle model

It’s not conspicuously tapered, but OpenSCAD’s perspective view makes the taper hard to see. The wedge on top helps the slicer bridge the opening; it’s not perfect, just close enough to work.

A similar model of the outer surface is one thread width wider on all sides, so subtracting the handle model from the interior produces a single-thread shell with a wedge-shaped interior invisible in this Slic3r preview:

Seam Ripper Cover - exterior - Slic3r preview
Seam Ripper Cover – exterior – Slic3r preview

The brim around the bottom improves platform griptivity. The rounded top (because pretty) precludes building it upside-down, but if you could tolerate a square-ish top, that’s the way to go.

Both models consist of hulls around eight strategically placed spheres, with the wedge on the top of the handle due to the intersection of the hull and a suitable cube. This view shows the situation without the hull:

Seam Ripper Cover - handle model - cube intersection
Seam Ripper Cover – handle model – cube intersection

The spheres overlap, with the top set barely distinguishable, to produce the proper taper. I measured the handle and cover’s wall thicknesses, then guesstimated the cover’s interior dimensions from its outer size.

The handle’s spheres have a radius matching its curvature. The cover’s spheres have a radius exactly one thread width larger, so the difference produces the one-thread-wide shell.

Came out pretty nicely, if I do say so myself: the cover seats fully with an easy push-on fit and stays firmly in place. Best of all, should it get lost (despite the retina-burn orange PETG plastic), I can make another with nearly zero effort.

The Basement Laboratory remains winter-cool, so I taped a paper shield over the platform as insulation from the fan cooling the PETG:

Seam Ripper Cover - platform insulation
Seam Ripper Cover – platform insulation

The shield goes on after the nozzle finishes the first layer. The masking tape adhesive turned into loathesome goo and required acetone to get it off the platform; fortunately, the borosilicate glass didn’t mind.

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:

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Desk Lamp Conversion: Photo Light Cold Shoe

Having recently acquired a pair of photo lights and desirous of eliminating some desktop clutter, I decided this ancient incandescent (!) magnifying desk lamp had outlived its usefulness:

Desk Lamp - original magnifiying head
Desk Lamp – original magnifiying head

The styrene plastic shell isn’t quite so yellowed in real life, but it’s close.

Stripping off the frippery reveals the tilt stem on the arm:

Desk Lamp - OEM mount arm
Desk Lamp – OEM mount arm

The photo lights have a tilt-pan mount intended for a camera’s cold (or hot) shoe, so I conjured an adapter from the vasty digital deep:

Photo Light Bracket for Desk Lamp Arm - solid model
Photo Light Bracket for Desk Lamp Arm – solid model

Printing with a brim improved platform griptivity:

Photo Light Bracket for Desk Lamp Arm - Slic3r preview
Photo Light Bracket for Desk Lamp Arm – Slic3r preview

Fortunately, the photo lights aren’t very heavy and shouldn’t apply too much stress to the layers across the joint between the stem and the cold shoe. Enlarging the stem perpendicular to the shoe probably didn’t make much difference, but it was easy enough.

Of course, you (well, I) always forget a detail in the first solid model, so I had to mill recesses around the screw hole to clear the centering bosses in the metal arm plates:

Photo Lamp - bracket recess milling
Photo Lamp – bracket recess milling

Which let it fit perfectly into the arm:

Desk Lamp - photo lamp mount installed
Desk Lamp – photo lamp mount installed

The grody threads on the upper surface around the end of the slot came from poor bridging across a hexagon, so the new version has a simple and tity flat end. The slot is mostly invisible with the tilt-pan adapter in place, anyway.

There being no need for a quick-disconnect fitting, a 1/4-20 button head screw locks the adapter in place:

Photo Lamp - screw detail
Photo Lamp – screw detail

I stripped the line cord from inside the arm struts and zip-tied the photo lamp’s wall wart cable to the outside:

Photo Lamp - installed
Photo Lamp – installed

And then It Just Works™:

Photo Lamp - test image
Photo Lamp – test image

The lens and its retaining clips now live in the Big Box o’ Optical parts, where it may come in handy some day.

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:

The original dimension doodles, made before I removed the stem and discovered the recesses around the screw hole:

Photo Light - Desk Lamp Arm Dimensions
Photo Light – Desk Lamp Arm Dimensions

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3D Printed Chain Mail Armor: Failure Analysis

While dropping some recent 3D printed odds-n-ends into the show-n-tell box, I discovered the large sheet of square chain mail armor had a missing link:

Chain Mail Armor - the missing link
Chain Mail Armor – the missing link

Fortunately, the link fell off in the box and I recovered all the pieces for a failure analysis:

Chain Mail Armor - failed link - glue spots
Chain Mail Armor – failed link – glue spots

I’d glued the PLA together with IPS #4, a hellish mixture of plastic solvents including methylene chloride, one of the few chemicals able to chew into PLA, but there’s not much penetration or bonding going on.

Let’s try that again with a bit more solvent.

First, slide the bars into place:

Chain Mail Armor - failed link - bars in place
Chain Mail Armor – failed link – bars in place

I applied four solvent drops in two passes to give it time to work its way in, put four matching drops on the armor cap, squished the cap in place, tweaked the bar alignment, then applied pressure while contemplating the whichness of the why for half a minute while the solvent worked its magic.

Things look pretty good once more:

Chain Mail Armor - missing link - repaired
Chain Mail Armor – missing link – repaired

There’s no way to determine the repair’s goodness, other than by deliberately trying to snap off a bar, so I’ll just put it back in the box and hope for the best.

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Injured Arm Support Table: Wide Version

This table must sit across the threshold of a walk-in / sit-down shower, with the shower curtain draped across the table to keep the water inside.

Starting with another patio side table, as before, I installed a quartet of 5 mm stainless screws to lock the top panels in place and convert the table into a rigid assembly:

Arm Supports - wide table - overview
Arm Supports – wide table – overview

Because the shower floor is slightly higher than the bathroom floor, I conjured a set of foot pads to raise the outside legs:

Patio Side Table Feet - OpenSCAD model
Patio Side Table Feet – OpenSCAD model

The sloping top surface on the pads compensates for the angle on the end of the table legs:

Arm Supports - leg end angle
Arm Supports – leg end angle

I think the leg mold produces legs for several different tables, with the end angle being Close Enough™ for most purposes. Most likely, it’d wear flat in a matter of days on an actual patio.

Using good 3M outdoor-rated foam tape should eliminate the need for fiddly screw holes and more hardware:

Arm Supports - leg pads
Arm Supports – leg pads

The feet fit reasonably well:

Arm Supports - leg pad in place
Arm Supports – leg pad in place

They may need nonskid tape on those flat bottoms, but that’s in the nature of fine tuning.

And, as with the narrow table, it may need foam blocks to raise the top surface to arm level. Perhaps a pair of Yoga Blocks will come in handy for large adjustments.

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:

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3D Printing: Erratic Z Axis Motion

From a discussion on the Makergear 3D printer forums

A Makergear M2 user, while troubleshooting other problems, had the Z axis begin stalling and moving erratically.

the random up and down movement doesnt make any sense

It’s what happens when a stepper is mechanically overloaded: the rotor can’t turn at the commanded rate.

Start by cleaning & lubing the Z axis guide rods and leadscrew. If that solves the problem, just clean and lube a bit more often. Which none of us do until there’s a problem, of course. [sigh]

If it continues to stall, reduce the Z axis speed by a factor of four. If that solves the problem, then perhaps you tweaked the speed while you were fixing other problems and never noticed.

the technical reason why the motor would move in the opposite direction

The windings set up a rotating magnetic field which, in normal operation, drags the rotor around with it. When the rotor stalls, it vibrates back-and-forth and may wind up synchronizing with the field in the wrong direction.

Old Western movies had a similar problem with wagon wheels turning faster than the frame rate and looking like their spokes rotated backwards.

The stepper may emit horrible sounds, but stalling doesn’t do any damage to the motor or its driver.

I took the bottom of the motor apart

No sugarcoating: disassembling a stepper demagnetizes the rotor. You must buy a new Z-axis motor.

The motor is assembled with the rotor demagnetized, then it’s magnetized in place. When you take it apart, the rotor smacks into the stator, which creates a localized high-density magnetic path between the rotor poles. The rotor poles can’t support the high flux and demagnetizes.

You can put the motor together and it will “work”, in the sense that the rotor will go around, but the decreased magnetic field reduces the torque for a given winding current. You can’t increase the winding current, because the motor will overheat.

The PCB traces look mangled and warped

There’s a conformal coating over the whole PCB to prevent corrosion, so what you see is perfectly normal.

Any analysis of the data from my previous posts?

You’ve been doing a lot of fiddling with the machinery as part of finding the extruder problem, so: did you, at any time, even once, unplug / disconnect the Z axis motor when the power was turned on?

If so, that likely killed a driver transistor in that channel. Order a new RAMBo board along with the new motor.

New Rambo board came today and the z axis is working properly now.

Moral of the story: never fiddle with the electronics with the power turned on!

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