Been tiding up and braking 3d printers

Currently, have 3 non-working printers the joys of life. I will be doing some repairs this week as started on 2 projects as in did the design work then for my printers to let me down so have a half-written project that i cannot show yet as i didn’t manage to make the parts.

As I keep thinking i have solved my issues with the Prusa mk3 for it to fail again so i think i am going to walk away from it for day or so fresh eyes. I have compiled the latest version custom firmware so will flash it shortly and see if i can get the CR-10 back on working list. before i tackle the 2 Prusa machines.

meanwhile, i have finished off the CNC and vinal cutter dye-sublimation printer racking.

have since swapped the CNC machine around by 180 degrees for ease of cabling.

Just got to make some bits for CNC enclosure and i also want to add the limit switches this week to the CNC machine will have to see what time i get as i have some more jobs coming up.

giving my self to the end of the week to get the cave to a state of working use. think i need to sell some equipment i don’t use, make room. going to move some more stuff off my workbench as need the room. will add some more pictures showing this later.

Quick update of lack of posing this week.

I am working on 2 or 3 projects in the background and taking on private work to help pay off some of my outlays on the cave as this is a hobby and not a sponsored site i wish it was but as i am not a celebrity of youtube yet for the time being i am doing things the old fashioned way.

only part of the 100+ badges batches that i am currently doing for a kids camp who wanted to stop using plastics as name badges as wood is good for the environment.

As someone who has a list of equipment on my wishlist, i keep my eyes on eBay and facebook market place for deals on second-hand equipment. i have been after a dye sublimation printer for some time as had some mugs leftover from heat transfer vinyl job i did a while back. so the other day one popped up on facebook market place so i decided to go for it. so got a printer with some ink left in it, pneumatic mug heater and sublimation paper, 20 mugs white and heat sensitive and a refillable ink cartridge system with ink. So on Wednesday, i took a drive to go get it and last night i set i tall up int he cave. i will start testing over the next few days i have ordered a new wast ink bin for the printer as one installed is full. but now means i can do full-colour mugs so more private work to help fund my hobby. when my sub-business i fully and running will add links to the site.

Ricoh SG3110DN with sublimation ink installed mugs and pack of paper.
inks that came with the printer might swap the ink for a better brand.
Automated heat press that came with the bundle.
Lots of mugs in stock now to play with
lots of sublimation paper for the printer

will be testing over the next few days to make sure all works fine. new post on projects coming soon just had a week of private work going on should be clear by mid next week.

Managed to figure out the issue with my 3d printer well 1 of three the second big scale printer just needs a flash of the control box and rewiring. the third one is going to be an interesting project in its own right.

but next up is starting to prepare the CNC machine for use so waist board i have to go get from the local DIY store is 55cm x 38cm. then it’s going to be to who fix it to the aluminium bed probably with some carpet double-sided tape.

i am then going to add limit switches still working on way to do this easily have figured out the control box wiring just need to figure out where i am going to mount the ball arm micro switches. i have also designed a converter for vacuum inlet but more of that to come.

i am also going make some wall mount filament spool holders as Prusa has designed some for free download that i will make need to make 6 of them, 4 for the MMU and 1 for Prusa mk3 and one for large format printer.

Evening update as having a rest from the current private job i am doing. I wanted to play with my new toys so did a mancave mug for fun think the colours are off a little bit but still learning could also be the inks are old so might install a new set. so far impressed well worth the money.

fingers crossed this works.
Happy for a first attempt

time for some rest

Just lighting update

As i did promise to do an update of some shots of my lighting all wired here a preview of it in action,

I am running 3 wifi controllers so all lights can be controlled via my mobile phone or Alexa or other automation systems i am yet to install.

have 3 controllers for my led lights

i have installed 3 sets one for mood lighting that the equipment lights centre lights are if i need more lighting in the cave and laser bed lights are for the 50w lights

Lights in action
more of the lighting around the cave.

What’s happening next in the cave:

  • CNC machine home and limit switches.
  • CR-10 fixing it getting it printing
  • Automation of lights via Alexa.
  • Printing wall mounted filaments spool boxes
  • Learning CAM for CNC machine.

Lighting up the man cave as i have spare LED tape

As i have a spare 8m of LED tape and want to add some lighting to my very compact man cave/workshop. I have decided to use the leftover LED tape and wifi controller to achieve this.

This is a quick any easy project for anyone who like me does not have a lot of space for strip lighting and needs a quick fix.

Parts i am using:

  • 3528 LED bright white LED tape Link here for the kit.
  • Wifi LED Controller. link for this great bit of kit.
  • 22 AWG JST Plug Connector 2 Pin Male Female Plug Connector
  • 22 AWG LED wiring Cable
  • Cable ties (optional)
  • Wiring Management cable tie pads (optional)

Tools you’re going to need:

  • Wire cutters
  • Wire Stripers
  • Soldering Iron
  • Flux pen

I started out measuring out 3 x 800mm strips of tape for the shelves of my racking.

The first strip of led tape came with a 2.1 x 5.5 connector, I left this in place so i could connect the supplied power supply to the tape and the wifi controller will also plug into this connection between the power and the tape. will show this later on in the post.

I then used my flux pen to prim the solder pads I then added solder to the pads ready for receiving the JST connector wiring. I made sure that -+ were soldered to right pads.

priming the pads for soldering.
first pad soldered ready for wiring.
Just connector soldered to LED Tape.
testing the strip after soldering.

I started to add the strips of tape to the different areas that i wanted to light up. so in my case, I put some above the vinal cutter and in the CNC enclosure, i then added tape above my parts bins to light them up and also above my 2 x 3d printers and several other areas i wanted to be illuminated.

Installed led tape underside of shelving.
initial test of the lights yes i know its messy got to finish finding homes for everything, now to make it wifi controlled.

now time to install power and the wifi controller. just plug-in power supply and then the controller stick controller down. take a picture of the QR code and install the app.

a simple inline device that works great going to order 2 more of these for other lighting sets

The end result is awesome as I have had to go off to Wales for a nice long weekend of RnR with the family i will post some images of the finished project tomorrow. as i didn’t get a chance to photograph it before i left.

Better Lighting for 50w laser

As i have had some issues with getting my lightburn camera to align and recognise all registration marks in calibration and alignment set up. I have decided i am going to add a better light source and see if this will improve the process.

first of all, i am going to identify current strip is running 12v or 24v or 240v so out with my trusty voltmeter. As i can see a 3 prong pin looks very similar to some i have seen on Amazon or aliexpress so once i know voltages i can look at my options. i am hoping its 12v as then will be as easy as buying a connector and digging out some led tape.

high voltage led strips so i have decided to go down the route of low voltage dimmable LED’s as cheap easy to fit.

Some fun with LEDs

As a maker, i had all the bits, apart from the led tape that i needed to order. So I found a cheap 5m kit off amazon prime as time is always an issue when ordering from China.

I have 50m of red and black, led wiring cable in my stock of parts. I started off by stripping the wiring off both wires and tinned them, I then took used my flux pen to clean up the terminals and added solder to both solder pads. I then soldered the wires to the pads.

All ready to tin and solder

I then used isopropyl alcohol to clean the area i was going to stick the tape to. I started bottom right worked the tape around the edge of the bed above the rim. Till it had gone around the bed.

all stuck down now to run the wiring

i added cable tabs to so i could keep some cable management i then threaded the wiring through the laser and out through a hole in the floor i then wired up a d 2.1 x 5.5 female connector to the end of the cable.

this is where i connected the dimmer switch and plugged the lighting into the mains

The end result looks good and hoping will cure my lightburn camera issues.

All wired up and working. yes, i will be cleaning my bed this week.

Next up:

I am going to see if i can now calibrate properly using the lightburn camera. if that works fine, I will design a slimline camera mount for the lightburn camera. As an issue with current cameras mount is the laser head hits is when running on the bottom of the printer.

New project time: Dual temp gauge and mA meter housing.

One of the first modifications i did to my machine used a 3d printer to make an mA meter housing. So i could stick on to the top of the laser cutter as don’t want to drill/cut my laser yet.

I finally decided to make something a little nicer. still not drilling my machine i know very unlike me lol.

my existing housing.

As the UK as the summer finally hit 32C warmth at last. but my water tank temperature has gone through the roof. so until i can afford a CW-5200 Chiller. Have gone back to 15L paint bucket and will be adding iced bottles every night so i can keep the temperature below the dreaded 25C, Unlike the last few days of 34C. So I have decided to design my self housing that is going to house a dual temperature gauge and my mA meter so i can monitor the temperature of the water coming in and going out of the laser tube.

Wiring up the wires:

Temperature Gauge water input/output temperature wiring:

I brought an inside-outside panel mount temperature gauge off amazon a few weeks back as like to keep an eye on water temperatures link for this here.

new temperature gauge red is tank temperature blue will be returning water to tank temp.

the downside is it comes with only 1M lead for each probe. i have ordered some 2M long ones from China but for this idea, i need them to be at least 3m long if not more. so i am going to make some extension leads up, I have ordered a box of JST-XH 2.54 connectors from amazon prime as wanted to knock this out of the park quickly, As from previous posts you might guess i am doing quite a few things on at the moment but love the pressure. link for parts here.

Time to make some extension leads. As a some one who like to make stuff, I have lots of wire kicking around going to start with the panel end of the extention lead, i am going to use red and black wire start off by crimping to JST-XH connectors to wires female crimps for the panel end. I then insert them into the 2 pin housing. you will need a JST crimp tool to do this.

crimps done and first wire inserted in to housing
Fist crimp completed

now to probe end i am going to solder this and heat shrink it. So to do this plug the probe into the male connector then using my solder workmate. First of all, i tin the wires i then i run 3 pieces of heat shrink over the wires, 2 small to cover the pins after soldering and one larger one to go over the housing make it look nice and give it some strength. Then using my gripers I line the pin and wiring up before soldering them together.

Then using my heat gun i shrink down the 2 smaller bits over the freshly soldered joints. I then i slid the large bit over housing and using heat gun shrink it to the base of the housing is covered and connected to the wire.

ready to solder the first pin.
Both soldered now to heat sink the connectors
Now for outer heat sink.
Heat shrink installed ready to test
Tested and working one down now to repeat
both prob cables now done now just to run them.

now to get power for the temperature gauge going to use 5v off laser power supply from 4 pin connector, not in use on the 50watt PSU so will use the Ground pin and 5v supply.

will use 5v and G to power my temp guage as will run on 5v minimal mA to power.
power cable made for temperature gauge with pin crimps make it all match on the Laser PSU.
power wired in for temperature gauge
right ready to go just need to cut my design

mA Meter Wring:

This is just a recap as did this a few months ago.

pinout for k40 style psu

If you look at Laser PSU diagram above you will see L- on pin 1 this is were the mA meter will sit between. this wire comes from the low voltage end of the laser tube. (Laser PSU might be different from machine to machine) the principle will be the same though.

Now prep for the mA meter, As I have already did this so this is a copy from an earlier post.

The wiring I started by running 2 wires through the housing of the laser down to the electronics controller boards and power supplies of the laser. I will then crimp the 2 wires and attach them to the mA meter the + side i will attach some red heat shrink to represent the live side. on the mA meter, there is a minus sign telling me that the other pin is positive. as pictured below.

positive connection cripmed
added some heat shrink to make it easy to identify after threading through the machine.
both ends attached this meter only shows – so that will be going into the PSU ignore housing as new one will be installed later.

this will attach to the wire i will remove from the PSU going to use a terminal block for time being till i decide if i am going to cut a hole in my laser to permanently mount mA meter later on. the – side will go back to the PSU.

Wire to remove from laser psu
removed wire joined with temp connector will take the blue covers off tonight and add some proper bullet crimps to join the wires properly as happy it works.
Now you would never know it been done bar the box on top of the machine.
Working like a champ. in my soon to be old housing.

All wiring done ready for the new housing

Enclosure Design:

As i have designed control panels in the past for my k40 laser going to use these elements as a template for mA and panel mount gauges i am going to use them in this design.

Now that i have proven my existing elements fit i am going create a box to house them both so where to start with this Inkscape has a plugin that will do this or there are many online tools that you can create a box. i have decided to go with as i could add a sloped face to the front of the box as shown below. i then save dxf file and imported into lightburn.

my sloped fronted box design

I then added the elements for the gauge and dial to the box and added a rear cutout for the 2 sensors and power plug. mA gage as shown in the picture. below.

re arranged and added my elements and wiring outlet for wires.

After doing initial design i decided to make some changes as once the housing will be glued together there would be no way to remove wiring so i added a brake out panel.

V2 of my design the square on the back is brake away if any wires come loose

going to make a mockup in wood first and make sure it all fits before i go out and by some acrylic for the job,

Note to self make sure laser is in focus as had it set for something else doh still came out ok
Well it fits together temp cutout is fine but the mA meter is to small
Wiring hatch is upside down so have now flipped it in the design will run again tonight.

Have redone file now the rear door emergency access doors are now better only 4 tabs to knock them out if any issues once glued. I have also changed dimensions on the mA meter as they were way off. I will test cut it again later and see if can get it to fit.

2nd attempt all fitting perfectly now to cut it acrylic

Now that I have proved it all fits together and works I am going order some acrylic to cut. I will be using 3mm acrylic in black so will look nice. I will also be using an infill process to make text stand out.

Acrylics arrived A3 sheet so now it is all fitting i can cut the final sheet

cutting time the smell of acrylic thankfully no complainants from the surrounding houses

time to pull out my trusty airbrush and some white paint. time to do some infill before removing the protective layer.

all sprayed up now to remove the protective layer
still got to polish and pick middles of some of the letters but you get the idea.

Now time to assemble using some PETG adhesive to hold everything thing in place.

glued and clamped on 2 sides
5 of 6 sides glued. going to leave the top panel lose as the original plan did not work.

now to test all components fit.

fits perfectly on the machine now to bolt let the glue all dry and then wire it up.

right now all wired up without having to cut any holes now to hold it in place now for the 3M tape. time to test power on making sure temp gauge lights up. it does and mA is working fine.

Ready to stick new housing
All installed and working
Rear wiring coming out of enclosure

all project files are available in Lightburn format and SVG, as i know not everyone, uses lightburn. link for lightburn software file and the SVG file

Thanks for reading next project think will be upgrading lighting in my 50w so i can get the lightburn camera working better thank it currently is for the camera. that will be once i find the roll off

Little less stressed now after a few weeks being overworked.

Right as one on my side projects is now done for another month. i can get back to doing enjoyable bits and get to finally clean up my workspace. get everything up and running and ready to work.

So last nights and tonight project is a freebie for my son’s nursery sports day for the toddler group some medals. with the heatwave starting to rush in not sure how much i can do over the next day or so but going to crack on and get the last 28 medals run tonight water temps allowing.

Designed a 2D trophy to give to the toddler and baby rooms of son’s nursery 28 per sheet.

I taped up some 3mm plywood after i had sanded both sides with 400 grit sanding disc. placed it on my honeycomb bed top left. hit play and away the 50-watt laser went. i decided to crudely wire up my water temp gauge the water temp had started out at around 22c when i started to engrave

around 1hr later after the hole sheet had engraved the water temp was up a 29.9c

My temp wired water gauge in side ambient room temp gauge

This is my first attempt at mass production of a product and was an approx 2 hr of engraving and cutting of the medals with the worry of water temp raising 33.2c.

getting hot need a chiller.

this fun little project had given me some worries about water temperatures in the man cave.

I had found an original CW-5000 for £399 they had 11 in stock yesterday went to order today and they have sold out argh so going to bag some ice tonight and add to my distilled water.

Day 2 of opperation sports day medals and getting the mancave to opperatnal .

27 medals to go do love my 50watt laser so reliable fired up laser loaded lightburn put the new sheet of taped plywood and away we go.

final 4 engraving before the cut out pass.

All done and now to take all the tape off them 1 down 37 to go

taken off the tape off yash medal. going to also wipe with wihite viniger.

been a busy night on the tidying the cave now have a clean work bench getting a lot or the draws labeled up as need some organisation in the cave. starting to come together.

That’s me done for the night next operation is sorting the large form printer and my Prusa Mk3 both back online thinking about making some wall mounted spool holders as my enclosed one seem to be jamming up on me. Need to get the CR-10 up and working as well have to calibrate the machine.

Next project on the laser I have a stack of placemats to engrave for our holiday let but going to have to watch the weather and clean out the water tank and replace the dirty water. so will be doing that over the next week will cover the process and the tidying up of the cave at the same time.

Spring cleaning in progress as fed up of not being able to use all my machines lack of space.

Have in a three-meter Octagon is not the easiest of places to house as much equipment as i have. also as it has windows on 4 sides. So as i have Wednesday off with my son i had been into the local DIY store to grab some screws bits for another project i have been doing. This was a few weeks ago.

I picked up some 10 cm x 5 cm timber and sheet of plyboard to make a cover that went over the winds so i could mount my parts boxes. i had managed to hand saw down the sheet of ply and mounted over the window.

i then added screwed new parts draw i had picked up in the Aldi for £8.99 and my Budweiser sign. looked ok but was just a place to put parts.

Window cover board that i put to give me more storage space.

It worked well but was not quite what i wanted. I had just designed a template for holding Placemat and Coaster.

New jig for holding wooden placemats as have a dinner set to do for our house.

I then started to run a batch of placemats and coasters for our holiday rental property.

Engraved in Wooden placemat The Hollies Logo our rental property in wales.

As this was running I thought i would make a start reorganising things. so the Budweiser sign has been relegated to the attic. i move 2 of my other parts boxes around and dump bins allowing for a new shelf.

makes more sense having all my nuts and bolts fuses crimps and components in one place.

I then moved the dump bins racking so they were next to each other. I had an IKEA shelf we were going to use in the house. that i have installed for the moment above the racking.

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Just got to sort through all dump bins and add to other storage.

i have started to print brackets for filament storage from the 3D printing nerds channel. So i will have shelving for the 2 boxes of filament i have freeing up more space hopefully. However, my Prusa decided to jam yesterday so will have to wait till come back from wales next week to fix.

Just before we it decided to jam up.

As i am working on the map and paid jobs i thought i would get everything up and running and remove bits i don’t need down to wales.

As then can do stuff when i am not in London so my K40 is going to be shipped off to wales along with the Prusa MK2s MMU and clear some space up for stock and parts.

this will be happening next month as will use a man and a van to transport bed and other bits as holiday rental property we have been developing is finally coming online should be available to rent in the next few months.

Next racking unit to sort is the CNC and vinyl cutter as its become a dumping ground and remove redundant bits ie water buckets for cooling as changed for a smaller type.

will be nice to actually get in the cave and be able just to work. Will be adding a download section to the web site so all my projects can be downloaded for free. maybe a project section to get some feedback and collaborate with some other bloggers.

Right got a 208 mile drive later after the day job hoping it will be a easy run.

Let’s start a fun project for a change. Part 3 (At last)

Sorry for the delays in getting part 3 out i have had some teething issues with the lightburn but i have got a new way of tackling the issue.

The plan

going to break the cost up into a matrix grid of 8 squares and then cut the outline this will then be glued on to a bigger ply board that has been washed in blue to give sea effect.

after that, i will then cut each individual counties for wales. and then apply them to the large scale map.

Ok so that is the map sorted its now road names and places that i have to figure out how to apply. one mode of thinking is that just engrave them over the top of the counties another one is cut them out and glue them on top of the map. this will be my next thing to play with will post images of progress and testing as i so please bear with me.

now to find a some one to cut me a 1001 mm x 909 mm 6mm bit of plywood to act as backing board wilts i play with ideas on adding roads names and places of interest.

the joys of developing Technics for this fun project. next part to follow soon.

been a bit hectic with the day job

but an update is due i have been playing with the map a bit more have offset the roads to make the bolder on the map have also removed some names and features.

getting ther

more updates to follow soon.