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3D Printing

1 Post authored by: pettitda    

For Christmas, my wife got me a XYZprinting DaVinci Jr 1.0 3d printer.  I've decided to post some of my experience with the device here so others can benefit.

 

My first impression is that the Davinci Jr is a nice looking device.  However, as soon as I got it out of the box, I noticed something peculiar.  The front cover had a piece of tape on it that had written "broken cover".  I looked at the cover and I didn't notice anything that appeared to be broken.  So, I decided they must have reworked it and forgotten to take the sticker off.

 

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So, I went ahead all pulled out all of the packing material and set up the printer according to the directions provided.  As it turned out the instruction sheet provided in the box was only one page of the manual.  So, I went to the XYZprinting website and downloaded the full manual and printed it out.  I also downloaded the software to my laptop.

 

I decided to try to print the sample object that came pre-loaded on the SD card for the printer.  I immediately had issue trying to get the filament to feed properly into the extruder.  I ran through the load and unload procedure several times with no luck.  I went online to the XYZprinting website again and found a tutorial video on cleaning the filament feeding mechanism.  So, I tried that as well but it still didn't feed properly.  Finally, I removed the guide tube and re-installed it.  The next time I tried to load the filament, I held the guide tube so that it remained straight out from the top of the extruder.  This did the trick and the filament started coming out of the extruder.

 

I started to print the sample object and had further problems getting the material to stick to the bed of the printer.  So, back to the website I went and found another tutorial video which discussed setting the Z axis offset.  After a few tries, I got the Z axis offset close enough to the print bed for the material to stick.  When the print finished, I had my first 3D printed object in hand.

 

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The next thing I tried printing was a snowflake design that I downloaded from XYZPrinting's 3D gallery.  It turned out really well considering it was only my second print.

 

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Since the snowflake turned out so well, I decided to move on to print one of things that really made me want a 3D printer.  So, I downloaded a Raspberry Pi case from Thingiverse and proceeded to print both halves of the case.  Interestingly enough, this highlighted a problem that I didn't know about.  You can see it really well in the following picture.

 

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The X and Y axes on the printer were not perpendicular!  This resulted in a rectangular being a parallelogram and all the round holes being ovals.  I went out in search of an answer, but really didn't find much on the topic.  Luckily, I decided to snoop around a little bit inside the printer because I noticed the problem right away.

 

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The printer's arm was off the track on one side!  I suppose during shipping, the arm got knocked off track and it wasn't obvious until I made a closer inspection.  As you can see, the arm was bowed a little but definitely not perpendicular.  With a little force I was able to persuade the arm back onto it's track.  Doing that showed an obvious improvement in the movement of the arm and the orthogonality of the axes.  After this correction, I printed the sample print again.  Sure enough, the slightly oblong hole at the top of the pendant was now a reasonably round circle!

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