Holy shit, what a year!

I feel like a lot has happened this year, so I’m sure I’m going to miss out on a number of cool things, but lets give it a try and see if I can get most of it.

I began building a Voron 2.4 3D printer. Two of them in fact. One for myself, and one for my wife. She’s been taking up all the time on my printer and that’s been making it hard for me to fit in some of the stuff I want to print. So, we’re buying it bit by bit, and as of writing I’m stalled until some other projects close out and free up my time and money.

I killed my Qidi Tech I. This was my only filament printer at the time. While trying to figure out why my prints would suddenly begin failing and then give me tons of trouble getting level again, I broke the wiring on one of my thermisters and didn’t have a replacement. After some more intense observation and measuring and wating, I was able to figure out that the matte PLA filament my wife loves was eating up our nozzle. Because the hole on the nozzle was getting larger with every print, it would end up with an under-extrusion situation where it was trying to feed 0.4 amounts of filament to a 0.6 hole and the glob wouldn’t get enough nozzle pressure to push it to the plate and get it to hold.

So, how did this lead to me breaking the printer?

Well, the Qidi Tech I is a dual head 3D printer so when the thermistor wire broke, I swapped over to the other head and kept printing. When I finally figured out the problem I ordered some abrasion resistant nozzles. While I was doing that, I decided to replace the thermistor and get back up to full capability. I had to remove the power lines to the board (24v) to replace the wiring for the thermistor. I checked and double checked the polarity on the board, and made sure to wire the red lead to positive and black to negative. As an American, this made sense. But I guess in China, where Qidi is located, the wiring goes the other way around. So the power from the relay was wired the Chinese way, and the board was wired the American way.

When got everything else wired and plugged in I was ready to get printing again. I had Voron parts to finish! When I flipped the switch to power up, the display lit for a second, there was a small little sound inside the printer, and then nothing. I switched the power off, tipped the printer on it’s side so I could open the bottom and see if anything obvious happened. When I flipped the power again, smoke began rising from an IC and then it looked to be glowing red. I turned the power off again and looked closer and saw that probably 1cm or so of the PCB lead near that chip had burnt. For me, that was it. A dead board.

To make the rest of the story short, I bought another board and promptly shorted that one with a screwdriver. Finally I got a real upgrade, a Bigtreetech Octopus v1.1, a set of TMC2209 stepper drivers, a bltouch, a filament runout sensor, and some new, lower profile, limit switches to give myself just the tiniest bit of extra print space. I couldn’t just put marlin on the board because that would be too normal. So I spent a day re-wiring the whole 3D printer and then 3 days configuring Klipper, which included me wiping the whole Raspberri Pi disk to start over 4 times.

Everything was working, I did a number of calibration prints and things were looking good. Except the lighting. I thought the lighting was crap. So I got some RGB LED strip lights and wired them up around the top of the printer. But, while wiring up the LED lights to the control board I accidentally plugged something back in that shorted the 24v rail to the 5v rail. This fried the board and a number of components. I got another Octopus because my wife didn’t like me being mopey. Once I got it back in and wired up, it was a long game of guess the fried component. I fried another BL Touch playing this game but got to the place I am now, everything seems to be going okay, but the BL Touch won’t register the touch, so the printhead crashes into the plate. And then I got pulled away onto another project and haven’t been able to make progress on it.

I built an OpenBuilds CNC machine for my wife. I actually didn’t have much problem with it. But building the table to put it on kind of sucked. I had to buy a new 3d printer to print the corner joints, and the only filament I had was some dark green PETG. So the table is strong, but has a ton of flex. But she’s been cutting almost non-stop since July, so it’s not really a concern yet, though I do want to get some CF infused Nylon to reprint the pieces.

When Augest was almost over, I began working on some of our new Halloween decorations. We usually like to buy one decoration a year, and build the rest ourselves. Well, I began by building some realist size hay bales for a new section we were starting in our side yard. I also built a scarecrow. But the one decoration we bought required some kind of protection to be outside, so I spent all the rest of the time leading up to Halloween building a shack for him.

And as soon as Halloween was packed up, my wife set me on all things Gcode, manufacturing her gifts, 3D printing on both the new 3D printer, and the resin printer, as well as setting up and running her jobs on the CNC machine. But I’m just biding my time until I get my chance to build a gift for her. I am building an electric guitar from scratch. I have learned a lot about guitars and building guitars.

Well, that was a lot longer than I had planned on it being, but I think we’re mostly caught up now. I wonder what my next obsession will be.

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