If only I knew

Welcome to the dark art of 3D priniting / Amateur radio

and several other of my mad hobbies

Bits From Bytes RapMan 3

This was the beast that started it all off. A Perspex hulk reminding me of something out of a early 80s sci fi series. this beast had a hand wound heating element that was held in place by fire cement and silicone what a nightmare. I actually managed to get this to print one test cube however this did result in reports of a earthquake with a magnitude of 10 being reported by my neighbours. Spec. The First cost-effective 3D printer kit on the market, available from £795 Desktop sized with large print area (up to 270 x 205 x 210mm) Affordable materials for uninterrupted production Reads files direct from SD card No PC connectivity required No maintenance contract required

Anycubic mini Kossel delta

This is my current printer it is a great entry level device and does what it says on the tin (well it can with a little work) I purchased this as a failed build from Fleabay and proceeded to rebuild it from almost scratch  that is where my first mistake was made. If you did not do it and you cant be sure that the person who did do it did it right then do it again and check!!!!! It took 3 days of calibration and failed prints to discover that the steppers were not wired in the correct order once this was done and I printed a small micros switch holder to act as a Z probe well there was no stopping me lol Kossel Pulley Desktop 3D-Printer Type: Delta Printer Model: Pulley (Wheels) Brand: Anycubic Filament diameter: 1.75 mm Nozzle: 0.4 mm Temperature of the nozzle: 170-275 °C Temperature of the nozzle for PLA:190-200°C Maximal printing speed:80mm/s Recommended printing speed:60mm/s Print size :φ180mmx300mm

My Dream TEVO Little Monster

Well this is one to aim for I will drop hints for birthday and Christmas but at more than 600GBP it is not going to happen any time soon. This seems to have it all and I wonder if it can do all that it says but even if it can only do half the 300mms it quotes it would be damn fast. Specs:   Huge Build Volume: 340*500mm/ 14 x 20 inches AC 110/220V types Glass-Ceramic Based Heated Bed to reduce heating time Max Printing speed 300 mm/s ANTCLABS Original BLTouch Bed Levelling Sensors MKS TFT28 Touchscreen Onboard Open-builds Aluminium Extrusion 4080 Strong Active Cooling Fan for Better Temperature Control Brilliant Pause Functionality which can be resumed Smoothieware Open-source Platform Titan Extruder, E3D Volcano Hot end(c)

In the beginning.

My tumble through the looking glass into the world of 3D printing started through something totally unconnected to the hobby/lifestyle/business I put it like this because a few of the people I have spoken too along the way I do truly believe that their 3D printing devices have actually become either a extension of their being or the one thing that fills their life to capacity. Anyway I digress this whole experience began due to not being able to find any decent Christmas light displays to take my granddaughters to see I decided that this year I would have my own, However in order to achieve this I was going to have to get myself a CNC machine capable of drilling a pattern of holes over and over again. I was then offered the Rapman and told that it would not need a lot to get it up and running how silly could I be ?

Add to this that after some 20 years of saying I am going to do my amateur radio licence I have finally taken the plunge and I am due to sit the Foundation licence in the next few weeks thanks to the guys at Havering Radio Club. There is more about this below. Any reviews I do on this site are my true opinion and I have not been paid for them in fact many of the items I will review have been paid for out of my own pocket so expect blunt and truthful.

IF ONLY I KNEW “That not a lot” can mean almost anything


Rapman Saga

In the Beginning.

This printer truly is a hulking device when I went to collect it I was not even sure it would fit into the wife’s car (Fiat 500 need I say more) but with the seats down and some brute force we finally managed to get it in. When I say this thing is hulking it truly is there are 3 Nema 32 stepper motors to drive the X/Y/Z axis these are more like the motors you find on large cnc machines but when one of these is driving 4 screw posts to raise and lower the Z axis you kinda need all the power you can find. The controller that was attached to this unit used its own g-code and trying to find the software that I needed to create anything was not quite as difficult as finding unicorn poo but as near as can be, So it was out with the original controller and in with a RAMPS 1.4 along with a clone E3d hot-end assembly and a mk8 extruder oh I was like MacGyver on steroids and I actually got the hot end to fit into the existing carriage with a lot of bodging and swearing but it kinda fitted in there and was quite stable. so after a few days (8 to be exact) I was ready to attempt my first print and this is when I discovered I had a strange problem I could only print flat 0.3mm objects the Z axis did not seem to move at all during a print. Well after driving the lads of http://www.printing-3d.co.uk mad for a while it was finally discovered that the slicer software I was using just did not like the printer so after converting to Cura it all seemed good. Seemed is a good way to put it as all of a sudden a new problem had started and this was as soon as the object went to print it would lift the print surface right up into the hot end and melt lovely little holes all over the place. after much huffing and puffing (swearing and throwing things) I discovered that it was all my own fault and that connecting the x axis to the x output and the y axis to the y axis output can help. Success I finally manage to print a 20mm cube with x/y/z on it lol what a sense of achievement but it s days were numbered I was already doing a deal on its replacement so the one cube is the only print I ever managed to get from the rapman and even that took 40 mins to print and was not the greatest of quality but it was a 3D print my first actual print.
If only I knew, that sometimes its true you can not polish a turd no matter how hard you try.

If only I knew, there is a reason the manual says do not over tighten!

If only I knew, 3D printing becomes an obsession.

# Money spent around 50GBP including 1Kg PLA

# Time spent approximately 2 weeks

# Successful prints 1

Jan 2018

In the begining

After a disappointing search for some fantastic Christmas lights last year it was decided that I would hopefully this year be able to amaze and bewilder my grandaughter’s next Christmas with a truly breath taking display. 

If only I knew, This was going to be my own personal trip down a rabbit hole.

Feb 2018

Descent into madnes

Having spent many sleepless hours scouring the web for a UK supplier for what I wanted or even a US supplier who would be willing to ship to the UK I finally gave up and started to look for ways to create my own versions of what I wanted . 

It was decided that the easiest way to create what I wanted was to build my self a version of the MPcnc. This required a load of 3d printed parts so the hunt for a cheap 3d printer began.

Mar 2018

The rapman comes to stay

Any normal sane individual would have been turned away from 3d printing after going a few hours with the colossus called RAPMAN but not I oh no I just dug my heals in became stubborn and like john wayne in “The wings of angels” was determined to move his toe I was determined to get a print from this heap of poly carbonate and screws.

If only I knew “Easy to use can mean that it has a switch to turn it on but not a lot else”

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