Thursday, 22 September 2011

I have plastic - now all I need is electrons!

I got my package of 3 mm PLA filament today - thanks Michael http://blog.bodgycorp.com/2011/09/i-love-get-packages-in-mail.html for organising this group purchase! I have 4 rolls, all bright fluoro colours (who needs boring old clear or white?!) - should be enough to keep me in raw materials for a few weeks!
I cut off a short length of red filament, and pushed it into my Wade's Extruder http://julianh72.blogspot.com/2011/08/wading-in-wades-geared-extruder.html  - it seems to pull it through very easily (although I won't know for sure until I get everything wired up!), and it seems to have a really good grip on the filament, while also feeding through really nicely - like I think it should. When I wound the piece of filament back out, you can feel quite distinct surface roughness where the extruder has gripped it.

I then took a close-up look in my cheap USB microscope http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=QC3241&keywords=usb+microscope&form=KEYWORD :
At 50x magnification, there are quite clear "teeth marks" embedded on the surface of the filament, created by the Hobbed Bolt:

This is starting to look promising! (Now, back to the rebuild of my RAMPS board ...)