Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Applying the Thumbscrews!

I have been having some problems with some of my prints ending up slightly skewed - the vertical axis on some prints has been slightly off-vertical. It took me a while to work out what was going wrong, and then I realised I had another issue - that my print bed needed levelling all the time, and I realised the issues were related: with all the adjustments I have made recently, I had ended up raising the print-bed quite a bit, and I didn't have a lot of compression left in the levelling screw springs. This meant some of the adjusting nuts were vibrating loose (needing constant readjustment), and the lack of compression meant the whole print-bed could rack over to one side, leading to off-vertical prints.

So, I needed a means of adjusting the levelling screws more easily, and so I could get some good compression in the springs, to keep everything nice and stiff.

The obvious answer was to install thumbwheels to make it easier to adjust each levelling screw quickly and easily.

Sure, I could have just downloaded someone else’s design like this http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:13807 or this http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5246 or this http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:13065 – but where’s the fun in that? It's far more satisfying to design and print your own from scratch!

So I created a design in Alibre:

then I exported the STL:

And then I printed a set of 4 (in a single nested print).

They certainly make levelling my print-bed much quicker and easier. Will they stop it from vibrating out of alignment? I guess time will tell!

I have posted the design on Thingiverse in case anyone wants to make a copy: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:16428