Ok, today was day six. I finished the printer and I think it is excellent!! Well, almost. I broke the glass bed so I can’t calibrate or print on it yet 🙁 But here is a picture of the printer, minus the glass plate:
I really like the printer and the design. I have not yet had a chance to PRINT on it yet.
The Pain Points
But this is a review of the assembly process, as you read this please remember I like this printer, these are things I had difficulty with during production:
I found some of the part tolerances were TOO TIGHT there were several parts that were too tight.
- Inserting the heater bed cables in the X axis was the WORST offender. I used every trick I could find to get them through. In the end I put the thermistor cables through with lubricant, and then put the negative power cable through (well lubed…) and even that took an inordinate amount of force. I was deeply afraid I would damage the cables with the amount of force required to make that happen. I spent over an hour trying to get those cables through in various ways. I tried different posts, I tried using s single layer of scotch tape to hold them together, I tried feeding in various orders, I tried pulling, I tried twisting. In the end I used a water based lubricant and a pair of pliers to shove it threw a few mm at a time.
- The screws that hold the face plates on. I know this may seem trivial, but if you only have a hand held L shaped hex wrench and have to mechanically thread them through the plastic pieces that are a bit too tight, it is painful. Attempting to do this is actually what caused me to break the glass over the heating pad. I dropped the piece I was holding and it fell right smack on the glass. Shattering it onto wonderful spider-man web looking shards.
- The screws that hold the stop switch in the Upper Motor Mount Assembly. After putting the first one in I realize there was NO WAY I was going to be able to put the rest in without damaging either the screws, the switches, the assembly, my screw driver, or my hand. So I cheated and used a 5/64th in Drill bit in a hand tool and manually expanded the back half of the hole. That kept it very tight, but made it bearable.
- The EZR Struder was extremely tight especially around the wires. I know they made a relief for the wires but I almost broke the panel putting the motor in the panel and visibly notched the cables. None of the cables were permanently damaged, but I was very worried about it.
- This was an odd one. The spool holder on the top of the machine was WAY too tight to fit into the top assembly holes. It actually damaged the holes on the top of the machine. Nothing serious but cracked it a bit on the inside. And it still wouldn’t go in. I finally had to take a knife and whittle down the width of the feet with a fair amount to get it to squeak in. Even after that it was still tight, but I didn’t feel like it risked damaging anything any more taking it in and out.
There was one place where the videos, the Rambo installation, where they show one assembly then several steps later it show it assembled differently. (if you look at the orientation of the cables on the adapter on the video the red stripe is facing the power connector in the video, and the red stripe is facing away from the power in the picture. Apparently the picture was correct. I assembled it to the video. Fortunately no permanent damage was done. Just a lot of head scratching, and mild cursing. Thanks to the comments for helping there.
The Rambo power connector was another pain point. Although it was not a bad one. I was left to wondering if there was a better way to do that? The points that the main power cables came in at kept pulling out (or the second cable did…). I finally got them all in and staying though.
The power fan is pretty loud. I don’t have a db meter… but it’s louder than anything else in my immediate area. I haven’t printed yet so I don’t know about the operation.
The Good Points
When completed this looks like a professionally assembled machine. Cables, belts, pulleys, and fans are all nicely tucked away. The pulley system LOOKS well thought out. I haven’t used it yet so I can’t confirm its functioning but I like the way it is tucked away. I also like the simplicity it can be reached and maintained. It looks like you can get to most places on the machine fairly quickly with little fuss, with plenty of built in access and open places to reach needed parts. Aside from my few nit pick points above this was actually not that bad to put together. It took some time and patience, but was certainly doable. Don’t let the pain points above scare you, there were a TON of steps that I did not have any problems with. Over all the assembly was well documented or video illustrated.
Once I get the last piece in… my glass bed… I’ll start setting up and see how it goes.
Would you do anything differently? I would have done a better job staging the parts up front. I spent a GREAT deal of time trying to FIND the parts I needed for a job. and then RE-FINDING them when I needed them. I usually keep a fairly neat work space, not desk, but work space. However, with this project I found I was overwhelmed with parts, and they were not always together or easy to find. I would also get a hex bit for my drill and better lighting for my desk. The only other thing I’d do is win the lotto and spend my time working on projects like this :)… But that is something I’ve been working on for years.
Today is Day 4. Yes it has been 2 chronological days since my last post, but 1 day of actual work on the printer. Remember I get to do this between work/life/family.
Today I worked on the base. I hoped to have it done tonight but I just couldn’t do it all. I spent about 5 hrs working on it (I will admit, I did cook dinner, and hang out with kids in there… so take that number with a grain of salt). I did get almost done though.
3 parts really made it take longer.
- Inserting the nylon nuts into all the side pieces. They say it is “easy”, but I couldn’t get them to go in for love or money. I found some of the really tough ones I used an Allen wrench and prying it open just a little bit. I was deathly afraid to damage it so I only applied the barest minimum of pressure to get the nut in.
- The other thing is the brackets that hold the heating base, the nylon nut in that did not go in very far and the screw that holds the blue tabs that hold it down was just a hair too short to get contact, I had to find a way to get the nuts further into the assembly. I ended up using needle nose pliers and putting the screw in a bit and pulling on the had of the screw with the side of the nose.
- Finding all those parts. I know they must have taken a TON of time organizing how all this was pulled and assembled etc. However finding the part called for some times took more time than assembling it. It isn’t that they aren’t labeled, there are just a lot of them, and many of them look similar, and some of them are mixed with other bags. So it just takes time to make sure you have the right thing.
Over all I think this part was very cleaver. They made this very easy for people with some experience to assemble. I have a few friends I would be very comfortable recommending this to. But this would not be for everyone I know. This came out remarkably more stable than I expected, and much lighter than I expected as well. I think (so far) this seems very well designed. I haven’t had a chance to run it and test for other things but for straight layout and assembly so far, with a few side notes, I really like.
One other note, removing all the tape from the wooden (mdf?) parts was quite the chore. Not difficult or awful. Just time consuming, I was tempted to let my kids do it, but I was afraid they would break something… so I did it my self. I also didn’t know if any of the cut out parts were important. I am sure 99% of them are just dross, but there were 4 holes cut in one of the pieces that had holes cut in them… making me wonder if they were important. Since I didn’t know I saved everything. I will say that working with those little cut outs does get black stuff all over too, not a ton, but noticeably, so you don’t want to do this wearing anything important or over you wife’s wedding dress… unless you are hoping to die or get a divorce… or both I suppose.
That’s it for me. signing off…. nanoo… nanoo.
League of Legends, LOL, or just plain League. I gave you one last try today. The two games I played were again typical of your horrible community. I am done with you. I have uninstalled you. I have walked away. Good Bye. I’m sure you won’t miss me… and I’m sure I won’t miss you … so I guess this is mutually beneficial.
Yep I said it. I’ve played on and off for a year or two. Purely casual. I have no delusions of making a pro-league, or even making any notable mark. I play for fun… well I try to. But the community is full of such salty SOBs it is VERY hard to enjoy. Many of the players seem to think they are going to be the next Diamond Champ and make it pro… and that my game play will ruin them. And rather than “help a casual” player or explain. They would rather rant, curse at, bitch and complain. I have a full time job and a family. I do this in between all the other adult things I have to do… so I don’t have time to spend memorizing tons of crap for a game that in 10 years probably won’t be on the market.
League of Legends… Your players officially suck. I like the game, it is quite enjoyable. Your players have got to be some of the worst I’ve encountered, actually now that I think about it… they are the worst I can think of. That is saying something.
I have now vented. I am going to step back from the game a bit. Take a breath and decide if I ever even WANT to play again. The last game I played was not particularly bad, in fact it was typical for the games I play. The fact that it was typical… and that I wanted to throw my computer in the trash after playing should be an indication that “I shouldn’t play”… The only reason I came back was to play with some mutual friends, but this is not worth it.
If you are a League of Legends staffer… your current marketing “meta” may be great for pulling in kids and single guys who hope to be pro-video game players. But you seem to have forgotten many of the people who just want to have fun playing. Some one worried about how many clicks they can work into a micro second while focusing on 3 different targets, memorizing a continually changing list of champs, skills, items, and maps Isn’t fun… it’s work. If I wanted to have to sit down and make spread sheets, perform calculations, and raise my blood pressure… I can get paid for that now. And oddly enough I find my job more fun… again mental note to me… if this IS the case… WHY am I playing? Just to be social?
Well I’m debating if I ever want to go back in. If I should just uninstall the game and walk away and encourage my friends to do so. They have the same problems with the community as well. Fortunately I have not invested more than $5 in the game. Just a lot of time, but I’m thinking I’ll cut my losses and move on.
Point 1: League community USUALLY really sucks. (In my experience, I have found the RARE exception but they are rare.)
Point 2: At the end of about 75% of League of Legends games I want to throw my computer away and claw my face off… even when I win people complain.
Point 3: This game takes a TON of time to learn the Champs, Maps, Items, Meta, combos, synergies, etc.
Point 4: I find other things more fun, like my real job… I’m not a workaholic and I don’t go around recruiting people to do what I do. But I enjoy my job more than this feeling I have right now at the end of a game.
Point 5: The only reason I do play is to be social with a group of people I already know, but when they play they turn into SOBs too. It seems to bring out the worst in people. I hear them slamming down their mice, bashing their keyboards, cursing the other players… screaming at the top of their lungs at their own team mates, because they didn’t do what they WANTED them to do at that exact moment to help THEM.
It sounds to me like League of Legends is the wrong game for me. I encourage you to consider where you spend your time. Are you spending it in a video game full of sucky people, that is highly competitive, rapidly changing that in a few years no one will care about? Or are you spending it doing something you actually enjoy?… You can still game. I just want you to consider WHAT you game and WHY. You only get one life. Don’t waste it on games and/or people that suck.
I know my next game will be something I chose intentionally because I like it and enjoy it. I may pick up League again with a friend every once and a while. But my time of studying it, playing it on my own, or really “trying” to figure it out are over. It will keep changing, and I have no intention to spend my brain power to keep up with this game. If the community had been better this may not have been the case…. but that is the world of IF… I don’t live there.
I think, and this is a theory, that the professor is grinding up Pokemon and turning them into candy to feed back to our Pokemon to make them stronger. Think about it, you can never get your Pokemon back once you transfer them and you get candy back that is specific to just that type of Pokemon. I think this is a cut and dried case of Soylentmon Candy. Okay may be not cut and dried, more like dehydrated and ground then re-constituted and caramelized with sugar and wrapped with a beautiful piece of paper?
It might be in an attempt to prevent Pokemon over population (they do seem to bread prolifically, I think Pidgies may take over the world soon.), or it could just be a sadistic twist of the professor. I’ve tried to communicate with several Pokemon I’ve sent and not been able to hear back. The professor has not been available to talk either, but he has been more than willing to take my Pokemon. This is all just a theory, but I think something is rotten in Kanto. I have been tempted to taste the Pokemon Candy, but I haven’t figured out how to get it out of the phone yet. Once I do I’m still not sure how to tell if it is made of the remains of another Pokemon, but I’ll keep investigating.
After posting this I was informed that someone else already had this idea and made a cartoon strip of it. I got this idea from a comment in a group chat, and I just ran with it, I had no knowledge of the pre-existing cartoon. Although I think the cartoon is awesome.