So... Cre8 was a failure. Sometimes you learn the most through failure, growth mindset, Thomas Edison, yada yada yada.
So I recycled the parts from Cre8 into a Graber i3 version of a Prusa i3. It works, pretty well at least. I then designed a larger printer (CoreXY, 12x14x14", Bowden, all motors fixed on outside of a fully enclosed 3/4" plywood box frame, 5/8" smooth rods, 3 synchronized leadscrews. Sort of like a SmartRapCore on steroids.) I called it "Vera". Just kidding, I called it Bigfoot. (Extra credit if you get the reference)
It worked... but not reliably. Some prints would be beyond-perfect. And FAST, that printer could cruise at 100mm/s or more. BUT then other times it would just fall apart on me. It gave each part precisely spaced ridges on the sides, which I could never figure out. FRUSTRATION caused me to order a real printer...
A Folgertech FT-5. A pretty good deal on a large 3d printer. The build process took a week. Some of the parts have failed already and needed upgrading. I added an e3d hot end (clone) and a blower fan. Also added a z-axis synchro belt. I used the 110v heated bed from Bigfoot. Then on the second print, the controller board burned up. So Bigfoot had to donate his brain too. He sits on his big, beautiful side in the garage. And the FT-5 sits smugly to my right. Mostly working at this point, but I really wish I was getting better surface finish from this machine. My wife has made me swear off any new 3d printers... but I haven't told her about the Creality CR-10 yet... I should just stop looking and accept the fact that at my price-range 3D printing is about fixing a 3d printer.
At my day-job, I recently upgraded to a Craftbot XL (the new, big one!). It's sweet! But it arrived with a bent z-screw, and then blew a motherboard. I think their decision to roll-their-own firmware should be reconsidered. They would have been better off to run their 32bit board on an open source firmware like Smoothieware. Otherwise, it's awesome!
Back to the spirit of this blog: making outdoor gear.
My daughter now goes packing with me once or twice per year, and that means my gear has changed, and she needs a pack that fits her. Pack design time!!
I also discovered the joy that is hammock camping... so there are some projects for that coming up as well.