Building a Wallace

A while ago we noticed a new type of 3D printer on the www.reprap.org website: the Wallace 3D printer. This is a printer similar to the popular printrbot, but completely opensource and community maintained. The printer is much simpler built and claims to be built up in a few hours but I questioned the stability of those two lonely z-rods. So I had to try it out and build one myself.

As the wallace design is highly customizeable, I choose to try a variant with M8 rods, Nema17 motors and a print plate of 22.5 cm x 22.5cm. This leads to a build volume of around 15cm x 15cm x 15cm which seems quite acceptable.

I started with printing all the needed parts on my existing 3D printer and took some parts out of our stock at www.2printbeta.de.

After I gathered those parts, I started building and assembling the bases:

As promised the building was really simple, so the buildup progressed fast and not much later I had to fit my print-bed and it was nearly ready.

Then I just had to attach the belts and the printbed and the mechanical construction was ready. After that the 3D printer looked like this:

I wanted to fit a Wades extruder with a arcol.hu 3.0 hotend, which I already had laying around. But unfortunately, I noticed that the cut-out in the carriage was much too small for the big hot-end I had here. So I had to change the design of it a bit and reprint it. That's how it looks after the changes in comparison to the old carriage:

Then I could mount the wades, find places for the optoendstops and wire it all up:

Finally it was ready and I could try out how its' printing qualities are. Thats how it looks completed:

And I was really suprised how good the printing quality actually is. It prints nicely and without any shaking. Maybe its not the best 3D printer for high speed prints, but with a normal speed it really produces adequate results. And the build is really fast and painless. No need for perfect squaring and adjustments like on the Mendel or Prusa. Just put everything together and it works.

Finally you can see here a video of it printing some higher test object:

We hope you like this, as we are seriously considering to make this parts cast-able and adding it to our portofolio at www.2printbeta.de

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J-head-hotends

A few months ago, we were asked if we would like to try some J-head-hotends.

The currently available arcol.hu hotends work just fine, but you just can't have enough hot-end options. So we googled j-head-hotends and found a nice description about it on the reprap/wiki.

The design seems to be pretty simple, and since there are some supply difficulties with the arcol.hu hotends we decided to give the J-head-hotend a try and ordered. As they arrived, we were pretty happy because they are pre-assembled, take a look at this picture.

After finsishing the assembly of a hotend with a standard 0.5 mm orifice (the thermistor and the heating resistor have to mounted by the user), we tested how it works using translucent blue PLA:

The temperature was a little too hot in the first try because we didn't adjust the thermistor table, but the melting zone seems to be very short. About 1 cm, not more.

So we went on testing printing with and without fan and measured the temperature after some hours of printing around the extruder and at the PEEK heater-barrel.

With fan the PEEK is around 50°C and the inside of the extruder about 35°C, while the nozzle has around 190°C. Without fan the inside of the extruder reaches up to 55°C - but obviously not too hot to print PLA.

The first test-prints were just fine. Nothing went wrong, no blocking of the nozzle, no mess :-)

The next step was to try ABS. Therefore I first had to add a heated printbed to my prusa 3D printer because I never printed ABS with this machine The result was looking great, look at the following picture with the printer in action.

The J-head hotend was also able to nicely print ABS. The temperatures without fan were around 90°C on the PEEK and about 65 °C inside the extruder.

And it also successfully completed the longterm test printing a ABS Wades extruder:

If you like to buy a j-head-hotend, we have some in stock in different orifice sizes on www.2Printbeta.de.

Greetings

BonsaiBrain

 

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