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Monoprice Prusa i3 Mounting System

by TheMakerRob Jan 25, 2016
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The permanently connected cable is ridiculous. Thanks! I have printed the z-axis stabilization parts (mod found on thingiverse), but haven't assembled it yet. Was wondering if this would interfere with that. Can the clips for the printer be placed anywhere along the side?

I'm not familiar with the "z-axis stabilization parts" can you provide a link to the specific parts in question?

Regarding "clip" placement: I'm not sure what it meant by "clips". If you are talking about the straps I use to secure the printer to the board they have to be placed at the far ends as shown in the pictures. If you don't you will not have fully isolated the printers movement. By have them placed at each end of the Y axes you isolate both X and Y motion, by placing them at a diagonal you eliminate any leverage forces. They are also most out of the way where I place them.

If you are going to place the straps somewhere other than where I placed them, then you are going to have to all block the corners with end stops to avoid the printer from moving around.

I hope it helps.

so have you tried to print in abs on it? I just want to know if you had any problems with it?

Everything you see in the pictures is printed in ABS.

Is that your normal bed situation? (Glass on metal) and what do you use for Adhesion for ABS? I've had a hell of a time getting decent prints, finally got some using glass and blue painters tape, but even then, I'm getting some warping on the bed. (bed temp is set at 100 while printing, and usually warm it up 20 minutes ish before printing)

Just curious what your trick is, thanks for the design by the way, I'm going to have to get this printed soon!

Yeah, ditch the painter's tape, I know everyone loves it, but it's a mess, and completely superfluous if you're printing on glass. If you are going to print on glass you gain no benefit if you are then going to put tape down. If you want to print ABS (or anything for that matter) first prep your glass surface with Elmer's glue stick. I recommend Elmer's disappearing purple glue stick, so that you can see where you have applied the glue, and when it's dry; it will start off purple and then lose its color once dry. Then heat your bed to 80c (100c will work too, but it's over kill, and it's best to keep your temps as low as possible) for ABS, or 60c for PLA. At this point it should pretty much stick like magic. If however you are still having adhesion issues:

1) Make sure your surface is clean. Don't touch the bed with your fingers, even if you think they are clean, as your skin has natural oils which will hurt adhesion. If you have contaminated the bed, wash it until it's completely clean, then reapply glue stick treatment.

2) There are print calibrations you can make to help improve adhesion:

a. Slow down your initial layer to 30mm per second.

b. Print your initial layer larger than other layers, preferably the same size as your nozzle width.

c. Make sure your print head is close to the print bed, you want the print head to slightly "push" the material into the bed (not just "lay" it on top of the surface), but not so much that your extruder teeth starts to eat into the filament.

d. Make sure your material feed speed is sufficient, you don't want to run low on material as the head is moving! Watch the print head carefully for the first layer, and make sure everything looks good. If you haven't calibrated your printer for the average width of your filament, you might have supply issues, if your specific filament isn't toleranced well.

e. You can try increasing your nozzle temps for the first layer. I generally print ABS as 230C, if I'm having a hard time, I'll try increasing my first layer to 235C and I'll increase by 5C up to 260C to find a good adhesion temp. If it takes more than 260C you have another problem (actually if it takes more than 235C you probably have a problem, but if it takes more than 260C it's quite a problem). Also, don't print more than the first layer this way, as the hotter you have the plastic the more it'll want to run, and it's better to print layers above the first layer with temps much closer to the materials melting point for many reasons. (Though you can continue to print a little warmer if you are having layer adhesion issues, but that would probably just be a bandaid for a different calibration problem.)

3) Make sure your nozzle is flowing correctly. You don't want any obstructions which might produce a malformed stream. Back the print head alway from the bed a good ways, and then extrude a long length of filament, make sure the filament comes out in a even stream, and doesn't kick to one side or another. If it doesn't stream to a side verses flowing straight down, clean your head.

4) Make sure you have a decent quality ABS! Not all ABS print well or the same. For instance the green ABS you see in the pictures is really crappy ABS. I really have to baby it to get it to print well, where as other colors from that manufacturer print much easier and better. However at this point I buy Hatchbox off of Amazon exclusively, and that stuff prints NICE, and it's CHEAP!

5) Remember that ABS naturally expands and contracts a LOT as it heats and cools. So if you don't have a heated build environment, you are going to have a very hard time making large ABS piece print ok. (Because the various layer will be at different temps and there will be natural expansion and contraction issues between layers as the build gets larger, leading the warping.) The methods addressed so far are only for bed adhesion and work great for prints the size in my photos, if you are experiencing warping issues beyond that on larger pieces, you need to address the over all heating situation. A couple of ways to do that is to enclose the build area, and try to print in a warm location. (A nice styrofoam box placed over the whole printer tends to work well, if your printer is small enough for that to be feasible.) Or you can point infrared bulbs at each of the side of your print (which is what I do when I'm printing large ABS prints on my Rostock Max).

Once you get your process dialed in you may find it EXTREMELY difficult to get pieces to release from the bed after the printing process! In addition to how easy it is to prep and print on glass, as well as to clean it, it's also really nice because you can remove it and place it in the freezer. Once you place your glass bed, with print, in the freezer, the print will naturally just pop off, no prying required, meaning that you won't damage your print or the glass!

I hope it helps, and good luck!

You're awesome Rob, that was an amazing write up!! I really appreciate it!! Upon reading your recommendations I ran out and grabbed some of the disappearing glue, had a sale.. 6 pack for $1.99, lol wee!

Took the glass off the bed and cleaned the tape residue off, got 'er all sparkly clean n pretty, then lathered it up with some glue, and boom, like clockwork (and a little bed adjustment to offset the thickness of the tape) my prints have been sticking amazingly! I often print when I go to bed / on my way to work, by the time I wake up/get done my recent prints have finished soon enough where the bed has cooled before I get to the printer, and the pieces just pull right off the bed, no pressure needed! Best part is, no warping, and the glass really makes a huge difference on the first layer quality as well, the tape often left a pretty horrible texture to the point I didn't want that being visible on prints, but the glass leaves it smooth.

I haven't done many large prints, mostly because the warping on even smaller prints, I already knew would be a nightmare on larger prints, but I'm feeling pretty good so I think it's time! I'm going to get this printed over the next couple days and snag some plywood to get this thing mounted.

Thanks again!! I'll let you know how the print turns out!

No problem Thoed, I'm glad I was able to help. I hope your prints turned out well. One note though, is that large prints, though they are possible, are best avoided. It's better to use a tool like MeshMixer to slice the print into parts, print each part, and then glue them together. The larger your print the more likely you'll encounter a failure, and the more wasted time and plastic when it does fail. So as a rule I avoid large prints whenever possible.