Rostock Max "Apollo" comes to life in Seattle!

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Earthbound
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Rostock Max "Apollo" comes to life in Seattle!

Post by Earthbound »

I finished the hardware build today. Only a few hiccups along the way. While building the upper half, I managed to put the base plate on upside-down. Became apparent when I was securing end stop wires. Now ultra careful about the orientation of every part, I was stymied while putting the spool support on top. Eventually realized (after comparing figures 16-9 and 16-18 ) that pictures came from different builds and spool holder was reversed on at least one.

I made a few minor tweaks during the build. Added the Astrosyn isolators. Removed all the unneeded wiring from the power supply. Used some of the wire from the power supply trimmings to provide parallel conductors to the Onyx heated bed.

Powered up healthy and soon had Repetier Host talking to it. Next work session will start with PID tuning, and hopefully a PEEK fan shroud will appear sometime later.

A question about Repetier...

Since the Repetier/Rostock firmware is v0.91, is it better to download and use the older version of Repetier Host software, or best to use the most current (v1.0.4)?

- Mike
Last edited by Earthbound on Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rostock Max "Apollo" comes to life in Seattle!

Post by geneb »

There's no link between the host & controller software, so it really doesn't matter which version of RH you use.

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Re: Rostock Max "Apollo" comes to life in Seattle!

Post by Earthbound »

Got through the initial PID tuning and position calibration. Will try to print the PEEK fan shroud in the morning. There is some disparity between the screens/menus of R-H 1.0.4 and the directions in the build manual. Don't seem to be able to select the ABS profile in the three drop downs while configuring Slicer. Two remain blank.
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Re: Rostock Max "Apollo" comes to life in Seattle!

Post by Earthbound »

Getting acquainted with Reptier-Host 1.0.4. Got the drop down thing figured out. Onboard video capability of my Dell Latitude laptop is insufficient for the rendering window, so no object/placement preview for me. The graphs and rest of the UI work, thankfully.

It prints! One big stumble in the initial run. Instructions say use a 2m piece of filament. That. Is. Not. Enough. EZ-Struder ran out of push at about 2/3 completion. Saw it was about to happen and attempted to load more filament but failed. Tried to interrupt job but haven't got that figured out, yet. Kill switch on Rostock control panel seemed to do nothing. Ended up using Repetier-Host e-stop icon.

Put the spool in the holder, primed the hot end again and started round two. Success! Looks like a PEEK fan shroud. Haven't checked fit yet, but shape and finish are respectable for a first effort. Will see if I can figure out posting a picture, as there is some room for improvement. As the overhangs began to grow, the ends of the first few layers curled downward. Do I reduce that effect by lowering the speed?
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Re: Rostock Max "Apollo" comes to life in Seattle!

Post by Earthbound »

Here goes. I can see them, but that means nothing...

20140923_182358.jpg
20140923_182542.jpg
20140923_182650.jpg
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Earthbound
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Re: Rostock Max "Apollo" comes to life in Seattle!

Post by Earthbound »

I've been over-working the PEEK fan shroud project. I've printed 3 or 4 to 100%, and stopped mid print on several more. I think I have concluded that there is simply too much overhang on the layer of the first sag, and then there is nothing in place to support the subsequent layers above it. I think the solution would be to re-shape that curve in the model or add support. I've tried printing slower (25% of norm) and it doesn't help. Doesn't really matter at this point. I made three usable parts, each needing minor clean up with a knife. The photos are of the first 100% print, pre-cleaning. The 2nd 100% print is the best, with the 3rd being very nearly as good.

The GDT fan in my kit was disappointing. It did not fit the 1st shroud, so I did a lot of filing of the shroud to enlarge the opening. During one of the many test fits, the fan housing broke beyond repair. I ordered two different possible replacements of the same form factor (25x25x10mm). I take note of the fact that both replacements slip smoothly into prints #2 and #3 without any filing. The remains of the stock fan don't fit the opening, so I'd have to say the supplied fan doesn't meet its own spec.

Finally got it wired up and installed on the hot end this evening. Ran a quick pre-heat to see if it worked and PEEK fan kicked in at 50C. Still need to re-run the PID tuning now that PEEK fan is in. I ended up using the Sunon fan linked above.

I printed a layer fan shroud the other day and the first 100% print looks pretty good. I'll see about getting that one installed in the next day or two. Ordered some PLA to try out and it should be arriving mid-week.

Learned one lesson the hard way, and annoyed enough about it that I might investigate changing things myself. There is a real shortcoming in the LCD control menus. While printing a PEEK fan shroud file from the SD card, I wanted to adjust the temperature a few degrees to see what if any change it would make to the finished product. So, click in to Printer Settings and dial down to the temp you want to change and click to enable adjustment. Game over. As I pushed the knob to allow temperature adjustment, the encoder read enough rotation to jump up one line on the screen just before it acknowledged the push. Sadly the line above is the Home Towers command. I need to study the menu layout and see if there is a safer way to organize the more critical tools.
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Re: Rostock Max "Apollo" comes to life in Seattle!

Post by Holy1 »

Earthbound wrote: Game over. As I pushed the knob to allow temperature adjustment, the encoder read enough rotation to jump up one line on the screen just before it acknowledged the push. Sadly the line above is the Home Towers command. I need to study the menu layout and see if there is a safer way to organize the more critical tools.



Been there done that too many times myself!
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Re: Rostock Max "Apollo" comes to life in Seattle!

Post by Earthbound »

Made a few improvements. Some at the software level, learning to use Repetier-Host, Matter Control. I find Matter Control to yield better results, but it takes an age to upload a file to Apollo's SD card. Faster to save gcode in MC, then open it in RH and upload it from there. Learning to use SketchUp to design a few things. Nothing very real and practical so far, just builder samples to understand the size offsets required for consistent dimensions of interior perimeters. Basic stuff like if you want to capture the head of a 1/4-20 carriage bolt, learning how big the square and circle need to be.

My initial go at using ABS was semi successful, but I need to figure out the shrink issue. Black ABS seemed less susceptible than the gray I tried. When I load up ABS again I am going to try printing on Kapton.

A biggish ABS print gave me fits until I understood that my power supply was overheating. Had not been a problem when I started, but I relocated Apollo a couple of weeks ago and it gets less air circulation around it now. Power supply may also be challenged by my Onyx rev6 bed. These were quickly surpassed by rev7 as apparently the resistance is lower than intended, or perhaps the production tolerance wandered to the low side. Too bad, because one of the neat things that a rev6 has is a hot end power LED. The low resistance of my rev6 means it will heat from 25C to 100C in under 11 minutes, which is pretty fast compared to most Onyx 12v beds.

Forum user redoverred drew up some vent panels to replace the wood and plexi covers of the RMv2 base. I put one vented panel on the rear, one 80mm fan panel on the side, and a grille panel without fan on the other side. This should take care of ventilation needs.
Last edited by Earthbound on Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rostock Max "Apollo" comes to life in Seattle!

Post by Earthbound »

My 40mm RAMBo cooling fan has been loud from the very beginning and from day 3 began making rattling noises until it warmed up. I've just changed it out for a Scythe Mini-KAZE (SL124020) that I found on Amazon for under $6 shipped. Super quiet.

One thing about a white Max, it makes it easy to spot debris. I was getting soot like material at the base of the towers, which I guessed was something shed from the belts. Turns out it to be an issue with the aluminum u-joints. The inboard face perpendicular to the axle shaves material off of the axle carrier on the cheapskate (and on the effector, too).

Between this and the reports of aluminum joints binding up on the steel axles, I elected to buy a set of the newer acetal u-joints. I think this is a good upgrade for anyone who wasn't already planning to install Trick Laser arms.
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Re: Rostock Max "Apollo" comes to life in Seattle!

Post by geneb »

Just a tip - you're MUCH better off by getting a cheap SD card USB interface and writing the files by copying them. When you "upload" a file to the printer, you're limited by the serial baud rate, which is a LOT slower than the USB-SD data rate is going to be.

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Re: Rostock Max "Apollo" comes to life in Seattle!

Post by Earthbound »

I have a cheap USB multi-card reader that needs to be replaced with one that doesn't suck. My PC has an SD slot on the tower itself, but the tower is behind the monitor... ...for direct to card transfers I power off the Max, pull the SD card, grab a flashlight to see behind the monitor, and so on. From time to time it is just easier to connect the cable and upload via USB. Yes, it is slowish. But Repetier-Host will upload the same gcode file in 1/10 the time it takes via Matter Control.

What I really want is the next generation of wifi enabled SD cards. Current generation does not support writing files to SD over the wifi link, only reading.
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Re: Rostock Max "Apollo" comes to life in Seattle!

Post by Earthbound »

Playing around some more. Learning just how badly ABS and PLA will curl and warp on larger parts. I was getting cocky and starting to print a few things in PLA at high speeds 75-100mm/s with success. Then a project came up using thin surfaces and I fought lots of warping and corner lifting for a few days. Could not seem to find the temps and cooling combination that would give good results. Of course the answer was not to be found there at all, but instead needed much slower printing, and matching the infill and perimeter rates so that one wouldn't distort the other.

I've been a big fan of Matter Control for its decent gcode and speed. My latest endeavor has required that I go back to Reptier-Host and Slic3r for now, to utilize the Hilbert curve infill pattern. It seems like the best way to get a textured finish on top surfaces.
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Re: Rostock Max "Apollo" comes to life in Seattle!

Post by Earthbound »

Apollo has been working hard. Most of the objects made so far have been fairly small, but I've printed hundreds of them. The filimeter (see what I did there?) just ticked over 2.5km. The stock PEEK fan didn't even survive assembly and its replacement has just started howling for retirement in the last couple of days. New ball bearing replacement for PEEK fan arrived today. Just in time for some weekend maintenance.

I've been planning a minor overhaul with a new power supply, ceramic heater cartridge, upgrade to Trick Trucks, two more layer fans, etc. Hoped to do that this weekend, but some of the parts haven't shown up yet. Perhaps I'll just work on the effector mounted parts this weekend. The PEEK fan squeal is not something I can tolerate much longer, nor do I want to continue risking the PEEK section itself.

In preparation for the changes ahead, I thought it would be interesting to do a before and after calibration test. Last night I had it turn out a Hollow_Pyramid. Frankly, it was better than I expected. The only big "flaws" are small blobs on the inside of the arms. I'm guessing that is travel ooze getting wiped on the arm. I confess to never having taken the time to run an extrusion test and calibration. I was mostly looking for signs of wear, looseness, or binding. How dumb will will I feel if it doesn't print this nicely AFTER the "upgrades"?
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Re: Rostock Max "Apollo" comes to life in Seattle!

Post by KAS »

You have a good link for the ball bearing peek fan? Mine is starting to go out, and I've only had it for a few days.

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Re: Rostock Max "Apollo" comes to life in Seattle!

Post by Earthbound »

KAS wrote:You have a good link for the ball bearing peek fan? Mine is starting to go out, and I've only had it for a few days.


I can't take credit for finding them. I spotted the link in another thread here somewhere. http://www.ebay.com/itm/170764022133

US seller, so only took about 3 days to get them.
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Re: Rostock Max "Apollo" comes to life in Seattle!

Post by KAS »

Earthbound wrote:
KAS wrote:You have a good link for the ball bearing peek fan? Mine is starting to go out, and I've only had it for a few days.


I can't take credit for finding them. I spotted the link in another thread here somewhere. http://www.ebay.com/itm/170764022133

US seller, so only took about 3 days to get them.




Thank you, just ordered it.

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Re: Rostock Max "Apollo" comes to life in Seattle!

Post by RocketMagnet »

Presumably you've already rearranged your menu options and changed the position of "Home Towers" if not...

It's line 389 of uimenu.h in repetier 0.91.

Stock code is

#define UI_MENU_QUICK {UI_MENU_ADDCONDBACK &ui_menu_home_all,&ui_menu_quick_speedmultiply,&ui_menu_quick_flowmultiply UI_TOOGLE_LIGHT_ENTRY ,&ui_menu_quick_preheat_pla,&ui_menu_quick_preheat_abs,&ui_menu_quick_cooldown,&ui_menu_quick_stopstepper DEBUG_PRINT_EXTRA}
UI_MENU(ui_menu_quick,UI_MENU_QUICK,6+UI_MENU_BACKCNT+MENU_PSON_COUNT+DEBUG_PRINT_COUNT+UI_TOGGLE_LIGHT_COUNT);

So I personally simply moved &ui_menu_home_all further down the menu...

#define UI_MENU_QUICK {UI_MENU_ADDCONDBACK &ui_menu_quick_speedmultiply,&ui_menu_quick_flowmultiply UI_TOOGLE_LIGHT_ENTRY ,&ui_menu_quick_preheat_pla,&ui_menu_quick_preheat_abs,&ui_menu_home_all,&ui_menu_quick_cooldown,&ui_menu_quick_stopstepper DEBUG_PRINT_EXTRA}
UI_MENU(ui_menu_quick,UI_MENU_QUICK,6+UI_MENU_BACKCNT+MENU_PSON_COUNT+DEBUG_PRINT_COUNT+UI_TOGGLE_LIGHT_COUNT);

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Re: Rostock Max "Apollo" comes to life in Seattle!

Post by Earthbound »

Thank you Rocket, you rocked it! I did some looking around in the ui files and had not found it, then moved on to something else.
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Re: Rostock Max "Apollo" comes to life in Seattle!

Post by Earthbound »

It's quiet (replaced squealing PEEK fan).

Too quiet.

I held off on doing the minor overhaul, planning to do more and had ordered more parts. Last night it was mid-print and something didn't sound right about the effector movement (printer is setup behind my chair, so rarely in line of sight). The temp was low and although it was still managing to extrude, there was almost no layer bonding. The noise was a print that looked a lot like piece of purple Shredded Wheat, being slowly ripped apart. Might have lost a resistor, or could just be the wire that I discovered turning crispy at the crimp splice. I'm not going to fix it. The ceramic heater cartridge has been sitting here for a few weeks. I'd have put it in sooner but Apollo was working fine and keeping busy. I guess I need to do some searching to see how people secure the cartridge in the SeeMeCNC hot end. On E3D and others, there is some clamping action. Maybe it is a snug fit? Dab of Ultra Copper? If loose fit, maybe foil tape? I'll learn soon enough. Timing could have been better for this hot end trouble. I just ordered a thermocouple and don't expect it to arrive until next week. Don't want to be without printing capabilities that long, but also dislike tearing the head apart multiple times.

Open Builds gets a scowl from me. Parts that were shown as in-stock at time of order are back-ordered. Something I learned only upon opening the package and found a note saying the eccentric spacers will ship "soon". So although the very nice Trick Trucks arrived from Laser Accents, they won't get installed until OBPS sends the last of the hardware.

10,000 internet points to me for printing belt clamps for the 'Trucks a few days ago while Apollo was noisy but functional.

The to-do list keeps getting longer:

Replace PEEK fan - whoops, cross that one off as done
Install heater cartridge
Install thermocouple and amp board
Add Molex plug to umbilical for easier service of hot end
Install new power supply - might have to wait, since I haven't printed the mounting clips yet
Wire up the 80mm fan that is in the side panel but not connected
Build CF arms and install
Assemble Trick Trucks and install
Replace spacers in effector assembly with CF pieces - OK it is silly, but any reduction in effector mass is good

Maybe add Raspberry Pi for Octoprint, if I can get the darned wi-fi dongle to behave.
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Re: Rostock Max "Apollo" comes to life in Seattle!

Post by Nareikuk »

Not sure how others have attached a heater cartridge to the stock hotend - I just used a bit of Ultra Copper.

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Re: Rostock Max "Apollo" comes to life in Seattle!

Post by Mac The Knife »

I wrapped my cartridges with aluminum foil,,,, and then snugged them up in the hotend with a pair of channel locks. I had tried drilling and tapping the hotend to use set screws, but failed to have enough threads to hold the screw.
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Re: Rostock Max "Apollo" comes to life in Seattle!

Post by Tonkabot »

I also had problems fitting the peek fan into the first print. Broke the fan fitting it in, so I never experienced its noise, as I ordered ball bearing fans for the peek, rambo, and layer fan from digikey (I think I posted the part numbers here somewhere). So all my fans continue working great and silently. The Astrosyn dampers will go in as soon as my trick laser trucks and arms get here.

I think the first print really needs to be some kind of calibration print so that one doesn't over extrude when printing the peek fan shroud. even just a couple % over will make the peek fan too tight of a fit. After getting the extrusion calibrated, then print the peek fan shroud.

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Re: Rostock Max "Apollo" comes to life in Seattle!

Post by Earthbound »

I guess the overhaul will happen in stages. I need to get Apollo back into service and a few of the new bits aren't here yet.

I've swapped in the ceramic heater cartridge. The Ultra Copper RTV silicone from the resistors had a pretty good bond on the heater block. I was able to pull the resistors out, leaving RTV liner in the hole. Passed a 6mm drill bit through the hole to clean out a little. Ceramic cartridge slipped in with plenty of friction to hold it in place. Wrapped the block in Kapton tape and its good to go.

Added two more of the 30mm blower fans for layer cooling. A couple of prints had suffered from the very directional cooling pattern of a single fan. The trio should fix that.

Ran a fresh PID autotune to account for the new heater and Apollo is printing again as I type this.
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Re: Rostock Max "Apollo" comes to life in Seattle!

Post by Earthbound »

The 4 months of no news update:

So about that major overhaul... Not. Gonna. Happen. I came to the conclusion that Apollo is working pretty well. It is reliable. Some of the problems that I've had along the way were weaknesses or errors during assembly that eventually revealed themselves. Other problems were me asking it to go too fast or too far. I've gone through 2kg of ABS and perhaps 8kg of PLA. Some PETG and a little TPU (enough to know I need to modify the extruder).

Other than the cartridge heater and better PEEK & RAMBo fans, it is a stock RMV2. Okay, I printed some new panels for the base to improve airflow. That took care of the cutout issue I had with my stock power supply. And it has had astrosyn isolators on it from day one.

It works fine and I don't want to dismantle it and have no printer for several weeks while I install the upgrades.

So all the goodies need a place to live.
Trick Trucks
CF arms with ball joints
Good dedicated 12v power supply
Prometheus v2 hot end
My mod of a mod of a mod extruder with geared stepper
Smoothieboard and GLCD
and long list of other items

Gee, I guess I should just build a 2nd printer.
The Max Metal frame from Trick Laser looks awesome. Unfortunately I started down the 2nd printer path before it was announced. Maybe someday Apollo will get a major upgrade after all. In the meantime, I'm using a regular melamine base and a few other choice parts from SeeMeCNC. It will get its own thread soon.
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