More adventures on the bleeding edge

I wish I could say that the holidays are entirely the reason for not posting recently, but that’s only been part of it.

Steve Graber putting the card into the top of the Gigante itself.Truth be known, I’ve been having fits with the Gigante. Fortunately, Steve Graber from Cerberus 3D, the company that built my 8-foot-tall deltabot printer, has been very present and very patient.

“Present” has helped because I’ve had some hardware issues. One of the struts let loose at one point, for instance. He also has replaced the carriages and platform (I’ll have another post that goes into more detail on that) and the Bowden tube that the filament feeds through, as well as completely rebuilt the hotend.

But there have been other problems, too ….

I wrote about the filament – those bulges have been a nightmare (I’ll post soon about what we’ve done about it).  I also had a fun little problem with Microsoft deciding that USB connections should time out after a certain period, which is fine (maybe) if you’re not printing a multiday job.

To fix the USB problem, Steve got up on a ladder and actually put the micro SD card with the file of the piece I wanted to print into the printer itself rather than trying to feed it from the computer. One planned upgrade is to add a screen on the printer that allows me to just insert a memory card so I can put the computer back where it belongs – this enhancement may come sooner than later.

So while some of the problems have been due to running radical first-generation equipment that needed to be tweaked, some of them were filament and some of them were software – did I mention I’ve also been having fun finding slicing software and host software that can handle these large prints?

There’s now one other Gigante in Arizona, and they don’t seem to be having the problems I am, but Steve says they aren’t running as challenging jobs, either. Now that we have the hardware issues handled – or at least hope we do, the problems are probably mostly narrowed down to filament, and we think we have a fix for that.

I’m now on the third attempt to print that pedestal (or is it the fourth?). This time – let’s hope I’m not jinxing it! – it looks like we’ll finish the job. Ultimachine, the company that makes the filament, is now replacing yet another 5 pound spool of silver gray for me, so we think we’ll have enough to complete the print, which is only weeks behind schedule (sheesh!).

I know this will all be history someday and that we have contributed to the maturation of 3D printing, but I’m hoping I can get some sleep soon ….

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