A500 Mini II Part 6 – past the half way mark! – keycaps

Quite a lot of progress, but it doesn’t look like a lot of progress.

Firstly, I’ve had to re-do most of the keyboard CAD – I simply didn’t like the ‘blocky’ effect of the wider topped keycaps I’d created – as you can see below they look a lot more square in real life than they did in CAD…

I’ve now clocked well over 200 hours developing this set of keycaps, likley there’s going to be tens more tweaking / optimising!

So, along with the less blocky (more slopey) keys, I’d discovered my workflow in CAD had created tapered keys – the tops when viewed from above look like parallelograms, wheras the original Amiga had more square keys – it was quite a lot of work to alter this – see the parts below by the red arrows – the bottom bit is in towards the middle more than the top bit.

Tops not parallel with bottoms
Tops are parallel with bottoms
Continue reading “A500 Mini II Part 6 – past the half way mark! – keycaps”

Resin Printing and cold temperatures don’t mix. Making a heater!

After having a few failures over the past few months, i’ve tried a number of things to increase the print success rate.

The biggest improvement came from temporarily moving the printers out of the cold conservatory and into the much warmer living room.

That’s a bad thing to do on a full time basis as resin fumes ARE toxic .

There’s a whole slew of ways of heating up the printer. People have heated their rooms (expensive). Put the resin printer on a heated printer bed! (genius, and works). They’ve also cobbled together a bunch ‘o bits and made a heater. Probably the most elegant one i’ve seen is by Elegoo!

So, what does a person do when there’s pretty much a slew of commercially available suitable heaters for a 3D printer………

Yep, you go and roll your own!

I worry that the commercial ones may be too powerful I only need to raise the temperature around 10-15 degrees above ambient. Having seen friends use 50watt lamps in vivariums of much larger volume than my printers, I’ve figured a 50 Watt dedicated heater device should be more than enough….

So

I’m going with a https://hobbycomponents.com/sensors/684-w1209-temperature-control-switch W1209 Temperature control device and sensor

(thankyou to https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3442165 for the inspiration for the product and also this Hackaday Article

a 50 Watt PTC Heater 12V DC https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07SC15TK7/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

(thankyou to the Elegoo heater thingy for this decision)

and a 60mm Fan https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07HCGZ5FZ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Thank ME for this one – I purchased 5 off 80mm Artic F8 case fans back in March last year for an absolute steal. With the intention of upgrading cooling on the Wanhao D9 and in anticipation of designing a small heater for the resin printers. I can’t find them, so, this pair was about the best deal I could find for quick delivery

This lot cost me about £20 in total – Not bad considering it’ll be twice as ugly as the £10 commercial units, which, at £10 will be delivered in March, which co-incidentally is about the same date that i’ll likley finish assembling this monstosity!, D’oh!

ah well……..

Now, All I need to do is create some sort of 3D printed enclosure to house ’em all, figure out how to route cables and voila, i’ll have a nice ‘thingy’

Note, this lot can be gotten for easily around a tenner total, if your patient. However, It’s cold NOW, so i can’t wait a few months for delivery (when, in the UK it’ll still be cold, just a bit less cold)

Anycubic Photon Mono-X 90 Degree dripper

Very early days yet on this design. A couple of hours of measuring and sketching in Fusion360. Needs some finessing, but the principle is sound.

Given 90% of my printed things are quite short, (keyboards, Mini computer case prototypes and miniature monsters) I can comfortably make a very efficient 90 Degree bed resin drip drainer and keep the cover on!

Most drainers are maybe 20-40 degrees or so!

The new Drainer bracket in Yellow – Sits permanently on the printer
And, the position of the bed when it’s rotated 90 Degrees. The Yellow bracket and the original ‘stick out bed holder’ clamp the bed sideways between then! The ‘curve’ bit stops the bed sliding too much to the right and ‘off’.

Success is in sight – keycaps

First print off the Mono-x

I’m having first layer adhesion issues – which is commonly caused by poor levelling on these things

Could also be a number of other issues but I’m confident I can get this resolved next week

The major fault on this one is that the bottom row of keys is all squished going to the right hand side, due to that side not adhering to the build plate correctly.

Have had another print literally just finish – with adjustments and that’s also come off the build plate so I’m really confident that I just need to try re-levelling again!

Delays in keycap printing – and progress

RERF TEST

Apolgies for any delays and people waiting on keycaps….

I believe I may have reached the end of life of my original Photon Mono printer. for the past couple of months, i’ve been having more and more print failures, and have had no idea why. I’ve approached the problem analytically to figure out what’s wrong

Where it started –

I had a proper working file that ‘just worked’ – exposure about 35s for the first layers and about 1.8s per other layer

That started failing a bit. some keys were printing incomplete. I increased the exposure slightly and success again.

More fails, this time the first layers were coming off the build plate. I increased the exposure for the first 4 layers and success again.

had many minor creeps of fails, up to now where i’m at around 50s for the first layers exposure and 2.2s per layer.

I figured maybe the temperature in the conservatory is too low – Nope, iterating a bunch of exposures with the printer near the radiator in the living room also had nothing but failures.

So, after a good 15 fails in a row, many caused my me experimenting with extremes, i’ve given up with the photon mono. There’s many things it could be, but I’m thinking it’s feasible that the LCD has finally ‘failed’. I’ve easily gotten 1500 hours of actual print time on the thing – well over 1000 will be just the production keycaps at 6.5 hours each!

So, back to the point of the article. Those things in the picture are a R E R F TEST for my Anycubic Photon Mono-X

I’m dialling it in to start printing the keycaps. First one’s going right now (50% UV power, 3.5 seconds exposure and 45s base layer if you like to know)

IF this keyboard prints – fantastic, I can print two at a time in just 5 hours! i’ll be through the backlog in no time 🙂

Thanks for listening and sorry again for the delays!

Dean

NEW PRINTER!

The First of the clone army printed!…May need to recycle this one…….

Have picked up yet another 3D printer! – I’ve told the wife that I plan to retire the Photon Mono . This new Printer is the Photon Mono-X which is a little bit bigger

Build Volumes compared – Photon Mono-X in Blue – Plain old Mono in red

The printer should be an enabler for some upcoming projects – And, importantly, the new A500mini which, if staying at 50% scale will have a keyboard a little too large to fit on the mono’s build plate.

With the Mono-X, IF i successfully keyboardify the A500mini, I’ll be able to print at least TWO keyboard keycap sets simultaneously!

The reson I purchased this variety of printer – Brand Loyalty! – Cost…For an 8.9″ printer, it was superbly priced @ £389 from Tomtop

The Competing Elegoo Saturn is available at about the same price from Banggood (well, add a little bit more for shipping)

It has been superbly reviewed on various websites, and youtube channels also!

Here’s to a happy 2022 3D printing even morer largerer stuff-err