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  • #91
    I know what you mean about trying to keep a flat base yet have tabs and insets and so forth, especially for the interlocking pieces you are doing. For some of my pieces, I've separated into two or more pieces then design a slot to connect them. But that's not convenient or practical in all cases, especially if you want a smooth surface. The other issue is the potential for tolerance and accuracy issues when combining pieces. Sometimes I feel like it's a puzzle .... in reverse. Instead of trying to put the puzzle together, the game is to try to break things apart into a very accurate puzzle.

    The bed leveling, I'm glad it's not just me. What really strikes me as odd is how things can seem to go WAY out of adjustment with just a small turn of the knob. Sometimes even when I'm adjusting a corner, nothing will change, then all of a sudden it will change a LOT. I can't really figure out why that happens. I was hoping that the stiffer springs would eliminate or at least reduce that tendency. And when the nozzle is cold, it's not because of melted plastic at the nozzle. I think the next time I print I'll make an adjustment then pause for things to settle. Unless there is something really odd going on, the only thing I can think of is to make the mounting screws more solidly mounted, more perpendicular to the table. Even with stiff springs, I can see where making an adjustment won't only lift or lower the bed, but could also shift it sideways. Hence the chasing game.

    Other than that, the printer is working fine. I've had to adjust the Y-axis rail. When I assembled this thing, I just followed the directions, I didn't really look at video tutorials. So I didn't do a lot of alignment adjustments. So the other day I saw things were not quite square and made the Y adjustment. It's MUCH better, but I still need to do one more small tweak. Getting X and Y square and aligned isn't too bad, it's just a matter of the geometry of the pieces. Z, that's another issue because it does seem like Z is ALL about bed leveling.

    I am at the point where I'm starting to assemble some pieces and make some adjustment and slight re-designs. I'll probably need to re-print most of the pieces, but that's ok - they should represent a final enough design to be usable for the initial prototype. I'll definitely post some pictures and videos when I get something ready. The new prototype will be a much improved design and look over the original one that floating around on youtube!!

    The pin chute that I'm making is 1/2 scale. I no longer have my 1/2 scale lane, even though I have my original 1/2 scale wooden pins. But I do have my original 1/3 scale game set up (circa 1980). If this prototype works ok, I'm going to scale my drawings and print a 1/3 scale unit. If that works, I may print 10 units, mount them on a table and use it for my 1/3 scale game.

    Thanks for the printer information. You and Andy have really helped me get started and be productive!!

    Comment


    • #92
      A little more progress made. Finally got finished printing all of my base table cells as well as all of the cells for my respot deck. Everything is fitting together nicely as of now and sliding is pretty easy.

      In pictures 3, 4 and 5 you can see the three respective positions of the slide deck: home, spot and respot.

      As you might see in the photos with the rack and pinion design, I started doing some testing with a small stepper motor which I was hoping would have enough power to work with the respot deck but no dice on my first design. I am still awaiting some more wiring and various small motors tomorrow but my plan is to either double up the small steppers which might be able to power the deck or, if not, go with some of the smaller DC motors I have sitting around. The DC motors would definitely be able to power the deck, but I was hoping to have to utilize less limit switches on the table for position detection. The stepper motors are nice because I can control down to around ~.17 degree of rotational movement. I might do more experimenting with them before moving on to the DC motors as I have a few ideas for a small gearbox (as the steppers are a little slower than my ideal). But we shall see.

      In the meantime I am continuing to print the chute deck cells. 4 down there, so once I get the last 6 printed I can continue configuring the edge pieces more in the way I'd like. The edges / bridges between each row are more crucial in my design because they will need to contain all of the preset areas for switches, motors, support brackets for the actual table arms, etc. Unlike solids, it makes it a little more annoying to reconfigure and reprint for every slight inconsistency.

      Luckily I've found a few good configurations for my printer that significantly cut down my print time for "draft" pieces. It should help for both limiting my usage of filament as well as get me to testing faster. Nothing is more frustrating than waiting 6 hours for a print to finish only realizing within 30 seconds that something needs to change. With my new settings the base cells, which took originally 4h 34m at a great quality, are down to a print time of only over an hour with negligible quality loss. I wouldn't use it for my "finish" pieces, but to test fits and changes, this will work perfectly.
      Attached Files
      - Shaun R.
      - Web Developer / Programmer

      Comment


      • #93
        Nice work. I know exactly what you mean about printing a piece only to find out it needs some tweaks here and there. A few days ago I wrote some scripts that let me print only sections of my choosing that are critical to fit. I wrote another script to place a number of these partial pieces into a single print. This way I can print a few partial pieces in a single print to check for fit and tweak as I go. This definitely has saved me a lot of time and filament. At this point I am printing the 'final' pieces for the 'pin release' mechanical part of the device. Once I get it together and mocked up I'll get some photos and shoot some video and post them here. Getting this mechanism in a workable state has been a LONG time coming!!!

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        • #94
          I'm definitely excited to see the new mechanism! I love seeing new ideas (or even new iterations) come to fruition. Can't wait!
          - Shaun R.
          - Web Developer / Programmer

          Comment


          • #95
            Working on my pin device is a left turn that I did not see coming. The 3D printer was the perfect solution for components I'm going to need to fabricate for my flight simulator. I had in the back of my mind that I could use it to rebuild the pin mechanism, so I just put the ideas on the back burner. But as I was scratching out notes, drawings and designs for what I might need for the sim, I kept looking at my original pin prototype and wondered how I might build the pieces on the printer. One thing led to another and within a few days I was designing and creating pin mechanism parts. So hopefully within a few days I'll have some video and pictures ready to post.

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            • #96
              I am a few days away from assembling enough to post video and pictures of the release part of this device. I had to set it aside to work on some other projects. And then I took another detour to do some work on the 3D printer bed level issue. It turns out I should have really watched some videos on assembling one of these. I pretty much just followed the instructions and then started printing. Lesson learned. But in my research the other day I discovered two very serious issues. the first was that the extruder rail was not very stable. So when the extruder head moved across the beam, it moved - it could shift. So I adjusted that and it seems to be stable now. Then I discovered that the bed carriage also was out of adjustment - it would wobble side to side on the carriage. I adjusted that. So between those two issues, it's no wonder my bed leveling process seemed like it was stuck in an infinite loop!! I can now get the bed leveled with relative ease. I need to print a few pieces then I can work on assembly and some testing.

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              • #97
                Very nice work on the table pieces. Does it hold under its own weight assembled or will you need some sort of support or solid media to hold the table? I will occasionally switch the tip out on my printer for a .8mm nozzle for larger items. It will print the item in about half the time with similar quality as with a 4mm tip.

                dhudach when I first received my printers, I would try to move the x and y axis by hand. There were a couple of spots where it wasn't rolling smoothly. I found some foreign substance on one of the rollers. Removing that and adjusting the rollers corrected the problem. Sounds like you solved the problem though. Happy printing
                If it can't be fixed with a hammer, try a bowling pin! They're heavier and more surface area for whacking!

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                • #98
                  This may be a re-run, but here's the short story. The vertical travel carriage for the extruder head was wobbly, so I adjusted the eccentric bolt which tightened it up and made it travel up and down smoothly without any play. The same thing with the bed carriage on the Y-axis beam - I adjusted the eccentric bolt and the bed ceased to be wobbly. Those two issues caused the bed level difficulties. I can now get the bed leveled in a few minutes. The third issue was the Y-axis beam being out of square with the frame. I put a good machinist square on the beam and frame, loosened the screws underneath and nudged the Y-axis beam a bit to get it square. That solved pieces being out of square. Now things are working fine.

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    The table does support itself under its own weight, though there is a little bit of flex (naturally as it is entirely 3D printed). Right now the table consists of 3 layers, the base table, respot deck and spotting deck. The base and spotting layers are both 1/2" thick, while the respot deck is only 1/4". I've had to reconfigure a couple of things on the table so far to get things motorized but I did finally get the respot deck to run and position itself accurately using a NEMA17 stepper motor (standard 3D printer stepper). I should have pictures / video soon on that. Trying to get a few more items printed so I can get the spotting deck on and get my motor mounts planned out, printed and working. I had planned on using the 2 1/2 bolts through the table as guide slides for both the respot deck as well as the spotting deck but I have a feeling I might have to go with more of a hinged design for the movement on the spotting deck as there tends to be a lot of friction due to slight imperfections in dimensions after printing but I'll have to see once I play around with this some more.

                    After I get the deck worked out fully, I am moving on to framing out the entire backend so that I can start playing with positioning and building the turret. The biggest hurdle by far is the table itself, as everything else is pretty straight forward. Just have to keep building.
                    - Shaun R.
                    - Web Developer / Programmer

                    Comment


                    • I am almost finished with this pin device. I was going to create a video and some pictures of part of the device, but I think I'll wait until it's finished. And there is another important consideration. This design differs a bit from what was submitted for the patent. The implementation differs but functionally I believe it's the same. However, before I publish this, I want to make sure that the patent claims support what I have in this design. And if not, what I need to do. So .... stand by !!!

                      Comment


                      • David I'm excited to see it. Hopefully everything is covered so you're able to show it off soon

                        I've almost completed everything I need to in terms of table printed pieces. The only two items I need to print still are finalized table bracket pieces (currently the blank squares on the 4-6 row edges). The entirety of the base table, respot deck and spotting deck are printed and seem to align well. I still need to finalize the programming for the spotting deck motor so that is currently "offline" but I should be able to get that finished by the end of the weekend.

                        In the first photo, you can see the base deck with the respot deck mounted on. The second photo shows the stepper motor mounts on the back of the table. I was worried with the lack of weight of both decks having the motors offset away from center would affect it but everything moves nice and uniform.

                        In the 3rd photo I illustrated how the respot deck works in relation to supporting the pin on spotting (looking down through the chute hole without any of the chute brackets on it as of yet (I posted the rendering version of this earlier for Phil).

                        The last photo shows the spotting deck on, sans chute brackets.

                        And finally for a small video. I set the program to loop ball 1 and ball 2 cycles on the respot deck. Pretty straight forward but it seems to be working well:



                        I'll post another video once the spotting deck is fully mounted and motorized as well. After that, the next steps are getting everything finalized for mounting and starting to build the actual framework of the entire machine and basically get the entire table motorized vertically and cycling as I would like.

                        Starting to get a little more exciting.
                        Attached Files
                        - Shaun R.
                        - Web Developer / Programmer

                        Comment


                        • Oh I don't know, how shall I say this .... that is CRAZY COOL. Really nice work. You have the foundation. Now it's just building on this. Hopefully you won't run into any surprises that force you to refactor what you have. You've done enough of that !!! Good work. I was reading the claims for my patent and I think what I have designed is covered, but I want to make sure.

                          Comment


                          • Have you tried holding pins with the respot deck motor in the spot position? Mine needed braking in order to have enough resistance to stay in place when all the pins drop into place prior to spotting. Just an FYI. I'm not familiar with servos, so I don't know what their ability to maintain position is in a circumstance like I described.

                            Comment


                            • I've had the motor holding 6 pins at once (as I only had 6 finished cells at the time. Steppers are pretty solid at braking when powered up but once power is removed there is no resistance at all unlike a brushed DC or the like.

                              Due to the size of the table, even if it were to not have enough resistance over time, I have another design that uses a sort of anti-rollback mechanism on the gear rack that I can implement which would take any of the force off the motor itself.

                              I'm hoping to be able to have everything working in sync with each other friday where I can see how much everything plays off each other when moving 10 pins into spotting.
                              - Shaun R.
                              - Web Developer / Programmer

                              Comment


                              • Just a quick update. I realized after getting the spotting deck on and motors running that I had a decent spacing issue that was causing an interlock of the respot and spotting decks. Easily correctable by spacing the spotting deck up with an extra nut, but this requires me to reprint my motor bracket cell (another almost 7 hours of printing needed) so I haven't been able to test everything in sync with each other.

                                However, because I have the lower chute brackets on now, the respot deck motor does have enough braking power to hold all 10 pins while dropping from their seat into the actual chute hole for spotting, so that's a relief.

                                I should be able to get a good move on the table framing this week so that I can actually test the table while mounted and not just sitting on a table or being manually held up by hand or by boxes.

                                After doing some designing, for majority of the control / PLC, I plan on using two camshaft controls with limit switches to operate the ball one and ball two cycles. While this can cause possible interlock issues, I feel like this is the best way to control the entire machine using an arduino with the steppers and "dumb" motors via relays. I could use various position limit switches for detection and triggering too. With that method though I would probably need to upgrade to a larger Arduino as the Uno I have now only has 13 digital pins to work with and with my 6-switch relay and each stepper motor I am currently using (2 pins each), I am already at 10 pins used. We'll see...
                                - Shaun R.
                                - Web Developer / Programmer

                                Comment

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