Skip to main content

Timelapse Gecko Printjob

Repositioned the camera, but will need to make a new piece to get the camera rotated into landscape mode again.  This works much nicer for the timelapse, and can see the object rising from the print bed.  This clip is taking a shot every 10 seconds throughout the print (I think that was the default setting in OctoPrint).

My Gecko

Well, it’s been a while since my last post.  The Gecko printer arrived, and I had a lot of fun putting it together.  There were a couple spots that I had some challenges with, but the support received from the Gecko designer, Chay Chen, was outstanding – and I’ve had all sorts of fun printing some random objects, some upgrade components for the printer, and some useful objects too!

This is just temporary insulation and lighting – it works for now, and helps with the ABS print jobs!
One of the useful things I’ve printed so far – portafilter holders for my espresso machine!
Another useful print job – I designed this fan mount. The new fans make this printer much quieter!

I’ve made a few upgrades/mods:

  1. Replaced clone hotend/extrudere with genuine E3D Titan extruder, and E3DV6 hotend
  2. Added 2 80mm Noctura fans to replace the 40mm mainboard fan
  3. Lerdge dual extruder daughterboard
  4. Lerdge PC/USB module
  5. 5m of RGB LED light strip
  6. Logitech C270 web cam
  7. Raspberry Pi 3
  8. DS18B20 temperature sensor
  9. Power module

The printer made quite a noise when powered up due to the 40mm mainboard fan mounted behind a bunch of perforations in the front panel of the printer. I added the Noctura fans on the right side of the panel below the print bed – one blowing across the mainboard (I think this orientation is actually better for cooling the stepper drivers), and the other across the heatbed MOSFET (had no heating issues, but figured it can’t hurt!) I designed some custom fan holder/clips to attach them to the panel below the printing platform.

I’m currently using the dual extruder daughterboard to drive the RGB LED light strips.  The PC/USB module allows me to connect the printer to the Raspberry Pi, which is running OctoPi (a Raspberry Pi disk image pre-configured with OctoPrint software), and I’ve added the temperature probe (which required a little soldering – adding a resistor and connectors to plug into the GPIO pins on the Raspberry), and also the web cam, connected via USB.

With the OctoPrint software running a couple additional plugins (OctoPrint-Enclosure, and OctoPrint-Anywhere).  I added a DS18B20 temperature sensor to the Raspberry Pi, and using OctoPrint-Enclosure, display the ambient temperature in my printer. OctoPrint-Anywhere allows me to connect remotely from anywhere to see what the printer is up to, and I have an app on my iPhone that allows me to see the current print job status, and even initiate print jobs, or stop them if I see a problem.

The power module hasn’t been wired up yet.  I’m holding off since finding out that the Gecko designer has actually made a number of improvements to the printer design, and is sending out a substantial upgrade kit at no additional cost!  After I receive the upgrade kit, I plan on installing the module while installing the upgrade.  After that’s all done, I’m going to design an insulated enclosure for the printer.

This printer has been a lot of fun – and I’m truly amazed at the support from the East 3D and all of Chay Chen’s team there, and also the wealth of knowledge of other Gecko owners on the Facebook group – East 3D Gecko 3D Printers CoreXY. For anyone interested in getting this great printer, you can order it on Aliexpress.

Now I have to ramp up my CAD skills!  Have been using a Google’s SketchUp so far, and dabbling with Autodesk Fusion 360.  I think I’m going to take a course soon – never too old to stop learning! 😀

 

3D Printing Anticipation

I decided that I wanted to get into 3D printing a few weeks ago, and began researching.  There’s quite a range in prices, starting from a couple hundred dollars, and up into the thousands.  I’m a little on the frugal side of things – not cheap necessarily, but interested in value.

Initially I was looking at the Prusa I3 clones, and then into enclosed models like the Creator Pro and Qidi.  I ended up deciding that I wanted a cube style printer – a core XY.  To me, they just seem like they would be the most stable platform.  There are few plans out there, but it seemed like a pretty complex task to source all of the materials necessary to build a printer, so I started looking at kits.  

As luck would have it, I happened across the East 3D Gecko.  This kit is very new – and there have been a couple hiccups dealing with the build instructions, and some minor Q/A issues.  However, the designer/seller of the kit (and his team) have been very proactive in getting issues addressed, and they are updating the kit as things get resolved.  I also found out there’s at least one other person in the city here that has one!  The East 3D Gecko Facebook group provides support – both by members, and the actual designer of the printer, Chay Chen.  Chay has also designed a number of successful Tevo printers as well.

The printer uses a 32-bit Lerdge control board, and has a 310 x 300 x 300mm build volume, and has a fixed build platform – which in my mind, would reduce levelling issues.  There isn’t a lot of info out about the Lerdge board, but hopefully it works out well!  Apparently there’s no parts fan with the kit, but this may have just been the initial test kits that this was missing – but results have been pretty impressive without it.  I did order a couple  inexpensive blower fans, but turns out they might be too big. I’ll know soon! 🙂

While I wait for my printer kit to arrive, I’ve been busy reclaiming my office space  – it became over-run in the past few years, turning it into an unorganized storage room – so my biggest challenge has been getting rid of stuff.  

Looking forward to the challenge in putting this kit together!