The 3D Printer is fired up and working 100% after 12 months resting :)


Sorry about the quality of photos...used my iPhone and didn't realise  its limitations..................I will take some more later..

Well it's been almost 12 months since I have managed to do anything in the workshop.


Sumpod proves a hit with She Who Must Be Obeyed!


Well I have proved the worth of the SumPod to SWMBO (the wife!). We have drop down blinds in our bungalow and I was told yesterday that 'another' blind clip had broken. What is a blind clip? Well it attaches to the top track and Sandy had replaced them with safety pins. What clips said I? Then ensued a brief I told you, no you didn't 'discussion' before I said confidently, "I can print out some new ones".

I then went and measured up the original and made a drawing in Alibre 3D cad. Once exported as an STL file it was over to the printer and a couple were soon printed out.  From the first conversation till the 2 first printed was only about 50 minutes. I then took them back into the bungalow and they fitted fine. Great said SWMBO. Can I have another 4 please! That's a clever printer isn't it.

Endurance printing with the ‘new’ hot end

Well I wanted to test the new nozzle assembly for durability. I believe it gives a much nicer print and it also printed Orange filament which would not print at all before. I believe there is still a difference between filament performance around colour but this new hot end didn't bat an eyelid with an 'allegedly' (by me...) difficult colour.

I also wanted to see how long it would print for and did a couple of just over 1 hour prints before setting it going with a 6 hour 23 minute print! Yes, over  hours. Now it doesn't make either financial sense or time taken, when the design could have been milled by the Sumpod in MDF but as I say I wanted to see if it would do it.

Back 3D printing again – but using the standard supplied firmware and ReplicatorG

I will write up all that's gone on in the last few days but suffice to say its printing again and much better as well. It has a new nozzle which is the only change really since I have postponed the move to Marlin since it did not go well for me despite considerable help from Maik in Germany. I need to concentrate on other areas for the moment and the new ReplicatorG ver 33 looks good with dual extruder capacity, although it keeps crashing on me at the moment.

So I am back to standard firmware as supplied by Richard (SumPod owner and designer) with ReplicatorG (ver 29) and Skeinforge. However, the print I got today was the best yet! The only change is the development nozzle.

Sumpod – Jamming – resolution after extensive investigation

Spent yesterday morning trying to get the 3D printer working again following the recent upgrades (SD card reader, Encoder, new LCD with contrast control, second extruder, 3mm instead of 1.75mm filament and a keypad). However there is an age old adage "that if it ain't broke, don't fix it!" and that came home to me when I tried my first print after the rebuild.

On the Sumpod forum there has been a thread regarding some filament jamming issues and it has covered many items trying to find out what is causing it. Never having suffered jamming it was of general interest to me but came more into focus as soon as mine jammed. I had all the same signs, extruder jumping, printing stopping after a while and no obvious signs.

Work on dual extruder and filament feed continues

This is work done a couple of days ago but hopefully I will continue it tomorrow and get back to printing soon. The pictures should help but I will put together a full account if they parts work. I must admit I am unsure of the bearing and block as being a possible weak point. I have a stronger design in mind but this will require changes to the MDF parts. If I do need to make such changes I intend to use the SumPod to mill the MDF.

I have also made a couple of new nozzles, one with 0.3mm and the second 0.5mm holes. Also they have a heating chamber where the PTFE tubing is not heated directly like the present one. Again if it works I will write it up and give a drawing in the download page.

Any questions then please email me.

PLA Filament hot end completed but not yet tested – also a problem dual setup with 1.75 and 3mm PLA

Well I managed to complete the elements of the 3mm PLA Filament hot end and the pictures of its manufacture are below for your interest, especially if your not conscious of engineering methods.

My Sumpod is in bits! But its not bad news, I have finally started the dual extruder and 3mm filament hotend upgrades

3 new heater blocks hot end Sumpod 1 at 6mm os nozzle dia and one at 8mm os dia ( for 3mm PLA)










Well I managed to get out into the workshop today and for a change I was machining which I must admit was a nice change. I wanted to make a second hot end (based on Richards firs design since it works so well) but with the capacity of 3mm PLA filament on one outlet and 1.75mm filament on the other. I also want to experiment with ABS later on and am researching other heating elements since ABS operates at a much higher temperature than PLA.

Here is version 1 of a new front panel to incorporate the Rotary click encoder, LCD, SD card reader, keypad, speaker and contrast control for my Sumpod. You may ask why its version one? Well when I looked at the picture below I realised I didn't like it. There are straight edges on mine but the nice radius to Richards frame makes mine look wrong.

Also I have ordered a larger lcd that I shall incorporate into a new panel plus the paint I use ran out before I could get a nice finish. So all in all its a first attempt that's taken a while but all the electronics work so its not such a big deal and I have the profiles to cut out the new top panel.

Sumpod additional front panel to accommodate new electronics

Sumpod additional front panel to accommodate new electronics


Experimenting with Printrun v Replicator and printed a useful spanner!

Well I spent the day 'playing' with printing and seeing how Printrun worked as against ReplicatorG with Sprinter. I also designed and made a couple of knobs for the front panel addition I have been working on. Whilst printing the knobs (see photo's) I quickly designed a 10mm spanner for unlocking the fitting at the rear of the machine when changing filament.

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