Monday, 11 January 2016

Mendel Ultima - First Print

So, first print from my Mendel 3. For a first print its superb! For a production print its pretty darn good! This is the RepRapPro whistle installed on the default SD card image running the RepRapPro Duet. Printed in Faberdashery Arctic White PLA. This was just some length I had in a drawer being used for extruded length calibration and I thought, ohh that's near enough for tonight and pressed print.
RepRap Pro Mendel 3 first print from Mendel Ultima

Keep in mind there is no filament diameter compensation, as the source file is G code already on the SD card.

Beautiful definition, even layers. I perhaps need to tweak the extruder calibration a touch to finalise the fill, keeping in my mind my comment about filament diameter. Also perhaps tweak the Z height reference a touch, perhaps 0.1mm higher. An easy task with the optical height setting.

Overhang printed fantastically using the included cooling fan. The Faberdashery Filament is 3 year old and clearly has not significantly degraded its performance. Stored in the house with an outside environment average humidity of ~80% and recent December humidity of ~99% (wettest December in over a hundred years). Typically cheap PLA absorbs moisture if left unsealed. When used for printing, moisture absorbed into the polymer boils out and there are tell tale popping sounds as steam is released. I wouldn't recommend such storage, but its nice to know its not a huge problem even long term. A fix for moisture laden PLA is to pop it in a warm place for a good long time. ~ 60 C for a good few hours typically helps enormously.

Note that there is no Kapton tape on the default glass bed shipped with the Mendel 3. This is fantastic news, as 'I absolutely hate mucking about with Kapton tape on glass'. Of course beautiful smooth underside as a result. Not sure if the glass is just an off the shelf type or a specific Borosilicate content material. When the table gets to about 38 C, the PLA starts to release. You can hear small cracks as the PLA releases from the glass. The single layer boundary perimeter comes away with a single wipe of Tesco brand economy nail varnish remover. This is a small print and a larger print may peel away from the default glass, however this is a great start and significantly better performance than my first experience printing on glass.

All parts for my Mendel 3, including the cooling fan duct unit you can see in green in the image were printed by Huxley #710. So the machine truly is a child of its parent, albeit a beast of a machine.

I am really looking forward to getting to grips with my new RepRapPro Mendel 3, I am christening 'Mendel Ultima', named for the latin last Mendel.

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