Upcoming Presentation (April 2015)

So next week we will be presenting to a visiting class from an elementary school. We will be giving a presentation to them about what other than, 3D Printers! There’s a twist to this presentation though, since these students are in the French immersion program part of it (if not all) will be in French. This shouldn’t be too hard for us as our French is not half bad, we will definitely need to brush up on it though (not to mention translating the presentation into French).

Since our main printer is currently down, we will be working on it tomorrow morning to try and get it running for this presentation next week. We have the new nozzle since our other one go clogged and hasn’t been performing very well. All we have to do is figure out a nice and easy way to install it so that we don’t have to rebuild part of the printer. If you haven’t seen our post on the process we used to clear our plugged nozzle, you might want to check it out for some context.

Hopefully everything works out and we fix everything in time for this presentation for these young students so that we can show them a new and developing technology, which might be very present sometime in their futures.

Nozzle Clog Update

So we have still not been able to fully repair the nozzle on the Ditto+. It seems to have been clogged by some hardened filament. This happened unexpectedly when we tried to  change the filament in the printer. While we doing this routine task, some of the plastic in the nozzle got left behind unknown to us. When we tried to put the new roll of filament in, we found that it wouldn’t go into the nozzle all the way. After taking disassembling the entire nozzle mount and looking down the nozzle to see if the it was clear, we discovered to our dismay that it was not.  We tried to clear it by melting out the hardened plastic inside the nozzle with a blow torch.


You can see in this picture that the wafering of the cube is pretty bad.

The other day we finally got the time to print test the nozzle after attempting to clear it and here are some pictures of the results. The pictures below are of the 10cm cubed cube that we printed. It seems that the printer wasn’t printing at a constant extrusion rate, or the print bed was to high which could be the reason for the wafering effect.

An uncanny resemblance to a wafer cookie.

An uncanny resemblance to a wafer cookie.

Since we this test was just after we cleared the nozzle, we believe that it is the former and has something to do with a variable extrusion rate from the nozzle. The reason for this variable extrusion rate could be that one of the pieces inside the nozzle that is supposed to be smooth, was damaged somehow and is no longer smooth. We plan to try to melt any extra plastic out again using the blowtorch technique, to see it there is any unwanted filament still in there just to be sure.

Since we aren’t too optimistic that blow torching it again will fix the problem, we have ordered a new nozzle for the printer. The new extruder that we ordered is somewhat smaller than the one we currently have so some adjustments need to be made to the nozzle mount.


Clearing The Nozzle

If your nozzle gets clogged or jammed you will need to clear it. To do this you should first take it off the mount.



To take off the thermistor and the heat cartridge find the screw the the metal block. Then unscrew the screw and remove the heat cartridge. Do the same for the thermistor.





Then unscrew the nozzle and the metal part. For the nozzle you will need a wrench and for the nozzle you will need a flat head screwdriver. After you do this look through the nozzle to see if it is clear. If its not then get a blow torch and go somewhere were you can use it. Then heat it up and melt the plastic that is stuck in there out. You may also want to check the smaller metal piece to check if its clogged.



IMG_2004This piece may also be clogged. This is the piece that is on the inside of the black plastic cylinder. If so then use some tip cleaners or something with a similar shape. Then push the plastic that is stuck in there through.


Then done. Put it all back together and make sure that you don’t crush the thermistor when you put it back in.