Total noob here, wanting some guidance on likely printer damage on delivery.

(Peter Nann) #1

Total noob here, wanting some guidance on likely printer damage on delivery.

I received my first printer for my son and I to play with.
I believe it’s a RepRap (Clone?) right?
Happy to start cheap and find out what I don’t know.
The setup at this link is I have (Though bought locally):

It came fully assembled and has hard a hard time in shipment.
It seems to have been dropped/josstled while upside down (No “Fragile” or “This Way Up” markings due to some ill-fated ‘extra protection’ black plastic wrap)

The bed came loose from the frame, and was clearly jostling against the nozzle during shipment while upside down. There is a fair bit of damage to the aluminium bed from the nozzle. See attached.

Also, the ‘X end idler’ has cracked (and not the ‘by design split’) I mean cracked opposite the standard split. I’ve also noticed a bit of slop (forwards and backwards) in the print head on the smooth bars. The linear bearing seems loose in the housing.
Maybe these have come about from the twisting force from the bed mashing the head over and over?

I’ve attached a close-up of the bed damage to give an indication how much the head/nozzle has been mashed.

My question - Is this printer totally messed up? Or salvagable do you think?
Should I be expecting bent rods considering the damage described?

Send it back (and wait who-knows how long for a replacement), or forge on trying to get it working?

Looking for some experienced advice. Thanks!

(Stephanie A) #2

#1 I’d send it back. That is a lot of damage, and it sounds like the printer was not packaged very well. There can be more damage that you haven’t found yet. The nozzle can be damaged past repair, you could need new rods, new x-ends, new carriage. The y rods could be bent as well.
It sucks to wait, but its better than spending months of work and hundreds of dollars to fix a broken printer. Send it back, get a refund.
#2 stay far far far away from acrylic 3d printers. Most acrylic is lasercut, which means that the cuts are highly prone to crazing (microfractures on the perimeter of the cut). These microfractures will grow and it eventually starts breaking apart. This happens quickly near points of stress, like where there are screws. It’s like building your 3d printer out of glass.

(Peter Nann) #3

Thanks Stephanie. I’ll start the return process then I suppose.
Acrylic-framed RepRaps are so widespread I though they must be OK. The one here has the brand font laser cut with such unnecessarily acute angles in the font that there are already a bunch of cracks around the top-frame font. Seems these people know nothing about cut radius and stress concentration. Give a man a laser and sooner or later he’ll cut off his own foot, it seems…
And who knew that the OpenSource hardware crowd would get into planned obsolescence so quickly… Printers literally falling appart with usage. Very clever. :wink:

(Peter Nann) #4

Would something like this be a reasonable starting option: Same thing, but wooden frame:

(Stephanie A) #5

@Peter_Nann ​ that one definitely looks better. It’s a kit, so you’ll be doing some assembly, but it’s really not that difficult.
For wooden frames I highly suggest using a lacquer or sealant before assembly. This protects the wood from moisture and humidity (which will warp the frame slightly). A 10$ investment that will improve reliability.
Acrylic cracks like that because the laser melts the edges. When melted, the acrylic expands, but when it cools it contracts. This places a lot of stress on the edges. Eventually those tiny cracks become inches long. Manufacturers can fix this through a sort of annealing process, where the acrylic is heated for a certain period of time, then gradually cooled. This greatly increases manufacturing time, and thus cost - thats why nobody does it. It’s not planned obsolescence, its cost cutting and lack of knowledge.
Nathan, its not that you’ll never print in that area, but the damage to the nozzle, the x-ends and the carriage.

(Peter Nann) #6

@Nathan_Walkner - The point was that it was the nozzle that made this damage. More precisely - the bed has been mashed into the nozzle enough to cause this damage to the bed. So what damage might I expect down the line… (besides what I can already see)

(Peter Nann) #7

P.S. What Stephanie said about the damage… Thanks for the lacquer tip. Very logical. Will probably head this way. Thanks again.

(Stephanie A) #8

Welding acrylic doesn’t work. The crack is from crazing. Any heat you apply will make it worse at this point. If you completely welded the cracks all you would be doing is causing new stress points. Superglue, acetone, etc will all make more cracks.
The nozzle is a precisely drilled piece. The orifice needs to be round without any burrs or scratches, or else you will get unexpected behavior and bad prints. This is also why you should never use a needle to clean it.
The x carriage can be compromised, bent or cracked. The x and y rods could be bent. The bearings could be damaged. Trust me this is not something you want to be fighting with your printer for the years that you own it.

(Peter Nann) #9

Awww man. I was hoping to get a clear concensus here!
But it’s OK, I’m a big boy and can make my own decisions. :wink:
I appreciate the input.
Still negotiating with the supplier. They have no local stock ready to go is the problem. Should be no surprise there really; buying basement price off eBay… Made my own bed I know…

(Stephanie A) #10

Yes but when you receive it damaged and broken out of the box, why should you pay extra money for something that should have worked in the first place. It is the sellers responsibility to ship you a good product. Imagine if you brought a brand new car, and the pistons were all smashed up. Would you pay out of pocket to fix it yourself, or bring it back?

(Stephanie A) #11

My analogy stands. The printer was broken the moment he opened the box. The car wouldn’t even drive off the lot. This isn’t receiving a low quality product then fixing it up. This is receiving a broken product from the start. If you bought something brand new, being under the premise that it will be in good condition (or at least the condition that the seller claims it is in) and it arrives in a condition far worse and damaged, that us NOT buyer beware. That is called a lemon, and their are laws against it. In no way through his use or assembly, or by poor construction by using low quality materials was this machine damaged. It was improperly packaged and handled during shipping, or damaged by the seller.
You should not need to replace parts that did not come in a working and undamaged state in the first place. It’s not that it broke over time, or that it doesn’t perform well, or that the quality doesn’t match a $2000 3d printer. Its that it arrived damaged and due to the damage it may not function properly, even not meet the low specifications the the seller expects it to meet. Should the buyer be liable for that? No, never, that is absolutely ridiculous. If he wants to upgrade the machine at a later date, that is his problem, but this is not an upgrade.

(Peter Nann) #12

I tend to agree with you both. I’ll see how I go on a replacement. If a replacement doesn’t work out, I am prepared to tinker and not ‘dump’.
My biggest unknown was just how much unforeseen drama may be ahead of me. At least I know to be on the lookout. Thanks again.

(Peter Nann) #13

Update after all this time… Vendor gave a substantial partial refund after days and days of to-and-fro - No-one wanted to pay return shipping… Enough of a refund to cover parts, so we persevered. Fixed up as best we could, and got it working back in July or so. Yay!
Prints are average, but that could be down to our experience level… So many Slic3r settings… :wink:
Thanks @Stephanie_A and @Nathan_Walkner

(Stephanie A) #14

Tinker with it. There are so many settings, like jerk, acceleration, extruder steps/mm, filament width, max speed, etc.
The first and most important step is to get the bed tram. After that, it does take a bit of experience. These machines aren’t made to tell you of issues like motors missing steps, or if the filament is slipping, but those are the hardest issues to find.

I’ve gotten to the point where I calibrate by look. The surface quality can tell you a lot about your settings.