Its been a little while since i posted an update...and it was a busy summer indeed.
First, the board is riding great. Here is the latest video:
Since then, i've been working on a number of new projects, which prompted me to make the jump and buy my own 3D printer. As anyone in the market would do, i read up on all the reviews i could. I ended up going with my gut and getting the Duplicator 4 made by Wanhao, and i bought it from makergeeks.com
The only trick was there aren't much for reviews out there at the moment. But on the bright side, its specs are almost exactly the same as the Replicator 2 from Makerbot....but just about half the price.
The unit arrive 2 weeks after my order date, which was the minimum expected (2-3 weeks).
Unpacking went smoothly. It was very well packed and shipped. Assembly was 2 screws for the extruders and some quick twists to mount the filament spools.
The instructions themselves could have used a little help on the grammar side of things, but all-in-all I was able to figure it out pretty easily.
Upon startup, you're instructed to run through a pretty easy leveling process. 4 spring-loaded hand screws under the build plate level each corner. The program steps through front center, rear center, left and right, then center center. asking you to adjust the plate in each step to allow only a piece of paper between the nozzle and the plate.
The heated bed has some sort of thin plastic coating on it, which i got a scratch/tear in mine, probably from my alignment being too tight, initially. but it hasn't been a problem yet.
The printer takes .x3g files over USB or SD. i've been using the SD exclusively, and generating the files with Replicator G. Being new to all this, it took a few prints before i fully understood the variations and functions of each setting. But pretty quickly i caught on with what works and what doesn't. For now, i have 2 spools of ABS 1.75mm. Default settings have been best. 220C tip, 110C platform, 30 feed and 30 travel, although i have been successful with 50mm/s too.
The onboard software has a few nice features that i wasn't fully aware of, and might be of some interest. Today, i did a nozzle alignment, similar to a paper printers, where it prints a bunch of lines from both extruders and you pick which are best aligned. I ended up updating 1 axis by 1 point. The utility also includes the startup procedure script and a re-leveling script. The LED functionality in the menu doesn't seem to work however :/
Overall construction of the printer is excellent, from what i can tell. All the parts are solid, professionally molded (not printed) parts. aluminum gears, solid bearings, belt driven XY axis, with belt tensioners.
Not sure what else to say about it. If anyone has any questions, please comment here.
Heres some pictures of making in action;