3d printing

Upgrading to a E3D Titan Extruder

Image from E3D

Last week, E3D launched their Titan extruder – As I’m a fan of their existing V6 hotend (and am considering a  Chimera dual nozzle setup for a future upgrade) – I got straight down to ordering one.

My Think3DPrint3D (T3P3) Kossel Mini is currently using the geared extruder in a bowden configuration that T3P3 supplied as part of the kit – an extruder that has served me well so far (and one that I’ll be keeping intact as a backup for future use should I decide to go for the dual-nozzle setup in the future)

If you’re not familiar with Titan, it’s a conventionally manufactured extruder drive using a NEMA 17 motor. As uses specific precision engineered drives instead of the usual “hobbed bolt” common on RepRap designs.

Using a manufactured extruder drive might not be true to the ethos of the reprap philosophy – open source, and 3D printable wherever possible – and there are already great printed extruder designs out there – but I want a printer that is low maintenance, and when maintenance is needed, is easy to maintain – the T3P3 extruder, whilst compact and powerful, has some disadvantages – there’s no easy access to the hobbed bolt that drives the filament for cleaning, and doesn’t have any kind of spring tension adjuster – all things that the Titan has.

Although the image above from E3D shows the Titan in it’s direct drive configuration – I’ll be using it in a bowden setup (as is common for Delta designs) to reduce the moving weight of the effector of my printer.

I plan a series of posts to cover the installation and calibration of this new extruder, along with any problems I encounter along the way.

Useful Links:

Other articles in this series:

  1. Introduction (this post)
  2. Unboxing and Assembly
  3. Physical Installation and calibration on the T3P3 delta
  4. Final thoughts

Are you shaving your yak?

As an IT professional, I often find myself yak-shaving – if you don’t know the term, it’s basically the end result of a series of possibly unrelated and (more than likely) unexpected hoops you need to jump through to do something – it’s a term I’ve only recently discovered but am now using more and more often to describe aspects of my job that aren’t actually “doing the thing I’m trying to do”

Seth Godin has a great example on his blog which does a nice job of explaining the term – Don’t shave that yak and there are many other examples out there… (e.g. this one)



At the weekend just gone, a few of us went to try out the new Escape Room in Cardiff

Obviously, this review won’t include any spoilers for the specific puzzles we encountered on our quest to Find Sherlock

On arrival we were met by the staff, given a health and safety briefing, asked not to take cameras or phones in with us (there are lockers for safe storage of things you don’t want to take in).

We were taken to the room, and locked in – don’t worry if you are claustrophobic, there is an “emergency exit” button in the room, and the staff are monitoring progress through the cctv cameras.

The puzzles themselves were a mix of those we’ve seen before – find clues which lead to combinations for locks – mixed in with some cleverer puzzles I’d not seen before – but that gave us a few “ah-ha” moments during the game – which is always very rewarding.

Suffice to say, we enjoyed the experience and will definitely be going back to try the other rooms on offer 🙂

Links: Escape Rooms Cardiff

3d printing

A New Printer

Just before Christmas,I built myself a new 3D printer from a kit made
by think3dprint3d.com – the latest version of their Kossel Mini.

sported LED lighting too as i discovered that the IKEA Dioder LED light
strips fit perfectly around the top of the frame.  I designed and
printed a small hanger bracket to suspend the lights from the printer
frame,so there’s no velcro or double-sided sticky pads involved.

Since this photo was taken, I’ve also upgraded the spool holder and added edging strips to tidy up some of the wiring runs.

The base is a very old Belkin switched surge protector, which was originally bought when CRT monitors were the normal thing, however it’s perfect for controlling the printer and lights power.