Improvements I've made in the last year

Post improvements made for UP, and share ideas.
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DrewPetitclerc
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Improvements I've made in the last year

Post by DrewPetitclerc » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:12 am

Hello all Uppers!

I've been making improvements to my machine and I've finally found time to try to collect them all to give to you.
My day job is "Senior Principle Designer" for a large hard drive manufacturer and I produce robotic stations to assemble and test computer HD's.
On a daily basis I'm asked to streamline designs and processes to improve performance and throughput of material.
I will have to try and post multiple times to get them all out and I will try to add later posts with links to files and drawings.

I have a lot to cover so please be patient and here we go.

,UP! 3D printer improvements
These are my personal comments and solutions to using and improving my 3D printer.
Purpose
1. Setup and start printing quickly.
2. To print successfully with as wide a range of materials that are available to me.

Build Plate
1. Should be level to extruder at all times for first layer bond.
2. Plastic should stick and suppress warping
3. Quick part removal (not effect #1)
4. Transmit heat within acceptable limits
Build Plate
My best solution for "raftless" printing has developed into;
• Replaced original Aluminum build plate with a .25in x 5.50in x 6.50in "MIC6" aluminum sub-plate with flatter surface finish than original and better resistance to thermal expansion and warping than original, mounted with thermal grease and never removed during normal operation.
Attachments
pict 278.jpg
Common thermal paste, used for CPU cooling, cheap, easy to get from most any electronics supply.
pict 278.jpg (83.93 KiB) Viewed 44993 times
pict 279.jpg
This was purchased from McMaster-Carr in a larger sheet and cut down to 4 pieces, 1 for me and 3 for work, 2 drilled and tapped holes, this material comes very flat tolerances and heat tolerant (less warping)
pict 279.jpg (114.99 KiB) Viewed 44993 times
Last edited by DrewPetitclerc on Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
Drew Petitclerc
Petitclerc Designs
Owner/Senior Principal Designer, prototype, tooling and test equipment design and 3D printing
http://flash-graphics.deviantart.com/
http://www.thingiverse.com/DrewPetitclerc

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Re: Improvements I've made in the last year

Post by DrewPetitclerc » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:17 am

Replaced the 3 spring washers used to level build plate with a central column .50in diameter x .30in tall of high temp rubber at focal point of three M3 leveling screws as the pivot point.
Tighten all three screws, compressing rubber column, then always tighten screws when setting level, Never loosen.
A single pivot point with three adjustment points is the best arrangement to get your level to within 0.1mm or a single thickness of average printer paper
Attachments
IMAG0157.jpg
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IMAG0158.jpg
IMAG0158.jpg (14.01 KiB) Viewed 44990 times
Last edited by DrewPetitclerc on Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
Drew Petitclerc
Petitclerc Designs
Owner/Senior Principal Designer, prototype, tooling and test equipment design and 3D printing
http://flash-graphics.deviantart.com/
http://www.thingiverse.com/DrewPetitclerc

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Re: Improvements I've made in the last year

Post by DrewPetitclerc » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:20 am

Add removable glass build plate .13in x 5.50in x 6.50in , covered on one side with "Kapton" tape, held to aluminum sub-plate by two steel "binder clips", glass side up for PLA printing, "Kapton" side up for ABS printing. Spare rests on printer base ready to swap.

If large part warping becomes an issue I switch out the glass build plates for "Perf" board (PCBA prototyping board) and mount with same "binder clips" switching back to printing on raft.

Never try to pry a part off of the build plate while it is still clipped to the printer as this will alter the level to the extruder and cause print error, warping or edge lift.

In regards to lifting or warping of parts, I have noticed the large majority of problems occur near the right edge of the build plate when you are facing the printer, after examining the inner workings I have found a significant contributor.
The main Z-slide is in the left tower and in the right tower there is a plastic V shaped part with 2 bearings that is sandwiched between the front and back sheet-metal, this is to resist any rotational torque or movement front to back of the build plate assembly but it induces friction when the build plate move up or down, when the extruder needs to move to a new location the build plate lowers a fraction of a millimeter and then raises again, due to the friction this causes a slight warp to the cross brace arm thus tilting the build plate down on the right, because of my mods to the leveling assembly I'm able to set level to within the 0.1mm listed in the "maintenance" screen, as I jog the build plate up and down and measure each corner, I get a smaller gap reading when I've moved the plate down and measured but after moving down a couple of steps then running it back up I get a larger gap reading.

When setting the Z it would be best to establish the closest to tip point then jog the plate down 0.3 to 0.4mm then bring it back to that set point, then while there adjust the level by only moving the build plate to the four corners this should better allow for the tilt.
To summarize, if you've set your build plate at a larger than 0.2mm gap without this technique you will most likely not get a good bond for your first layer on the right side and will experience lift.
Attachments
pict 280.jpg
pict 280.jpg (116.71 KiB) Viewed 44988 times
pict 281.jpg
pict 281.jpg (117.19 KiB) Viewed 44988 times
IMAG0167.jpg
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Last edited by DrewPetitclerc on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
Drew Petitclerc
Petitclerc Designs
Owner/Senior Principal Designer, prototype, tooling and test equipment design and 3D printing
http://flash-graphics.deviantart.com/
http://www.thingiverse.com/DrewPetitclerc

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Re: Improvements I've made in the last year

Post by DrewPetitclerc » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:24 am

Extruder
1. Tolerant to material variances
2. Stable mounting
My best modification to the extruder has developed into;
• Replace "pressure" block holding "fixed position" feed roller bearing that applies pressure to keep filament in contact with extruder gear with new design 2 part adjustable constant pressure block and arm incorporating "Vlier" spring plunger to apply consistent pressure regardless of variances in filament diameter tolerances.

To date I have successfully use over 30 different colors of ABS and PLA from more than 4 of the suppliers out there.
I know that many who have upgraded to the new motherboard and controllers now find it difficult to use PLA and some even with ABS due to excessive heating from the motor and the thermal transfer coming up from the "Hot Block", this mod plus the added compressed air cooling I created has made a significant improvement on this, so much so that I don't change "ROM's" I always use the "UP! Plus_R_110113V6.01" for ABS and I extrude clear PLA at the 260c because I like the clarity I get out of the natural, I currently use a small table fan to blow across the build plate to cool the PLA quickly but plan to add a remote cooling nozzle.

Here is where I have posted the files to make this.
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:16711
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:16712

Good News Everyone!
The tool maker that made my parts has finally given me a quote for the new machined aluminum "Pressure Extruder Block and Arm" set, he is quoting $250.00 per set if we get a minimum of 10 orders, this set will be 1 block, 1 arm, 2 dowel pins (installed) and 1 Bearing (installed).
I will recommend the "Vlier" plunger part number to order to anyone that orders a set, I will try to locate the part but cannot guarantee to have any available from my personal stock.
Any one ordering this needs to print a copy of,
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:16712
I sent this part out to several Machine shops the company I work for does business with and we got quotes of an average of $485.00 per set, 1 Block, 1 Arm only, this is even with an enormous discount they give my company on parts.
This a really great deal and I've had great experience with this part on all three machines I work with (I have one and my company bought 2).
So if you want your printer to perform at its best with any of the offered materials out there I recommend this part.
Please drop me an email if you want a set.
Regards,
Drew
Attachments
pict 267.jpg
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Old New parts 1.jpg
Old New parts 1.jpg (114 KiB) Viewed 44989 times
Last edited by DrewPetitclerc on Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:59 am, edited 5 times in total.
Drew Petitclerc
Petitclerc Designs
Owner/Senior Principal Designer, prototype, tooling and test equipment design and 3D printing
http://flash-graphics.deviantart.com/
http://www.thingiverse.com/DrewPetitclerc

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Re: Improvements I've made in the last year

Post by DrewPetitclerc » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:27 am

Added cooling air jet directly to extruder gear assembly to prevent softening of PLA filament too soon, PLA is worst case (heat is transferred from motor and extruder hot block) this will hopefully apply to new main board upgrade where stepper motors run at even higher temperatures.
I currently run a hose from my compressor in the garage and have it adjusted to between 5 and 10 PSI (a whisper), later I plan to change this and use a small "muffing" fan with a printed duct to reduce down to the 4mm tube and run this way, this keeps extra mass off the extruder (adding another fan to it is not a good idea!) and I might even recirculate the air from my fume hood design back down to the air tube for cooling of the feed assembly or the build plate area.
Attachments
Img_0693.jpg
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Img_0725.jpg
Img_0725.jpg (95.89 KiB) Viewed 44989 times
Last edited by DrewPetitclerc on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
Drew Petitclerc
Petitclerc Designs
Owner/Senior Principal Designer, prototype, tooling and test equipment design and 3D printing
http://flash-graphics.deviantart.com/
http://www.thingiverse.com/DrewPetitclerc

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Re: Improvements I've made in the last year

Post by DrewPetitclerc » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:28 am

Add stick on heat sinks (memory chip coolers) to extruder motor for better cooling (low mass solution).
I got these from the local "Frys" electronics store, I'm sure they can be found just about every where, they make a small difference and I'm really intending these to increase the life of the motor, I'm pretty sure they are not significant to the problem of pre-melting in the extruder gears but they do not add significant weight or clearance issues.
Attachments
Img_0727.jpg
Img_0727.jpg (131.43 KiB) Viewed 44990 times
Last edited by DrewPetitclerc on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
Drew Petitclerc
Petitclerc Designs
Owner/Senior Principal Designer, prototype, tooling and test equipment design and 3D printing
http://flash-graphics.deviantart.com/
http://www.thingiverse.com/DrewPetitclerc

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Re: Improvements I've made in the last year

Post by DrewPetitclerc » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:38 am

Replace stamped sheet metal mount between Extruder and linear slide saddle with a machined aluminum mount incorporating alignment features to reduce bounce in nozzle when short quick movement in print head occurs.

Another benefit of this replacement part is there appears to be less ABS fume smell produced, I can only theorize that when the extruder bounced along with the old mount part it would scape up ABS and continually burnt it.

Also it was surprising how much quieter the printer is, there was a lot of rattling going on that is now absent.

Here is where I have posted the files to make this.
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:16710

After a day of printing with this I am amazed at the performance upgrade, this is one of the most significant replacements I've done next to the self adjusting pressure roller.
1. the printer has never been so quite, that buzz and rattle when it moved in a short jagged path, gone.
2. the first layers do not get plowed by the nozzle when it needs to jump over to a new area, this may mean if there is no lift there will be no pushing off the part from the build layer.
3. when doing finer motions I get a smoother looking outer wall, not as many stray noodles poking out or creases where a repetitive motion causes a vibration throwing off the path of the nozzle.
4. I no longer worry that when changing colors if I tug out the filament or press it in too hard I might bend the old mount a small amount throwing off my "Z" setting.

Good News Everyone!
The tool maker that made my parts has finally given me a quote for the new machined aluminum "Extruder Mount", he is quoting $150.00 per part if we get a minimum of 10 orders.
To make it clear I sent this part out to several Machine shops the company I work for does business with and we got quotes of an average of $265.00 per part, this is even with the enormous discount they give my company on parts.
This a really great deal and I've had great experience with this part on all three machines I work with (I have one and my company bought 2).
So if you want your printer to perform at its best I recommend this part.
Please drop me an email if you want one and I will start the list.
Regards,
Drew

Here is a great example of why you need to make this mod.
http://pp3dp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f= ... 9f59#p6078
Attachments
Img_0675.jpg
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Img_0710.jpg
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Img_0711.jpg
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Last edited by DrewPetitclerc on Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:55 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Drew Petitclerc
Petitclerc Designs
Owner/Senior Principal Designer, prototype, tooling and test equipment design and 3D printing
http://flash-graphics.deviantart.com/
http://www.thingiverse.com/DrewPetitclerc

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Re: Improvements I've made in the last year

Post by DrewPetitclerc » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:40 am

Widen the slot in sheet metal for clearance to new Extruder mount.

This was easy as it is akin to my other love "Case Modding", a Dremel tool and cutoff disk, use some tape to make a line and protect the finish then use a file to remove any burs.
Attachments
Image1.jpg
Image1.jpg (133.25 KiB) Viewed 44991 times
Last edited by DrewPetitclerc on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
Drew Petitclerc
Petitclerc Designs
Owner/Senior Principal Designer, prototype, tooling and test equipment design and 3D printing
http://flash-graphics.deviantart.com/
http://www.thingiverse.com/DrewPetitclerc

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Re: Improvements I've made in the last year

Post by DrewPetitclerc » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:45 am

Material handling
1. Reliable feeding of material to machine and Easy storage

I use 30 rolls of plastic on spools in both PLA and ABS;

Each spool is mounted on a printed ball bearing set assembled with .312in diameter wooden dowels creating the framework.
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:7001
For the spools that have a counter bore on one side you will need a spacer, I will post this later too.
The spools on mounted stands are stored in plastic storage boxes with lids, 6 to a box with desiccant packets tossed in to keep moisture down.
This has proved to work well for me but I do live in a dryer climate location and I leave a lot of spools out but have not noticed and moisture related problems.
This can be a lot of fun as I print a set in each color but put them on different color spools.
Attachments
Spool Collection 1.jpg
Spool Collection 1.jpg (73.94 KiB) Viewed 44987 times
Img_0697.jpg
Img_0697.jpg (95.98 KiB) Viewed 44987 times
Last edited by DrewPetitclerc on Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
Drew Petitclerc
Petitclerc Designs
Owner/Senior Principal Designer, prototype, tooling and test equipment design and 3D printing
http://flash-graphics.deviantart.com/
http://www.thingiverse.com/DrewPetitclerc

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Re: Improvements I've made in the last year

Post by DrewPetitclerc » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:45 am

Remote Feeder Assembly
When I first received my printer I thought it was a novel idea but a little noisy, after many hours of printing with one color (white) I decided it was time for a change, well now we know that not all ABS is the same both in material makeup but also filament diameter or shape (round versus oval) so feed error began to emerge and swapping material was not quick or easy. I attempted to solve this by redesigning the feeder but it finally broke down (as all of them do) and by the time a new one was shipped to me I had studied the situation and came to the conclusion that this assembly was just not need for normal operation. I’ve established that if the spool is mounted to a reasonable bearing the normal extruder motor has more than enough power to pull what it needs, all I needed to do was make a new mount point for the fixed end of the hollow filament tube.
Since my decision to do without this assembly PP3DP came out with a newer feeder assembly incorporating a new NEMA motor and controller, I still will not use this in that capacity but if I have the funds I might buy one for the extra NEMA motor as a spare for one of the 4 already in the machine.

The new fixed mount point has many advantages;
1. With 2 tie wraps one end of the hollow feed tube stays put and I don’t fumble for it when changing materials.
2. I designed in multiple holding points for the ends of different filaments from spools beneath the table allowing faster material changes.
3. Same type of mount point as feed tube for the tube carrying cooling air to the extruder gear and pinch roller, this keeps the mass of the extruder down as no extra fans need be mounted directly to the extruder assembly.

Updated.
Filament Guide for Up! with Integral Filament Cleaner and Cooling Tubes.
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:39055
Attachments
2012-12-22_10-53-13_440 small.jpg
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2012-12-22_10-52-47_760 small.jpg
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Last edited by DrewPetitclerc on Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
Drew Petitclerc
Petitclerc Designs
Owner/Senior Principal Designer, prototype, tooling and test equipment design and 3D printing
http://flash-graphics.deviantart.com/
http://www.thingiverse.com/DrewPetitclerc

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Re: Improvements I've made in the last year

Post by DrewPetitclerc » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:47 am

Cosmetics
I’ve added an LED bar light on a bendy stalk that is USB powered that cast a great glow over the build plate right next to the extruder path, it is mounted using 2 stick on cable tie mounts and 2 cable ties.
I got these from "Frys" electronics and they say "for laptops" but I just love them, I have one over my desktop keyboard so I can see the letters (I can not touch type), I use an adapter that plugs into the power bar for my printer and has 2 5v USB outlets then I run 2 USB extensions also all from "Frys".
Attachments
Img_0699.jpg
The bar light in front is really all I need but I thought I might need some back fill light too.
Img_0699.jpg (145.66 KiB) Viewed 44985 times
pict 286.jpg
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Last edited by DrewPetitclerc on Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:08 am, edited 2 times in total.
Drew Petitclerc
Petitclerc Designs
Owner/Senior Principal Designer, prototype, tooling and test equipment design and 3D printing
http://flash-graphics.deviantart.com/
http://www.thingiverse.com/DrewPetitclerc

TTT험ทดสอบ
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Re: Improvements I've made in the last year

Post by TTT험ทดสอบ » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:19 am

Great Works!
darkhouse

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Re: Improvements I've made in the last year

Post by DrewPetitclerc » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:06 am

darkhouse wrote:Great Works!
darkhouse
Thanks working hard at trying to post the files to "Thingiverse" and linking them here, so keep watching! :geek:
Drew Petitclerc
Petitclerc Designs
Owner/Senior Principal Designer, prototype, tooling and test equipment design and 3D printing
http://flash-graphics.deviantart.com/
http://www.thingiverse.com/DrewPetitclerc

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josejuako
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Re: Improvements I've made in the last year

Post by josejuako » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:09 am

Drew is a lot of info. Thanks a lot.
Jose

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Re: Improvements I've made in the last year

Post by DrewPetitclerc » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:23 am

josejuako wrote:Drew is a lot of info. Thanks a lot.
Jose
You are very welcome Jose,
There is a lot to consider here so take your time and let me know if you have any questions.
Your Friend,
Drew
Drew Petitclerc
Petitclerc Designs
Owner/Senior Principal Designer, prototype, tooling and test equipment design and 3D printing
http://flash-graphics.deviantart.com/
http://www.thingiverse.com/DrewPetitclerc

rwijbenga
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Re: Improvements I've made in the last year

Post by rwijbenga » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:22 pm

WOOOOOOOW !

That are some nice improvements !! :)

2 questions.. ;)

Are you maybe going to sell the machined improvement parts ?

And where are you getting those nice ABS colours for printing with the UP ?

With kind regards,

Remco

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Re: Improvements I've made in the last year

Post by DrewPetitclerc » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:05 am

rwijbenga wrote:WOOOOOOOW !

That are some nice improvements !! :)

2 questions.. ;)

Are you maybe going to sell the machined improvement parts ?

And where are you getting those nice ABS colours for printing with the UP ?

With kind regards,

Remco
Thank you, :D

No, I did not make these parts, the tool maker where I work made them for me, I get them for free because the company I work for bought 2 printers and any improvements I can make they install too. No I do not sell them but I've given all the file necessary to get them made. :geek:

I have bought plastic from these 4 sites, both ABS and PLA:
1. http://store.makerbot.com/plastic/1-75mm-filament.html
2. http://3dprinterstuff.com/shop/page/6?s ... hop_param=
3. http://www.makergear.com/products/filament
4. https://www.protoparadigm.com/products- ... -filament/
Drew Petitclerc
Petitclerc Designs
Owner/Senior Principal Designer, prototype, tooling and test equipment design and 3D printing
http://flash-graphics.deviantart.com/
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Re: Improvements I've made in the last year

Post by DrewPetitclerc » Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:37 am

rwijbenga wrote:WOOOOOOOW !

That are some nice improvements !! :)

2 questions.. ;)

Are you maybe going to sell the machined improvement parts ?

And where are you getting those nice ABS colours for printing with the UP ?

With kind regards,

Remco
Hi All with regard to my earlier post when asked if I would be selling the new extruder mount mod and the Self-adjusting extrude feeder, the short answer is maybe.
I spoke to my friend the tool maker and he is interested, he has not yet figured out a price but we have made some decisions. :)
1. there would have to be at least 10 orders to start.
2. Purchaser pays full postage.
I have sent these files out for quote at local machine shops that we do business with and received return estimates that are very high :shock: since it would be at least 3 to 4 setups per part and initial cost to write the proper G-code, since my tool maker has already written the code and made the parts a lot can be saved there :mrgreen: so I am hopeful he will return a quote that is within the budget of most of you out there, if he does I will let you all know.
Regards
Drew
Drew Petitclerc
Petitclerc Designs
Owner/Senior Principal Designer, prototype, tooling and test equipment design and 3D printing
http://flash-graphics.deviantart.com/
http://www.thingiverse.com/DrewPetitclerc

Eurisko84
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Re: Improvements I've made in the last year

Post by Eurisko84 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:53 am

Awesome stuff Drew!

I have just purchased my own UP! and am always looking to make improvements (I've created a modified spool holder for the larger ABS 1Kg reels), but am extremely interested in buying the machined components you have designed.

As soon as you have a P&A please let us know, and I will order one straight away!

Cheers
Eddie

Billzilla
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Re: Improvements I've made in the last year

Post by Billzilla » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:24 pm

DrewPetitclerc wrote:Hi All with regard to my earlier post when asked if I would be selling the new extruder mount mod and the Self-adjusting extrude feeder, the short answer is maybe.
I spoke to my friend the tool maker and he is interested, he has not yet figured out a price but we have made some decisions. :)
I'd be interested in an extruder mount.

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