My 3D Printers – Old and New

PrintrBot Simple WoodI’ve been 3D printing for years now with the same old PrintrBot Simple 1405. I bought this little printer as a DIY kit with a 100mm x 100mm print volume and it has been my work horse.  It’s definitely had it’s issues that is for sure, but once the Auto Bed Leveling Probe (ABL) was calibrated it ran great for year with zero maintenance. I did eventually upgrade the bed’s width to over 300mm but found that printing all the way to the edges was very difficult because my heated bed was only in the middle.

CR-10 MiniMore recently the cost of 3D printers has dropped so drastically I thought it’s time for an upgrade. After weighing all my options I went with the Creality CR-10 Mini with a build volume of 300mm x 220mm x 300mm. Along with its built in heated bed this is a massive upgrade for me at an amazingly low price.

I have a laundry list of upgrade to get the most out of this not so mini CR-10 Mini. Maybe an ABL probe first? Maybe OctoPrint? Stay tuned!

If you’d like to see more please drop a comment below, email me directly using admin@triplemike.com or hit me up at any of my social links with your comments and suggestions.

Cheapest Digital Constant Current Power Supply 50V 5A

Difficulty: Star LitStar LitStar LitStar LitStar Unlit (4/5)

New CC PSU v18 My latest model is a Constant Current Power Supply that can handle 50 volts at 5 amps. The model in the picture was rendered in Autodesk Fusion 360 and can be easily printed on almost any 3D printer, I used a PrintrBot Simple 100mm x 100mm. This model has enough space to fit a DC-DC Boost Converter that takes a 12 volt input and boosts it to 35 volts. The 35V signal is then fed into the DPS5005 Constant Current Power Supply (PSU.) The manufacturer offers this unit in a range of different voltages and amp ratings and this model fits almost all of them. Mine can handle up to 50V at 5A allowing me to upgrade the 35V Boost Converter in the future.

Cheapest Digital Constant Current PSU 50V 5AIn this picture you will see my working unit that utilizes an Arduino Pro Mini Micro Controller (MCU) with two thermistors to monitor temperature and  controls a small 40mm X 40mm x 10mm 12V Computer Fan with one of its Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) pins. I have also allowed for enough room in the case for the Power Supply Unit (PSU) that comes with a Bluetooth Module used for serial communications. The add-on allows you to control it by turning it off, on, and change various settings wirelessly as well as a program for your PC. I haven’t used this feature yet but imagine it could come in quite handy.

Cheapest Digital Constant Current PSU 50V 5A - Standby
Standby – Fan Off
Cheapest Digital Constant Current PSU 50V 5A - Cool
Cool – Fan Slow
Cheapest Digital Constant Current PSU 50V 5A - Hot
Hot – Fan Faster

 

 

 

 

 

I added a pair of the WS8212B RGB LED‘s which shine white when the temp is below 30ºC on either of the two heat sinks. Two 10K thermistors are used to sense if the temperature hits 31ºC. When it does the light changes blue and gradually to red as it reaches the max of 70ºC. The fan also speeds up using the same scale. I took the above photos while testing my unit with a car headlight as the dummy load.

Constant Current Arduino Pro Mini Hat v2I designed a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) in Autodesk Eagle that lines up perfectly on top of the Arduino Pro Mini. Keep in mind this part is completely optional, and might be for the slightly more advance maker. I combined all of the components required to connect the two temperature sensors, all the LED’s, and control the 12V cooling fan. You print the layout on a laser printer or any professional photo copier that uses toner and transfer it to a copper clad board using the Iron. I may create a separate post for the Ferric Chloride etching process that I use if there is any demand.

Parts List

If you’d like to see more please drop a comment below, email me directly using admin@triplemike.com or hit me up at any of my social links with your comments and suggestions.