Starting this project meant to me taking a deep dive into the "maker scene". My 3D printer runs almost day and night. This automatically requires some extensions and improvements to the equipment.
For good 3D prints, a perfectly leveled, heated bed is crucial. The bed of my printer is heated, I paid attention to this at time of purchase. But leveling with the standard screws is not very pleasant or even easy to do. Here I have definitely to optimise in the future.
For print jobs, especially when long running, remote control and remote monitoring of the printer is very helpful. That's why I installed a Rasberry Pi with "Octopi". Through the plug-in concept, I can install useful extensions that make life as a "permanent printer" easier.
So I have not only installed the Cura-Slicer as a plugin, but also installed a webcam that provides both the current printing process as a stream and creates a timelapse after printing. I will provide some of these timelapse videos on Youtube.
The latest addition is a relay board with 4 relays that can be plugged directly onto the Raspberry. This allows me to remotely turn on and off both the printer and the (of course self-built) LED lighting. In one of the long nights of printing during my winter holiday, I have designed a case for the Pi with attached ks0212 relay board and of course shared it on Thingiverse. Since I also use a Pi with the same relay board in the observatory, I can use the case several times.
During the test prints I understood what Ansi meant with his motto: "Life is too short for bad filament".
The filament supplied with my 3D printer from China did not work at all - its only function was to deliver a bad test print and glue up the Hotend right from the start. Only after burning out with a blowtorch the tip was useable again.
Also, the change to a filament bought on Ebay "made in Germany" was not perfect. Although the print quality was much better, there were always interruptions, sometimes because the filament got stuck (probably variations in material thickness), sometimes because it wasn't liquid enough to flow constantly at the standard temperature.
It all changed when I used the 3dk.berlin filament for the first time: since then the printer has been running almost uninterrupted, even 19 hours long print jobs are running flawlessly and the material is super stable after printing.
3dk.berlin has provided us with two types of filament: a recycled filament with a greenish color and slightly transparent and a black filament that we want to use to print the optically relevant parts in order to avoid glare or interference in the light path. So far, I printed only with the recycled material - it's absolutely the best thing that has flowed through my printer - this makes 3D printing fun!