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Mounting Feeder Overhead

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Calling all you Die-Hard Ultimaker Hackers (You know who you are)...

I've run out of room on my workbench. Usually, I'd rotate the printers around for filament changes, but with no room to rotate the printers, I'll have to mount the feeders above the printers.

So far I have the printer on the left temporarily rigged for overhead feeding. It seems to work just fine in this jury-rigged state, but I thought I'd get your take on the optimal setup, such as placement of the feeder, optimal bowden tube length (it would seem as though a shorter tube can now be used), roll orientation, etc.

5a330f3425523_overheadfeeder.thumb.jpg.1c40157af2f72d950b6f647ad6f385f3.jpg

It might just be me, but at first glance, this type of setup has many benefits, such as cooler stepper motor, shorter bowden (less slack), and a more direct path to the extruder.

Any thoughts?

5a330f3425523_overheadfeeder.thumb.jpg.1c40157af2f72d950b6f647ad6f385f3.jpg

Edited by Guest
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I haven't done any modification like that but I would say make the bowden as short as possible without it having sharp bends when the head reaches the four corners. The shorter the better as the bowden makes up a significant amount of the friction in the system. I'd try to mount the feeder in the middle, right above the printer, that seems like the best position to me at least.

Maybe you could feed directly from your rack of plastic if you create a cradle for the "active" spool with bearings to make it roll easily? (might want to put a safety rail in front of the spool though so that it doesn't get pulled down onto the printer in case of snags) I don't think orientation of the spool would make much difference as the bowden would be fairly straight in this config.

Or, you could place one printer on top of the other. I'm sure Ultimaker would give you the laser cutting files for the spacer they have if you ask nicely. It's basically a small open box that you place on top of one machine so that another one can stand on top of it without crushing the bowden. Not sure if that would become too high to work with in your setup though.

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Calum Douglas made this for the UMO

Perhaps you can seize his suggestion....?

 

Or, you could place one printer on top of the other. I'm sure Ultimaker would give you the laser cutting files for the spacer they have if you ask nicely. It's basically a small open box that you place on top of one machine so that another one can stand on top of it without crushing the bowden. Not sure if that would become too high to work with in your setup though.

 

@IRobertI - i can not believe that you missed the "The Ultimaker Spacer" resp. "The Ultimaker Table" (Adobe Inventor and dxf files included).... until now...

Should be easy to adapt for the Ultimaker2 - if needed?

Edited by Guest

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Well, 2 weeks in to the overhead feeding. Still using duct tape and zipties at this point. Trying to find the optimal settings and angle. I have found that cutting 8" or so off the bowden was too much in my current configuration. I'll also have to switch to a quick release style feeder. I just can't get enough leverage to manually push the filament through when changing. The dependability factor is outstanding. A few 24 hour prints and I know it's just going to keep feeding.

I've designed arms that mount to the the wall that will hold the spools and feeders, as well as integrated bearings to guide the filament to the feeder. Will keep you posted.

Edited by Guest
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Yes! Close to what I was thinking.

I have used one of these carts before, liked it but still think of some improvement could be done.

https://www.schooloutfitters.com/catalog/product_info/pfam_id/PFAM46559/products_id/PRO60755?sc_cid=Bing_COP-TD5000&CAWELAID=320012570000034832

Also think this would stop some other problems. Moisture, dust, ease of filament change.

It's can be a pain in the Bum to change filament when you can't get to the back of the machine.

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:954675

Interested is seeing what others have done along these lines.

Thanks Ed

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