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your most useful tool?

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just curious what others use the most after a while working with a printer. I thought I'd ask after having a little laugh to myself that the most useful thing for me is a good knife... preferably a big Bowie knife or a nice number 12 Opinel. From lifting prints off the bed, flatning the blue tape, cutting filament, ... one of the oldest tools helping the newest do its job. Others?

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Side cutters here, pretty much everything you use your knife for except for flattening the blue tape, I use the good old finger for that (though I find for a good stick you need to reseat the tape if it has bubbled). Then for cleaning up the hot end etc. too.

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Normaly my most usefull tools are a sharp knife and my tweezers.

But then I made these two tools to remove my things and the skirts from the bed.

tools.jpg

Those two are quite simple but they are doing the job really well.

If anybody wants to try them, the STL-file can be found here.

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i try not to use my finger as i read somewhere that the grease from fingers can keep the print from sticking. Cleaning is an option but i think that the alcohol on the tape causes it to pull off the bed with the next print and is just not good for the tape codition. No evidence, just a feeling.

Ya, tweezers are good too. I use a pair i have from bonzai work that are about 20cm long.

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I hhave a RepRap, but as it functions the same, I figure I could still chime in. Outside of allen wrenches for small adjustments, the only tools I ever use are a needle nose pliers to break off and collect and extra material dripping from the nozzle before a print, but almost more importantly, a paint chipper. Something like $5 at Home Depot for a 1.5" metal paint chipper and everything removes from the bed easily when I want it to (I print right on glass) and I never have to touch it with my fingers. If for some reason my 1st layer isn't sticking to the bed properly in a print, I can sometimes press it down with the scraper and it will bond enough to continue.

 

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I have stumbled across a tool that I find invaluable for cleaning holes in printed parts. It is a hand tapered reamer with a claimed size range of 0(!!) - 14mm.

I bought it from Aliexpress. Here is a link to a current offer: http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-shipping-RC-Tools-Repair-Rc-Pore-opener-taper-reamer-purple-0-14-For-helicopter-heli/642579787.html

Mike.

 

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My two favorite tools:

Tools 2 (744x800)

 

The one on the left is a multi-tool I found in the paint department at Lowes. The scraper part is excellent for removing parts. The pointy part is great for cleaning holes. The edge can be used like a knife to clean brim pieces the bottom edges of flat prints.

 

The one on the right is a ridged roller I printed with 8/22 skate bearings on the axle inside. Even the axle was printed with one hub being threaded and screwed on. I use it on my UM1 to help press down the blue tape between prints, as the tape tends to pull away from the platform in small areas.

 

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21UigGUjI-L.jpg

Cutter without handle. Perfect to remove parts because it is thin all over, neither scratches my aluminium plate nor the printed part. If I'm not patient enough to wait for the plate to cool down or the part still sticks.

 

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Toolbox?

What are your experiences with infrared thermometers? I like to calibrate the temperatures of different printers.

But first if all you want to know the actual temp. or at least a comparison. I think you can never externally measure the UM sensor. but might be possible to get a measurement from the alu block.

regards Kees

 

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It's hard to get a representative reading with IR because of the reflective surface. If you paint/soot it black to make it similar to a blackbody you might improve your likeliness of a correct reading if you match it to the correct emmissivity setting on your thermometer. But I'd guess it's still pretty hard. You can perhaps calibrate with solder of a known melting point. What is really fun is to use a thermal camera to see the heat spread...and then stilm you would want to blacken all hot parts for good readings :)

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My favourite tools are thin curved needle nose pliers and flush cut pliers for cleaning models, both from Lindstrom and super expensive but I paid 1/10th of the price on a sale :)

I probably use 20 tools related but these are the most used ones, together with a spatula for removing prints.

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I've posted previously of my favourite tool for use on printed parts (a tapered hand reamer) but the tool that I'm using constantly on the Ultimaker itself is a long series 2mm hex screwdriver wrench. The handle is much the same length as the Ultimaker supplied tool, but the 'blade' is approx 40mm longer which makes it much easier to use most of the time. Also the handle is larger in diameter which I find another plus. The manufacturer is Turnigy and I bought mine from Hobby King: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__11086__Turnigy_2mm_long_shaft_Hex_Screwdriver.html

 

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I bought a cheap deburring tool recently (probably a bit too cheap as it wasn't exactly razor sharp). It works quite well for removing the sharp edge at the bottom of prints. Certainly better than using a knife which tends to dig into the print instead of shaving off a small sliver.

 

I've a sharp one! And it's really nice for tayloring the first layer, especially when with brim. And it's a lot less dangerous than a normal knive... so it may be something for Ian as well...? ;)

But it has its restriction for very small holes... :(

 

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I found a "window scraper" in the hardware store and it quickly became my general tool for removing printed parts from the platform, removing excess glue from the platform and for cutting/scraping excess plastic off the printed parts:

2014 03 08 3250

I mostly use the blades without the holder and they are very nice for making precision cuts in plastic. You have to watch your fingers though :smile:

The "Tesa Easy Stick" might not be considered as a tool, but I included it because it works much better with ABS for me than the "Staples glue stick" provided with the Ultimaker 2 did.

The main advantage with the Tesa glue is that it is harder and therefore it is much easier to apply a very thin, even, film of glue to the platform. The provided "Staples" glue tended to come off in big chunks, which made the bottom side of the printed part uneven.

The Tesa glue also dissolves instantly in hot water, which makes cleaning the printed parts and the platform very easy.

I also found that a vacuum cleaner is really handy to have next to the printer. I don't know if the vacuum cleaner might be clogged by glue in the long run, but it is very convenient for keeping the printer clean.

 

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I also used Tesa Easy Stick and the Eco Version glued PLA extremely well! Unfortunately I wasn't happy with the bottom side of prints because unlike you, I had problems to achieve a thin film of glue. Often there were small lumps.

Therefore, now I use a different method I saw in a YouTube video: Just mix 1 piece of normal wood glue with 2 pieces of water and apply a thin film with a brush. Let it dry (works very fast with a heated bed :-P ) and start printing. Works very well for dozens of PLA prints without the need to attach new glue and the bottom side of prints is perfect!

 

The "Tesa Easy Stick" might not be considered as a tool, but I included it because it works much better with ABS for me than the "Staples glue stick" provided with the Ultimaker 2 did.

The main advantage with the Tesa glue is that it is harder and therefore it is much easier to apply a very thin, even, film of glue to the platform. The provided "Staples" glue tended to come off in big chunks, which made the bottom side of the printed part uneven.

The Tesa glue also dissolves instantly in hot water, which makes cleaning the printed parts and the platform very easy.

 

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