Well, THAT escalated quickly.
The 3D printer I picked up was assembled beautifully — except that it was assembled in a manner that’s completely inverted (mirror-image) from the way it was intended to have been built. I only noticed this after reflashing the firmware, and configuring the Home switches with typical values. For a moment, I was wondering why some axes needed to be inverted in unexpected ways.
Z-Axis “Skipping Steps” Problem, Solved
As it turns out, the original onboard firmware had a high travel-speed configured for the Z Axis homing cycle, which prevented the machine from determining the Home position on the Z-axis.
Since this is a software (well, firmware) issue, and all other aspects of the mechanicals and electronics were flawless, it made sense to correct the problem and upgrade the firmware at the same time. To do so, I grabbed the source code for Repetier-Firmware 0.92 — which is the latest n’ greatest at the time of this writing — and it completely resolved the Z-axis “skipping steps” issue.
Inverted (Mirror-Imaged) Hardware Build
Anyway, so this “Inverted Build” issue isn’t an overwhelmingly huge problem. Y and Z axes are fully operational as intended, but we’ll have to configure the firmware to expect the X home switch to exist on the MAXIMUM end of travel, whereas it normally exists on the MINIMUM end of travel. Now, we just need to be EXTRA careful about setting the maximum travel distances so when X is at 0, it lands at our intended position on the heated plate.
Considering this assembled printer kit was sold via CraigsList at a price I couldn’t refuse, and only one quirk needs to be worked around, I’m pretty happy with how this project is turning out. ‘Already have Repetier Firmware compiling and flashing fine, and after another hour or so, I should have all of the speeds and feeds calibrated. On the plus side, I have a really good excuse to crack it all apart and reassemble with Loctite Blue as I wanted to do, anyway.
Much more to come, once this printer is operational. Hope to be printing parts for a new Delta 3D printer; and once that’s done, I’ll reassemble this kit with the proper orientation (and Loctite Blue) to get it ready to service others at a nearby Public Library someday.