New Wilson II owner [KIT] - From unboxing to printing in under 24 hours


#1

I came to know about the Wilson II Reprap from @hasbridge at the Dallas Makerspace. While he choose to source parts himself and print all the plastic parts, I was a little less patient and bought one of the complete kits from Marty.

As others have posted in the reviews, the kit was very thoughtfully packed, with individual boxes for plastic parts, frame components, electronics, fasteners, build plate, and some extra parts.

The first thing I did upon unpacking was to review the list of all the plastic parts, familiarizing myself with what goes where. Next, I dumped out all the screws, nuts, washers, springs and other fasteners and organized by size into small bins. This took about 10 minutes, but probably saved me an hour or so when it came time to assemble.

Assembly was quick and rather fun, while following along with Marty’s videos. I was able to complete the frame assembly (videos 1-3) in about 6 hours last night, and then spent another 4-5 hours today with wiring the system up, spending extra time to braid all the cables and do cable management.

Challenges

  • The set screw from the (M7?) extruder pulley didn’t make it into my kit - I’m sure it fell out either before or after shipping. Luckly, I have a friend with an arsenal of fasteners and he had plenty of M4 set screws
  • The new rack & pinion bed leveling mechanism ls really cool, however, when retracting (X-carriage slides all the way to the right), the arm wasn’t fully retracting. It looks like the rack could a few more mm in length. I superglued a spare nut to the right end of the rack and fixed that problem.
  • The heated build plate looks like it’s going to have a hard time getting high enough for ABS (100-110 is what I’ve used on other printers). I eventually gave up on waiting for it to heat after 15 minutes and settled for 95F
  • Z-Offset: I had to set the Z-Offset from the default of 11 to about 12.2 in order to get the first layer to the right height. I set this via the LCD interface, but I think I need to change it in the Marlin code as well to make it permanent.
  • I was a bit confused on the wiring for the power switch, as the one shown in the video is a 4-pin and mine was only a 3-pin. I was able to figure it out, and it works okay - however I did manage to separate one of the wires from it’s crimp connector, and wasn’t able to get it re-crimped. I ended up just solding that wire directly to the power switch, which works fine.

Tuning & Settings

  • The Arduino Mega is preloaded with Marty’s fork of Marlin and already has all the settings required for the components he included in the kit
  • I’ve installed Pronterface for control and Cura for slicing.
  • This is my first time using Cura, so I don’t know my way around it too well yet, but I’m using the settings supplied by Marty:
  • https://github.com/mjrice/Wilson2/blob/master/doc/

Next Steps

  • I plan to build an enclosure to help prevent warping with larger ABS parts. I’ll likely lasercut a case using MDF at the Dallas Makerspace
  • I’ll be installing a Raspberry Pi with Octoprint to communicate with the printer and allow me to control via a web interface.

Pictures/Video

Video: https://www.facebook.com/nickmccarthy/videos/10101143317065419/?l=6286095791554862287


#2


#3


#4

@radionick looks really nice. You may want to try insulating under the print bed (between the PCB and the MDF) to help get the temperature higher. I think the bed tends to loose a lot of heat just through convection and the open design.

In Marlin, there is a spot where a person could adjust how far the X carriage goes to the right to raise the rack up - but changing it would require recompiling your code and since you already worked around the issue it’s probably not worth the trouble. I would like to add the ability to tweak that setting directly from the LCD in the future.

Thank’s for the feedback on the rest of the build - it’s always helpful to me!


#5

Marty,

Awesome - Thanks for the quick reply. All in all, this kit is fantastic! I have, and will continue to recommend it to those who ask. I think it’s the perfect entry level for a maker who knows enough to build things, but doesn’t want to independently research and source all the parts.

Is there a particular insulation material you’d recommend?


#6

I’m also a recent kit buyer and I would also recommend this kit!

I’ve got a Raspberry Pi3 set up on the latest nightly build and running great, I would really recommend octoprint to anyone reading this thread as they begin to get into printing.

How much calibration did you do before printing the test boat? This is my first step into 3D printing ever, and my prints have nowhere near the quality of yours. Are you using PLA or ABS for that print?


#7

That first print was with zero software calibration. I only did the following:

  • Leveled the print bed so all four springs were compressed to the same height off the MDF using calipers
  • Leveled the X-axis on the lead screws using calipers
  • Ran the bed-leveling routine

#8

I use thick cardboard on mine. It does take a good 20-25 min to reach 100c, but it’s worth it.
I’ve also installed a PEI build plate which help a ton for ABS. I rarely have any warping with it.

You might be interested in a simple enclosure from IKEA parts I posted some days ago:

Anyway, If you need any help with ABS printing, I think I’m one of the other masochist who fancy this material :slight_smile:


#9

Thanks Andre,

I definitely plan to build an enclosure soon. I’m all about the ABS. The brittleness and “shrinking when left in a hot car” of PLA don’t really work for my needs.

Looking into PEI, I see some Amazon reviewers state that they’ve been able to lower their bed temperature to 60-70c when using the plate. What thickness are you using?


#10

I’m currently running a 4mm thick sheet from Aliexpress (seller is gone now :frowning:) but I wouldn’t recommend it. I have no glass plate under it and it’s still not flat even at 4mm. I think the classic 0.003in thick sheet glued on a glass/aluminium plate is better.

I’ve had good success at 90c in my enclosure. Sadly, I had nightmare removing some print couple of days ago that I printed at 105c. So there’s surely somehting about PEI where you most use lower temperature.

One thing for sure, don’t use “cold” acetone on a >50c bed. My sheet is now full of internal cracks and I don’t know how long it will last. Haven’t seen any defect on my print for now :S.

I should be able to get some thin PEI soon and a nice laser cut aluminium bed plate to go with it. I’ll post some update about it when it’s all done!


#11

Hey Nick. I am the idiot at Dallas Makespace that was digging through all the parts in your kit with you the night you got it. I am glad to see that you made such quick work of the assembly. I actually just bought the kit from @mjrice a few hours ago and had come here to familiarize myself with the community. Thanks for the write-up on your experience, I hope mine goes as smoothly.


#12

It seems like the Dallas Makerspace is on track to be the most Wilson-affluent makerspace :slight_smile:


#13

@KentM: That’s awesome

@mjrice: We’re happy you’ve designed such an awesome RepRap, and have made the effort to sell kits!

Edit: Just saw from your other threat on how to change my X max to remove my added nut on the right side of the rack. I also just learned about saving to the EEPROM from the LCD. Quoting below for anyone else wondering this:

Control->Motion menu for this. By default, it should be set to 200 (you may have to dial that in the first time, I am not sure how it will initialize since it reads it from the eeprom). If you lower it a few mm then it should prevent the x carriage from “bottoming out” on the right side when it goes to raise the probe. After you have a good value, write it to the eeprom using the Control->Store Memory item from the LCD and then it will remember the value.