3d Printer Cliffhanger


Yesterday I decided to print a classic, Lego Yoda.  When I first built my printer I purchased a green non-spooled filament. Its cheaper to get it with out a spool, and I should have known better. I was being clever and took the loose filament and rolled it onto onto an old extension cord spool. The filament rolled on it easily with no issues, so put it away. Since I decided to print Yoda, I pulled the green filament back from storage and hung it off the top shelf above my printing area using a rope and an old large galvanized  nail (I felt really clever ;)). Off I went getting the printer ready; I leveled the bed, sliced the model and uploaded it to octoprint and hit print. The stage was set for a great print…  I moved on to better things (getting siri to do more with my printer… more on that latter).

About half an hour latter I decided to check on my great print, what I found was beyond my expectation….


After careful analysis, I found the filament was tangled on the spool and the i3’s powerful extruder was hungry and pulled it self up to get more materials to build.  The i3 will not abandon its current task due to lack of materials.




Unfortunately the i3 commitment cause it to suffer the consequences. after I turned off the printer, the extruder grasp of the filament let go and and the i3 fell down to meet its maker (well the floor).  The i3 paid for its commitment to duty. It choose Damage.

The top of the z axis snapped off the top of the x-carrage on both sides as it hit the floor.


The i3 was doomed….

Once the damage was assessed, the engineering team (me) went to work, they needed to find a fix which would allow the i3 to heal itself (umm, i3 printing parts to fix it self (machines building machines, that’s a good idea)). After several hours of Engineering time (well more like 2 minutes), the team (again me) found a solution.

The picture is difficult to see but the team (again me) used nylon wire-ties  (same stuff cops use as handcuffs) to hold the printer together,  just enough for the i3 to printer replacements.


It was an intense procedure (putting wire-ties, really?) but the team succeeded and here are the results.

The new parts will be installed soon, but looks like the i3 career will live on.


PS: I was able to print Yoda with the broken parts.

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