Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Upgrade suggestions for inexpensive Kossel Mini kits

Mini Kossel current state
     I just finished a partial refit on my Mini Kossel, and realized that I hadn't mentioned it on here yet, so here's a brief tour of the upgrades and modifications from this past year. Most of the important ones I've made are related to the plastic handling components, so I'll cover them by following the filament path.

Filament Spool Holder
Spool Holder Base (Customized variant)
     Starting from the top of the filament path, the first modification I added was this spool holder by Creative Tools, specifically the OpenScad remix done by GeoDave on Thingiverse. This is by far the nicest spool holder I've used to date, most of the other ones for deltas ether occupy the upper triangle completely or are just a printable stick that bolts onto the side, so this is a massive improvement over those options.

Greg's Wade's Extruder, bowden variant
     After the Mini Kossel's previous MK8 extruder suffered a dulled drive gear recently, I decided to replace it with a Greg's Wade's extruder, an old and proven design from the RepRap project. I've had it running for about two weeks at this point, and it's been very solid and reliable.

E3D Lite6 nozzle
     Next on our tour is one of the first upgrades I made, the E3D Lite6 hot-end. The Mini Kossel kit came with a 'metal J-head' hot-end that malfunctioned the first time I turned it on, and started oozing plastic out of every joint in the heater block, regardless of what I tried. After researching hot-ends online, the Lite6 quickly came up as a reliable and easy to use option for a beginner, and I've not looked back since.

MK3 aluminum heat-bed with Buildtak on glass topper
     Finally, we come to the heated build-plate or print-bed, the foundation that everything is printed on. I started out with a MK2a PCB heater and glass combination that was included in the kit, but the heater was warped when I got it, so I sourced a MK3 aluminum heater as a replacement and I haven't had any issues with it since. The Buildtak print surface is something I started using on the Micro a few months ago, and I decided to add a sheet to one side of my glass bed after I ran out of the glue stick that previously served to improve bed adhesion. And that's my workhorse printer's key upgrades finished, for now.
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