One Newbie’s experiences with the Afinibot Prusa Kit

One Newbie’s experiences with the Afinibot Prusa Kit

I bought this kit a couple of weeks ago and now have it up and running. I took my time building it and there is some lots of tweeking to do. However, so far all is well and I am enjoying learning about 3D printing. Here are some of the things I have learned so far.

Jean-Maurice of electronic geek is a very helpful guy who had responded very quickly to all my dumb questions! The manufacturer in China also responded promptly to a question about registering my kit.

The kit was complete. However the printed instructions were almost impossible to read and they were incomplete in that they did not show the fan that had to be added to the extruder head. The instructions in the PDF file on SD card were much clearer.

The parts fitted together nicely. The only exceptions were the holes for the z axis rods – these were a tad too small and I had to use a drill bit to expand them.

I only made one silly mistake in that I failed to take note of the fact that the main vertical part of the frame has a slot for the z axis limit switch on the left side and I initially built this the wrong way round!

When doing the wiring it is good to have a wire stripper especially for the thin motor wires.

Although you might be tempted to affix the control board to the left upright support before doing the wiring this is not a good idea because it is almost impossible to get the wires into their respective slots when you can’t see what you are doing! You might also be tempted to tin the ends of the wires but this can make them too think for the slots on the control board.

When cutting wires be sure the leave enough loose wire to permit the free travel of the bed and the extruder. In addition to using the wire enclosure cable and the various clips included in the kit, some electrical tape will come in handy.

Once the build is complete you need adjust the table height, configure the extruder and perhaps adjust the x, y, and z axis movements. There are lots of good websites that show how these things are done. You will need to connect to the Repetier Host software and configure the printer as per the instructions. Use the auto settings to find the port. The baud rate that works for me is 115200 and I set the buffer size to 127.

The table adjustment was the most challenging and I finally figured out how best to do it:

  1. loosen the 4 table screws to allow maximum compression of the table bed plate when the screws are tightened..
  2. Lower the z axis limit switch as far as possible.
  3. Using the manual control in Repetier Host lower the extruder until it just touches the

    table

  4. Raise the limit switch until it clicks as it touches the horizontal bar of the z axis
  1. Tighten the table screws until you can just slip a piece of paper under the extruder nozzle at each of the four corners of the table.
  2. If the first layer does not stick to the table them the table is too high.

I used Dupont’s Teflon non-stick anti adhesive from Canadian Tire to lubricate the rods and have found it necessary to use a lot of hairspray to get to extruded filament to stick to the heater bed. I also raised the bed temperature to about 70 degrees and this helped with the adhesion.

I’m very pleased with my prints so far and I’m sure they will get better as I follow the many excellent tips that can be found on numerous 3D printer websites and YouTube videos.

Happy printing everyone.

Afinibot notes

Ressources online

Repetier-host (Windows, Mac and Linux) : http://www.repetier.com/documentation/repetier-host/

3d editors :

123 Design : http://www.123dapp.com/design

Sketch up : http://www.sketchup.com/

3D print server (for Mac, PC and raspberry pi) :

Repetier server : http://www.repetier.com/repetier-server-download/

3D Printer OS : http://www.3dprinteros.com

Octoprint : http://octoprint.org

Find some 3D model to print :

Thingiverse : https://www.thingiverse.com

Yeggi : http://www.yeggi.com/

Grabcad : https://grabcad.com/

Repair a model before printing :

Netfabb : https://netfabb.azurewebsites.net

3D Hubs (make $ and offer a 3D printing service from home) : https://www.3dhubs.com

Good to know before printing

3.1 Before your fist print, you need to calibrate the printer. The nozzle should be -+ 0,1mm from the bed when it’s at the “Z-home” position. It’s more or less the thickness of a sheet of paper, so you can make sure it’s at the right position if the paper sheet can slide between the nozzle and the bed, but when 2 sheets can’t.

3.2 Your first difficulties will be usually to make the PLA or ABS stick to the bed. The best trick is to spay hair spray before the print. Also, the nozzle should be really close from the bed.

3.3 It’s easier to start with PLA first. The learning curve is quite steep with 3D printing. ABS is more difficult to print and if you start with it, the situation might get frustrating… Built your skill with PLA printing, then I suggest to try ABS.

3.4 If you print mostly ABS, the bed temperature should be around 100-105C It’s faster to heat it if you add fiberglass insulation under the bed. Make sure you put a material that is fire resistant.

3.5 Suggested temperature:

PLA : Heated bed 60C and Extruder 190-200C Fan : 100%

ABS : Heated bed 100-105C and Extruder 210-220C Fan : 25-45%

3.6 Lubricant: you can use a “PTFE” lubricant such as this one: http://www.homedepot.ca/product/4-oz-bottle-oil-with-syncolon-ptfe-lubricant/849392