Avatar
Cris Rowlands (CrisRowlands)
Designer
From: Cradley Heath, United Kingdom
Posts: 121
She's finally here! After a year & three months(ish) my MakiBox A6 LT arrived.
I've had it 5 days; here is my experience so far:

Assembly:

It took me about 3 hours to put Susan together as I had to re-do various steps - I kept missing out bits. Oops.

Issue. Due to someone in assembly going a bit crazy with the glue gun on the Y-Axis home detector, it was a little hard to align some parts. Since the initial build I've taken her apart & rebuilt her after slicing off some of said glue.

Overall the assembly was quite easy, despite having to put some heavy force into getting some slots to fit properly. I must admit the plastic used for the outer case are a lot thinner & flimsy than expected, but has caused no issues thus far.

Susan:


Software:

Issue. Immediately I had the problem so many face - 5D refused to connect to Susan.
(in case you haven't figured it out yet, I've named my printer Susan. No reason why.)
So I did a quick look through the forum & discovered Repetier.

I had never heard of it before, but I heard people were able to connect with it, so within moments it was downloaded & installed on my computer. I pressed "connect" and as if by magic, I could get all of the motors whirring away.

After the many months waiting & hours putting her together, it was a surprisingly good feeling just to have it moving at all, let alone exactly as its meant to (more or less).

Printing.

I did a test run. Loading the test cube & clicking "run".
That's all that it took. Nice & easy.

For the first print I didn't load any filament, just to see if she could move in all the right ways.
She had the moves, I can tell you that.

I then gave the filament a shot, flushing some through the hot end.
This could technically be my first 'print':



Once I saw filament could indeed make its way through, I just went for it.
Loaded the cube again & pressed go. It was nice to see it working, even though the filament jammed & got chewed up by the zen drive after a short while.



I ran a few more failed (jammed) prints & finally a couple of complete (but very wobbly)
cubes before I dismantled & rebuilt her as mentioned earlier.



This is the general call so far:




Where I'm at:

Sadly, since re-building her, I've not managed to get a single finished print.
The filament ALWAYS jams.

In the first two days, I got some jammed prints & 2 complete (wobbly) prints.
On the third day, I rebuilt her & got some more jammed prints.
Day four & five hasn't even got that far.

My current problem goes like this:
1. Load filament through to the hot end.
2. Heat the hot end to anything between 197 to 230.
3. Purge some filament through the hot end with no problem.
4. Try to feed some more through or start an actual print;
It wont go through the hot end & the zen drive starts chewing up the filament.

Ultimately this means I cannot start an actual print at the moment.
I would welcome any suggestions.
It's not about being growing up,
it's about being strategically childish.
2022-03-01 05:31
Avatar
danceswithrobots
From: Deer Park, United States
Posts: 222
I got my Makibox a few days before you. I knew there could be issues with fit and finish so I was VERY careful putting it together. Even so, I also had issues with the Y axis sensor, but I glued a tiny shim to the tab that hits the y axis sensor, and that took care of it.

I got 5DPrint to work long enough to complete my first attempt at bed leveling, but suddenly it broke. For a while I ran it on an ARM based SBC (Odroid X2) running Linux and Chromium. But it would halt and ruin a print every once in a while, so I installed Repetier Host on my main computer and that problem has largely been eliminated.

I have a very slight almost negligible vertical wave--nowhere near as bad as the horizontal banding that you're experiencing. Frankly, I can live with it.

I'm also experiencing failure of the zen drive a cm or two into the print, but again, not as bad as you. I can print a decent test cube, I can print "yellow cat." I managed to get through "squirrel" but it was a close thing. That print started to get whispy and skip, but I paused the print for a minute or so, and when I restarted it completed the job with no further issues. I think, some careful attention to temperature will eliminate that.
2022-03-01 08:57
Avatar
Cris Rowlands (CrisRowlands)
Designer
From: Cradley Heath, United Kingdom
Posts: 121
I shouldn't be left alone with technology.

Since my last post, I have melted a dent into my print bed & half melted the zen wheel in the zen drive.
Lessons to take away from this?

1. Never heat your hot end to 230 and leave it almost touching the LT print bed.
2. Zen wheels & rotary tools do not mix. The heat from just trying to sand it down a tiny bit ended up taking a lot off.

Luckily the print bed is just a piece of acrylic, it wont be too hard to replace that for if I want to do larger prints & I can machine a new zen wheel at work. I might make one without the fancy spines inside as I don't think they really flex as much as they should. Perhaps making it from nylon could help avoiding jams?
It's not about being growing up,
it's about being strategically childish.
2022-03-02 21:38
Avatar
Adrenochrome
Posts: 8
Hi Chris, if you're able to print a FroZen extruder anyhow, you should do that.
The Zen drive can work, but due to lack of adjustability, it's function is limited.
You know the tuning videos from Jon? You should do the mechanical adjustments (especially X&Y axis guides and the hot end), also if you've already finished them. Watch the entire videos carefully and don't miss any detail!
If the rods wobble when turning the shafts back and forth, the result will be wobbled, too.
A little bit wobble on the long rods is tolerable, but the short ones should look really stable and in line with the guide.
Or did your printbed wobble so much, while printing?
2022-03-05 02:33
Avatar
Cris Rowlands (CrisRowlands)
Designer
From: Cradley Heath, United Kingdom
Posts: 121
Sadly I have no access to any other printers, so no FroZen extruder for me :(

As for wobble, since I re-built Susan, it's looked a lot better.
I've got nothing to really show for it though as I've not had a print go any further than 40 layers since :/

Still, I plan on making a new wheel for the zen drive when back in work (I'm off on a training course this week) & I'll see how that goes :)
It's not about being growing up,
it's about being strategically childish.
2022-03-05 04:26
Avatar
Adrenochrome
Posts: 8
I hope a machined wheel works as expected but I think you should try to give the wheel at least a flexible coating on the tread.
There are little tolerances in the filament diameter, not only between two different reels.
The Zen should be flexible enough to compensate them, so your machined Zen should do the same in any way.

I could bet your next problem will be jammed filament in the hot end:P
2022-03-05 07:35
Avatar
Cris Rowlands (CrisRowlands)
Designer
From: Cradley Heath, United Kingdom
Posts: 121
It's not been going well here.

I accidentally snapped the top part of the case whilst re-fitting the zen drive.
Possibly at the same time, I badly pinched the green wire leading to the hot end & now it won't heat up.

The plan was to test how well Susan did without the zen drive wheel in place.
It seemed the motor could quite happily push filament through without it.
Sadly as I just said, the hot end is now borked, so I'll have to wait until I fix that :/

Time to order some new parts:
Zen drive wheel.
Top case sheet.
Hot end cables or hot end?

Anyone got any experience in how long it takes for them to send out separately bought parts?
It's not about being growing up,
it's about being strategically childish.
2022-03-09 01:42
Avatar
jbarnhardt
From: Seattle, United States
Posts: 191
Hi Chris. I have had good luck getting replacement parts after coordinating via e-mail to Makibox customer service. 2-3 weeks for me to get replacement Zen drive idler wheel and hot ends (I paid for the hot ends to avoid the delay associated with shipping the dead one back for repair, Zen drive wheel replacement was free).

With respect to your pinched cable, are you talking about the flat ribbon cable that is directly attached to the nozzle end of the hot end (which is more of an orangey-brown color on my hot end), or one of the regular old wires that goes from the Printrboard to the hot end? If it's the latter, you can just remove the pinched section and solder a replacement section of wire in there.

FYI having created a handful of Zen extruder replacements, I can assure you that the extruder mechanism will not be able to push filament through the hot end without the idler wheel in place. It takes quite a bit of force to move the filament through the hot end, and without something pressing the filament firmly against the idler wheel gear teeth, it will just slip continuously.

Best of luck in your printing efforts.

-John
2022-03-11 03:58
Avatar
Cris Rowlands (CrisRowlands)
Designer
From: Cradley Heath, United Kingdom
Posts: 121
Hi John :)

I got a next day response about the zen drive idler wheel but then I replied asking about the other items too, still waiting on another email. It's good to hear you've had luck with it though.

Sadly my drive wheel replacement will not be free as I explained I had messed it up myself, but at $3 plus $5 I can't really complain.

I was on about the regular wires, not the ribbon cable. I already did exactly what you suggested, but I'm no pro when it comes to soldering & think that it would be more reliable for me to get a new cable altogether.


Generally, I'm leaving Susan well alone until I get new parts :(
It's not about being growing up,
it's about being strategically childish.
2022-03-11 16:11
Avatar
Cris Rowlands (CrisRowlands)
Designer
From: Cradley Heath, United Kingdom
Posts: 121
After a couple of weeks, the spare parts have arrived.
Sadly it is as I feared, despite replacing the cable, the hot end will not heat.

I fear I am in the same situation so many others have ended up in; my hot end is dead.
Time to email support again :(
It's not about being growing up,
it's about being strategically childish.
2022-03-24 01:59
Avatar
Cris Rowlands (CrisRowlands)
Designer
From: Cradley Heath, United Kingdom
Posts: 121
Well, I've ordered 2 new hot ends.
I got 2 so I had a backup in case I get another failure.

I figure I'd take my broken hot end apart.
Before I started, I was seeing if I could raise the temperature using my thumb, just out of amusement.
After making it go up to 25degrees a couple of times it then kept rising, and rising.

Out of the blue, after warming up the hot end a few degrees with my own skin, the hot end has come back to life.

Once my spare hot ends arrive, I'll let you know on here & someone in the UK could have it for £12 (paypal pls).
Buying a new & unused one from me would arrive quicker than HongKong - I wont really need 2 backups.
It's not about being growing up,
it's about being strategically childish.
2022-03-25 03:24
Avatar
Cris Rowlands (CrisRowlands)
Designer
From: Cradley Heath, United Kingdom
Posts: 121
Wait... scrap that.

I took the hot end out of the x&y arms, then plugged it back in. That's when it worked.
Upon realising it was hot again, I waited for it to cool & put it all back into place on the arms.

It now wont heat up again.
I'm curious what was it that allowed it to heat up.

Perhaps there is a break in the ribbon cable & flexing it a bit connected the severed links :\
I'll investigate.
It's not about being growing up,
it's about being strategically childish.
2022-03-25 03:30
Avatar
Robin Bussell (Zedsquared+c)
From: United Kingdom
Posts: 77
Check the contacts in the socket that plugs into the hot end.
I had a problem there and had to bend the contact springs out a bit.
If you look in the end of the socket you might be able to see a difference in the dodgy contact.

Cheers,
Robin.
2022-03-25 08:15
Avatar
robthebrew
Posts: 763
Also, check the resistance between red and black (should be about 4ohms) and the 2 other colours (should be ca 100)
2022-03-26 03:50
Avatar
robthebrew
Posts: 763
Oh, Chris if you do have a spare, I'll take one (Maidenhead). Even though I'm on the E3D now.
Having chit-chatted with support about my head failure, they suggested I send it back by cheapest route (aka slowest). They would then investigate and send a warranty replacement. Or I could pay the $25 for a new one. But the $28 in my credits is apparently the wrong sort of money. Sheesh! So I have a credit I cannot spend in the shop and I cannot spend it on a replacement part.
Do I understand this? Yes, finance departments suck.
Do I think it reasonable? No.

Wait: wanna hear the next thing? I ordered a load of filament with my original purchase. I got 2 rolls with the printer.

3 months later after a few more emails, I got the rest of the filament.

Then I get an email saying they had sent 2 loads: would I like the rest with ought shipping cost?
Well, I now have more PLA than I need, but I initially said yes. Then I got no delivery (UPS) but a bill for duty/handling costs of more than the cost of the plastic.
I have not paid, and am actually unable to take delivery anyway, as I am away.
Sheesh.
2022-03-26 05:21