Fine Tuning the 3d Printer

Following advice from the SW Makers crew I gave up on the OEM software that came with my Felix and invested $150 in Simplify3d.

After working out the differences in the software. Simplify3d seems to be quite a good package and much more flexible that Repetier that is bundled with Felix 3.0

I had troubles after installing it on my Macbook Pro. It seems that the default baud rate for the USB on the Fellix three is too fast for the Macbook and Steve showed me how to adjust it at last weekends Nerd Herd at SW Makers.

One useful important thing to remember is to removed the head away from the project after the print to ensure the model is not spooled by “oose” from the extruder after the print is finished. Thanks to Paul for digging up the information on the Gcode to move the head away after the print is finish. He has posted it here, I’ll quote it below for posterity.

The Starting Routine:

G90 ; Absolute positioning
G28 ; Move to origin – go home
G1 Z10.0 F3000 ; Controlled move – take bed down 10mm
G1 Y180.0 F3000 ; Controlled move – bring head to near front of bed
G92 E0 ; Set position
G1 E20 F200 ; Controlled move – extrude 20mm of filament
G92 E0 ; Set position
G1 Y0.0 F3000 ; Controlled move – move head home
G1 Z0.0 F3000 ; Controlled move – take Z home

The Ending Routine:

M113 S0.0 ; Set extruder PWM
G91 ; Relative positioning
G92 E0 ; Set position
G1 E-5 F2000 ; Controlled move – retract filament to stop the ooze
G1 Z10 F1200 ; take the bed down 10 mm, so as to clear the printed part
G90 ; Absolute positioning
G1 X5.0 Y5.0 F3000.0 ; Controlled move – move head to 5, 5
M84 ; Disable motors
M107 ; Fan off
M104 S0 ; Set extruder temperature to 0 deg C
M140 S0 ; Set heated bed temperature to 0 deg C

Once Steve showed me how to set the software up and we checked the printer using a “thin wall” calibration test, I was able to create models with much greater strength that looked much more like what I’ve seen online.

So much stronger that I was able to print a Spool Holder for the side of my Felix. This is not the most popular holder among the 3d printers but I kind of like the way the friction brakes the spool from allowing the filament to de-spool (is that the correct term?)


As part of our presence at the SW Science Spectacular in August, we had printing a bag of “swag” for the muggles to grab as they pass our booth. Steve made up an STL luggage rage with our website on it. We hope this and our increase printer family might generate some more interest in the club and maybe even a new member or two. (PS: if you haven’t been to it yet, head over to and check out the news)

3D Printing

It finally arrived. I’m now the proud owner of a Felix 3.0 dual extruder 3D Printer. After a few SW Makers Meetings where I had to watch the printing happening I thought I’d buy myself a 40th birthday present.

I splashed out and added most of the extras, dual extruders, LCD panel and I made sure it was in Ferrari Red so it goes faster.
After almost 5 nights of building and testing, I finally got it together and worked out all the kinks in the system. (Yes, that’s code for “I put it together and wired it wrong a couple of times”, it is a learning process after all.

The first ever print from the machine (besides those I consider testing, that didn’t even stick to the print bed) was a calibration block. It prints a super thin walled rectangle to test the reliability and adjustment of the printer. I think it worked out well.

I then moved onto the tool holder. It’s a small block which clips onto the frame of the printer and holds a set of tweezers used to clean away excess filament while printing. It took 3 prints but I finally managed to get a good print from it.

Apparently I’ve got a lot to learn about 3D printing but hopefully it won’t be too long before I’ll move onto making some really cool parts for other projects around the cave.

Project – Bench Power Supply

One thing that every man’s cave needs is a power supply. I already have a 12volt regulated power supply but my interest in micro-controllers makes it ncessary to have other voltages available.

Enter the ATX power supply. The ATX power supply is found in most recent computers and many a time I’ve thrown them out in my work. I decided that the power supply from one of my old machines looked too new to junk and so I began the Bench Power Supply.

There are many instructables and how-to’s on the net which outline the process of modifying your power supply for use with other projects.

The simplest of these is to use the voltages output by the PSU without any modifications. This was my choice for this power supply project.



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