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Steward's Notes

Environment, Making and Everything in Between

Carriage Upgrade and Cooling Fan Wiring- Essential Monoprice Mini Mods

Over the past several months I’ve been working with the Monoprice Select Mini V2 it is a solid printer right out of the box especially for the price. Despite all of the amazing things about this printer, it does come with a couple of small flaws, many of which can be fixed for pennies with a simple print and some cheap hardware. Today I’m looking at the E3Dv6 carriage upgrade by US Water Rockets. As a bonus I’ve included a short guide on how to effectively wire the LED and part cooling fan that is meant to be attached to this modification.

I’d had my eye on this upgrade soon after picking up this printer. I’d noticed that the stock carriage for the E3Dv6 style extruder that comes with the printer causes the gantry to tilt ever so slightly forwards as the center of gravity is quite far away from the linear rails. Additionally, printing calibration cubes demonstrated that the printer had a fair amount of play in the x axis. Initially in order to fix this I had printed some belt tensioners also designed by US Water Rockets. However, this carriage design improves the belt tensioning system dramatically by integrating it directly into the carriage.

This upgrade was also an opportunity to upgrade the stock plastic GT2 pulleys with full metal ones (Shout out to spool3d.ca). The part cooling fan is the only part of this print where I could see there being room for improvement, the rest of this upgrade is rock solid and really made a measurable improvement in the printer’s accuracy.

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Glass Bed Upgrade – Essential Monoprice Mini Mods

Over the past several months I’ve been working with the Monoprice Select Mini V2 it is a solid printer right out of the box especially for the price. Despite all of the amazing things about this printer, it does come with a couple of small flaws, many of which can be fixed for pennies with a simple print and some cheap hardware. Today we’ll look at the glass bed upgrade.

There are a plethora of upgrades that can be found on thingiverse.com for this printer, which is a testament to the incredible community around it. Not all mods are created equal, and I’ll be going over a couple of the ones that I’ve settled on to fix some of the common issues.

First up is a glass bed upgrade. The stock build plate on the mini has great bed adhesion, however the aluminum bed has a tendency to warp and deform in funny ways, especially at higher bed temperatures. It very quickly got so bad on my printer that it became apparent that it needed to be fixed. Using alligator clips and a glass bed was a quick and easy temporary solution to the problem, however the clearance of the z axis gantry was not enough to make this a long term fix as they severely reduced the size of the Y axis and had a tendency to come loose as the build surface moved back and forth.

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Functional 3D Printing

About 2 months ago I picked up a 3D printer to fiddle around with and work on some projects. After some initial fiddling and troubleshooting I’ve finally got it to the point of being able to produce quality and functional prints consistently. I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of 3D printing, it seems like an excellent opportunity to bring manufacturing back to communities and reduce the significant carbon footprint of many of the everyday implements we use. Instead of injection molded items being shipped from the far east by the millions, we can manufacture as many as we need right in our home towns. It is also an opportunity to recycle products that we use locally instead of shipping our recycling abroad. Currently on the market there is a plethora of filament that is created from recycled bottles, wood, pulp or other manufacturing byproducts.

Filament is the feedstock for most 3D printing
applications. It comes in an variety of colours
and can have many different properties.

As the technology progresses, I could see how this could be a significant game changer in manufacturing, traditional supply chains, and sustainability.  Below is a sample of some of the products that I have designed and printed for my own household. All of the designs required less than 20 minutes to draft and printed for 2¢ – 20¢

If you would like the designs to print for yourself I would be happy to share. Just drop me a line!