Any recommended designs on adding a cooling fan to the AO-101 extruder assembly? Any directions on connecting the fan into the controller for automatic control?
I find a fan to cool the plastic down makes a world on difference in what I can print successfully. I’ve only used ABS so far.
I built a printrbot last year and had terrible issues with the prints deforming even if they were solid objects. I tried changing all sorts of parameters such as print speed and temperature. With little success.
I saw the same thing with the AO-101 when I first started using it. The AO-101 is a much more solid printer. I was trying to print a basic cube and ended up with sagging. Changing print speeds and fill patterns did not help. Suspecting heat on the part was causing the deformation, I got the idea to print 5 cubes. The movement was enough that the layers had enough time to cool down and the print improved significantly. So I seemed to be on the right track.
Next I tried a hair dryer on cool. It made a huge improvement. But I had to modulate it on and off to avoid cooling down the extruder too much. I did a bit of web searching and didn’t find a fan mount that looked compatible with the AO-101 extruder. I couldn’t see where there was a provision to mount anything extra to the extruder.
So I set out to make one myself. Mounting it on the front seem the only option. Being brand new, I didn’t want to disassemble anything. There are flat surfaces on either side of the main extruder gear. So I decide to use double side tape to be expedient. I had a wide variety of various size PC fans. I also conveniently had a power supply with hard drive power connector on it that the fans supported. I found a 50mm fan put out more than enough air. Big issue was keeping it from cooling the extruder. It was also a good excuse to learn OpenSCAD.
My first design was multiple pieces and really kludgy. But it was good enough to bootstrap me to a second generation design. It is a single piece print. I even used some bendy straws to direct the air flow! It probably is not printable with out some sort of fan to start with. I’m not totally happy with this design but it seems to work. It seems a little airflow makes a big difference. I will attempt to add it to thingiverse when I get the chance.
I’m thinking about a Mark III with a 40mm fan. The 50mm seems over kill considering how much air is block. I’m eyeing the front bolts on the linear bushing mount for a permanent connection. If I get longer bolts, I probably can use that. The double sided tape actually is not doing bad.
Or someone can point me to an existing solution.
I am a real believer in a fan now. I can usually just print without having to worry about slicer settings and temperatures.