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TEMPLOT 3D PLUG TRACK - To get up to speed with this experimental project click here.   To watch an introductory video click here.   See the User Guide at Bexhill West.

  • The Plug Track functions are experimental and still being developed. Some of the earlier pages of this topic are now out-of-date.

    For an updated overview of this project see this topic.   For some practical modelling aspects of using Plug Track see Building 3D Track.

    The assumption is that you have your own machines on which to experiment, or helpful friends with machines. Please do not send Templot files to commercial laser cutting or 3D printing firms while this project is still experimental, because the results are unpredictable and possibly wasteful.

    Some pages of this and other topics include contributions from members who are creating and posting their own CAD designs for 3D printing and laser-cutting. Do not confuse them with Templot's own exported CAD files. All files derived from Templot are © Martin Wynne.
  • The Plug Track functions are experimental and still being developed.

    For an updated overview of this project see this topic.   For some practical modelling aspects of using Plug Track see Building 3D Track.

    The assumption is that you have your own machines on which to experiment, or helpful friends with machines. Please do not send Templot files to commercial laser cutting or 3D printing firms while this project is still experimental, because the results are unpredictable and possibly wasteful.

    Some pages of this and other topics include contributions from members who are creating and posting their own CAD designs for 3D printing and laser-cutting. Do not confuse them with Templot's own exported CAD files. All files derived from Templot are © Martin Wynne.

What printer should I get ?

Quick reply >
Hi Paul,
How often are you finding you have to level or relevel the warm bed?
I am finding with my Ender 3 its frequent to say the least. I am not sure if that's me doing something wrong? Or just a quark of the FDM machines. Main reason for asking is Martin does not seem to have any issue without of level beds once there set. I wish I could say the same :)
cheers
Phil
Hi Phil,

Well, this topic ran away since you asked the question! In practice, I find very little adjustment is needed each time, and that is possibly subjective as to how much resistance the bit of paper has to being pulled out. I check each of the four corners and also the centre - the latter because having four adjustment screws instead of three is just plain daft and could cause the glass to bow slightly.

Cheers,
Paul
 
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I find very little adjustment is needed each time
@Paul Boyd

Hi Paul,

I'm glad you said that. :)

The way this topic was going I thought we might be frightening folks away from FDM printing. Or creating a storm of support requests!

Once I've got the levelling ok I barely touch it. My nozzle priming for each job runs round the perimeter of the bed, and I pull it off the bed while the job proper starts. I then measure the thickness of the run at each corner, and check that it's 0.3mm everywhere. Which it usually is, generally within the resolution of the Z lift 0.29mm..0.31mm which is as close as you can expect to get. If it's wrong I can abort the print before it goes any further, but I can only recall needing to do that once. I only use the paper method when the printer is new. After that I just check the thickness of the priming run.

It's normally so close that I can print timbering bricks on different printers, and they clip together fine and level.

cheers,

Martin.
 
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@Hayfield

Hi John,

That's not an upgrade, it's the same printer from a different supplier at a higher price.

The one I obtained was this one:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08CZD7ZLC

but it appears to have gone out of stock on Amazon since the last time I looked.

• There's a lot to say here now, because I have just ended up ordering my 6th FDM printer! I need a boiled egg!



1. I don't know anything about that new supplier, so I can't actually say whether I recommend them, but the printer should be exactly the same.

That's quite a high price for it though. You can order the same thing direct from Kingroon for £122 post free to UK:


kingroon_eu.png


(I know it's post free, because I tried entering my UK postcode on the ordering form and the shipping changed to Free.)

Here is the link for that, click the EU box and click GBP on the drop-down top right to see the UK price:

https://kingroon.com/products/official-kingroon-kp3s-3d-printer?variant=43091832864986

Again I can't say whether I recommend ordering that way because I got mine from Amazon (for £140 I think).



2. If you were happy to pay more, they have slightly larger/better models. For example this one looks excellent for our purposes:

kingroon_us.png


Unfortunately it's only available from USA, but when I entered my UK address details it again came up Free shipping! Here's the link:

https://kingroon.com/products/official-kingroon-kp3s-pro-s1-3d-printer

I can't really believe that, so I ordered one to find out! The final charge to my PayPal account was £153. I won't be surprised to find I have to pay more shipping/vat when it arrives, but as always the only way to find out for sure is to order one.

Here's the spec which makes it just about perfect for plug track:

200mm x 200mm bed. Bigger than the smaller one by enough to be worthwhile.

Linear rails on all 3 axes, with a double rail on the Y-axis.

Direct drive extruder.

Glass bed.

Manual levelling.

Belt tensioners.

If it lives up to that, and arrives here for £153 it will go to the top of my list for a recommended FDM printer for plug track beginners. That might be a big IF of course. The only way to find out is to wait and see.

Obviously I don't need 6 FDM printers. I can see eBay waiting in the wings. :)



Sorry John I don't know if this reply has helped you. The 180mm one for £122 is definitely a good buy, and with the Alkaid resin printer at around £90 anyone could get started with both for not much more than £200. A lot of RTR locos cost more than that. :)

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Martin

Thank you very much for all of the advice, I am loathed to buy expensive items from abroad since DHL or a similar company wanted £70 + for items someone else brought from Shapeways and in the end did not want to use them. As you say there is import duty etc then if something goes wrong I can fall back on Amazon. Plus its a birthday present from various family members

Its all ordered, machine arriving 8/9th the glass a few days later PLA & glue tomorrow

After watching James in his video I think I will be buying one of the very cheap ones especially as there is water washable resin now, but that will have to wait whilst I get a handle using the FDM machine.

Now I need to find/download a couple of programs plus get a file or two ready

Thanks again for all the help
 
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@Hayfield

Hi John,

That's great. :)

Zoom meeting on the 8th, so if you have received it by then we can help you identify the stuff in the box!

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Martin

Firstly I hope you are feeling better and things are getting easier

I have just read your review again and its a bit more clearer now I both have the machine and watched a YouTube setting up video, one question is do I need to adjust things further once I have set up the machine

I started off using the standard Kingroon settings supplied in Cura, for a test bit of timbering. I didn't expect the results to be very good, but in fact they were awful and unusable for plug track, with mis-shaped sockets.

Cura finally agreed to use the same settings I had been using on the Neptune. The results are excellent and easily the equal of those from the Neptune, and possibly better. It just needs some tweaking to the shrinkage and flow settings to get accurate sizes, no doubt resulting from the change to a direct-drive extruder.


No rush to answer and no need to initially go into too much detail

John
 
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Martin

Firstly I hope you are feeling better and things are getting easier

I have just read your review again and its a bit more clearer now I both have the machine and watched a YouTube setting up video, one question is do I need to adjust things further once I have set up the machine

I started off using the standard Kingroon settings supplied in Cura, for a test bit of timbering. I didn't expect the results to be very good, but in fact they were awful and unusable for plug track, with mis-shaped sockets.

Cura finally agreed to use the same settings I had been using on the Neptune. The results are excellent and easily the equal of those from the Neptune, and possibly better. It just needs some tweaking to the shrinkage and flow settings to get accurate sizes, no doubt resulting from the change to a direct-drive extruder.


No rush to answer and no need to initially go into too much detail

John
@Hayfield

hi john, unfortunately i am not yet feeling much better. i think what's happened to me is just beginning to hit me. i have one arm strapped up and unusable, and it is going to be weeks and months to get fully back to normal. just at the moment i feel dreadful.

i wanted to be with you on here as you got started, running my kingroon at the same time, providing files and settings to get you going easily. but my kingroon isn't currently set up, and just trying to type one-finger is an effort.

perhaps the best way would be to do a zoom meeting between us about it. there is nothing wrong with my talking.:)

if you say a convenient time we could perhaps spend an hour or two going over everything. at present during the day i have a constant stream of kind neighbours and family coming in, so saying a time when i'm sure to be free is difficult. but i should be left to myself for the evening, maybe some time this evening or tomorrow?

i have a cura profile for the kingroon which i can send you, but just doing that won't work, cura will reject it. first you need to set up a custom printer to replace the built-in kingroon settings. it's all easy, just clicks, i did post it all for phil g a few weeks ago. we can go through it live on zoom. in preparation you could download the full version of cura instead of the simple version supplied with the printer. or we can do that live too.

i have a different way of doing the levelling, etc., from the usual one in the manual, and i modify the gcode so that there are no axis reversals on z. this means backlash is irrelevant and you can slack off the z wheels to run properly free.

you do need to be able measure thicknesses with a digital caliper -- do you have one?

the kingroon can produce excellent plug track results and filing jigs, but not necessarily using any of the settings supplied with it. generally the same applies to all the other fdm printers i have here. the manufacturers don't seem to have heard of plug track and assume folks need toby jugs printed as fast as possible. :)

typing this much has worn me out and i need to stop for a bit. sorry about being in this mess.

martin.
 
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Martin

Sorry to hear your are is not as good as you hoped, but at our age simply getting over something takes ages let alone restoring things that have been torn, I think the first couple of weeks if not more your arm just needs rest

Thank You and yes a zoom chat would be very good, yes I have an electronic calliper and can chat whilst the in laws are watching their favourite programs

I will try and both set the height and level the plate by watching the tutorial on YouTube

Thanks again and please don't feel obliged to do anything,

John
 
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Hi Martin,

Sorry to hear that you have had little or no improvement in your shoulder, I can sympathise with you, I sprained my ankle a fortnight ago when I slipped on a granite kerb stone, but apart from the swelling going down the pain levels are remaining obstantly constant. Walking more than a few hundred yards is about my limit, previously it was 2 or 3 miles a day.

Best wishes!
 
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With the Kingroon printer I am having an issue in levelling the build plate, even when I get each corner levelled the centre is still slightly high

Any thoughts please
 
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Might be worth looking into kingroom 3D Touch sensor. Since I had a CR touch fitted to my Ender 3PRO I have no levelling issues. I switch on my machine load the gcode and walk away.
 
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Been watching a few YouTube video's and have managed to set up the printer

1718.jpeg



I wish I was 7 again where everything is possible, still the printer is chatting away

1719.jpeg


Ended up with a food bag clip

Firstly what do I clean the build plate with ?

Next up I need programs on my computer, but that's for another day

John
 
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message ref: 8995
Been watching a few YouTube video's and have managed to set up the printer

View attachment 7714


I wish I was 7 again where everything is possible, still the printer is chatting away

View attachment 7715

Ended up with a food bag clip

Firstly what do I clean the build plate with ?

Next up I need programs on my computer, but that's for another day

John
@Hayfield

hi john,

well done! :)

you are now a fully paid-up member of the templot club 3d printing collective!

what do you want to clean off the build plate? anything printed on there should break away as you flex the plate. but do not flex it too much as this will prevent it going back properly level. for stubborn remains the best tool is a window scraper from the pound shop (stanley blade holder):

index.php


the scraper supplied with the printer may not be sharp enough.

martin.
 
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1720.jpeg


Went out for a stroll this morning along the estuary at Maldon (Prominade Park) and was caught red handed upon our return with a large box on the porch.

I now need a shopping list of essentials
 
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Hi John,
Two new programs to learn at once :) It will be like going back to school. Chitubox is the one for resin printing, it presents as a software package somewhat differently to Cura, James video is a very good starting point.
For what its worth, I found the resin printer by far the easiest to get up and running, mainly because there is only really the z axis distance and the exposure time to sort out.

I found the cones of calibration to be by far the best STL file to get your exposure time right. basically its a bit of a suck it and see, where you start with an exposure time. zip flies attached.

I find for my Mars 3 pro, an exposure time of 2.3 seconds is a good time, I have however found that it's both resin type and resin temp specific. The idea of the cones is on the pass side you should have fully formed cones which do meet in the middle. On the failure side they should not quite meet. when you get this result your good to start printing, chairs for example.

Two things to be mindful of, the resin is very light sensitive, never print with direct sunlight present, you will also find the clean up after the print has finished is a bit of a messy process. Gloves should always be worn, and I personally also have a carbon face mask on when handling the resin from the build plate to the cleaning bath, and then onto the UV curing.
I am personally still using Elegoo ABS like resin but only because I still have three unopened bottles.
People are starting to report good results with some of the water washable ABS like resins these days.
cheers
Phil
 

Attachments

  • The Cones of Calibration - 5416700.zip
    2.9 MB · Views: 50
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@Hayfield

this is the priming rectangle

john_priming_rectangle.png


Code:
;Kingroon prime perimeter
M413 S0 ;Disable power-loss recovery
G28 ;home
M420 S1 Z0 ;auto-level with no fade
G28 ;home
G92 E0 ;Reset Extruder
G1 Z5 F1500 ;Move Z Axis up
G92 E0 ;Reset Extruder
G1 X4 Y9 Z0   F1500.0 ; to start position and touch - prevent backlash
G1 X5 Y10 Z0.3 F1500.0 ; up to priming run
G1 Y170    F1500.0 E14 ;Draw perimeter
G1 X175    F1500.0 E28
G1 Y10     F1500.0 E42
G1 X5.4   F1500.0 E56
G1 Y169.6  F1500.0 E70
G1 X174.6  F1500.0 E84
G1 Y10.4   F1500.0 E98
G1 X5.8   F1500.0 E112
G1 Y30 Z0  F1500.0 ;touch again for backlash
G92 E0 ;Reset Extruder
 
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Been watching a few YouTube video's and have managed to set up the printer

View attachment 7714


I wish I was 7 again where everything is possible, still the printer is chatting away

View attachment 7715

Ended up with a food bag clip

Firstly what do I clean the build plate with ?

Next up I need programs on my computer, but that's for another day

John
@Hayfield

hi john

with some struggle i have managed to set up and run the kingroon to make a small bit of test track on the plastic bed, instead of the glass i was using before.

it's fine. the trick is to leave it on the machine, wait for the part to fully cool, and remove it with the windows scraper.

taking a flexible bed off the printer and flexing it, and then expecting it to go back to the same level as before is a daft idea.

the test brick quality is excellent -- may need a tiny adjustment in templot on the y-axis shrinkage.

I noticed your food clip is white. IF IF IF you have a reel of toughened PLA-PLUS in brown, grey or black (colour affects the results), we can do a zoom meeting maybe tomorrow and get you started live on zoom with my cura settings.

no point in trying it with bog-standard white PLA, the repeated retractions will grind it away and not be effective.

i'm too exhausted by the struggle to get it running one-handed to do any more tonight. but i can zoom tomorrow morning or evening. i have a supermarket delivery booked in the afternoon. or leave it until monday, or whenever.

martin.
 
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@Hayfield

hi john,

do you have a reel of PLA-PLUS filament?

when would be a good time to do a zoom and get you started?

cheers,

martin.
 
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Martin

Thanks for all the help

Yes I do have a reel of grey PLA plus and will change the filament later

After 6 pm would be good as I can shut myself away

I am having issues in adding programs, I have put both the stick and plugged the printer into the computer but unable to download any files

Tried to download cura separately and its not downloading, at a bit of a loss at the moment as my son in law is out on his way to West Ham
 
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Martin

Thanks for all the help

Yes I do have a reel of grey PLA plus and will change the filament later

After 6 pm would be good as I can shut myself away

I am having issues in adding programs, I have put both the stick and plugged the printer into the computer but unable to download any files

Tried to download cura separately and its not downloading, at a bit of a loss at the moment as my son in law is out on his way to West Ham
@Hayfield

hi john,

ok fine. i will start the zoom at 6pm today and you can join in when you are ready. anyone else welcome too.

i'm sure we can sort out any downloading problems

can your computer be close enough to the printer to use the supplied usb cable? you may have a longer usb cable from an old paper printer or scanner.

or did you print the bag clip using the little memory card instead of a cable?

cheers,

martin.
 
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I printed the clip from the memory card, I will go to our box of leads and see if I have a longer lead if not I will get a longer one from Amazon
 
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Martin

Sorry I forgot to ask how your are is today, hope you are feeling better

John
@Hayfield

hi john,

thanks for asking. not much better yet. for some reason typing at the computer is physically exhausting. that's why it will be easier on zoom.

cheers,

martin.
 
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@Hayfield

hi john,

this is a gcode file for a test run on the printer. you don't need cura or a computer cable or any programs downloaded for this. if you put it on the memory card in the printer, it will print.

it won't be any good first time. the idea is to keep repeating it, measuring the results, and adjusting the levelling wheels accordingly.

if it seems to be scrunching too close to the bed or making nasty noises, just switch the power off. we can sort it out later.

the clicking noises while it is printing the sleepers are normal.

it is for a 3-sleeper brick and should take about 30 minutes to print, which is the going rate for the timbering bricks, about 10 minutes per sleeper.

before it does the sleepers it will go round the perimeter of the table twice. leave it all to cool before trying to remove it, ideally with the scraper. including the perimeter rectangle which we want to measure. before removing the rectangle, mark the front left corner with ink or something.

martin.
 

Attachments

  • john_test_run.gcode
    531.6 KB · Views: 53
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Thank you, sorry lunch is nearly ready, but how do I
transfer the file to the memory card please

Cura is now installed, I also found that the card was in the printer not the stick so that is why I was having issues
 
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but how do I
transfer the file to the memory card please

can someone else explain this for john please as i have a supermarket delivery arriving rihjt now which will take me some time to sort out

the card is suppled in a usb adaptor.

martin.
 
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I think my post is/might be confusing

Cura is installer
When I try and load the Kingroom software its starts then very quickly sayes program failed to load

Looked everywhere to find a downloadable program on line
 
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@Hayfield

hi john,

this is a gcode file for a test run on the printer. you don't need cura or a computer cable or any programs downloaded for this. if you put it on the memory card in the printer, it will print.

it won't be any good first time. the idea is to keep repeating it, measuring the results, and adjusting the levelling wheels accordingly.

if it seems to be scrunching too close to the bed or making nasty noises, just switch the power off. we can sort it out later.

the clicking noises while it is printing the sleepers are normal.

it is for a 3-sleeper brick and should take about 30 minutes to print, which is the going rate for the timbering bricks, about 10 minutes per sleeper.

before it does the sleepers it will go round the perimeter of the table twice. leave it all to cool before trying to remove it, ideally with the scraper. including the perimeter rectangle which we want to measure. before removing the rectangle, mark the front left corner with ink or something.

martin.


Martin

Misunderstood what you asked me, thankfully a lightbulb lit and I asked the wife how to transfer the file to the card

Happy to report its working


11.jpeg


Thanks John
 
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@Hayfield

hi john,

looking good!

the zoom is now live if you want to join when you are ready

martin
 
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john's A6
 

Attachments

  • emb6_2_fixed.stl
    635.8 KB · Views: 52
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A very good session today with Martin and Phil helping me to both set up the printer and get going with a print. A few false starts and me not downloading 3D builder not helping the matter, but it shows what a good little machine the Kingroon KP3S is

13.jpeg


This is about 20% through the printing.

Thank you both very much for your kind assistance

John
 
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14.jpeg
I think this is about 2/3rds through printing

15.jpeg
A close up of 2/3 rds though

16.jpeg
Finished on build plate

17.jpeg
Shows up better ob a coloured background

18.jpeg
I decided to tempt fate and use old prototype chairs

No joint or block chairs and perhaps I should have brought brown filament for photographic purposes. But as a test print a first class result and shows what can be achieved

Please note I was using 1+ years old chairs which are not to the latest specification and the fit may not be as good as the latest plug fit chairs.

Thank you guys for last nights support
 
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This is the curaprofile for timbering bricks:
Hi Martin, Should I be able to download and load this profile file into my Cura software and utilise? I have tried changing the extension to a zip and decompressing which gives me 2 files but these do not seem to be recognised within the Cura profile import dialogue box.
 
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