Sunday, 28 April 2013

Botqueue is amazing at queueing reprap prints and managing botfarms!

A while ago I posted about BFQ - my design for a Bot Farm Queue to manage my printers for me:

graphmastur kindly told me about which is very similar to the design I proposed and is now very reliable. The open source software is being worked on almost everyday by Zack Hoeken and other commiters and any bugs you raise are quickly sorted out.

I have been using botqueue for probably 99% of my prints since mid february and have had almost no issues with it. The only time I haven't used it was when I tried to print a 100MB STL file of a statue which was too big to upload to

As you can see on their stats page I am their biggest user with my trusty printrbot taking the lead:
I am about to add 4 more printers to botqueue which may increase my lead, but competition aside people really should start using it more. Its a great tool once your printers are set up perfectly and just work every time.

The printing process is now much simpler. I can upload either an STL file or a gcode file to my botqueue account. If I upload an STL it will be sliced with my default settings. When a printer becomes available the next job on the queue is downloaded and the printer starts again.

I've just persuaded a friend to start using Botqueue as he normally prepares files in his bedroom then walks downstairs with an SD card to start the prints in his garage. With a simple webcam (which Botqueue supports) he can now start prints from his room and watch on the webcam if anything goes wrong.

Nozzle Jam

My Printrbot has been chugging away quietly printing products in the corner and until last weekend it hadn't had any issues for months. Then some of my printer suddenly stopped pushing enough filament through and the quality degraded.

It came at a good time for me as the prints are still usable, but not good enough to sell and I have therefore had time to print the parts for my next few printers.

As I started investigating I tried all sorts including changing the hobbed bolt but none of it worked. It was when I couldn't push the filament through by hand that I realised the ubis hotend was jammed so I simply took the nozzle out, put the temperature up to 230C and extruded about 50cm of clear pla filament through. It started out being full of bits of what I assume was black ABS in it although I'm not sure. As I kept extruding the extrusion became more and more clear. I then replaced the nozzle and it was easy to push through by hand so I put a print on.

It's been perfect ever since!!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Lucky Escape on Reprap 3D Printer!

This morning I woke up to a nicely finished print, except 1 small thing:

Somehow one of the wires to my fan got caught in the print. I know my wires were loose but this was unexpected!!

For anyone who cares the print finished fine, only the fan stopped working but it wasn't really needed on this print.