I received an e-mail from Ibrahime Abraham recently and it sent me off on another quest.
"One re-occurring issue
I have been having with the printer though is bad wiping of filament
into the waste bin. ... Once print jobs
are completed I notice that filament that has been wiped is sent behind
the waste bin and actually enters the inside of the printer housing..."
Early Cube owners observed that bits and pieces were dropping onto their print tables. There were two issues causing that. Some of the wiper trays were designed so that the wipers were too high, dragging the underside of the print housing. In newer Cube 3's that has been fixed. The wipers are just the right height to barely brush against the print housing. The fix for this, if your printer has the taller wipers is to simply trim them a bit with an Exacto knife. Just be careful you don't trim too much.
The other issue, early on, was the path of the head just prior to beginning to print. That issue was fixed by early firmware and Cubify Software updates. If you have faithfully updated both the Cubify Software and the firmware this should no longer be a big issue.
But, one issue still remains. And, that is the issue that Ibrahime wrote about. Sometimes, filament fails to drop into the wiper bin and, instead, falls onto the vents behind the wiper bin. The risk, of course, is that filament will fall through the vents and into the machine... over time having some adverse affect.
Having a 3D printer, my first thought was to try to design and print a fix. But, that was applying the wrong hammer to the problem.
Sometimes the old bailing wire and duct tape approach beats the high tech approach. And, in this case, that exactly how I tackled the problem.
Goal: Keep filament from falling on the vents behind the wiper tray
The goal was simple enough. I needed to come up with a barrier that would prevent filament from ending up on the vents. It had to be flexible enough not to impede the print head housing; but, tall enough to touch the housing. After several failed 3D printed designs (not flexible enough) the solution came from observing the wipers... which met the criteria of flexibility. I quickly abandoned the 3D printed approach for the bailing wire and duct tape approach that has served us all so well over out lifetimes. It was time to apply "Tom's Rule"
Tom's Rule: When all else fails... get out the glue gun.
Admittedly, applying Tom's Rule on a high tech 3D printer can be a bit scary. But, being braver than I am smart, I forged ahead anyway.
Solution: Wide Rubber Band, 1 pair of Scissors & a Glue Gun
The solution came in the form of 1 wide (1/4") rubber band, a pair of barber's scissors and an old and trusted glue gun.
Given the fact that rubber bands have a bad history of deteriorating rapidly, It's quite possible that I will regret my choice of working materials. But, the rubber band was, in fact, flexible. It was wide enough to be used. And, best of all it was right in front of me. That has to count for SOMETHING.
The scissors were right here, too. Only the glue gun had to be found by rummaging through draws. But, once found, the task took off with few hitches. The idea was to hot glue a section of rubber band to the back of the wiper tray housing so that the rubber band formed a barrier between the wiper housing and the vents. Here is the result.
|Rubber Band Barrier|
As you can see, I wrapped the rubber band around the back of the wiper housing as well as along the back side as I had observed that some filament seemed to escape out the back at times. The rubber is attached so that one edge will make contact with the print head housing. It is flexible enough not to be a problem at all.
Here is what it looks like when installed.
|Rubber Band Barrier in Use|
Will it Work?
Who knows. It appears to be working right now. But, not enough time has passed to call it a resounding success. And, the question is still open about the longevity of the rubber band, itself. I don't THINK it will be a harmful modification; but, even that isn't proven thus far.
I'm guessing that it may void the warranty... which is why I pointed out that I'm more brave than smart. But, if it does all that I hope it does, it should lengthen the lifetime of the printer by keeping the filament from dropping down into the innards of the machine. (Note: Those of us from the south are particularly fond of using the word 'innards' whenever we can.)
I put this out there for what it is... my solution to an issue that may or may not be all that useful. Hot gluing things to their products is rarely something that manufacturers like to embrace. Hopefully, at some point, the designers will revisit the wiper and vent issues. But, it is well down on the list of priorities right now.
I'll post updates on the effectiveness after I've had time to actually assess it. In the meantime, I just want to thank Ibrahime for setting me off on the chase for a solution!