My 3D printing adventures were interrupted by a failure of my X-truder, one of the more innovative features of the RXL. Nathan, head engineer at QU-BD sent me a replacement and I wired it in and sent him back the broken one. To my dismay, when I tried it out, I saw that the extruder fan was not working. I ran a continuity test that ruled out a problem with the cable and surmised that the problem had to be with the fan itself. I ruled out a polarity problem because I presumed that the fan would just spin the wrong way. As it happened, I had a replacement fan on hand (intended for another project) and so I disconnected the non-working one (which I prematurely dissected) and replaced it with the new one. To my frustration and astonishment, the new fan did not run. Now, totally confused, I reversed the polarity of this DC fan and voila! it worked! Even Nathan at QU-BD was stumped. He later told me that he tried to reverse polarity on several fans in the workshop. Some spun backwards, some did nothing.
So I was back up and running -- that is until my next self-induced mishap. Noticing that a certain print was going to go on longer that my filament spool, I devised to wait right until the last of the old filament got sucked down through the extruder and then I would immediately feed the new filament through. This did not work out as planned. The old filament became so lodged in the extruder that I had to disassemble it to get the filament out.
Once everything was back together, I made a personal vow never to try such a dopey move again. My next foible was unexpected. I assumed that scaling an STL file in Slic3r would be a simple matter. It seems to be a bug with Slic3r itself. Here is the original Koch Snowflake vase next to a 2X scaled version:
The one on the left came out perfectly but the one on the right had holes and imperfections around its widest part:
At first I thought it was a printing fluke, but it happened a second time. I will need to research this problem.
The only other new thing that I tried was a new type of filament, namely Taulman 645 Nylon. It really is quite amazing. It is both flexible and incredibly strong. Here is the same vase being printed in Nylon:
The resulting printed part is very resilient as you can see here:
Now, onto the Eiffel Tower!