Spare rear panel?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by orcinus, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. Kenneth Albanowski

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    I hadn't though, at least not on obvious interfaces; I only used it for the M8 bolts on the extrusions. All of the acryilc/threadlock interaction is from squeezeout between the ends of the extrusions and the top/bottom plates.
     
  2. Paul Arden

    Paul Arden Well-Known Member

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    Damn, I thought I had escaped this fate but I've got cracks in all but one of my panels now. Definitely only used threadlocker where specified and was fairly sparing with it. Not sure how they developed in the rear panel since I had not installed that until multiple days after the last time I used threadlocker so it should have cured by then. They were definitely barely tightened as well.

    Feels like very few people have managed to *not* crack their panels. They are not cheap to replace either. I think it would be good to see something different and more resilient used at least for rear panel that Z and electronics are mounted on since addressing that basically requires a full disassembly of most of the printer.
     
  3. GiulianoM

    GiulianoM Member

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    Not so difficult, take the back panel off, take the top plate off.

    Loosen the screws for the electronics panel, and slide the entire panel up and out.

    This is actually how I'm planning to install my replacement CF panels, but with real T-nuts instead of the twist-n-lock.
     
  4. Kenneth Albanowski

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    My panels seem a bit more stable now; they haven't developed any more cracks while sitting outside the printer, after I wiped them down with water, dried them, welded the broken parts back on and tried to get a bit of solvent into the visible cracks that haven't popped out yet. (I wonder if I should drill into them to try to get the solvent further in to those cracks.) I noticed some gummy residue on the edges of the panels where they had been exposed to threadlock -- it's not clear if that's the acrylic itself going gooey, or a small amount of loctite that cured against the frame. I've tried to gently scrape it off.

    However the panels haven't been in the garage, are unmounted, and the weather has been milder. I wonder whether the temperature swings are a contributor. (Looking up thermal expansion coefficients is giving me units that aren't very helpful, not sure if, say, 20 deg F would be enough to cause trouble.)

    I also cleaned all of the frame loctited areas with a wet towel, there was plenty of 242 reside left that either was still wet, or at least could be wiped up.

    I'm unsure how to reassemble the electronics panel... GiulianoM suggested just lifting the top plate off, but that has the same problem as trying to replace the z-axis: when I re-threadlock the screws for reassembly, I wind up with uncured threadlock in the vicinity of the panel, and there we go again. I may give the z-axis replacement a go with VC-3 locked screws.

    (Someone mentioned pre-applying the threadlocker, and Greg's instructions also implies 'preparing' parts in a few places. As far as I understand, the common blue Loctite 242 threadlock is not intended for pre-application significantly before assembly: it doesn't dry on the part, and if it did, it wouldn't lock properly when inserted. There may be actual Loctite products for this, and VC-3 is specifically intended for pre-prepared parts. Maybe we've just had a catastrophic misunderstanding of what 'threadlocker' is, and Greg found something else blue that is mostly harmless to acrylic?)

    Yeah. I might have a go at getting a milled PC panel, but I'd have to find a shop to do it, I don't have the CNC equipment myself.
     
  5. Spoon Unit

    Spoon Unit Well-Known Member

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    The original pictures showed Loctite 242 I believe. I had only a tiny amount so needed a break to source more, and in that time, my cracks developed on the electronics panel. It then took almost 2 weeks before I had the replacement to allow me to continue, so in that time, it's entirely possible that any threadlock in the extrusions had fully cured, which then insulated me from further damage. Once I had the replacement, I then built but was extremely careful about where I used threadlock. It's possible I'll pay for that in time; basically if the threadlock might touch any plastic, I didn't apply it. I also sourced a slightly different threadlock from 242, instead opting for RS Components T42. This was more gel-like than the more-liquid 242, but the bottle allowed me to push a little bit of gel out the top, and then just spin the thread around it, which let me pick up relatively little. After the build I now have zero cracks. I do keep checking for them, but I think I'm in the clear now.
     
  6. orcinus

    orcinus Well-Known Member

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    I left on a trip for a week and a half, i wonder what i'll find when i get back.

    Before i left, the replacement panels that i've installed with 0 threadlock *anywhere* on the extrusions (i even took care to clean each extrusion with ethanol and let it dry before i installed the new panels) were fine, although i've replaced the metal washers with silicone ones. Now wondering if i'll also find they cracked after a while... We'll see.
     
  7. GiulianoM

    GiulianoM Member

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    I do have to give kudos to E3D Support, they're sending me replacement acrylic panels.

    So my first priority will be getting the printer up and running on acrylic, and upgrading will be a lower priority.
     
  8. wHack

    wHack Well-Known Member

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    They are shipping some out to me as well. I don't look forward to the rebuild. But if my fears are correct I might need a new Z-Axis as well.
     
  9. GiulianoM

    GiulianoM Member

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    What happened to your Z-Axis?
     
  10. wHack

    wHack Well-Known Member

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  11. GiulianoM

    GiulianoM Member

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    Replacement acrylic panels from E3D arrived today, will be swapping them out over the weekend.

    I also received some 6mm aluminum composite panels, what were my original choice... It's surprising how heavy they are.
     
  12. Rob Heinzonly

    Rob Heinzonly Well-Known Member

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    @GiulianoM
    I was just going to ask if anyone has tried that ;). This was my first choice also, but the only sizes that are available are 4 or 6 mm. I currently have a 5 mm white cast acrylic backpanel that I milled with a MPCNC - CNC router I build last year from Bigbox leftovers.

    I have been told that cast acrylic is superior over extruded acrylic, because it has less tension and will not crack that easy as extruded acrylic, and is easyier to drill, cut and saw.
     
  13. GiulianoM

    GiulianoM Member

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    The acrylic panels are actually closer to 4mm in thickness rather than 5mm...

    I just had ordered the panels without measuring the originals...
     
  14. Killercds

    Killercds Member

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    I didn't use any threadlocker on the acrylic panels, and this morning I'm seeing some large cracks on the corners :\
     
  15. Ben Kay

    Ben Kay Well-Known Member

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    I also avoided thread locker anywhere near acrylic panels...indeed I left the whole frame assembled without acrylic panels for 5 days...then wiped down the profiles just to avoid any squeezed out/leaked thread locker.

    Went back to the machine this morning, and crack through the lower right hole of one of the side panels :(
     
  16. Greg Holloway

    Greg Holloway Administrator
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    Can you post photos of the cracks when you mention you have cracked panels please.
     
  17. Spoon Unit

    Spoon Unit Well-Known Member

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    Alongside the 'Like' button we really need a 'Commiserations' button.
     
    Killercds and GiulianoM like this.
  18. Killercds

    Killercds Member

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    Here's the results. Think they'll hold up for now, but I gotta admit I'm surprised how quickly things formed.
    Cracks I've noticed so far are on the top-screws and rear-bottom screw for the right panel, top-rear and front-bottom, and bottom middle on the electronics panel.

    Electronics_Panel_Bottom.jpg Left_Panel_Back_Top.jpg Left_Panel_Front_Bottom.jpg Right_Panel_Back_Bottom.jpg Right_Panel_Back_Top.jpg Right_Panel_Front_Top.jpg
     
  19. Spoon Unit

    Spoon Unit Well-Known Member

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    Sad really. I'm sure we had this fiasco with the BigBox too for some people. Touch wood, my fortune in developing cracks before completion and having to wait two weeks for replacements is the ticket that saved me from anything further. When I finally came to replace my electronics panel, the corners just fell away as the cracks had effectively severed them completely.
     
  20. Paul Arden

    Paul Arden Well-Known Member

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    Here are my cracks. Some just show some degradation where I’m guessing cracks will develop, some are just outright cracks.
     

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