Where to start?

Discussion in 'BigBox General Chat' started by joea, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. joea

    joea Member

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    I'm new to "3D Printing". Ran across a Big Box at an Estate Sale and decided to chance it.

    So, I am looking for some basic guidance on, well, the basics. We could start with how to identify what model I have and go from there.

    Thanks for any assistance.
     
  2. Old_Tafr

    Old_Tafr Well-Known Member

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    Hmm

    Pictures would help a lot. The BigBox was made to be modified, i.e. it does not come in "Model A" "Model B" etc. which have an exact specification. It was available via KickStarter or built by E3D. Certainly in the KS availability you had a choice of single or dual extruder and various software add-ons so there are a couple of basic offerings and if not modified it may be one of them.

    Have a look and see if the original KS info is still on the web.

    Post photos of..

    The who printer from the front.
    The extruder(s)
    The control panel at the front centre
    The controller, through the hole in the base, i.e from above that is the hatch is just behind the control panel

    Don't start dismantling anything until you have more information, e.g. you can snap off the SD card in the Raspberry Pi in the base (nightmare to get at the insides of the base) Good idea to look at RHS then lower left of same to see if the SD card is in The card slot is VERY difficult to see, it is only a few mm up and 7 cm in from the bottom left corner of the RHS of the printer.
     
  3. joea

    joea Member

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    Thanks for the illuminating reply.

    I have attached a few pictures. The SD card is not installed, apparently no one knows where it is. I guess I will attempt to research that issue a bit, while I await more info here.

    I'll hazard a guess this was a kit, as many of the ty-wraps are still tadpoles (tails attached). I'd not think E3D would send it out like that.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. joea

    joea Member

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    Upon further review . . .

    From the lack of any graphics on the front of the box, should I take it as further indication this was a "kit" and not pre-assembled?

    Not only does the SD not exist, there appears to be nothing for it to plug into. I take it a Pi should be there, in addition to the control board, but none appears to exist.

    I do not have a picture of the rear of the machine, but there are 2 spool positions, one currently empty. Position 1 has a filament "pusher" near it and a tube leading to the extruder area. Position 2 has a spool and a tube, that leads to a "pusher" mounted on the carriage. Seems like there are two nozzel/heater heads as well.

    Hope that helps provide some clues as I am finding it a bit difficult to come up with helpful information on my own.
     
  5. Greg_The_Maker

    Greg_The_Maker Administrator
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  6. joea

    joea Member

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    So . . .

    I've been skimming over the build manual as most of that was done some time ago.

    While I am tempted to ask a few more questions, but probably better to just read on.

    Probably many puzzlements will resolve as I read further.
     
  7. joea

    joea Member

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    I do have a burning question.

    Is there some place where one can find a relatively concise listing/description of what options were available and/or how to identify them at a glance (or two)? That would save neophytes such as myself a lot of consternation, at least at this stage. The intended purpose of those options would also be helpful.

    I'm finding the references to "dual x-carriage", "hybrid", "early" versions and have to attempt to figure that out as I run into them.
     
  8. Old_Tafr

    Old_Tafr Well-Known Member

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    Maybe......

    Depends which end you want to start from. For example if you can work out or get help from here and establish that yours is a KickStarter model then if the KS page still exists then its fairly simple. This assumes that what you have was not modified much or at all from the KS supplied kit. If you find the original build instructions above (writ by Greg ! ) and work through these and find that is what you have, minus of course the Pi then you are in good shape. The early instructions didn't have section numbers but these were added as builders had access to the original WiKi.

    Take (a lot of) time looking at the build instructions, they were fairly easy to follow but as changes were made, things modified and added then there were more and more Y junctions and it wasn't always clear how to and where to blend back in.

    (Not sure how you print without the Pi, maybe copy the file to an SD card and put it in the slot at the LHS of the front panel)


    Starting from now and working back as to all the possible mods, then YOU could write the glossary. Apart from answers here and this forum isn't busy any longer, then search on terms you want to identify, Google or Duckduckgo are much better than the forums's built in search engine.

    Adding a Pi (the camera is just a gimmick) would seem to me to be a must.

    You have the Rumba controller as per the original build, you may need to investigate the firmware version. The original firmware works ok but with a few hiccups. Lots of info here on upgrading it. Ultimate mod is to change to a Duet controller, but get what you have working first.

    You do not have the original extruder(s) {need a picture from the opposite side} You have the Titan (I'm not an expert here) First picture with clear cover with "Extruder" writ in a curve. I'm not sure if the Titan was available towards the end of production/kits in which case it was probably built with Titan, if not Titan added later. Lots of Titan info available, early ones had a few problems, clicking noises possibly caused by bearing failures to do with a clash of types of grease (there is an E3D blog on this............ find the blog and read everything you can find on Titan, blog is {obviously} useful in lots of ways)

    In general you have an uphill struggle if you have never done any 3D printing before. Reading the build instructions is key in getting anywhere.

    Adding a Pi is a good idea with Octoprint added (until you get a Duet) but removing the base to get at anything is difficult and could also upset the symmetry of the whole thing.
     
  9. joea

    joea Member

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    Thanks for the reply. It helps with some of the questions I had.

    You mention this forum is not busy any more. Is there another place that might have more traffic, or is patience a virtue here as well?

    Was wondering about the missing Pi and how to operate the unit without it. Or, in fact, what purpose the Pi serves other than to perhaps convert files. There is a USB looking cable poking out the back of the unit. I was under the impression the box was working and noticed bits of filament in various places.

    Is the Pi not required at all, if a Duet is installed?
     
  10. jfb

    jfb Well-Known Member

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    The PI is used to run OctoPI, which allows you to control the machine from a web browser, upload files etc. It's not really required, but is very useful while running on the rumba. If you upgrade to Duet, then you don't need the PI at all.

    As has been mentioned there were a lot of variations with the bigbox, and lots of people (me included) made substantial changes to theirs. So I think the best suggestion I would have would be to follow through all the build steps and working out what has been completed and what hasn't. Among other things this will familiarise you with the whole machine.

    It looks to me like you have one of the later variants - with one direct drive and one bowden drive. That would be what's referred to as 'Hybrid'. There is a fair amount of information about that on the forum.

    If the box was working, then you could try going through the commissioning part of the build to get ready for first print - that should flag up any major issues.

    I think you've got a challenge, but once set up and tuned nicely, the bigbox is still a good machine in my opinion, so the end result should be worth it - and although a challenge, it's certainly doable - just take the time and read the build manual, search the forum and ask questions.
     
    Paul Begley and Spoon Unit like this.
  11. GrodanB

    GrodanB Well-Known Member

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    It looks like the one I have (not the same color though)

    There is a lot of possible small upgrades that improves print quality.

    Seems to be a dual hybrid with BL touch sensor. (I use the SMD IR sensor)

    Electronic is the original with the noisy stepper drivers.

    There is also some more expensive upgrades like the Duet HW. This should be a good printing once set up OK. But as all stated there is a need to invest some time into this printer. Not because it is less good than others but that it was not meant to be a ready to print printer... This is what I have and once the pain of losing the money is over (very short time) I'll do not look back... it is a very good investment BUT do not do it until you commit to this printer.

    Mine still prints as good as most printers I have seen today on the market. So far I still get more reliable and better prints that my friends. My next upgrade is a compact direct dual that is on the forum...

    What I'm missing is linear rails on X and Y. (and then IDEX)

    If the Z is correctly assembled (no binding) most should be quite strait forward to get it printing. The previous owner seemed to care enough to upgrade to BL touch so the printer is probably in OK shape.

    First thing though, get a PI and octoprint. I't a worth while upgrade. Though I do not know how to power it from inside...
     
  12. joea

    joea Member

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    So this has sat idle for way longer than seems proper. Anyway.

    I did power it up and connected to Matter Control (which I use for a Robo 3D) and got it to home, move in the expected directions, for the expected distances. I called it a day at that point, as I did not want to get too adventurous without getting the firmware sorted out. Looks like other posts point to where the downloads are, but I still need learn how to have two different printers in Arduino. Probably simple, ,but then, so am I these days.

    Going beyond that, in looking for a Pi (the prices have gotten just silly), I wonder several things.

    - Is a Pi-4 really better ir will a Pi-3b suffice? I have a Pi-3b now in use, but can pretty easily replace that with a VM.
    - Where to mount it and how to hook it up. I browsed the build instructions again but did not see anything specific as to mounting.

    There appears also to be an option for an ethernet RJ-45 connector. Are these still available or would I need to fashion my own? Not set on installing one, have to absorb it's functionality first.
     

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