WallE R2

Well after much work on both the track mechanical and the core electrical systems I have come to the conclusion that in the scale I want to work I cannot print the track system and would need off shelf parts for this. I could not find an off the shelf track system that was either a suitable size or a suitable look for this project. Given that my skills as a mechanical designer and also a bit lacking I have changed my focus to a R2-D2 droid.

Read more: Whats happening with Wall-E?

One of the first things I printed after my E3Dv6 upgrade was a shelf to add a webcam inside my printer.

webcam shelf

Read more: Added webcam for AstroPrint

My E3Dv6 finally arrived and I had a fun Sunday stripping down the printer and fitting both it and new print bed surface (arrived a few days before).

e3d v6

Read more: E3D v6 Hot-end & PEI Print Bed

While I have not had issues with filament tension or the extruder motor not being powerful enough to pull it off the reel I do feel I could improve on my existing path. First a bit of history.....

When I first reflashed my DaVinci to run the Repetier firmware I printed a new spool holder for use inside the machine and the parts required to feed this to the extruder.

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:592197

This works ok but I cant help but tinker and incrementally upgrade my machine ;)

Read more: Improved filament path

I now have over 300h of printing on my DaVinci 1.0A and the extruder was starting to jam more than I was prepared to tolerate. 3D Printing is not a perfect system and clogging is expected, especially when using lower quality plastics from china (ebay). However there comes a point where getting a good print is difficult since the jams I'm experiencing cause one poor layer or a complete print failure every 1-2 prints now. I did however track down the problem.....

Read more: Extruder Clogging & Fan improvements

So with a list of everything I wanted to do with my new system I started with something at the core. I wanted the system to know when people were at home and when they were away. Fortunately in my house there is only my wife and myself so not too much to track. Looking at the options for presence detection in HomeAssistant gave me many options.....

Read more: Presence detection

I decided to add some 'smart' to my office and eventually extending to the rest of my home. There are many options available from total commercial systems to 100% DIY options. As I didn't wish to spend too much money on my system a fully commercial option was out. Investigating the open source options I found two very popular solutions.....

openhab logo top

http://www.openhab.org/

openHAB is a very popular system and the one I started out with, however while its user interface is superb I found the setup and configuration system to be very complex and difficult to understand. This lead me to the solution I'm using today.....

alexa 512x512

https://home-assistant.io/

Home Assistant is also very popular and easy to work with. It's interface is web based and while good it's not perfect (at time of writing there is no single push button or calendar components) however it's compatibility with other systems and products is very extensive. Check out the components section for compatibility.

Read more: Starting with Home Automation

I now have many hours on my DaVinci1.0A printer and I have been very happy with it. However recently I have noticed that mid print the extruder is starting to jam and causing printing issues. After much investigation I found that there is a large amount of heat bleed from the extruder to the stepper motor while in operation. Using genuine XYZPrinting filament this is likely not an issue since the printing temp is lower than that required by cheaper ABS. However the ABS I'm using is typically printing at a temp of ~20c higher than the XYZPrinting filament. 

Read more: DaVinci 1.0A overheating extruder motor

Its been a couple weeks since I ran out of Black ABS filament and it's been back-ordered in China (I was sent 3mm by mistake before they realised they were out of stock, my machine is 1.75mm only). While I waited for this to arrive I decided to use some of my spare blue ABS on a plug and play rack system for my Raspberry Pi servers.

I have a number of Raspberry Pi's performing several server based tasks. These range from the original Model B to the B+, 2B and now a couple of 3's. The form factor of the 2B and 3 are identical so I focused on these, the two remaining servers I have running on the older form factor (Asterisk VoIP system & Direct to Disk SAN backup) will remain as they are. Never one to reinvent the wheel I looked around the web for an existing design and stumbled across this....

RaspbberyPiRack

Many thanks go to Dave Pedu who did the original design for this project here

Read more: Raspberry Pi Rack

While my printer churns away on the parts for the two track systems (80 hours and counting) I decided to complete the remote. As detailed in a previous post this is based on the Wii Nunchuk and sends data to Wall-E over Bluetooth. I wanted to keep the whole remote control as compact and unobtrusive as possible. The idea behind this is to allow Wall-E to appear independent when on show but actually being controlled from a distance.

Wii Complete

Read more: Completed Nunchuk Remote

Below is a running parts list for items used within the Wall-E project. The majority of parts are sourced from ebay or 3d printed. I will be maintaining this list as the parts used changes and grows. Where possible photos and sources will also be added.

Read more: Wall-E Parts List

In part 1 we looked at the start of the track system and the usage of the raw CAD provided by 'move_to' on thingiverse.

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:70606

Wall E Tracks

Read more: Designing the track system - Pt2

In the previous post I showed how I used existing designs to mount 3rd party filament inside my XYZPrinting Da Vinci 1.0A printer. Now we just have to deal with the printers ability to track the filament in use. Inside each cartridge is a chip that tells the printer what filament is in the cartridge, what temprature to print it at and how much is left. As you print the printer updates this chip to reduce the value of how much is left.

DaVinci CartChip

Read more: Da Vinci 1.0A - 3rd Party Filament - Cartridge chip reset