Reprap: Don’t Throw Away Your Cracked/Weak Parts – Fix Them!

Sometimes, my layers don’t stick nicely, or I print a part that’s too thin, and the part cracks between layers when I try to use it:

There’s no need to throw them away and reprint them.  Just use a q-Tip soaked in acetone and paint it liberally.  Junk ABS bits dissolved in acetone works even better, but then you need to have a different bottle for each color. I keep it in a glass tea trea oil bottle from Trader Joe’s.  The milky white appearance of the liquid in the jar is due to the natural ABS that I dissolved in it. Don’t bother buying expensive ABS glue.  Make it yourself!

Sometimes, I’ll just paint the sections of a part that look weak, even if they haven’t yet broken, as a pre-emptive measure.  It makes your parts glossy, too, if you like that.

Did Termites Eat My Print?

I was printing out the x-end-motor for a new Reprap I’m designing yesterday. The bottom was printing beautifully:

I baby sat it for the first 2:15, and went to bed during the remaining 15 minutes of the print.  I woke up the next morning to find this:

At first, I thought my hot end had jammed again, so I cleaned it out.  After wasting the whole morning getting partway through a bunch of prints and wasting a ton of filament, I found the real culprit.  The grub screw that holds the small gear onto my extruder motor shaft had completely unscrewed itself!  The prints would start out OK, and then fail after the motor warmed up, and the heat softened the plastic of the gear, loosening its grip.  Grr! Rather than reprinting the part, I’m going to just fill the gaps with JB Weld.