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Assembling the Base

So, I received my kit of bits and pieces.

Some preliminaries.
Read through all the instructions before you start (of course). At the very least, it allows you to:
Take inventory of all the parts

Suggestion: It would be nice to have a parts list, with letters/numbers to associate

The parts come in a nice carrying case, but the "contents may have shifted during shipment'. It's important to sort things out, and put all like minded screws and nuts in their own little places.

I label the individual boxes in the container so I don't have to keep looking back to figure out if that's a M310, or M3 20 screw right there...


  • Assembling the base, the first page of instructions.

    Once assembled, the base looks like this.

    The first thing I did was to knock the edge off the various holes that were against the build plate during printing. During the printing process, I had my first layer fatter than the rest, so that leaves a bit of a rim around all openings. I needed to file those out, or things like nuts and the brass sleeve would not go in.

    Note: Look at the brass bushing. The two ends of it are different.
    One end is chamfered, and the other, is more flat. It's much easier to insert the chamfered end into the plastic, as it will have an easier time making its way through the hole.

    Depending on what kind of plastic and kind of slicing you did, the tolerances on these parts might be very tight. In this first version, I'm using the PLA+ parts that I did.

    Pro Tip: In order to get that bushing in there, you have a couple of choices.
    1) Ream the hold out to the right size. It's about 11mm outer diameter, so pick a drill bit or something that's roughly the same size. Err on the side of a smaller bit. At the very least you'll want to give the hole a once over just to remove any stringing or other imperfections from the printing process (i had ridges).
    2) Heat the plastic and brash bushing up a bit with a heat gun, then slide it in like butter.
    I used this technique after cleaning up the hole. I like heating but you have to be extremely careful so as not to deform the plastic parts. If in doubt, just heat the brass part, and be very careful not to burn yourself.

  • The toothed gear thing that goes atop the base was next.

    The fit for the brass fitting in the center was much tighter than the one for the base. So, ream and heat again. This time you have to be extremely careful if you heat as the part is not that thick. I overheated, and had the plastic start to cave in a bit. Especially since I'm pushing the hot brass fitting through now softened plastic. In this case, it's probably best to just do the reaming, and get the tolerances as close as possible. If you go over, it's actually not a big deal as it will be held in place by a nut and bearings.

    Installing the M4 nuts. These, and almost all the other nuts, are of the ny-lock variety. that means there's a bit of nylon inside the nut which serves to lock the screw into the threads. I placed these nuts with the nylon part facing outward. That way, when you start a screw from the other side, it will begin in metal threads, and end with the locking threads. This is true for all the nuts to be installed.

  • So far, so good. I'm sure this first one is going to have quite some challenges, but that's why there will be a next one.

    The docs for the kit are good enough for beta testing. A little bit more detail (like the fact that there are ny-lock nuts, but not all) will make it that much better.

    A video series with step by step instructions, of course would be awesome.

    a metric set of drill bits would be a good idea to include with the kit, same as the hex drivers.

    On to the next page of instructions.

  • Hey William, just wanted to say thanks for all the input on assembly so far.

    Reiner and I are taking notes on your experience to make sure our future kits are that much better.

  • Wow this is great! Glad the building is going well so far.

    Did the screws move around during shipping? I was afraid that might happen. I guess one solution is bagging the parts first but I'm not a fan of extra plastic. The case is nice because it can be reused after.

    The metric drill bit set it a good idea. The prints are never perfect and I have used it to clean parts up before. Ill see what I can do to add that to the kit.

  • Yes, a few of the screws, washers, or nuts landed in different places than they should have. Not a total mess though, just a few. The first step out of the box should be inventory, so maybe not such a big deal.

    plastic bags might be ok, or just a piece of tape/label over the top of each section, to hold them in. Yah, that's some plastic, but...

    I was having thoughts about the ball bearings on the base. We're essentially forming a lazy susan there. The screws that are not supported by captured nuts, are more wobbly than the other ones. Maybe make them drop in capture nuts like the other ones, even if that means extending some internal structural support between screws?

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