Thing-o-matic, Part 2: Progress?

Thing-o-matic at TJ
     It's been a while since I posted about the Thing–o–matic I was working on last summer... In short, my troubleshooting efforts can be summarized by a couple of things:
  1. I had "Print–o–matic" turned on when exporting to gcode in ReplicatorG... HUGE mistake. I guess prints varied enough each time for me to think my slight profile changes were actually making a difference. I noticed something was wrong when bigger profile changes (like turning raft on and off) didn't go into effect.
  2. Printing with ABS indoors is NOT healthy, so I spent a lot of time trying to print outside. By the time I realized my "Print–o–matic" error, though, the summer was over and it quickly became too cold outside to print there. Even though I spent a few hours making a fume hood for the printer so that I could print indoors, my parents weren't confident in its ability to keep in fumes (neither was I) so I eventually brought the printer back to school.

     To get the Thing–o–matic back up and running then, I would first have to get it working with PLA. Though I eventually wanted to redesign the whole thing (and still want to), I had to start with the extruder and get it to work with our 1.75 mm PLA (it was designed for 3 mm ABS). With the advice of one of my teachers, I cut a section of PEEK tubing down to size (2 mm inner diameter) and fit it inside the tube. ..And that's when I decided to go ahead and try making a Bowden Extruder instead of trying out the PLA on the standard Stepstruder MK6. I probably had a reason for the detour (which now seems unwarranted), but long story short: the printer is still in the works! I'm sure it will be operational by the end of the year though. Sorry for keeping you all out of the loop!