Portabee assembly: part one

And here we are, ready to assemble the portabee (after my sushi dinner obviously).
So this is what you find in the package: 5 motors, rods, nuts, bolts, the extruder, the hot bed, the electronics.
And, if you choose to buy them because you don't already have a 3d printer or simply you feel safer this way, a box full of printed parts
Love the blue color
If I were to judge the quality of the printer by the 3d parts that come with it, I would already be enthusiastic. I immagine they print the parts with another bigger 3d printer they have in store, but they certainly look great. So my first advice is: if you already have a 3d printer and are wondering wether you can avoid buying the printed parts think twice. Some of these are fairly complex pieces and if they have the slightest error you will have many problems assembling it afterwards. So if your other 3d printer is perfectly tuned you can skip shelling the extra 60$ for these parts, but if you have doubts do add them, it will save you loads of problems.
With the very thorough instructions on the ipad, we started following the schematics and had a problem right BEFORE step 1.1! When the instructions told us to watch the 5 motors and spot the one that had a protruding screw,we obviously had no screw on any of them, and the codes and numbers gave no indication of which one is the “different” left motor… Yuck, we will think about it later…
On with the instructions, everything goes smoothly till the moment we reach the description of the first end stop switch. The small board is soldered up side down… There are 3 of these switches, all reversed, and we will have to find a way to solve these 3 different situations. Not good at all…
The instructions are really good, with many colored diagrams and sketches, all the bolts are clearly indicated and if you pay attention you shouldn't have problems (please pay extra attention to the length of the metal rods, the look identical but there are 2 slightly shorter than the other 2… Loks like I wasn't paying enough attention and we had to unscrew a lot!)
Another problem aroused when we were sliding the x carriage in the rod: the end of the rods is not smooth and it got caught in the bearing popping out a couple of small spheres from each. Probably it won't change anything, but be careful while doing it.
And this is where we stopped today, after 4 hours of assembly: most of the basic structure is finished, we are stuck with the problem of how to fit the wrong end stop switches. More coming tomorrow :)


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