In an attempt to make something practical with the new Da Vinci printer, I thought I’d give building this PCB vise a go. Initial thoughts were that this would be quick and simple to make, at last count, there has been over 15,000 downloads of this design. If that many people can make it, it can’t be that difficult?
Difficult not entirely so, frustrating, yes. During this process, many things have been learnt.
It has taken five attempts at printing the vise grips to finally get a complete print. The major hurdle has been the small gripper teeth on the grips. When the print initially begins, small ‘islands’ are required. As the print’s layers build up, they catch the print head, tear off the base and the print is ruined.
No amount of glue or adjusting the clearance between the print head and the base has helped. I’ve even manually set the bed clearance to what seems an ideal value of 0.2mm using feeler gauges.
Perhaps some more glue will help? Nope.
There were a couple more attempts that all failed. Out of frustration, I let the print continue, thinking that I might be able to salvage something and fix it by hand.
This amount of damage is too difficult to fix. As I learnt, it is best just to get it right in the first place.
Despite what the instructions said that ” they were printed (all the components) without a raft or support for minimum cleanup”. Well, I caved and decided to learn what rafts and supports provide on the Da Vinci.
And this is the result,
Underneath the model, a “fine” matrix of plastic is laid to provide a bed of material for the model to be built from. All the small gripper teeth islands are fused to the raft and the model is able to be built.
Success! There will be cleanup required, but there is now some progress.
If your models, have multiple small pads or require a secure footing to support a tall narrow print, consider implementing a raft to give your model the support to get started and save you some frustration.
For more ways to improve your Da Vinci prints, check out the Tips and Tricks page.