Mike, after chatting online with Alex over Skype, updated the group with this:
Updates for everyone. First, thanks Alex for the continued dedication on the printer. He identified a few problem we can fix and improve on. 2 major issues:1. Z axis is stuck, moves a little bit but then stops. Not sure if it’s a mechanical issue where something is jamming or possibly electrical. Alex will try loosening and tightening the belt tension to see if that helps. Other potential issue is one of the screw rods and bearing seem to be canted, which may be the cause of the jam. I recall being able to make it move up and down by pulling on the belt by hand. If that continues to work, maybe the problem is the motor isn’t strong enough. Lucky me, I’ve been playing with motors and have one that’s 3x more powerful. Will mount that one if nothing else seems to work.2. Filament feeds into the first hole but can’t find the second hole into the heating chamber. Seems Alex can push the idler bearing block back and feed the filament into the first hole and then between the brass gear and idler bearing. But then the filament is pushed to the side slightly and can’t find the second hole itself. Likely problem is the brass gear I used is too large. 2 solutions, reduce the gear size or help the filament into the second hole. Reduce gear size by either buying a smaller one or file down the one we have. Help the filament into the second hole can be done with a small ramps or funnels around the second hole. I’ll give the ramp/funnel method a try first. If that doesn’t work, then we’ll go gear hunting.
Alex followed up a bit later with exciting news:
Z axes works after untightening the belt. Bearings may be too tight now
but is easy to adjust and we need to fix up the broken part. The part is
not a essential but helps to have precision on the axis.
I wasn’t able to unassemble the extruder part to try hand feeding and
see if extrudes but Ricky just told me that he received the new parts
so Saturday we will be able to change the whole thing… hopefully ;P