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Clint's K40 build


My name is Clint. I became interested in 3D printing about 5 years ago and my first printer was a Printrbot Simple Metal. followed by a Prusa Mk2 and then a Mk3.

I enjoy fabricating everything and anything from home and decided to dust off the Printrbot and convert it into a laser printer with a cheap diode laser. It worked well and left me hungry for more CO2 was the next step.

With a bit of research I placed my order well aware not to expect much out of the box. My Gerbil, K40 and a bunch of miscelaeneous parts soon arrived. I gutted the K40 almost as soon as I opened the box out cam the original controller in went the Gerbil and upgraded optics.

Impatient I started to tinker and see what it could do. To say the least I wasn't impressed and was beginning to have some buyers remorse.... I pressed on and carefully calibrated the tube and mirrors and tried again WHOA! slicing out a 20mm square from 3mm ply in only a few seconds and at only 40% power... no more remorse.

So I set to work on upgrading and modding everything the way I wanted it.

Mods so far:

  • Awsometech Pro kit (optics, drag chain and Gerbil)
  • 12v PSU
  • LED work lights
  • 5v Sighting Red Laser Diode (projects a cross hair)
  • Custom 3D printed nozzle that injects compressed air at 60psi
  • 12v Solenoid valve for turning air asisst on/off
  • 5v relay module to control Solenoid from Gerbil
  • 1.8kw 6L Air compressor
  • Custom control panel cut from 7mm ply and etched with the K40
  • Green Orange and red Light-up Arcade buttons fore Abort, Pause and resume
  • Three LED Toggle buttons to manually control Air Assist, Lights and sighting laser
  • I mounted the Gerbil on nylon standoffs where the original K4 controller sat.
  • Every thing sits on a computer desk I scored for free on Facebook market place
  • 60l Water resevoir
  • (not installed yet) Visual water flow indicator.
  • Old slim line PC I had sitting around and a 27" monmitor
  • Montor arm holds monitor above K40 and can be swung out of the way
  • slide out draw for keyboard and mouse
  • I sealed up the exauhst fan with some adhesive foam rubber strips from bunnings
  • the original fan is then slotted into place and 2 wedges hold it in place and make a very good seal

The build went relatively smoothly I only encountered 2 problems

  1. Fly back from the solenoid would reset the Gerbil. so I wired a diode into the circuit to dissipate current back through the solenoid when it is shut and this fixed the problem.
  2. My second issue had me pulling my hair out and resulted in a stupid mistake that fried my Gerbil so I had to order a new one. the problem was an intermittent disrupt that would reset the gerbil. I isolated it to my resume pause and abort buttons and thought it might be an issue with the input floating, and perhaps a pull-up was needed. I emailed Paul who put me on the right track with some fantastic advice. my cable from the buttons to the Gerbil was too long and picking up interference from the PSU I shortened the cable and re-routed it and the problem was fixed.

I am very happy with what I have now and it will certainly expand on what I can fabricate from home. the whole system is portable and can be moved around easily and does everything I want, exceeding my expectations.


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Hi Clint well done. I remember assembling the wooden 3d printer Printrbot 1406 for a friend of mine. Good old times and I really enjoyed that. Sad that Drum Brooke and Printr ceased operations.

Cheers, Paul and Dan

Cheers, Paul awesome.tech

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