Back up and running again

I decided the quickest way to have the printer back up and functional again would be to glue the broken Y belt holder back together again, then just hope it holds long enough to print a replacement.

I use Plastic Weld to glue PLA pieces together when necessary, it uses capillary action to reach all the tiny gaps to ensure a good join.

I paint it onto both sides of the joint, then paint over as much of the joint as I can after pressing the pieces back together and holding in place.

The Plastic Weld dries pretty fast, usually just a few seconds, but I decided for maximum strength, I would leave it overnight to fully cure.

Next morning I re-assembled the printer and tensioned the Y belt and all seemed to be holding ok.

I set off a new print of a replacement Y belt holder and cross my fingers that the print completes without disaster.

Well I needn’t have worried, the print was a success and even after the print had completed, the Y belt had only loosened ever so slightly, so it is possible that the repaired part may have lasted for quite a while longer.

The new part has a much more dense infill pattern and 3 perimeter layers compared to 2 on the original, so should be much stronger.

The original part is on the left, the new part on the right.

I also decided to weigh the two parts for further comparison, the old part weighs in at 7g, the new part at 12g, so nearly twice as much plastic in the new part.

Additionally, the teeth have printed much better on the new part – they were somewhat “stepped” on the original, so hopefully the new teeth will grab the belt better as well.

To be fair, the first set of parts I should have concentrated on making is a replacement set of parts for the printer itself, that way if anything did break, I am not left high and dry.

I think I will print a few more of the smaller replacement parts – one of the top Z brackets broke before I even started to use the printer and has been mended several times already so this will be the next print candidate.

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