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Considering Phlatprinter III Upgrade

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by Darwin A Garrison, Dec 18, 2020.

  1. Darwin A Garrison

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    Hey, Guys:

    Long, long ago I built and used a Phlatprinter III. Unfortunately, I did not make good use of it and failed to properly understand how to set up and operate it, so I became frustrated and put the unit into a storage unit.

    About a year or so ago, I pulled it out of the storage unit, went through everything, had some controller issues that CNCUSB helped me resolve, and then once again the Phlatprinter III was operational. With all the work that David the Swarfer did on SketchuCAM (THANK YOU DAVID!!), I was soon running parts again. EPP sheet, though, still remains a challenge to keep straight on the platens.

    So, although I have had some success cutting ply parts and EPP foam parts, I could see that my more ambitious designs needed more reliable repeatability and easier tool changes. So I bought a 1010 from Openbuilds and am almost finished with it.

    The Phlatprinter, though, is still quite useful for some things (like cutting foam as intended). I could easily see having both mills active in my shop for different parts.

    The 1010 C-beam structure has lots of advantages over the original MDF board structure. And the Black Box controller is awesome. So, I am considering doing a V-slot rebuild of the Phlatprinter III to leverage those improvements while also making it easier to adjust the platen rollers and belts.

    I'm going to search in Builds and see if anyone else has done this.

    I would gladly appreciate hints and feedback as I consider dropping even more money at the Openbuilds parts store.
     

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  2. David the swarfer

    David the swarfer OpenBuilds Team
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    I have been intending to build a 'Vlatprinter' for some years now (-:
    My idea is to let the machine hang off the edge of a table with the foam travelling vertically. While this limits the length of the foam to about 4 feet it does make everything more accessible and uses up a lot less space while in operation.
     
    Darwin A Garrison likes this.
  3. Darwin A Garrison

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    That's an interesting approach. I saw another build that was wall mounted. I need to go back and look at that.

    I had the Phlatprinter on its back last night looking at the platen rollers. I suspect that my latest issues were, once again, due to the belt loosening on the platen rollers. One of my goals is to make that particular interface much more easily accessible and adjustable (since I am conceptually stuck at having no better replacement for the belt drive.)
     
  4. David the swarfer

    David the swarfer OpenBuilds Team
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    I have a roller from an old paper plotter that i plan to use for this, it is a 5/8" diameter and has a stippled rough surface made for driving paper at high speed (A0 continuous roll).
    I think the trick is getting the pressure rollers to run parallel to the drive roller, with even pressure. Any misaligment must surely lead to differential drive across the width.
     
  5. Darwin A Garrison

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    Agreed. That roller alignment is critical.
     
  6. JustinTime

    JustinTime Journeyman
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    On my PhlatPrinter III had used 1/4" wood left and right of the material cut to prevent it from moving left or right. Worked a charm.
     
  7. Darwin A Garrison

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    I have a tool deck that Mark put together alone with sliding MDF "guides" that I use as edge alignment to center the job. Performance depends a lot on the squareness of the stock and the adjustment of the drive pulleys.
     

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