Got my HICTOP 3DP-18 and I wanted to share my build experience and some of the problems I stumbled upon. I reached a state where the printer seems to be working technically (all axis are moving, extruder and heated bed are heating correctly, fans are working and the filament is being extruded. Nothing is calibrated so I can't really print yet.
Main points I took from the build process:
- Missing washers for M3 and M8 screws - especially important for the Y-Axis connecting threaded rods, the pressure can break the acrylic frame
- I had a really tough time making the Y-Axis belt go straight without rolling over to the sides of the bearing and touching the bearing holder, I feel that the structure is not that solid and that I'm going to have to continue calibrating it.
- The ball linear bearings are shitty - balls just started to drop when I moved them a bit. I actually bought high-quality LM8UU bearings but the printer uses a different model.
- The end-stop cables are short and the connectors are 2-PIN JST when the motherboard connectors are 3-PIN JST - I had to try and connect them several times until I got it right (will upload motherboard pictures later)
- I couldn't mount the filament monitor together with the filament holder, the holes in the frame are overlapping (or I might be missing something). Because the original firmware comes with the monitor enabled if you don't connect it you get an error that filament is missing, I uploaded Chip's modified code without that feature.
- It was hard to load the filament, I had to disconnect the extruder fan and guide the filament into the hot-end by visually looking at it. I connected the fan again with the filament already loaded.
Seems like the auto PID tuning values from Chip's configuration aren't optimal for this model, I ran PID Autotune and after uploading it the printer heats correctly most of the time but fails every once in a while, will try to use Ultimaker default values and see how it goes.
Will keep this thread updated with calibration progress.
Marlin Modified Source (Based on Chip's work)