Author Topic: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics  (Read 11660 times)

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Offline jamster

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Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« on: Tue, 24 August 2021, 22:18:42 »
I would preface this by saying that keyboard case noise is never something that has occurred to me before, I am usually oblivious to it.

Has anyone ever looked into modifying the acoustics of a Dactyl, or any of the other 3D printed cases?

In the midst of printing up cases for a build, I have noticed that the nature of the case- high internal volume, hollow plastic, doesn't lend itself to the most pleasing of acoustics. The noise from switches seems to be amplified and makes it sound hollow. I am using silenced switches, which might even be emphasising case noise.

Factors that I can think of which are contributing to this:

  • Lots of empty internal volume
  • Material of the case
  • Use of infill in the walls
  • Interaction between the bottom of the case and the desk (this one is interesting, there is a marked difference in sound with the case held tight sitting on a desk with a mouse mat, and with the case held in midair)

Some things that occur to me:

Has anyone tried high infill settings? I could try 100% infill when my current print job finishes in 20 hours time But it's worth asking here in case someone else has already tried this because each case print takes forever. I've just cancelled the current print and will try 100% infill... results in a couple of days time. Not hopeful on this, rigid plastic seems an intrinsically compromised material from a sonic perspective.

I could try mass loading a printed base with Dynamat.

I doubt that foam would do anything, but maybe it's worth jamming full of foam.

One thing I suspect that would help is to totally fill the internal cavity with a potting compound. This would result in both mass loading, and removing all of the internal volume. However this would also be totally irreversible, swapping out a single failed switch would be impossible, so it seems a high risk option.


« Last Edit: Tue, 24 August 2021, 22:54:20 by jamster »

Offline iaji

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 24 August 2021, 22:55:45 »
when i was still using dactyl manuform, i used to fill it with cotton / small cut up foam. as for switch failure, you can try to use hotswap sockets like pic attached.

Offline jamster

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 24 August 2021, 23:32:53 »
That is an astoundingly neat hand wiring job you've done there.

How do those hotswap sockets work- do they completely seal off the inside/underside of the base from the top? Or are there still visible holes for the switch pins to go through? I dug through my box of random keyboard bits and found some some much simpler ones than what you are using, looks like the switch pins would stay exposed, not to mention the entire bottom of the switch itself.



Because if I did use a potting compound (presumably a 2 part epoxy as long as it doesn't destroy PLA) and there were holes, I'd end up effectively gluing the switches in via the pins anyway.

I rather suspect that the first time around, I'll have my hands full enough just with the simplest build possible anyway, hotswap might be a future consideration :)

On the other hand, I have just Googled a bit and come across the concept of shaped sound absorbers which might be worth trying- simply merging them into the case bottoms should be doable, though I imagine that there'd be a lot of trial and error tuning involved.

https://all3dp.com/3d-printed-sound-absorbers-will-bring-relief-ears/




Offline Leslieann

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 25 August 2021, 00:05:54 »
Has anyone ever looked into modifying the acoustics of a Dactyl, or any of the other 3D printed cases?
On top of a lot of 3d printing experience I tested  PLA and PETG on my 65%.

PLA highest pitch (like cheap pbt caps), ABS mid, PETG lowest pitch.
More infill will deaden the sound and lower the pitch (but only so much on PLA), on my 65% I used 30% and (I think some) 50% infill PETG and it sounded pretty good.
How you print will also matter though, the smoother the inside the more higher pitch you will get reflected back at you, same with texture, a matte plastic will sound lower pitch.

Note, almost nothing sticks well to PETG, particularly glue and it will need a bit more infill since it's softer


As for hot swaps for switch failure, honestly, how often do you have switches fail? I'd be more concerned with the hot swap failing than the switch. Hot swaps are also kind of a hassle to solder.
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Offline jamster

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 25 August 2021, 01:02:39 »
Has anyone ever looked into modifying the acoustics of a Dactyl, or any of the other 3D printed cases?
On top of a lot of 3d printing experience I tested  PLA and PETG on my 65%.

PLA highest pitch (like cheap pbt caps), ABS mid, PETG lowest pitch.
More infill will deaden the sound and lower the pitch (but only so much on PLA), on my 65% I used 30% and (I think some) 50% infill PETG and it sounded pretty good.
How you print will also matter though, the smoother the inside the more higher pitch you will get reflected back at you, same with texture, a matte plastic will sound lower pitch.

Note, almost nothing sticks well to PETG, particularly glue and it will need a bit more infill since it's softer


As for hot swaps for switch failure, honestly, how often do you have switches fail? I'd be more concerned with the hot swap failing than the switch. Hot swaps are also kind of a hassle to solder.

Thanks for that.

I'm sticking with PLA for ventilation reasons, and will try 100% infill to compare against the 25% infill cases I have sitting around.

Potting remains an option regardless, assuming I ever get this board built then it can be filled at anytime in the future- in theory it would even improve longevity if it secured my no doubt ropey soldering and wiring attempts.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 25 August 2021, 01:44:50 »
You're welcome
I did development with PLA, fast, easy, cheap, and I had plenty to spare then I did some tests with PETG to figure out what I wanted and then did final prints with it.

I believe PETG is about as safe as PLA in terms of fumes and things, I've had more trouble with some brands of PLA than I have with PETG. Push Plastics in particular is one of the worst for me, gives me migraines. I actually took over one end of a closet in my house and stuck my printer in there along with a smoke detector, Raspberry Pi/camera and Hepa filter air purifier. There's no air currents to mess up a print (it even warms up the air a little) and I can't hear or smell when my printers run, I've even used it for some light painting with paint pens without a problem. I still use it to store clothes and things, just have to shuffle things a bit and give up some space but it was absolutely worth it.


Some other notes.
When used to hold switches, PLA will slowly conform to even slight pressure and lose grip on the clips. ABS, nylon and PETG don't have that problem. You can fight this to an extent by using carbon fiber reinforced PLA, which does alter the sound a bit as well, though probably in a bad way and it's more expensive and will DESTROY a brass nozzle in a short amount of time. (PETG and Nylon is probably the easiest on a nozzle).

PLA is very dry and harsh/sharp to the touch, at times it can feel almost like handling sharp dry stones, it's not a pleasant plastic to touch. ABS and PETG have more pleasant feel, less dry and rough, with  PETG almost feeling waxy, while it may not be entirely as pleasant as ABS it's far better than PLA. Normally I wouldn't recommend even trying Nylon for a keyboard but with the shape of this it could actually work, just be sure to use something else for the base and understand it can be a hassle in many printers.

Oh and paint especially hates PETG.
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Offline jamster

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 25 August 2021, 02:30:43 »
You're welcome
I did development with PLA, fast, easy, cheap, and I had plenty to spare then I did some tests with PETG to figure out what I wanted and then did final prints with it.

I believe PETG is about as safe as PLA in terms of fumes and things, I've had more trouble with some brands of PLA than I have with PETG. Push Plastics in particular is one of the worst for me, gives me migraines. I actually took over one end of a closet in my house and stuck my printer in there along with a smoke detector, Raspberry Pi/camera and Hepa filter air purifier. There's no air currents to mess up a print (it even warms up the air a little) and I can't hear or smell when my printers run, I've even used it for some light painting with paint pens without a problem. I still use it to store clothes and things, just have to shuffle things a bit and give up some space but it was absolutely worth it.


Some other notes.
When used to hold switches, PLA will slowly conform to even slight pressure and lose grip on the clips. ABS, nylon and PETG don't have that problem. You can fight this to an extent by using carbon fiber reinforced PLA, which does alter the sound a bit as well, though probably in a bad way and it's more expensive and will DESTROY a brass nozzle in a short amount of time. (PETG and Nylon is probably the easiest on a nozzle).

PLA is very dry and harsh/sharp to the touch, at times it can feel almost like handling sharp dry stones, it's not a pleasant plastic to touch. ABS and PETG have more pleasant feel, less dry and rough, with  PETG almost feeling waxy, while it may not be entirely as pleasant as ABS it's far better than PLA. Normally I wouldn't recommend even trying Nylon for a keyboard but with the shape of this it could actually work, just be sure to use something else for the base and understand it can be a hassle in many printers.

Oh and paint especially hates PETG.

I'm using eSun PLA+, which from a tactile perspective I am quite happy with. According to random Google searches, has some PETG mixed into it to make it less brittle. I'm intending to simply hot glue the switches in for a secure hold- the switches certainly don't fit that snugly into the holes from the get go. Come to think of it, eventually filling the case cavity with epoxy could kill several birds with one stone.

Haven't tried PETG at all yet, partly because it's shiny and I prefer matte surfaces. The PLA+ is already shiny enough that I'm trying to figure out if I can dull the surface without resorting to crazy amounts of sanding of all the curved surfaces.

Hmm... this has me sufficiently intrigued that I'll just order a roll of PETG anyway. It's inexpensive here, the same cost per roll as PLA+. It's a bit of a lottery though, having recently confirmed that even within PLA+, simple colour variation can require fairly different different print temperatures.

I'm not set up for PLA/CF or even nylon- I have a very basic printer which I have deliberately avoided messing with any more than necessary to get it working reliably.


Offline Leslieann

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 25 August 2021, 05:07:00 »
Haven't tried PETG at all yet, partly because it's shiny and I prefer matte surfaces. The PLA+ is already shiny enough that I'm trying to figure out if I can dull the surface without resorting to crazy amounts of sanding of all the curved surfaces.
Beware the epoxy, the controller could overheat.

PETG will probably need abut 10c more heat, even if it says it doesn't, it needs it for layer adhesion (not first layer, all layers) which is not quite as good as PLA (which is rock solid). It also will shrink a little more than PLA, but nowhere near as bad as ABS and usually only comes into play on large objects (usually around 180-200mm it starts). Mostly it's just minor tweaks. Spread your wings a bit, it will force you to learn new tricks making you better even with PLA.

You can get matte finish PLA (it helps hide layer lines), but a lot of times if you turn the temp down a lot of PLA will go matte. This does require a STRONG extruder though. If you have something like the stock extruder on an Ender it's going to struggle to go down that low. Slowing down can help compensate some but not entirely, just something can play with.
https://www.reddit.com/r/3Dprinting/comments/p8wwxq/ive_just_discovered_matte_black_filament_it/

Side note..
Overcooking PLA can also cause some odd effects as can super low layer heights (0.01mm layers makes it look injection molded, but oh god the print times...). Overcooking can make it bubble a bit, giving a different texture. Waterlogged PLA can also have a similar effect, beware, this can cause splatter and make a mess of your hot end. No big deal, just a bit messy. PLA is really difficult to over cook to the point of creating print issues.

Overcooked PETG can cause layer adhesion in some brands just like too little heat (Push has this problem) but it's a pretty wide window, unlike ABS. Other brands or PET will lose color and go matte but retail layer adhesion (t-glase definitely does this).
« Last Edit: Wed, 25 August 2021, 05:13:11 by Leslieann »
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Offline jamster

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 25 August 2021, 05:59:35 »
Good point regarding controller heating, I'll have to see how warm it gets.

Good guess- I'm running a minimally modified Ender 3, with the notoriously crap stock extruder. Got a Bondtech sitting around as the backup, but have been surprised at the longevity of the stock one. As an aside, I'd been holding off modifications to the existing printer with the intention of building a Voron, then realised that I wouldn't get enough use out of one to justify the time and effort required for the build.

Turns out that eSun does make a matte PLA product, but have warnings attached regarding increased nozzle wear and steel nozzles. I should probably just get some anyway and replace nozzles. The PLA+ stuff really does seem to have some big advantages over standard PLA though.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 25 August 2021, 21:38:44 »
The stock extruder is a nice bit of kit based on an older design from years back.
It's really simple and last a long time, but like every similar design it has almost no power. If you shrink the hobb to increase torque it has too little point of contact and grinds whenever there's a problem and if you increase the size of the hobb to increase point of contact the motor no longer has enough power and stalls. It walks a very fine line, but to be fair it does it well but is quite limiting.

If you switch to the Bondtech you can actually increase your print speeds and have a wider range of temps. It's like turning down the difficulty in a game.


Custom built printers are as much a hobby as they are a tool and just like a hobby, stupid expensive.
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Offline jamster

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 25 August 2021, 23:35:15 »
With print speeds, I am more concerned with the the total lack of bracing of the vertical axis :) But yeah, I think you've given me sufficient impetus to get off my rear and replace both the extruder and the hotend. If only so that I can stop subconscious worrying about the stock extruder breaking, and print other materials without worrying about burning out the PTFE tube.

Custom built printers are as much a hobby as they are a tool and just like a hobby, stupid expensive.

The tempting thing about the Voron is that I have access to Taobao, and have chatted to someone locally who built a V2.4 for USD500, rather than the more standard triple of that number. I just don't have the space (and print infrequenly), though I am on the Print it Forward list just to keep the option open.


Offline Leslieann

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 26 August 2021, 02:27:52 »
Whatever printer you build (if you do), make sure it has active bed leveling (Voron 2.4, Railcore II) to ensure the nozzle is perpendicular to the bed, it's not cheap since it uses extra motors and better electronics but it really is a major quality of life improvement if you print a lot. Since I put that on my big printer I have never calibrated it. I can knock it completely out of whack, home it and start printing.

I've had printers with upside down parts underneath like the Voron, beware, things get disconnected once in a while. Not often but does happen, had to "repair" a lot of printers with this problem because it;s not obvious at a casual glance. The slides the Voron 2.4 uses are very hit or miss out of China, some are meh, some are good, but it's also common to get some that are absolutely garbage. It looks like pretty nice printer, results will vary depending on the kit you get and parts you use but it's a good design.

Massive warning about speeds.
I saw one place claiming 1000mm/s (mm/s) movement on the Voron, due to acceleration on a 300mm bed it will likely never reach that speed without issues (and never with 400step motors which I'd much rather have for precision). More importantly, movement speeds matter very little. If print time is 90% print and only 10% movement even if you double the movement speed which is extremely difficult to do due to acceleration you only saved 5% of your print time. I'm not saying it's useless, but so many people place emphasis on probably because it looks cool but even getting a 3% average decrease in print times through movement speed is really hard. It made sense prior to Simplify3d who placed emphasis on optimizing movements and prints were smaller but today it's much less important.

Printing itself also has diminishing returns due to acceleration, nozzles, extruders and something many never even consider, how fast you can heat and cool plastic. That said, most printers today are pretty slow, speeds actually dropped because it became a race to build cheaper rather than better so anything that can even reliably do 80mm/s is a massive improvement for most people. Want to really cut print time, switch to a bigger nozzle, which was one of the biggest reason Thomas Sanladerer was having such short print times with his. Change your print speeds and nozzle size in your slicer and you will see what I mean.
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Offline vvp

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #12 on: Tue, 31 August 2021, 09:47:59 »
Note, almost nothing sticks well to PETG, particularly glue and it will need a bit more infill since it's softer
It is not so bad with PETG. I still did not use it myself but a friend did. I visited him to check it out. Parts look ok. They can be glued with "super glue" as well as "PETG-glue" (PETG dissolves nicely in dichloromethane). The problem is that dichloromethane is significantly worse for your health than acetone (used for ABS-glue). Connections glued with both "super glue" and "PETG-glue" did hold very well. The plastic part delaminated and torn apart before the glue when I tried to break the bond.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 31 August 2021, 20:14:04 »
I'm surprised superglue did so well.
Paint certainly does not like it.

Still my preferred plastic.
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Offline DwarZ

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 01 September 2021, 04:58:49 »
I'm surprised superglue did so well.
Paint certainly does not like it.

Still my preferred plastic.

I think you can simply paint only outside of your keyboard, therefore, cyanoacrylate glue will work really well

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 01 September 2021, 06:20:55 »
I'm surprised superglue did so well.
Paint certainly does not like it.

Still my preferred plastic.

I think you can simply paint only outside of your keyboard, therefore, cyanoacrylate glue will work really well
I painted PETG, it didn't hold very well.
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Offline OddField

  • Posts: 91
  • Location: New Zealand
    • MoErgo Glove80
Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #16 on: Fri, 10 September 2021, 23:55:04 »
In the midst of printing up cases for a build, I have noticed that the nature of the case- high internal volume, hollow plastic, doesn't lend itself to the most pleasing of acoustics. The noise from switches seems to be amplified and makes it sound hollow. I am using silenced switches, which might even be emphasising case noise.

Factors that I can think of which are contributing to this:

  • Lots of empty internal volume
  • Material of the case
  • Use of infill in the walls
  • Interaction between the bottom of the case and the desk (this one is interesting, there is a marked difference in sound with the case held tight sitting on a desk with a mouse mat, and with the case held in midair)

I never really focused on the sound either, but this post made me curious. I have a whole bunch of split contoured keyboards sitting in boxes; they are not Dactyl. A few are open-bottomed, but most are closed of quite a few different designs.

I am curious what sound you find particularly unacceptable. The sound all seems okay; they do sound a bit different however.

Open bottom and closed-button with lots of space are the most "hollow", but they aren't bad IMO. The designs that have smaller internal spaces (using Choc switches, minimalistic design) sound just like a flat board to me.

Offline TheWonderBubble

  • Posts: 91
Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #17 on: Sat, 11 September 2021, 01:22:27 »

How you print will also matter though, the smoother the inside the more higher pitch you will get reflected back at you, same with texture, a matte plastic will sound lower pitch.


Now I'm curious if Cura's "fuzzy skin" feature would make a noticeable change.
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Offline jamster

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #18 on: Sat, 11 September 2021, 03:54:53 »

How you print will also matter though, the smoother the inside the more higher pitch you will get reflected back at you, same with texture, a matte plastic will sound lower pitch.


Now I'm curious if Cura's "fuzzy skin" feature would make a noticeable change.

Almost certainly not. I'm not well versed in acoustics, but I believe that in order to get meaningful disruption to sound waves, you need to be looking at physical objects at around the 1/4 wavelength of the frequency you're trying to affect. Quarter wavelength being the ballpark as this is where you'll get destructive interference.

So for 1000Hz, we're talking ridges around 7.5cm apart. For 4000Hz we're talking 2cm apart. I would expect most of the irritating noise of the plastic case to be below 4HKz, not that I have measured it (haven't even built it yet).

This is why if you look at the typical acoustic wall treatments of foam pyramids or baffles, there's usually a good amount of space between ridges in the foam.

Just for laughs, I did print an irregular pattern onto the inside of the Dactyl base. I don't expect it to really do anything, but it was easy enough to make.

Offline jamster

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #19 on: Sat, 11 September 2021, 03:58:14 »
I never really focused on the sound either, but this post made me curious. I have a whole bunch of split contoured keyboards sitting in boxes; they are not Dactyl. A few are open-bottomed, but most are closed of quite a few different designs.

I am curious what sound you find particularly unacceptable. The sound all seems okay; they do sound a bit different however.

Open bottom and closed-button with lots of space are the most "hollow", but they aren't bad IMO. The designs that have smaller internal spaces (using Choc switches, minimalistic design) sound just like a flat board to me.

It's far too early to tell for sure, all I've done is load up a shell with switches and caps so it's practically bare. Maybe it'll sound less 'hollow' once wiring is in place.

Flat/low volume split boards like the Ergodox sound totally fine to me.

Offline d4v3thund3r

  • Posts: 2
Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #20 on: Sat, 15 January 2022, 14:03:37 »
Hey Jamster, any additional thoughts on the acoustics of your dactyl since some more time has passed? I've definitely found mine (Scylla) sounds very hollow (I mean, it literally is hollow but just looking for other opinions/ideas), even with Boba U4's in there. I realize that U4's have a sound to them, but it's very subtle and pleasant sounding in my Iris vs the Scylla. Printed with PLA, most walls are solid PLA, with a couple small spots with 20% infill afaik.

Offline jamster

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #21 on: Wed, 26 January 2022, 21:57:08 »
Hey Jamster, any additional thoughts on the acoustics of your dactyl since some more time has passed? I've definitely found mine (Scylla) sounds very hollow (I mean, it literally is hollow but just looking for other opinions/ideas), even with Boba U4's in there. I realize that U4's have a sound to them, but it's very subtle and pleasant sounding in my Iris vs the Scylla. Printed with PLA, most walls are solid PLA, with a couple small spots with 20% infill afaik.

Sorry, I have gotten totally sidetracked into 3D printing rather than keyboard building, and have not even completed the Dactyl!

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #22 on: Wed, 26 January 2022, 23:02:28 »
Sorry, I have gotten totally sidetracked into 3D printing rather than keyboard building, and have not even completed the Dactyl!
Sounds about right...
Took me a looong time to finally get around to building the keyboard I built my printer to make in the first place, too many other things to do with them. Cracks me up all of the people saying the only thing they're good for is making other printers. I mean, people love making Benchies! /s  But seriously, I make all sorts of stuff I use on a daily basis.

In regards to sound...
Here's the problem, you have dozens of points of sound origins, trying to tune the chamber to the switches is next to impossible. You may get soem change, you may get lucky, but it's too many points of origin to just use shape to try and alter the sound of all of the switches. Even if you could calculate that there would be too many compromises, I.E. what helps with X key may make Y worse. I think you're honestly better off worrying about ergonomics and strength, use the right materials and then stuff it full of foam and let that soak up all it can. It's the least worst and easiest option.
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Offline d4v3thund3r

  • Posts: 2
Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #23 on: Sat, 12 February 2022, 16:02:37 »
Hey guys, thanks a lot for the replies!

I had some spare neoprene fabric laying around and fit as much as I reasonably could into each half.

Pitch hasn't changed but it overall sounds a lot less hollow, which is great.

:)

Offline jamster

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  • Location: Asia
Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #24 on: Fri, 04 March 2022, 22:34:03 »
Took me a looong time to finally get around to building the keyboard I built my printer to make in the first place, too many other things to do with them. Cracks me up all of the people saying the only thing they're good for is making other printers. I mean, people love making Benchies! /s  But seriously, I make all sorts of stuff I use on a daily basis.

I totally fail to understand the whole benchie thing... it seems to be such a popular... meme(?) within home 3D printing. I printed one once just because it seems the done thing, but even as it was coming out, felt that it was oddly pointless.

I guess it's a decent test for some print performance points, but as test prints go, there are much better purpose-made ones.

The printer has been a fantastic purchase. I got it partly out of pandemic induced boredom, but it's been so useful. Two of the most recent uses have been properly ruggedised phone cases for kids (with springloaded case corners) and molds for use with metal casting.

Offline Leslieann

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  • Posts: 4517
Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #25 on: Sat, 05 March 2022, 10:19:14 »
Congrats on the printer.
They are a (relatively cheap) hobby in themselves and a useful tool at the same time.


Benchmarking printers is a pet peeve of mine.
Okay you tuned the hell out of your printer to make a fantastic Benchie and while it may get your printer better somewhat better adjusted, some tunes work better for different things. Change plastic of model and suddenly a lot of that tuning just went out the window. They aren't entirely useless, they're good for getting a good base print profile but if you bought an of-the-shelf printer it probably came with printing profile from the manufacturer. Worse, if you know enough about printers it's super easy to "cheat" on most benchmarks.
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Offline TheIcyKoala

  • Posts: 39
Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #26 on: Mon, 07 March 2022, 10:11:44 »
Man having a printer has been so useful for the maker side of this hobby. All I wish is for a printer than can print a non split keyboard in one piece lol. I have to split even planck sized cases in half and epoxy together on a ender 3 sized printer  :D

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #27 on: Mon, 07 March 2022, 18:44:12 »
Man having a printer has been so useful for the maker side of this hobby. All I wish is for a printer than can print a non split keyboard in one piece lol. I have to split even planck sized cases in half and epoxy together on a ender 3 sized printer  :D
Everyone wants bigger until they actually get it, I always say their eyes are bigger than their desk.

The faster or bigger it is is, the more problems and challenges you face.
Not just in maintaining or storing said printer, my 18in corexy (large enough for a TKL) is about the size of a dorm fridge, but also the engineering side of your designs. PLA shrinks about 1.5-3%, on a 6 or 8 inch object that's not a lot, but triple your print size and now that 3% becomes a huge problem, given the right circumstance it can bend and break beds (done that). And if you want to heat said bed, which can decrease stress while printing but increase it during cool down, to heat my bed would require around 1000 watts of electricity. For days. With a 0.4mm nozzle each roll of plastic would take about $45 in electricity to heat the print bed and cool the house (I ran the numbers) due to the massive amount of heat given off.

Then you have failed prints.
The bigger it is the higher the chance of something happening so reliability has to be really, really, really high. Say you can get several 6 hour prints without any minor problems from your Ender, maybe a dozen, that's the same as just one modest print on my large machine. Ignoring the fact that I run at nearly double Ender speeds (so double those numbers), one minor problem every 60 hours or so is just not even remotely acceptable, it needs to be several hundred hours between even the smallest issue to seem even remotely reliable on something like this and that's not easy. 

Buuuuut, it also does amazing stuff, like all 3 parts of a TKL (top, bottom, plate) in one shot (not recommended!).



Honestly,
It's pretty rare to really use anywhere near the max size so it's rather impractical most of the time anyhow, not that it stops me. It's my primary printer since it can be run remotely and self calibrates.
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Offline jamster

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  • Location: Asia
Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #28 on: Tue, 08 March 2022, 08:23:44 »
PLA shrinks about 1.5-3%, on a 6 or 8 inch object that's not a lot, but triple your print size and now that 3% becomes a huge problem, given the right circumstance it can bend and break beds (done that). And if you want to heat said bed, which can decrease stress while printing but increase it during cool down, to heat my bed would require around 1000 watts of electricity. For days. With a 0.4mm nozzle each roll of plastic would take about $45 in electricity to heat the print bed and cool the house (I ran the numbers) due to the massive amount of heat given off.

For you calculation, what temperature were you maintaining the bed at? PLA/PETG/ABS temperatures?

I haven't bothered to calculate, part of that is down to a small-ish bed and most print jobs being with PLA.

I cannot physically store a decently sized CoreXY at my place, so a larger printer is out of the question. But I am interested in the numbers.

Offline Leslieann

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 4517
Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #29 on: Tue, 08 March 2022, 10:25:27 »
For you calculation, what temperature were you maintaining the bed at? PLA/PETG/ABS temperatures?

I haven't bothered to calculate, part of that is down to a small-ish bed and most print jobs being with PLA.
1000 watts is a conservative estimate based on what I've used on other large printers, which I had done the math on.

It should in theory reach 80-100c but it would take quite a while to get there. If I was to actually use it for ABS or nylon* regularly I'd enclose it and probably aim for 1500 watts (I'd run the actual number and increase a bit from there).  Keep in mind you're talking around $3000 to build something like this properly, cutting your power limit just to save $20 to $50 at this point is foolish.

I quit using heated beds long ago, for every problem they solve, they create another.


*The only reason to use something like this for ABS is doing many, many multiple parts at once like for production, this is an entirely different discussion but suffice to say, it's a bad idea. Many smaller printers work better in production than one large one.
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Offline jamster

  • Thread Starter
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  • Location: Asia
Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #30 on: Wed, 09 March 2022, 01:20:33 »
For you calculation, what temperature were you maintaining the bed at? PLA/PETG/ABS temperatures?

I haven't bothered to calculate, part of that is down to a small-ish bed and most print jobs being with PLA.
1000 watts is a conservative estimate based on what I've used on other large printers, which I had done the math on.

It should in theory reach 80-100c but it would take quite a while to get there. If I was to actually use it for ABS or nylon* regularly I'd enclose it and probably aim for 1500 watts (I'd run the actual number and increase a bit from there).  Keep in mind you're talking around $3000 to build something like this properly, cutting your power limit just to save $20 to $50 at this point is foolish.

I quit using heated beds long ago, for every problem they solve, they create another.


*The only reason to use something like this for ABS is doing many, many multiple parts at once like for production, this is an entirely different discussion but suffice to say, it's a bad idea. Many smaller printers work better in production than one large one.

[I wish I could somehow go back and edit the thread subject to something about 3D printing.]

What are you doing in place of heated beds? Especially for materials which are prone to warpage? On the Prusa, the combination of PEI and removable steel plate is extremely convenient, and I have not considered printing without heat.

A couple years from now, I might be in a place big enough for a larger printer and would have been considering something like a Ratrig VCore. But if power draw for heating alone works out to $45 per roll, then that suddenly makes something like the unreleased Prusa XL, with it's 4x4 bed, economically more sensible.

This does make me think that next time I run my printer, I'll have a meter plugged in to watch power consumption.

Offline Leslieann

  • * Elevated Elder
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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #31 on: Wed, 09 March 2022, 14:56:04 »

What are you doing in place of heated beds? Especially for materials which are prone to warpage? On the Prusa, the combination of PEI and removable steel plate is extremely convenient, and I have not considered printing without heat.
I use 1/2in thick tempered glass on my 18in. bed and glue sticks to make the print stick. Works with any plastic, unlike bed coatings and no fear of scratching it.

The spring steel sheets are not very flat, which is why some people with them have actually gone back to glass as an "upgrade". I find it funny so many went that direction while many of us with more precise machines were complaining about how tempered glass, while much flatter, wasn't even all that flat.

Stick on sheets are also an issue, this much pull would yank that up. I've actually pulled chunks of glass out of the heated bed while using Borosilicate* glass as well as broken 1/4in thick 12in  Borosilicate bed (that hurt $$). For a while on my mid sized machine I was just using cheap glass from picture frames and Home Depot, un-heated but even those would only last a few months before they would crack from stress, at $2-$10 each I wasn't concerned. That's since been switched to 3/8in glass for that machine and haven't had a problem since.


Admittedly, my method is not a common one and I've had many discussions with people who want or think they need a heated bed, after they got one of my machines and learn to deal with it though they never seem to be too concerned about it ever again. I've seen a lot of trends come and go in printing, and while I'm not saying heated beds or magnetic beds are a trend but I do think people rely on them too much and it causes them more trouble than they realize. I can spread a bit of glue, level my bed and have several layers before most people's beds have even gotten warm to the touch.

Here's how I combat warpage and lift.
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=109345.msg3008265#msg3008265


* Borosilicate glass handles uneven heat better than tempered and untempered glass, which is an issue on printers, you'd be surprised how much heat a print can push into the glass even without a heated bed. The problem is our heaters do not heat it evenly, especially the edges and that causes extra stress. Unfortunately Borosicate glass is also delicate in thin sheets like we use, as many quickly find out, first chunks rip out and then it just breaks, so even if you go thicker it won't fix the problem.



A couple years from now, I might be in a place big enough for a larger printer and would have been considering something like a Ratrig VCore. But if power draw for heating alone works out to $45 per roll, then that suddenly makes something like the unreleased Prusa XL, with it's 4x4 bed, economically more sensible.
I built a printer that used a similar solution, I think Prusa will have problems with it. I get the reasons and it will work well enough, but I doubt it's going to work how people will expect from Prusa.


This does make me think that next time I run my printer, I'll have a meter plugged in to watch power consumption.
Mine all ran on 34 watts before I swapped out the heaters (30 if I ran slow with less heat), my mini is still using just 34 watts but my biggest rig is probably now closer to 65 watts due to the heater core upgrade which it needed to combat the hot end cooling and blowers, extra z motors, daughter board and electronics to calibrate it. It takes a lot to lift and level a 15 pound bed.



By the way, if you want a bigger machine that doesn't break the bank and isn't quite so large, I'm not sure if they still offer it or something similar but Tronxy used to sell a 16in  CoreXy for about $500, you may even be able to get one used for cheap. Go for that and immediately upgrade the extruder (it's meh) and you would still be cheaper than even a common Prusa. After that look into community upgrades to fix minor issues and you'd have a pretty solid machine for relatively cheap. Later, if you want a bit nicer consider higher step motors for a bit more precision, smaller pulleys can get you almost as much precision but less speed. The last upgrade would be electronics, but I'd only do this if you want to really step up your game as the electronics upgrade (that can also run something better) can cost as much as the machine. Once you reach that point, the next step would be to start collecting parts to build a scaled up Railcore or Vcore or something and transfer your parts into it.
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Offline jamster

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #32 on: Thu, 10 March 2022, 23:18:50 »
Here's how I combat warpage and lift.
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=109345.msg3008265#msg3008265

Those two images in the post you linked from 2021. I am trying to understand them:

  • The red one, referring to lilly-pads... what do the flat hemispheres do? I Googled around they appear to be localised brims, but your example has a gap to the main object, so I don't see how they act as an adhesive brim. Is it because the gap is so small (0.1mm) that the object and pad are still attached?

    The green one, those channels in the underside of the shape are there to relieve stress from the tendency of the material to warp? This one seems fairly easy to try out.

The Prusa relies on an inductive sensor, so glass is a bit of a no-go. I did have glass on the Ender, but getting prints off was occasionally a pain. The steel PEI sheets currently in use have been durable and convenient, and I have mistakenly stocked up on cheap third party replacements so now have far more plates than I need.

I'll try printing some materials without any heat at all, and see how that goes. What I'd really like to be able to do is print ABS and polycarbonate without going up to 100C, that's just hugely wasteful of heat.

I built a printer that used a similar solution, I think Prusa will have problems with it. I get the reasons and it will work well enough, but I doubt it's going to work how people will expect from Prusa.

Yeah, the new Prusa sounds very wizz bang, and there is a fair bit of excitement around it. But going to past history, I think that the people who signed up for pre-orders are highly optimistic. I wonder what sort of novel teething problems will arise when they start arriving.


By the way, if you want a bigger machine that doesn't break the bank and isn't quite so large, I'm not sure if they still offer it or something similar but Tronxy used to sell a 16in  CoreXy for about $500, you may even be able to get one used for cheap. Go for that and immediately upgrade the extruder (it's meh) and you would still be cheaper than even a common Prusa. After that look into community upgrades to fix minor issues and you'd have a pretty solid machine for relatively cheap. Later, if you want a bit nicer consider higher step motors for a bit more precision, smaller pulleys can get you almost as much precision but less speed. The last upgrade would be electronics, but I'd only do this if you want to really step up your game as the electronics upgrade (that can also run something better) can cost as much as the machine. Once you reach that point, the next step would be to start collecting parts to build a scaled up Railcore or Vcore or something and transfer your parts into it.

I have very limited space (so no big printer and limited tools), and limited time (young kids), so a big printer is far in the future. One thing I have learned though is that repeatedly fixing problems from inherently compromised products is too painful. I'm at a stage where time and sanity is worth more than cash- I started with an Ender because of lingering cheap 'bastard habits', and whilst that path had its benefits (having to learn how to fix things) it was in hindsight not optimal. I do understand that going down the enthusiast CoreXY route isn't really compatible with the limited time statement though.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #33 on: Fri, 11 March 2022, 20:06:09 »

Keep in mind, I'm not trying to sway you or anyone else here, just explaining how it differs due to working with larger print volumes for so long.
What you have works great at your scale, not everything works as well, or at all, as you scale up and that's a common misconception by people who think you can just make it bigger.  Scaling a printer design is relatively easy (to screw it up as well!), making it work well and understanding how printing changes as you do is where the learning curve comes in and what all of this discussion has been geared towards. While these techniques work on smaller scale, it's usually not necessary.

------------------------------------

  • The red one, referring to lilly-pads... what do the flat hemispheres do? I Googled around they appear to be localised brims, but your example has a gap to the main object, so I don't see how they act as an adhesive brim. Is it because the gap is so small (0.1mm) that the object and pad are still attached?
Correct, it's a localized large brim, primarily aimed at corners (where lift happens most) the gap is supposed to be 0.01mm, not 0.1mm.

Never seen anyone else use the gap method on them but I prefer it.
The gap is small enough that it will still bond quite well but when broken off leaves a solid wall behind it. If there is zero gap the slicer will treat it as part of the object and not only will it not snap off clean but also leaves infill exposed. Horizontally the connection is strong, but vertically it is weak so it can snap off sort of easily when finished or worst case cleaved off with a razor leaving a smooth wall.

Basically it tricks the slicer into creating a solid wall behind it and also break away easier.


The Prusa relies on an inductive sensor, so glass is a bit of a no-go. I did have glass on the Ender, but getting prints off was occasionally a pain. The steel PEI sheets currently in use have been durable and convenient, and I have mistakenly stocked up on cheap third party replacements so now have far more plates than I need.

Inductive is not always as precise as people think.
The fake BL Touch probes (inductive but with a probe attached so it becomes mechanical) are not near as good as the real thing and even that varies. Most are unaware but the inductance probes are influenced by nearby voltage, I have a real BL Touch on my big printer and I have to disable the heater while it probes (firmware does this for me) or it will be off enough to notice. On a smaller printer it's not a big deal but small amounts grow big over long distances so every bit counts. Same applies to the surface itself, you can't have a 0.15mm dip in the bed when your layer height is 0.02mm and the larger your bed, the more it can vary, glass, steel, doesn't matter.


For getting prints off glass I use a bread peel/spatula and a razor blade (to get under initially) and if necessary, warm water.
On massive prints I sometimes need to deploy extras of everything and even throw in a few steak knives to act as wedges to get water underneath and loosen the glue. It's easy to think this is what breaks my beds but out of dozens of glass beds I've only broken one this way, a $2 home depot piece of glass and I pretty much knew it was doomed before I even hit "print" (I took a chance). The rest were thermal shock or accidents.


I'll try printing some materials without any heat at all, and see how that goes. What I'd really like to be able to do is print ABS and polycarbonate without going up to 100C, that's just hugely wasteful of heat.
Without heat from a heated bed it often leads to severe delamination on ABS and Nylon (and PC? been a while since I did it), they need a bit of extra warmth to create a stronger bond for each new layer (too little retained heat) or a lot of extra heat coming out of the nozzle to make up for it, this can cause more shrinkage, but also walks a fine line of bonding vs cooking. ABS has a rather small temp range, PET has modest one, PLA has a WIIIDE one, so long as you are printing, it's really hard to cook PLA. On smaller objects the nozzle comes back around fast enough that it never has a chance to fully cool so it can stick regardless but on big ones it needs that heat. This is why those plastics are so prone to air drafts destroying prints and you see people using cardboard walls to stop air flow through the machine and why the print can change as you get further off the bed and into cooler air, creating a hourglass effect on the shape of the object. This goes back to my claim of creating more problems than it can be worth, I had massive hourglassing. Even PET suffers from the layer adhesion problems to an extent but nowhere near what the others do.  ABS can lose 80% of it's strength if done wrong.

When I do ABS, Nylon or PC it's always very small objects, anything larger I'd rather just re-engineer it to use some other plastic, like PET. As mentioned before, those plastics all have too much shrinkage to do large stuff anyhow, at least not without a complete temp controlled chamber and that brings all sorts of other issues.


Your bed may not sick well or at all without heat and if you do get it to stick, if it's a stick on coating (not baked on like Prusa) it can cause it to lift and stretch, wrecking the bed. Contrary to how it seems in the advertising, heat is the main component of these surfaces. Not saying the surface doesn't matter, just that it's a combination of the two and the sheet won't work well, if at all without any. This also is some of the reason the prints pop off so easy after. With a well tuned printer and heated bed you can actually print PLA directly onto clean bare glass, no glue stick or anything. It doesn't grip well enough for consistent printing and often comes loose later but it is very doable with the right printer.


Yeah, the new Prusa sounds very wizz bang, and there is a fair bit of excitement around it. But going to past history, I think that the people who signed up for pre-orders are highly optimistic. I wonder what sort of novel teething problems will arise when they start arriving.

Large single prints will have issues with bed uneven-ness and lines where joints are, you can probe all you want, it can only compensate so much for uneven surfaces. Remember you're crossing multiple beds, each with different tolerances. If you're doing a 0.2mm layer you can't have one at 0.05mm and other at 0.3mm. That sounds like a big gap, and it is, but not when you are screwing parts together and using multiple magnets covered in iron dust. That's not going to be easily solved.

The other thing is people and bad printing practices.
People will try to fill the bed with lots of small parts, this is effectively putting all your eggs in one basket. All it takes is for one object to come loose from the bed, crash into another and sends the nozzle on a wild goose chase and now instead of 2-4 hours of spaghetti on your print bed you're left with 8-12 hours of it. Make it a 0.8mm nozzle and you just ruined an entire spool of plastic and half a day of printing and electricity.

On the surface it sounds great, a large Prusa, excellent(!) but it compromises the very things it's supposed to deal with.
From experience, you're better off with multiple printers than trying to make one large printer do everything.


I do understand that going down the enthusiast CoreXY route isn't really compatible with the limited time statement though.
Printer reliability comes down to parts and how they're used, not so much the style of printer they're attached to, deltas actually rule in terms of duty cycle/reliability, mechanically they're super simple machines with little to wear out. Provided you use good parts, a well designed and assembled(!) enthusiast grade open source printer is going to be far less problematic so you actually spend less time messing with it. Enthusiasts mess with them to make them better/faster/reliable/capable, not because they have problems.

Corexy is popular because you get (most of) the speed of a delta with the accuracy of a cartesian for little to no cost (over a cartesian, deltas are cheaper).
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Offline Leslieann

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #34 on: Fri, 11 March 2022, 20:08:16 »
I wish I could somehow go back and edit the thread subject to something about 3D printing.

I'll probably take much of this and throw it into a thread with more info for people interested later as it could be beneficial.
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Offline jamster

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #35 on: Mon, 14 March 2022, 11:34:43 »
Thanks for the seriously in-depth writeup there! A fair bit to mull over, the lilly pad approach will be usable in the immediate term.

I do understand that going down the enthusiast CoreXY route isn't really compatible with the limited time statement though.
Printer reliability comes down to parts and how they're used, not so much the style of printer they're attached to, deltas actually rule in terms of duty cycle/reliability, mechanically they're super simple machines with little to wear out. Provided you use good parts, a well designed and assembled(!) enthusiast grade open source printer is going to be far less problematic so you actually spend less time messing with it. Enthusiasts mess with them to make them better/faster/reliable/capable, not because they have problems.

Corexy is popular because you get (most of) the speed of a delta with the accuracy of a cartesian for little to no cost (over a cartesian, deltas are cheaper).

My comment regarding time and CoreXY was more the sourcing and building, rather than an ongoing tinkering comment. Especially with the Voron where getting the parts seems to be a huge, multi-month undertaking through Aliexpress vendors.

Smallish design considerations and parts quality seems to be a huge factor, unsurprisingly. I've seen that between the two printers I have owned- similar design, utterly different levels of maintenance required.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #36 on: Mon, 14 March 2022, 17:05:26 »
My comment regarding time and CoreXY was more the sourcing and building, rather than an ongoing tinkering comment. Especially with the Voron where getting the parts seems to be a huge, multi-month undertaking through Aliexpress vendors.
You're welcome.

There's smaller vendors who can provide parts needed much faster for not much extra.

Voron is... odd.
I like it (seriously) and it's obviously very capable but there's a lot of decisions that seem to have been made based strictly on saving every penny regardless of time and effort and a few things that make it to where changing certain (standardized) parts means it will no longer function properly as it seems to rely on friction to keep the bed in place when power is cut. I've worked on deltas who's motors couldn't support a lightweight effector let alone a bed's weight, not sure how it would fare with a few kilos on the bed.

Compare that to Railcore which is like, "you want aluminum with that?"
If you're already spending $2400 on a printer, an extra $50 or even $100 over the lifetime of the printer is almost trivial and many also forget you can carry many of those parts over onto the next printer you build so it's a buy once, use many affairs, I have parts that have been on 4 or 5 machines. Once you get on the open source track you can rebuild/replace your printer every year or two with minimal investment by re-using parts and maybe re-engineering a thing or two to fit your hardware or electronics.

Of course, that also means time.
At least it's fun.
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Offline jamster

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #37 on: Thu, 21 April 2022, 22:25:31 »
  • The red one, referring to lilly-pads... what do the flat hemispheres do? I Googled around they appear to be localised brims, but your example has a gap to the main object, so I don't see how they act as an adhesive brim. Is it because the gap is so small (0.1mm) that the object and pad are still attached?
Correct, it's a localized large brim, primarily aimed at corners (where lift happens most) the gap is supposed to be 0.01mm, not 0.1mm.

Never seen anyone else use the gap method on them but I prefer it.
The gap is small enough that it will still bond quite well but when broken off leaves a solid wall behind it. If there is zero gap the slicer will treat it as part of the object and not only will it not snap off clean but also leaves infill exposed. Horizontally the connection is strong, but vertically it is weak so it can snap off sort of easily when finished or worst case cleaved off with a razor leaving a smooth wall.

Basically it tricks the slicer into creating a solid wall behind it and also break away easier.

Coming back to this, because I've recently started using localised brims. Simply by placing a 0.2 shape on the build plate that merges with the object, which needs to be shaved off afterwards.

Do you have a reasonably simple and elegant way of adding the 0.01mm gap in the lily pad, or is it a manual placement that requires fiddly and precise alignment?

(On another note, I have a now Voron V0.1 kit on order, for something to play with. Certainly no space for anything bigger)[/list]

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
« Reply #38 on: Fri, 22 April 2022, 09:36:28 »
    Do you have a reasonably simple and elegant way of adding the 0.01mm gap in the lily pad, or is it a manual placement that requires fiddly and precise alignment?

    (On another note, I have a now Voron V0.1 kit on order, for something to play with. Certainly no space for anything bigger)[/list]

    Toss the item into Tinkercad and add the pads, for certain jobs, this being one of them, it's hard to beat Tinkercad for speed.

    Congrats on the Voron.
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    More
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    More
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    More
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    Definitive Omron Guide. | 3d printed Keyboard FAQ/Discussion

    Offline jamster

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    Re: Dactyl Manuform and acoustics
    « Reply #39 on: Tue, 26 April 2022, 23:23:00 »
      Do you have a reasonably simple and elegant way of adding the 0.01mm gap in the lily pad, or is it a manual placement that requires fiddly and precise alignment?

      (On another note, I have a now Voron V0.1 kit on order, for something to play with. Certainly no space for anything bigger)[/list]

      Toss the item into Tinkercad and add the pads, for certain jobs, this being one of them, it's hard to beat Tinkercad for speed.

      Congrats on the Voron.

      Bummer, just tried Tinkercad, and it's as I expected- they 'thunk' down polygon numbers in objects too much, so the objects noticeably lose resolution in curved areas. I'll go back to doing it it in the slicer.