So, as July rolls into August we are 3 days into our very public 3D printer build at O2/Telefónica, and things are coming along nicely.
Many hands made light work yesterday, we had up to 4 builders from the @TheLab_uk team and being midweek, slightly fewer people were passing by to ask us about the build, although those who did were no less keen to learn about 3D printing!
The Lab are all about solving tricky problems for O2/Telefónica with innovative solutions, and it was impressive to see them dovetail together to attack the building tasks, divvying up tiny plastic bags of components and tools to complete the building of the extruder and heated bed components that are the essence of the 3D printer. At no point did we descend into a chaos of jumbled bits and pieces, and there were no health & safety moments (as an external contractor I removed myself from the premises to take actual flames to the shrink-wrapping, and will be armed with solder today), but we did test to the limit instructions more normally followed by hobbyists on their own time with total command of the kitchen table… in every case we were able to follow the web instructions to a satisfactory conclusion, but we had to ignore some of the photos based on earlier iterations and back up a few times, and it was fortunate that we could use my printer to add spacers for the NEMA17 extruder motors, to those supplied with the kit (it would hurt our timescale to wait to commission the printer as Mono before printing the final components as suggested).
Idiot-proofing implies you have to be an idiot to need this, but when you’re dropping in mid-build and between meetings at work, that’s the level you need things to be, so I have kept a note of feedback which will hopefully inform future builds.
So, here is the result of our handiwork to date, I expect us to substantially complete the printer today, and we look forward to commissioning it and making real some of the great ideas people have come up with tomorrow!