Z Endstop Hack for the MakerGear M2

As some background information, the way the MakerGear M2 Homes its Z axis is it has a bolt on the platform that raises and lowers your bed.

Above it, just beneath the X-axis rail, is a switch that triggers when there is contact.

When the printer is homing its Z axis, it raises the bed until the bolt triggers that switch. At that point, the printer considers itself a Z-Home.

MakerGear has some great videos for the maintenance and setup of your machine, including how to do your Z Endstop calibration! Basically you raise your bed until a business card can just fit under the nozzle and then you raise the bolt to ensure it trips the switch at that exact height.

Disclaimer– I love my MakerGear M2 profusely and I will continue to love it profusely. That said, I find the bolt awkward and tough to raise.

One day I needed to update my Z Endstop application and I struggled getting that bolt to do my bidding.

“If only…if only I had something to stick on top of this bolt to make it taller.” I thought.

It turns out I did have something, something that was already a part of my 3D Printing arsensal– Painter’s Tape!

I cut out little squares of painters tape, made a tower, put it on top of my bolt. I fine tuned the tower’s height until my nozzle was a business card height above my bed. BAM! ZEndstop calibration!

Honestly, I never expected this solution to have the staying power it has, but I continue to use it to this day! I was worried about the repeatability of the Z-Home, that there would be variances in run to run in how the painter’s tape compresses, but it has proven to be consistent and reliable. I have also been shocked (SHOCKED) that it weathers travel well.

I have found this painter’s tape hack to help speed up my process of switching nozzles. When I switch to my 0.5mm nozzle for woodFill, I just have to add or remove squares of painter’s tape and I am ready to print.

Not For You?
If my painter’s tape hack is not for you, there are other options in calibration your Z Endstop for the MakerGear M2. This video by MakerGear shows you how to do it the “right” way. In addition, you can print a tool to make that bolt adjustment less awkward.

Fun with Gyro Cubes!

I recently uploaded my remix Gyro Cube to Thingiverse! That’s up at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1722631 It includes three files:

  1. A “Print in Place” version where all the spheres print in position and work as soon as you remove support material.
  2. A “Snap in Place” version where all the spheres print directly on the bed and you snap them into position after printing.
  3. All the OpenSCAD code for future remixes.

My version is a remix of smorloc’s Big Nippled Parametric Gyro Cube (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:40760) which in turn is a remix of whosawhatsis’s Parametric Gyro Cube (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:19304). A remix of a remix!This video hits on a bunch of things:
1) Using Simplify3D’s Mesh-Separate Connected Surfaces to preview and get a feel for the connections of the existing Gyro Cube models.

  1. My modifications to the Big Nippled Gyro Cube , my thought process behind my new connections, and printing the spheres in place.
  2. Using Simplify3D’s Cross Section View to determine good stopping points for embedding the spheres within each other and
    using Multiple Processes to achieve a five color Gyro Cube on my single extruder machine.
  3. Since my family is completely in love with Pokémon Go, I also go over using Multiple Processes and the Print-in-Place version of in Simplify3D to make a Pokeball Gyro Cube.
  4. Passing on a tip from TimeFramed from the Big Thick Gyro Cube V2 (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:165424) and incorporating a vertical lift to my retractions.

Custom GCode Scripts for Embedded Spheres
G91; relative mode
G1 Z100; lift 100mm

G90; absolute mode

Processes for Embedded Spheres
(From smallest to largest)
Sphere 1
-One process for the whole thing

Sphere 2
-0 – 40 mms
-Insert Sphere 1
-40mms on

Sphere 3
-0 – 50 mms
-Insert Sphere 2
-50mms on

Sphere 4
-0 – 60 mms
-Insert Sphere 3
-60mms on

Sphere 5
– 0 – 71 mms
– Insert Sphere 4
– 71 mms on

Custom GCode Scripts for Pokémon Go
(When starting I add calls to purge the nozzle due to color changes)

G91; relative mode
G1 Z100; lift 100mm

G90 ; absolute mode
G92 E0 ; zero extruder
G1 E25 F225 ; purge nozzle
G92 E0 ; zero extruder

Processes for Pokémon Go
– 0 – 35mm – White
– 35mm – 45mm – Black
– 45mm – 80mm – Red