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My first build - Voron V0.2S1 (LDO kit)


Introduction: After a lot of consideration, I decided on New Years Eve to take the plunge and try a Voron kit. I chose an LDO V0.2 kit. I don't currently own a 3D printer, and understand that a Voron build is not recommended as a first experience. But I'm up for a project! The kIt (LDO Voron V0.2-S1) arrived the first week of the year. I'm spending more time building than posting, so am only now making my first post. The first hurdle was the recommended "no drop nut" mod. I ended up printing a bunch of these at a local maker space -- this was a learning experience in itself. I printed in PLA, which was all that was available to me at the maker space. I am hoping PLA will hold up well enough, since these are just holding the nuts in the extrusions. Perhaps I'll reprint in ABS after the printer is done.

The kit arrived well packed, as did the printed parts, which I bought at the same time as the kit.

LDO V0.2 kit in box.jpeg
Good luck! The LDO kit is very good. Take your time and follow the instructions carefully--especially checking, double-checking, and triple-checking the nut preloads. Once you get to the electronics, read the LDO doce very carefully in addition to the Voron docs.
After being sick a few days, and making no progress on the kit at all, I got back to it. I got back to the local maker space, and finished printing the ~110 or so "No drop nut" pieces which are recommended in the LDO documentation (and YouTube videos I've watched).

Lots of no drop nuts populated with M3 nuts.jpeg

I finally began the build process proper by stripping the rails of the shipping grease by soaking in 90% Isopropyl alcohol from the drug store overnight. I then dried them, and squeezed as much Shell Mobiluxe EP-2 grease into the bearing carts as I could manage.

While the rails were drying, I began looking through the printed parts I'd gotten from MatterHackers to see if I could find the rail installation guides. (Could these also be optional mods?) I ended up going through all the printed parts I'd gotten from MatterHackers. After matching the printed parts with the included bed layouts from MH, I recorded on the inventory sheet the bag where the part was found, and put it back in the original bag. I hope this helps when it comes time to find the part again. And I did indeed find the rail guides. I’m a little confused about the Kirigami bed parts, as some are marked as "LDO" parts and some are not in the parts manifest. I hope this becomes clearer as I proceed. And it looks like there are parts for several different hot ends, including the Revo hot end I got with the kit. So there are going to be some unused parts.

Also while the rails were drying, I labeled all the extrusions with painter's tape, in order to (hopefully) avoid confusion later. My future self really appreciated this.

I then mounted the Z rails to the extrusions, and built the Z frame with temporary "H" extrusions to help square the frame. The grey platform in the photo is a machinist's surface plate I had around the shop. It seems big enough to build on for now, and should help to keep things square as I buildZ rails installed.jpeg.

This seemed like a good stopping point. The next step will be the Kirigami bed.
I did the mechanical assembly of the Kirigami bed. The LDO instructions said to check the bed carefully for levelness. I did, and found no issues. I mounted the bed to the Z rails, and did lots of "tramming" and adjustment of the Z rails to ensure it moves up and down easily. I ended up with a bed which doesn't descend the rails just by force of gravity. But there are no "tight spots" in the travel, either. And everything still looks square.

Bed mounted with no Z end stop.jpeg

I then spent over an hour trying to find the Z end stop in my printed parts, and the Z end stop switch in the kit. Apparently, looking at my notes on the printed parts paperwork isn't as good as looking at the printed parts themselves -- the end stop was there in the bag. I found the Z end stop switch in the "cables" box, already soldered to the cable. I thought having this pre-soldered was a pretty neat feature of the LDO kit.

I mounted the Z end stop and switch, and called it a night.

The next day, I removed “helper” “H” extrusions from Z axis frame assembly, and preloaded lots of nuts with “no drop nut” mod in PLA. Added “E” extrusions with the Y rails, and “H” extrusions to the back of the frame. During this process, I canted the Z frame into a parallelogram, and resquared it. I hope the all the other frame extrusions will help keep things square. Re-trammed and re-trammed, and remeasured center for the Z rails with dial calipers. At one point, I loosened the Z rails a bit from the extrusions in order to better space things. This may not have been necessary — I’m trying to be very precise in tolerances, and am getting to the 1/10 of a millimeter in tolerances. (The bed still moves smoothly.) Finally, installed the deck panel. Left the bottom “B” extrusion loose, and stopped here. I’ll re-check all the nut preloads when I start tomorrow.

Partial frame with Y rails.jpeg
Started the day by doing a final "nut check" prior to closing the frame. I included extra nuts for the "Nevermore" filter, which I think I'll add later. Then I added the extrusions to close the front of the frame, and spent some time loosening screws and readjusting so that everything so far is square and coplanar.

After a nice cup of tea, I began work on the A and B motor assemblies. I found that using a piece of painter's tape to keep the screws for the bearing stacks from falling out was helpful. I only spilled the bearing stacks a couple of times. I think I found a typo in the manual (p. 78) -- the pulley's bottom of the belt race is much less than 17.5 mm from the motor. But the "Frankenjig" worked well for setting the pulley height.

I then assembled and installed the A/B idlers. It's looking more like a printer!

AB motors and idlers installed.jpeg

I then assembled the feet, including the runout sensor assembly on the right rear foot. I broke the Bowden fitting while installing it in the right rear foot. After spending more on glue than a new part cost, I found a replacement on Amazon -- $8 for 10 new fittings. The LDO kit included a cable pre-soldered to the microswitch for the runout sensor. The cable was soldered to the "normally closed" (outer) terminals of the switch, and the manual says "...soldering wire to the two outer terminal. This will setup the switch in a Normally Open state which is preferred for this type of use case." Hmmm.... A multimeter confirms that the outer terminals of the switch are the "normally closed" terminals. But it looks like the switch is normally activated when a piece of filament is present -- is this what the manual means by "normally open"? After thinking about it for a while, I decided to keep the cable soldered to the outer (normally closed) terminals of the switch. My thinking is that if I later want to disable the runout sensor completely by unplugging it, that the unplugging will mimic the presence of filament in the sensor.
Next step was the A/B belt install and tensioning. I discovered that the belts need to be slightly loose through the X carriage in order for the tensioner knobs to work. I then spent hours spread over several days trying to get both belts within about 1/2 hertz of each other, and close to 110 hertz when I plucked them. I learned that:
  1. The belt tensions change when tightening the motor screws.
  2. The adjustments for the A and B belts are not independent. Adjusting tension in one affects the tension in the other.
  3. Moving the X carriage around its range of motion after a belt adjustment is good to do prior to re-measuring the tension.
  4. It's easy to get the belts so tight when initially attaching them to the X carriage that the tensioners can't reduce the tension to the desired value.
I'll probably remeasure tension in a few days, just to see if things change. But I'm really glad to call this part of the build complete.
A-B belts installed and tensioned.jpeg
Today I installed the print bed and the cable chain. This was pretty straightforward, though I had to refer to LDO instructions for installing the "Kirigami Installation Guide -- Installation during a V0 Build" as well as "Kirigami Bed for Voron V0.2+". (Greg's Maker Corner build series was very helpful as well.) The cables in the LDO kit are pre-crimped and cut to length -- this was a very nice feature. All I had to do was to insert crimped ends into the connector shells after feeding the wires through the cable chain.

Build plate installed.jpeg