The Ender 3 to Voron Switchwire conversion is coming to a (tool)head at last.
Last weekend I had just enough belt left over from the Switchwire project to build half of the motion system. Last Friday, new belts arrived and I was able to complete the motion system after a grinding week of work and late-summer allergies. After spending so much time with the Voron Zero's limited size, the Switchwire felt almost chonky. I was able to belt the XZ axis with no difficulty.
With that finished, the physical construction is almost finished. What remains is the Stealthburner hotend and wiring the electronics.
Due to an ordering mishap, I ended up with a bunch of extra fans and parts necessary to make another Nevermore 3D Printer Air Filter. The Switchwire will have two. The Voron Zero, however, has only had one. Given it's small size, this would probably be enough. However, I would like to use the printer for demonstrations which means overdoing things like air filtration.
Besides, I already had all the parts.
Well, almost all the parts. I had sliced the wrong model and instead printed the set which requires 4x6mm magnets instead of the 6x3mm magnets I already have on hand. While the larger of the two is much easier to acquire, I actually found the 4x6 version printed more nicely on the small V0 print bed.
Eventually, I'll mount this one in the Voron Zero so that I may run two pairs of fans more slowly and quietly than one fan at a higher and louder rate.
While I looked forward to building the motion system for the Switchwire, I was kinda dreading building the hotend. Voron's don't use a lot of prefabricated parts, so the prints which make up the hotend have to be fitted precisely.
It can be done, but it is a lot of work depending on the calibration of your printer. I hadn't tuned mine careful tolerances, but for overall print strength. This means over-extruding slightly so layers bond together more tightly. The downside of this strategy is that when you do need precision, you have to achieve that manually.
I usually have to spend a good hour with hotend parts and needle files until I get the fitting necessary. Even if the parts that snap together do snap together, machined bearings, pins, and components like the shuttle and latch require even more fitting before the extruder will work correctly. Thanks to the previous experience on the V0, this part only required patience. Thankfully, I had some Dark Shadow's audio dramas I hadn't gotten to yet, and went though two episodes before I had a working extruder.
Compared to the Voron Zero with first the Afterburner and then the Mini Stealthburner, the Swtichwire has the same hotend as the Trident and the Voron 2.4 -- The full size Stealthburner. Compared to the Mini, it's *far* easier to build and requires a lot less fiddling with small and sometimes delicate parts.
In general, that's the general theme of the Voron Zero. A lot of people -- myself included -- fell in love with it due to being so small and cute. That smallness actually makes the build a lot more challenging. The Swtichwire, by comparison, feels much more easy to work with. All the parts are larger, the hardware less sparing or uncommon.
The Switchwire, on the other hand, is a much more straightforward machine. This does make me think that, despite the higher price, The Zero should be more a challenge build rather than the first Voron you make. Still, if you can succeed at building one it's much easier to take on the other printer builds.