Our first nozzle heater coil attempt failed miserably. The refractory selected for the task was far too course and we were unable to fill the nozzle cavity properly. So when it heated up, the heater coil sagged and shorted out. But – we did learn from our mistake(s)!
One missing step was to measure the resistance of the heating wire before it is hidden from view. This lets us keep an “eye” on the coil even when its buried in refractory. So if we get the resistance readings after packing refractory, we know for sure that the coil has not shorted out. The first coil didn’t short out, but it wasn’t packed satisfactorily.
Another thing we learned is; it was difficult to pack the coil in place. So to help to that end, we decided to pre-pack the heater coil (after stretching of course). Between the proper refractory and the pre-packing we are confident this second attempt will work.
We are very excited to get the last hot-end machining done. It was stopping us from packing the nozzle heater in refractory, and getting this show on the road. She’s really starting to look like a lean mean glass printing machine!
One thing we really wanted from day one is to be able to actuate the nozzle. It will allow for much more complex pieces to be printed beyond single wall items (such as vases) than the glass printer as described by MIT. There are some ideas presented by the Glass Lab, though this is our stab at the task.
As eager as we are to get the nozzle glowing yellow; we took the time to put it in now. We are quite pleased with the outcome so far (to be tested of course). We wonder if aluminum and copper will be printable with this setup?!?
The main reason we bit the bullet now is the crucible assembly will be much more fragile after its all been fired, so we needed to do it now if it is to be done with our initial setup.