Tuki Printer Build: Part 17. Adding smarts, rebuilding hot end.

Adding smarts.

I want to add a tablet to my printer. Preferably via a small slot on the top of the printer. The tablet has to be able to be removed mid print with no adverse effects on the system or the print itself.


  • Tablet integration
  • cura must run on tablet
  • WIFI SD card must be able to accept g-code over wifi
  • Camera integration for print monitoring. (Android Camera)
  • Standalone 3D scanner. (Turntable style) integrated into the top of the printer.


  • TP-Link TL-WR703N (Flashed to DDWRT with USB/IP support)
  • Dell Venue 8 Pro (Windows 8.1) running cura/pronterface/aruino ide
  • 5 port USB power. ~40W
  • LG L70 Cell Phone as a camera this phone has been basically wiped and only has one app on it, IP Webcam
  • Turntable 3D Scanner (will build this from scratch) and will be integrated on top of the printer.


For the above requirements I decided to use a 40W DC-DC converter I got from AliExpress for $11.78 shipped. It is branded as CPT and it is a fully sealed unit. My multimeter shows 4.98V whether I am charging 2 tablets and 2 cell phones or if its idle. Seems like a decent unit to me. Regardless it will not really need to supply 40W at all times, only at peak.

  • Mounted and 3d printed power hub. 5 USB ports wired in parallel for 5v power.


This cute little fella.

There are multiple reasons to have this router integrated into the printer. The two main reasons are these.

  • USB/IP gives me serial connection over wifi for Pronterface
  • Will act as a wifi bridge for my Raspberry Pi 2 for 3d Scanning, no need for a wifi USB adapter.

I cannot take credit for the USB/IP firmware on this router. This work has be done by MADOX linky-> guide for flashing the DD-WRDT firmware with the USB/IP stack already installed. Total cost? 1 hour of my time and 17USD....
The WR-703N will become a permanent fixture on my printer, it will augment the capability of detaching my tablet from the printer and walking into a different room while still keeping an eye on my printer. It connects automatically to my wifi router on boot up. Takes less than 1 minute to boot.

Sealing the wood.

I have been meaning to show this. I have been using ABS goop as a sealant and glue for a bit now. Its very good at closing up the pores of the wood. To do this I thin out my goop in acetone and simply apply it with a small brush. It leaves an untidy finish but the end result is a piece of wood that no longer absorbs moisture and does not warp or crack. Not a bad solution. I wonder if it works on MDF as well. If it does with no ill effect my next printer will probably get some ABS impregnated MDF as its very easy to cut and machine.

Filtering out fumes.

I print in ABS and as such it does emit fumes. My wife does not like the fumes at all. So I figured I would integrate a filter and an exhaust fan into the printer. This will become active once I finish enclosing the printer. I am using a charcoal filter element that I cut into shape for the exhaust fan. I also plan on running a charcoal filter on the intake of the exhaust fan as well as another charcoal filter in the heater for the heated chamber.

New designs.

I designed a new end effector and carriages for my printer. They are all printed in ABS so they should be fine in a heated chamber. The designs are all from scratch and the following features have been added.

  • Hot end moved up, using bottom two fins to secure in place
  • Auto leveling probe (beta)
  • Quick disconnect electrical connections 2x xt60 connectors & 1 USB port.
  • Lights on the end to help see the print details.
  • Carriages use screws to tighten against the linear bearings.
  • Carriages use two posts to hold the bearing in place. No more zip ties.

The XT60 Connectors will provide thermal probe and heater cartridge interface.

The USB port will provide connections for the hall sensor as well as 12v for the LED's integrated into the end effector.

The ball joints are IGUS brand and feel very precise. The CF rods are stiff 6mm units. (Tubular design not solid) Using m3 bolts that had the heads cut off, the bolts fit perfectly in the rods.

Using a 3printed mount to hold the connectors to the 5mm grove found on many hot ends.

The actual carriges.

Bottom shielding. The bottom of the carriage needs to be shielded to ensure it does not warp. This adds a bit of weight but it does reduce risk and increase stiffness.

Next up?

Printing the rest of the parts necessary for building the heated chamber. Then teardown of the entire printer and rebuild. This thing is turning out to be a very complex machine.

Sneak peak....

I will be adding a DC converter to the heated bed to increase voltage into the 13-14v range. That could give me as much as 50% more power on the heated bed. Need to rebuild my ramps board to accommodate this. Replace the mosfets with 150A mosfets as well as get rid of the self-resetting fuses and replacing them with automotive 10A and 5A fuses. So much work yet to be done.
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Bruno M.

Engineer, Tinkerer, Technologist, Maker.

New York

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