Introduction

Blackbox combines learned best practices with exciting tool-changing capabilities to offer a uniquely capable open-source machine. It is designed to be sourced using off-the-shelf parts where possible and assembled by anyone determined to build one. Even with these intentions during development, Blackbox is complex when compared to some of the other open-source designs. It is the aim of this guide (along with all the other resources and documentation) to provide a fun, user friendly assembly experience.

Disclaimer:This document should serve only as a guide. We cannot be held responsible for errors during assembly or damages to your parts, equipment, or person as a result of using this guide. Please exercise good judgement and safety while building your machine. Always wear protective gear as necessary.

Below is a list of tools you’ll need (along with some suggested) before you get started.

See also the list of naming conventions used throughout the guide.

NOTE: In the Guides presented here, I have simply provided the function of format creator and editor, with a small amount of ancillary content. Others have provided the instructions and descriptions, including Kris Brickman, and Marc Schomann.

    • When starting any new project, it is best to get organized. Determine the space in which you will build, the tools you will use, how to organize them for easy access, and plan out the printed parts so they will ready when you need them.

    • READ this manual from start to finish, then re-read each section prior to building as you come to it. It is common in kit projects to print out the manual, and check off each step as you go. This will help reduce the chance of missing a step, and provide continuity when starting and stopping the build.

    • When acquiring the parts for the build, BUY SPARES. You'll be glad you did when you break off a tap halfway up an extrusion. You'll need more screws than you think, as several will ping across the room never to be seen again. Anything small will be dropped, and potentially lost.

    • Identify wear items such as belts and build surfaces. Buy extra. It's not uncommon to dig a valley in a build plate, first time out. Mistakes happen. Have a spare build surface on hand for when everything is finally working right, you swap out the surface.

  1. The aluminum extrusions must be cut accurately in order for the assembly to yield an accurate and square frame. If cutting by hand, use of a jig, such this one, is highly recommended, https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:259624... Pre-cut and pre-tapped extrusion can be requested from most suppliers.
    • The aluminum extrusions must be cut accurately in order for the assembly to yield an accurate and square frame. If cutting by hand, use of a jig, such this one, is highly recommended, https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:259624...

    • Pre-cut and pre-tapped extrusion can be requested from most suppliers.

  2. If you purchase untapped extrusions, you will need to tap them yourself. Foremost, use good quality taps and cutting/tapping oil. You will be cutting threads in a lot of extrusion end holes. Good tools and technique are paramount. Tapping by drill driver is done by many, and recommended by none. It's a breeze right up until you break a tap. You can break taps by hand, too, but you are less likely to do so due to being able to feel the stress as you cut.
    • If you purchase untapped extrusions, you will need to tap them yourself.

    • Foremost, use good quality taps and cutting/tapping oil. You will be cutting threads in a lot of extrusion end holes. Good tools and technique are paramount.

    • Tapping by drill driver is done by many, and recommended by none. It's a breeze right up until you break a tap. You can break taps by hand, too, but you are less likely to do so due to being able to feel the stress as you cut.

    • If possible use a ratcheting t-handle with a long neck. The ratchet aids in going slow, and the long neck makes movements in the hand less noticeable at the tap.

    • Find a good place to clamp down the extrusions to free up both hands to stabilize the tapping motion. Strapping a number of extrusions together in a block and clamping that down will make the job go faster.

    • Hand tapping involves a dip in cutting oil, a slow start, and careful attention to how the tap is cutting. Cut until a stress develops, then back up a turn, and continue on forward. The backing up will clear the chips that may be binding the tap. Continue this process until you arrive at the desired depth. Back out the tap slowly at first.

    • A good quality tap will run smooth and potentially never bind.

    • Whether hand tapping, or using a drill driver, clean the tap between each hole tapped. An artist's brush works well for this. Do not start a new hole with chips and goo on the tap.

  3. A 0.4mm nozzle is recommended for most parts, and some smaller parts were designed with this extrusion width in mind . If using a larger nozzle, ensure the resulting parts are strong and dimensionally accurate. Support settings and XY size compensation (AKA Horizantal expansion) should be tuned for your material prior to part printing.
    • A 0.4mm nozzle is recommended for most parts, and some smaller parts were designed with this extrusion width in mind . If using a larger nozzle, ensure the resulting parts are strong and dimensionally accurate. Support settings and XY size compensation (AKA Horizantal expansion) should be tuned for your material prior to part printing.

    • MATERIAL: Considerations include rigidity, heat deformation resistance, and stress creep resistance. Most materials are viable (aside from PLA) Best results will come from a glass or carbon reinforced polymer. If a non-filled material is used, stay away from the more elastic plastics like PETG.

    • For best strength, print on the hotter end of your material temperature range. Use a low (or zero) part cooling fan speed where possible. Consider using the part cooling fan only on overhangs, support interfaces, and bridges.

    • Blackbox parts are designed with printability in mind. Most parts will have an obvious orientation preference, and most are smaller in size. Still, printing in an enclosed build volume can help mitigate any warping with some materials.

    • Spend some time perfecting the profile used for your chosen filament. Pay close attention to any "Elephants Foot" during test prints. Also ensure that walls are flat with no "pimples" from over extrusion. Consider enabling and tuning linear advance to mitigate bulging sharp corners.

    • Blackbox has many printed parts and will require many days of printing along with 1.5-2.5 KG of material. The actual time and material amount will depend on your specific build. See the "Build Sheet" in the Supplement section of Dozuki for details.

  4. Below are the recommended specifications for FDM printing of Blackbox parts. All slicing programs will have these settings with slight variations in naming.
    • Below are the recommended specifications for FDM printing of Blackbox parts. All slicing programs will have these settings with slight variations in naming.

    • See HERE for detailed printing information including STL pack download and suggested orientations

    • LAYER HEIGHT: 0.2mm

    • LINE WIDTH: 0.4mm

    • INFILL: 50-65% (Grid, Gyroid, Honeycomb, Triangle or Cubic)

    • PERIMETERS: 4-5

    • TOP & BOTTOM SOLID LAYERS: 5-8

  5. Reviewed the Build Sheet?
    • Reviewed the Build Sheet?

    • Sourced and inventoried everything needed from the BOM?

    • Printed and post processed all printed parts as needed?

    • Waiting on parts and excited to get started? Reading through the assembly guide ahead of time can help avoid mistakes.

    • Let's build a Blackbox.

Conclusion

Questions? Found an error or have suggestions? Blackbox is both driven AND improved upon by its community. Please join us on Discord or any of our other platforms to let us know.

One other person completed this guide.

John Gilbert

Member since: 06/09/2020

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