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  • Customizing the 101Hero 3D Printer: SD Card, LEDs, Filament Holder

    Posted on December 17th, 2016 admin 3 comments

    I’ve had the 101Hero 3D printer for almost two weeks — I was lucky enough to receive one in good working order — and as I’ve used it I’ve thought about things I wish were different.

    SD Card Protector by T. Gray.  Photo by  Hannes Brandstätter-Müller

    Some recent prints.


    Desired Changes to the 101Hero 3D Printer


    There are a few issues that have come up repeatedly in 101Hero user groups, as people get to know their 3D printers better.  The final two are my own suggestions.

    • Cover the exposed contacts on the SD card holder
    • Get rid of the tangle of wires
    • Find some way to better locate the control box
    • Arrange some kind of filament holder
    • Add a fan for cooling
    • Illuminate the bed
    • Replace the stationery binder clips that hold down the build platform

    There have been various proposed solutions; here are mine.  Today I'll discuss the SD card cover, bed illumination, print platform clips, and filament holder.   The rest will come in another post.

    Cover the SD Card Holder

    Some users were concerned about the exposed contacts on the bottom front of the SD card holder.  I designed and printed a little cover for that.  It clips on by friction and does the job.  Apparently, it has been picked up by other users.

    SD Cover installed

    SD Cover installed


    SD Card Protector by T. Gray. Photo by Hannes Brandstätter-Müller

    SD Card Protector by T. Gray. Photo by Hannes Brandstätter-Müller

     Illuminating the Print/Holding Down the Platform

    I ended up combining these two into one solution by printing some anchor clips with LED mounts.

    LEDs with fan at back

    LEDs with fan at back

    Bright white LEDs are the obvious answer to illumination.  For many 3D printers, a ring of LEDs can be mounted under the print head so that they shine down onto the print platform.  Considering the light weight and flimsy connecting structure of the 101Hero, adding any mass to the print head is not a good idea.  The LEDs have to be mounted at the perimeter of the build platform.  I used singles cut from an LED strip.

    My first attempt at attachment clips I called "elf boots" because that's what they looked like.  I didn't even install them because it would have required drilling holes into the plastic printer base; it needs all the strength it can get.  I also realized that I could use the clips to mount the LEDs

    The next iteration worked well enough.  I had calculated the height of the clips so the print head would pass over them, but the LED mount of course stuck up.  It was only when I printed something really wide that I discovered that the "knuckles" where the ball joints are attached to the print head would strike the LEDs.  I also created a version with no LEDs, and a version to hold LEDs but not anchor the glass plate, but all had the same flaw of being too close to the glass print platform.    The fourth revision will move the LEDs back out of the way.

     Filament Holder for the 101Hero

    A filament holder was the second thing I made, using some light aluminum angle and a 1/4" bolt.  It was designed only for sample filament such as the coils that came with the printer.  It is not intended for a spool of filament: the frame of the

    Nicely wrapped wires, and filament holder

    Nicely wrapped wires, and filament holder

    101Hero is not strong enough to support 1kg.  So a desktop spool holder is useful, with a printed lead-in funnel.  Still, with limited space on my desk, going vertical has some appeal. I'm thinking that a couple more aluminum supports at the top and some diagonal pylon braces might stiffen the frame enough for a topside spool holder.  Or perhaps a horizontal mount where the spool weight is equally taken by each pylon.  Lots of room for a creative solution.

    More hacks tomorrow


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