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Thread: Making that Bullet Collator

  1. #6201
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by xormac View Post
    1. Am I correct in thinking that PeTG will be a good material choice for this project, granted one has your print profile dialed in for PeTG?
    2. Would a motor like this suffice, and is there any existing file that caters for mounting it? https://www.robotics.org.za/GB37-008
    PETG would work fine, but so will just about anything. There isn't much stress on the various parts, so you don't need anything special. PLA works fine, and is super easy to print and dial in. If you already have a good tuned setup for PETG and plenty of filament, go for it. I can't think of any reason it wouldn't work.

    That motor is probably good enough, but I doubt it will fit up to the existing files. Can you find one like one of the listed versions? The amazon link has drawings showing the mounting hole dimensions so you can compare to another source if needed. The JGY370 type seem very common, I have some from another vendor here that have the same dimensions. Though having used both, I think I'd go with the 634JS if you can. It's a little more powerful and seems built better. The user manual has a couple other options as well.

  2. #6202
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    Quote Originally Posted by r4ndy View Post
    Hi - I am planning to print the main body wall extender in the orientation shown in the manual. Even if I set supports to 70 degrees there is a bit showing as needing supports. Looking for confirmation this prints okay without supports before jumping in to a 9.5 hour print. I am using an Ender 5 with Overture PLA Plus. Thanks
    I haven't printed it, so I can't say for sure. Looking at it, I would guess it would print fine that way. I'm frequently surprised how well some things print without support. It might sag a little at the top of the arch, but that wouldn't hurt anything. And it might not even happen if your printer profile is tuned well for bridging. I think I'd recommend to try without the extension first. You might decide you don't need it. I have a standard size I use for bullets and it hasn't had a capacity issue. I generally have to stop to refill primers first, so I just top everything else off at the same time.

  3. #6203
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    Quote Originally Posted by heliskyr View Post
    Thanks- your advice helped! I played with how deeply the slide plate sits into the feeder bowl to adjust where the ridge of the slide engages with the bullets. I found that if I align the ridge with the outer edge of the collator plate, it prevents the tapered boattail of my base-down bullets from tilting the bullet (which starts the flipping process). Also tweaked the angle of the bowl a little.

    So far so good!

    Glad to hear it! These things are so nice once you get the feel for them. I let them drop into a little bin to start with to make adjustments to get them flipping the way I want. Then I can adjust and just dump the bin back in once I get it set up. And this thread has TONS of info in it for that. It can be a little tricky to find, but between the manual, the search and just reading around, I found most of what I needed to get going. I made life more difficult with the tiny 380s I was loading, but with a little help I was able to get them feeding with the plate I posted before.

  4. #6204
    Boolit Bub
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    Thanks tt365. I have the collator and never understood why I would need a bigger one until I started mass 223 case prep on the APP. As I started to add more handfuls of 223 it started spitting an occasional case over the back wall. I have more than enough Dillon blue so I figure why not try the extender

  5. #6205
    Boolit Bub
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    I gave up on PETG on my Ender 5 trying to make AR15 mag loaders; lots of stringing. The Overture PLA pro/plus has been really consistent for me and easy to print. If PETG works for you go for it, but it gave me nothing but headaches.

  6. #6206

    Making that Bullet Collator

    Quote Originally Posted by tt365 View Post
    PETG would work fine, but so will just about anything. There isn't much stress on the various parts, so you don't need anything special. PLA works fine, and is super easy to print and dial in. If you already have a good tuned setup for PETG and plenty of filament, go for it. I can't think of any reason it wouldn't work.

    That motor is probably good enough, but I doubt it will fit up to the existing files. Can you find one like one of the listed versions? The amazon link has drawings showing the mounting hole dimensions so you can compare to another source if needed. The JGY370 type seem very common, I have some from another vendor here that have the same dimensions. Though having used both, I think I'd go with the 634JS if you can. It's a little more powerful and seems built better. The user manual has a couple other options as well.
    Thanks @tt365

    Closest I could find locally was a JGY370, but in 12.8kg/cm and 6RPM… would that suffice?

    I could probably edit the mesh files to handle the other if needed

    Edit:

    I actually found a 10rpm JGY-370 with 5.6kg/cm… surely that’ll do?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by xormac; 11-23-2022 at 01:11 AM.

  7. #6207
    Boolit Buddy hporter's Avatar
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    Christmas is around the corner, and the wife is wanting to know what I want for x-mas.

    I read this thread all the time, as it is fascinating to me what you guys build with your printers. I just watched one of GWS's videos this morning on making a case feeder for his RCBS Summit Press. How cool is that. I've also watched the bullet feeders and caliber specific accessories being made for the Lee APP - which interests me very much. As so far, the only mod I have made to my APP is to connect my Dillon case feeder to it.

    So my question is, what printer would you guys recommend for this Christmas season? When I browse Amazon, I get dizzy comparing everything that is available. I know printers get discussed a lot, but they also evolve and new models come out all the time.

    I don't need to make a large collator, but I will definitely build a bullet feeder of some sort for my Dillon. I don't have room for a big machine anyway.

    Any recommendations? I need to give the wife a make and model number soon so she can scratch me off her list.

  8. #6208
    Boolit Master GWS's Avatar
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    You've most likely figured out where to put it, so it depends.....on how much room you are giving it. The Ender 3 's are still a good choice, bang for buck, IMO, but you will have a limited bed size to do TylerR's Standard size collator, but no bigger. Which is plenty good for bullet feeders.

    I went a little bigger because I didn't want to be limited..... Mine's a Creality CR-10v2 which will print 300x300 and obviously will print the 300 size collator. I use that 300 size for Rifle case feeders.....but it won't print Tyler's Mongo....for that you need a 350x350 bed.

    I have zero experience with any of the other brands.....so no help there. Once you settle on a size then look at the features. An automatic bed leveler is a must IMO. My printer does not come with one and TH3d with their awesome proximity sensor, no moving parts leveler has been a blessing....love it. But it takes effort and good direction following skills to go that route. But hey I was over 70, and if I can do it......

    But many of the new printers have some sort of Autoleveler built in. I'd probably go that route....just less effort. And get one with "silent" motors. They aren't but they are quieter than the old designs by a long shot.

    Next you have to decide on software (slicer) to run it. I use IdeaMaker, TylerR uses Cura. There are more Cura users by a long shot. But its a personal thing. They are free so try both and see which one fits your personality and intellect. Cura for my brain was just hard for me to learn....I tried it first....for like two days.

    Here's a couple of pictures of my 300x300 to give you and idea of the room it takes. I couldn't fit a bigger one in my chosen spot.



    And here's the 300 and the standard size collators on my drafting chair.....for size comparison:


  9. #6209
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by xormac View Post
    Thanks @tt365

    Closest I could find locally was a JGY370, but in 12.8kg/cm and 6RPM… would that suffice?

    I could probably edit the mesh files to handle the other if needed

    Edit:

    I actually found a 10rpm JGY-370 with 5.6kg/cm… surely that’ll do?

    Either will work. I highly recommend a speed control, and often run mine on the lower end. And there are body files for it already in the project, so no need to modify the mesh, which is nice.

  10. #6210
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    Quote Originally Posted by hporter View Post
    Any recommendations? I need to give the wife a make and model number soon so she can scratch me off her list.

    I have a couple of them now... Lulzbot Mini is the first one I got. It's very nice, but too small for the collator body and plates. The other parts print great on it. The newer one I picked up is an Ender 3 S1 Plus. I think it's a good choice for new people as it is easy to set up, and comes with a bed leveling setup. It's not perfect, but none of them are. In my previous posts on this thread I linked to a modified bracket for the leveling probe that helps a lot. It's not required, but it does make the auto level more accurate, and the first layer is critical. It's able to print the 300 size without issues, so it should do most things you might want to run. Whatever you get, make sure to take the time to level the bed as close as you can, and carefully set the Z-offset (the distance between the probe trigger and the nozzle). It takes some experimentation to get it dialed in.

    There are a huge number of options out there now. Most of them are clones of each other and "steal" the best ideas from each other. I would suggest sticking to known and popular brands. Not so much because they are better, they are about the same most of the time, but because people will be more likely to be able to help you out if you get stuck.

  11. #6211
    Boolit Master GWS's Avatar
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    tt365 gave you good ideas to think about.....I'll give you one more. Probably the worst problem with my experience learning to 3dprint, was prints lifting. So then you search the internet for ways to make it stick better, and you get the masking tape fix, the glue stick fix, the proprietary sticky spray can fix......what a royal pain in the ass. The factory beds work for a very little while...then things start lifting.

    TylerR found the magic bullet for the problem and shared it here. And I tried it, and all the lifting problems were history. And that's a polypropylene bed cover. Buy one and wipe it before every print with alcohol. That's it. The following link is for my size bed, but click on the company and you'll find any size you need. https://www.amazon.com/3103103mm-Mam...5802575&sr=8-1

    Scuff it when you take delivery with a sheet of 220 grit sand paper then just put it over your existing factory glass bed, and clamp it with paper clamps. Then enjoy trouble free printing.....my best heat settings for such trouble-free prints, using PLA, PLA+, and PLA silks, with my Creality is 215C at the nozzle, and 65C bed temperature.

    The next picture shows the 300 base on my polypropylene bed and you can see the paper clamps used to hold it down:



    And you can also see TH3d's zero moving parts bed leveler hanging to the right of the nozzle box.
    Last edited by GWS; 11-23-2022 at 01:27 PM.

  12. #6212
    Boolit Master TylerR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r4ndy View Post
    Hi - I am planning to print the main body wall extender in the orientation shown in the manual. Even if I set supports to 70 degrees there is a bit showing as needing supports. Looking for confirmation this prints okay without supports before jumping in to a 9.5 hour print. I am using an Ender 5 with Overture PLA Plus. Thanks
    I go with this when I print them.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  13. #6213
    Boolit Buddy hporter's Avatar
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    GWS and tt365, thank you for taking the time with your detailed responses to my question.

    I almost bought one last Christmas, as this thread has interested me for a long time. I originally wanted a printer to make film back parts for my large format cameras. But then I saw all the neat stuff you guys are making on this forum.

    I just need to jump in and get started. Hesitating only prolongs the wait to satisfying my curiosity. I will look at the Ender machine and probably pull the trigger. There is a lot to learn with the modeling software, the slicer software, and the different materials available to print with. If I end up needing a bigger machine, I can always buy a bigger one down the road. At least by getting my feet wet, I will better understand what I need in the future.

    And thank you for the tips on the bed cover and the auto-leveling.

  14. #6214
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by TylerR View Post
    I go with this when I print them.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks Tyler, I started printing it oriented like in the manual before seeing your post, go figure… Print came out okay without supports; needs a little sanding at the apex, but considering what it is used for I am happy enough with the results.


  15. #6215
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by hporter View Post
    GWS and tt365, thank you for taking the time with your detailed responses to my question.

    I almost bought one last Christmas, as this thread has interested me for a long time. I originally wanted a printer to make film back parts for my large format cameras. But then I saw all the neat stuff you guys are making on this forum.

    I just need to jump in and get started. Hesitating only prolongs the wait to satisfying my curiosity. I will look at the Ender machine and probably pull the trigger. There is a lot to learn with the modeling software, the slicer software, and the different materials available to print with. If I end up needing a bigger machine, I can always buy a bigger one down the road. At least by getting my feet wet, I will better understand what I need in the future.

    And thank you for the tips on the bed cover and the auto-leveling.
    If you haven't ordered a printer yet, you might also want to consider the Prusa i3 MK3S+. I purchased one a year ago and have been very happy. It's more expensive than the Enders and most others but comes with features such as mesh bed leveling included. I purchased it in kit form because it was cheaper ($750 instead of $1,050) and so I could learn about it during the assembly (which took 8 hours). The quality of the parts is excellent and the manual thorough and easy to understand; it's written in good American English, not some foreign language mix. It came with coated steel print bed sheets and no aftermarket ones have been necessary.

    I chose the Prusa bacause I wanted the items which I printed to be my projects; I did not want the printer itself to be a project. My goal was to purchase a printer which worked without days or weeks of fiddling or installing add-ons or tweaking programming code to recognize addons. I did have one issue with warping early on but resolved that by undoing a modification to a slicer setting I had modified and by slightly reducing the temps for PLA (which I initially bought as I had read that it was easier to use and also because it was being used by TylerR and GWS for the bullet/case feeders).

    I use PETG almost exclusively now as the Prusa slicer is dialed in for it. Prusa 3D prints many of the parts for their printers with their Prusament brand PETG filament. Their print farm consists of over 600 printers. While their Prusament filament is expensive (partially due to shipping), I've found the Overture PETG to work as well as the Prusament brand with no changes to the slicer settings. The Overture PETG is available on Amazon for just over $20 a spool.

    The Prusa will be more expensive than others, but in my experience, has been hassle-free from day one. They are having a Black Friday sale thru Monday with free shipping and some extras such as filament and an additional, different texture, steel print sheet. I bought mine during last year's Black Friday sale.

    sierra1911

  16. #6216
    Boolit Buddy hporter's Avatar
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    Sierra 1911, I appreciate the additional advice/feedback.

    I looked at the Ender 3 in it's various versions on Amazon - the Plus -the Pro and then they both can come with various "upgrades" that to someone walking into 3D printing for the first time can be quite confusing as to their actual value.

    My wife was asking me what do you feed these things. She was thinking since they were a printer - it must be some kind of ink. So I tried explaining to her - with my limited knowledge - about the different materials available and I showed her what a filament spool looked like and showed her a video of how they work.

    I understand your point of buying more than the basic unit that you will have to fiddle with to get it going. But fiddling with it does interest me. I am the guy who bought Lee progressives, fiddled with them until they ran - and then bought Dillons to replace them. I like the learning experience, which admittedly can be very frustrating at times. The buy once, cry once philosophy does make a lot of sense. But there is a reason my father always referred to me as a knucklehead.

    I plan to watch a few more Youtube videos. They help sort some of the questions in my head for me. I found a few channels that I have been watching off and on for a few years that seem to give out sensible advice on current models available. Just re-reading this thread from time to time provides a lot of good information. The guys actually hitting the print button and making things like I hope to make, have the best feedback in my opinion. So I am thankful for you taking the time to explain your path and how and why you decided to proceed with your setup.

    One other question I forgot to ask is how temperature sensitive are these things when printing? Here in Houston we have to cool the house most of the year. In my reloading room (which is our son's old bedroom - so it's in the house and air conditioned) I have space in front of a window that it could permanently reside. But I see a lot of videos where people have them sitting in an enclosure. I just figured they had them out in the garage in a cold climate? I know getting and keeping them level seems to be important, so my alternate locations for putting it may require me to move it out of the way from time to time - or move it into location when I want to print. GWS showed a nice cabinet that he has his sitting on. Has anyone bought a small table for their printer to permanently reside on? I am assuming it would have to be rock stable and have no tendency to move or shake at all.

  17. #6217
    Boolit Bub
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    Cold air/drafts can affect printing. I had occasional issues with bigger prints lifting due to drafts in the basement. I bought the Ender enclosure and have not had an issue since. Many people use an IKEA lack table or similar for a stand for their printer. For smaller printer like the Ender 3 you can stack a second one and make an enclosure.

    As far as printers go, I started on an Anet A8, IMO it is the Lee Pro of printers, it required constant fiddling and lots of mods to make safe and somewhat consistent. I got tired of fiddling with it and bought an Ender 5 which did require a few printed parts to get dialed in and stable, but has been a workhorse ever since.

  18. #6218
    Edited (I'm an idiot, feeder works fine).
    Last edited by SuperMoose; 11-27-2022 at 01:58 PM.

  19. #6219
    Boolit Mold
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    Even the cheap printers like the older Enders work decently out of the box. There's nearly always some tinkering required, usually not as much with the hardware, but the slicing settings for particular filament often need small adjustments. The biggest thing on the printer you need to adjust and keep set right is bed leveling and Z offset. They usually come close, but every setup needs little adjustments. Even my Lulzbot needed some tweaks to Z offset to get it set the best for my setup. There are calibration guides and videos that can help understand those things. Before printing something as big as the collator body, you should get your printer dialed in.

    One thing to note, bed level doesn't refer to gravity. It's what everyone calls it, but it's really more about making sure the bed is perpendicular to the Z axis and in line with the X/Y plane. The idea is that you want any X/Y nozzle location to be the exact same distance from the bed. In reality, that doesn't happen of course, but you want it as close as you can. 0.1mm is a big difference here. It's easier than it sounds, but it's something to be aware of. Just don't break out a machinist level or something, you'll drive yourself nuts for no reason.

    The table moving or vibrating does matter, but less than you might think. The biggest problem is that you are likely to get artifacts in the print, it's usually called ghosting or ringing. I wouldn't try anything too rickety, but some movement is acceptable with some quality loss in the looks of the print.

    For large prints and some kinds of filaments, enclosures are helpful. I also have one of the Creality ender enclosures and it works great. It's basically a tent, but keeps drafts off the print well. The temperature of the room matters, but it's more about changes and drafts than anything else. The enclosures also tend to trap heat from the printer, so it will have a nice warm area pretty quickly. My enclosure is just on the floor in a finished basement with the Ender and a filament dry box in it. The Lulzbot has no enclosure, but print volume is small enough that unless I'm using something that really wants to warp, it's not a problem.

  20. #6220
    OK, tried a search and ya.... So I am using a lee bullet feeder(don't judge, lol) and i want to attach the switch tube(A1) to the top of it. Is one of the adapter tubes already set for this? So far this project is going great.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check