3D printed Polish Enigma November 18th update.

November 18th, 2017

A new film I have made about the plug board is available here now:

The plug board was a simple thing to model and print although I did do a small trick with printing in two different filaments to make the letters on the plug board stand out a little more. I explain that in the film. I would have liked it to be a little more contrasty on the finished piece but white on silver will only give so much.

IMG_0989 IMG_0983 IMG_0982

I also printed a holder for the two spare rotors. On the Polish machine this fits where the battery would normally go on the German Enigmas.

IMG_0987 IMG_0988

I need to modify my temporary wooden base board so I can then test mount the plug board. I need to make 10 little aluminium standoffs to support it. I used a lot as the board itself needs to take the force of patch cables being plugged in and out. I will align all the socket nuts on the final one, mainly because I am a bit OCD like that!

I am unsure of the exact height that the panel needs to be. On all the pictures of the Polish machine I have it’s hard to actually tell so I am guessing somewhat here! Once that is done I can design and print the top panel which is the final 3D printed part to finish the machine I think. I imagine it is low enough down so that when in the box with the lid closed all the patch panels can fit in.

Below is the section of G-Code I edited to pause the printer. The pause command is a Repetier function as described here: https://www.repetier.com/documentation/repetier-host/gcode-editor/


The lines I added are highlighted. The G28 returns the printer to the home position. The @pause simply does what it says, paused the printing. The heaters and extruder stay on so you can manually extrude (and retract) filament. You have to be very careful where you put the command in. Note that it is directly before the next move commands. This is important because after you continue the print the printer needs to return to the correct position again.

This is the link to the lubricator I use on my printer: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:492067

One thing people keep asking me (sorry if you asked and I haven’t replied directly) is will I make the files available when I am done. It is a good question and I haven’t decided yet. For one thing someone can’t just take the files and make their own machine easily. There are metal parts that need to be machined, various parts I have used that someone else might not be able to find (bulb holders, switches, pins, sockets, etc) so I would need to write up instructions on how to make the metal parts and also what other components I used so people have some chance of finding the right things. Writing detailed instructions be a lot of work. Given that not many people are likely to actually try making one I could just release the files I have as is/where is too.

The other thing is I have invested hours of work and a fair bit of cash into parts and filament so maybe those who are serious enough to really want to try to make one would be happy to send me a few bucks to help cover the costs (how, I don’t actually know). If I wanted to go even further than that it might even be worth my while to have all the parts professionally printed and sell them? Or maybe I could write up the instructions and make it into some kind of book (with files available as a download).  I am not looking to make huge amounts of money from this, it’s a hobby after all. But making enough to pay for parts and filament and provide funds for new projects such as upgrading or making a new printer might be nice. If I had thought about it early maybe I should have set up a Patreon type thing?

Like I say I really don’t know yet. I do know I won’t do anything until the machine is finished and hopefully working!

If anyone has ideas let me know.

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