It's been a while, but I've been busy! This blog is starting to fall on the wayside... My printer is already up and running, and has been for a while. Hopefully that will mean that this is blog will get a steady stream of content for a while.
Anyways, belts. Belts belts belts. It doesn't really matter what kind you get, as long as they are "high quality". I recommend Ultimachine's GT2 timing belt, as it works well. I also sprung for machined pulleys. The plastic pulleys I got were a bit wonky, and I figured "Better safe than sorry".
Now onto why belts suck. Belts suck because they need to be tensioned. They need to be tensioned juuuust so. Too much tension, and your motors will skip steps. Too little tension and your motors will skip steps. Once you get the perfect amount of tension... It loosens up and your motors skip steps. I should count myself lucky, since constantly having to tighten belts is the biggest issue I have with my printer. After much pulling and swearing, I finally bit the bullet and installed this belt tensioner. Right now it's only on my X-axis, as the Y-axis seems much better about keeping its tension. This has solved all my problems. It's pretty nice! I'm looking to improve, though.
I want to have a tensioner much like the ones in modern 2D printers. The idler pulley is on a spring, and can slide further away from the motor if needed. It probably hasn't been done before because of patents, but who knows. That's not on the priority list, though. Right now the priority list is printing things.
More to come!