tirsdag 27. november 2012

Mendel90 Sturdy - Build log day 1

Me and my friend Peter from the Norwegian reprap community ( reprap.no and bitraf.no ) decided to build ourselves  some new printers. It'll be his first, and my third one in complete, working condition.

We chose to build the Mendel90 Sturdy variant, since it have a lot of good press. I need a production machine to replace my wobbly oversized prusa, and since it'll be Peters first he chose the same, as troubleshooting and setup will be much easier we build two equal machines.

Here follows some pictures Peter took, with some short descriptions.
That's me, utilizing the kitchen table.
Sticky vinyl is highly recommended.
Thanks to Henning at zentrumreklame.no in Gjøvik for printing out the templates for us. I highly recommend printing on sticky vinyl like this if you choose to build a Mendel90, it makes the drilling a true breeze. Henning also taught us the proper way to glue the templates on. You place the template where it's supposed to be, tape down the centre part, peel back and cut off one half of the back, push on the vinyl from the centre and out, then you peel off the rest of the back and push the rest of the vinyl down, again from the centre and out. It's a good idea to be two when you do this.

Cheap ~€50 pillar drill did the job well.
Peter got a big sheet of 12mm and paid only ~€3 to cut it into enough sheets for three printers. The cuts were very good and perfectly square. Some of the sheets were slightly bent, though we hope it won't make any difference. We held or screwed two sheets together and drilled through them both with the template on top. This way we can easily make another printer without sacrificing the template.

Make sure you mount the brackets on the correct side of the panels.

Loosely screwed together. We forgot washers though.
It can be difficult to reach the screws with a standard drill, as the chuck is in the way. Luckily Peter had a set of very long bits, and the screws are torx, so it worked out fine.

Squaring up the front.

It comes together fast!
We couldn't get the motors to touch the base of the printer when we mounted the z motor brackets. They could perhaps benefit from being a tiny bit thicker.

A rare(?) shot from the back side of the Menlde90. Notice the sides aren't mirrored in size.

Unfortunately the x end motor bracket broke when pushing in the LM10UU.  
We plan to make a drawer or filament holder under the printer.
Bottom line after day 1?
  • Sticky vinyl is great.
  • Being two when drilling and assembling makes it much, much easier.
  • MDF isn't that great to work with, some of the screws tore through the material and spun freely.
  • Paint before you assemble. We don't dare to pull this one apart to do so now.
  • I do think I would prefer using 18mm sheets, the 12mm seems barely stiff enough.
  • The holes in the sheets doesn't have to be that perfect, there's good room to compensate in the parts.
  • There are a whole bunch of 4-6mm holes all over the place for cabling. We chose to ditch them and rather drill a few 8mm holes when we decide where we want the electronics.
  • I should have configured and exported new STL files to fit my nozzle size and layer height.
  • Some of the parts doesn't behave very well in PLA.
  • The x carriage can't fit a gregstruder (the motor crashes in the sheet). Moving the holes in the carriage 5mm to the front will do the trick.

That's it for now. Building RepRaps is fun!

tirsdag 2. oktober 2012

#RepRap Adventures #17 - But, but but.

True RepRap love!

Remember; good communication is key to any relationship. Baud rate 250000 works for me, but you might require something else. Flashing your wife's firmware is not recommended, most people don't run stable on Marlin.

You have to read at least RepRap Adventures #16, and probably #5 to #16 for this strip to make any sense.

Now that this story line is concluded, and the tone is set for #RepRap Adventures, I need to start working on drawing my huge backlog of RepRap jokes from IRC.

torsdag 20. september 2012

The Meaning Of Open Hardware

I really like to hope this is not true. Update: But it is.

Really, now?
Print one yourself: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:30837 If you're into that kind of thing.

More information in the following posts josefprusa.cz , blog.makezine.com , hoektronics.com and follow up hive76.org

torsdag 30. august 2012

Everyday practical application of RepRap

We often talk - and to be honest, brag ;-) - about how practical RepRap is, and all the things we could or plan to do. Still, most of the time we share things that look cool, but might have no practical application apart from being neat. Having a RepRap 3D printer in your home opens up an incredible world of DIY-solutions that have previously been difficult, impossible or expensive. Once you manage to "tune" your mind, and see the possibilities you have, there is no limit to what you can do.

Once my 2-year initial "look at all the cool stuff I can print"-phase slowed down, I find myself - apart from new printer parts - mostly using my RepRap for things around the house. I would therefore now like to share some images of objects I have designed and printed for a special practical application in mind.

 This is one of the very first things I printed on my Sells Mendel back in 2010.  

søndag 22. juli 2012

#RepRap Adventures #15 - Enough is enough!

Click Click?
Now, that wasn't very nice, was it. What happens next? Stay tuned! Although the comic is far from dead, I can't promise how often I'll manage to add strips in the immediate future, so don't hold your breath.

I've started to use Gimp a lot more lately and find it very good for quick sketches, so I wanted to use it on #RepRap Adventures as well. So far I'm not convinced it is faster nor much better than Inkscape, but while Gimp handles text and multiple layers organizing terribly, it does open up for some more options regarding detail and colour so I'll stick with it for a while and see. Perhaps I'll end up with a hybrid workflow of some sort.

tirsdag 14. februar 2012

#RepRap Adventures #14 - When is it my turn?

Click for lower resolution.
Things take an unexpected turn!

Make sure to follow this storyline from the beginning, then perhaps it makes a bit more sense.

Disclaimer: I have not tried printed bushings myself, and I hear they can hold up for quite a while if printed strong and used properly. Still, I prefer LM8UU's. ;)

You can print your own ponies with thing 6123.

tirsdag 7. februar 2012

#RepRap Adventures #13 - Why not print her a few?

No less than 480000 pixels if you click.
They're back! This is the beginning of a small story arch I have planned for a while. There is no schedule for release, but I'll post them as soon as I finish a new one.

torsdag 5. januar 2012

Tutorial - Printing from Minecraft with Mineways

Mineways.com has been getting a lot of well deserved attention lately. In short it's an excellent Minecraft export tool, tailored towards Shapeways printing. While us DIY enthusiasts can't do full colour prints (yet), Mineways is still an excellent tool for exporting models for home 3D printing, and it's quite user friendly compared to certain other attempts.

Here's a few videos where I show my first attempt to do a large print of a landscape, and then a smaller print. If you have some experience with WorldEdit and 3D printing, it should be pretty straight forward to follow.

This post is a detailed tutorial on how to use Mineways to export printable stl files for a RepRap or derivative machines. The details are from a large-ish landscape model, but the principle is the same for all types of exports.