It's been a while since I posted. The main problem with reprap seems to be that one can either do things or write about it...
Except for a month away on vacation, I have been very busy doing.
I decided to construct a Mendel out of my printed parts. This I did, using a hardware kit from http://www.mendel-parts.com/, in about a week.
I designed a supported hot-end using a standard PTFE/Brass nozzle, and spaced the extruder so that it gave maximum clearance.
I moved my electronics over from XCBot and got it printing in PLA. At this point I discovered that having temperatures too low is a common cause of nozzle failures...
Then I went on vacation for a month.
When I got back, I set about purchasing Mendel her own electronics, and I also bought an Adrian's style hot-end from Mendelparts.com. After much deliberation, I decided on another RAMPS controller. The main reason is I wanted to have a heated bed.
I bought a complete kit as I may want to sell Mendel on after I design my own replacement.
After getting everything tidy, I started printing in ABS.
While trying to print a case to put my RAMPS electronics into, I learned a few things about designing for FDM printers. Large objects with double layer thick walls tend to have the upper wall come off the bottom of the print. Perhaps a heated chamber will allow me to design thin-walled boxes in the future.
In any case I have had good success designing and printing various things....
Here's a video of my first print on Mendel.