Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I never did buy the bottoming tap.. I figured that since I was only tapping PTFE, and I had aluminum threads right above... I'd just make myself a tap out of Stainless M6 threaded rod...

On the printing front, things progressed quite quickly. I decided to start with Repsnapper skein, as it seemed a quick solution to learning what goes on in a CNC print. I then realised that I had no idea what controls what, even in the simplified UI of Repsnapper... I read through the documents on the wiki and started making changes, then looking at the g-code to see what changed... I soon progressed to running the extruder a few cm above the build platform, and seeing if I thought the extrusion was coming out slower than the axes movement. I then started to try to print, and after 3 or 4 bad starts, I got this.

I found that a lot of my problem is not lowering the extruder low enough to get a good stick on the surface.

I quite quickly got 'dialed in' with Repsnapper, but wanted more control, and top/bottom filled layers, so Skeinforge was the order of the day.

By the Way, I made some notes about how I got up and running for my first print in Repsnapper on the Wiki here: Initial_printer_Setup_Notes

I picked through the program, and with the help of people on IRC, managed to get printing quickly enough.

Considering this is just 2 days of printing, and maybe 20 test blocks, I'm pretty happy with my progress.

I decided to try to print something 'real'. I've always been fascinated by the possibility to print gears in reprap, so I figured my first non-test object should be a Wade's large gear.

As you can see it turned out usable, but a bit warped. I have realized that a heated bed is a necessity when printing with ABS.

As of this afternoon, I have made 3 things. All usable parts of an extruder, or a Mendel.

I'm pretty happy with what I've managed to achieve in 3 days of printing. I can only credit all the work done by other people, writing down enough information that I could pick up enough information to make wise choices, and get 'up on the curve' quickly.

This evening, with the help of Prusajr and Bill20r3 on IRC, I tuned my Skeinforge settings even more. I have more parts to show for my efforts, each noticeably better than the last.

I must say that I'm a believer that open source hardware really works. If someone had told me 4 months I could design and build my own 3D printer, and have it producing acceptable, usable objects before the end of the summer... I'd have thought they were crazy.

In the next day or two, I will outline my experiments using an IR heatlamp to heat my build platform from above.

For now I'll finish with an embed:

No comments:

Post a Comment