Stuff has arrived and stuff has been done

2010-03-11 2 comments

I’ve received all my main parts like:

Electronics

Filament (no, it’s not pink, just a bad camera)

Fasteners

Bearings, thermistors and the belts.
I’ve actually had the belts since earlier but split them last weekend. I don’t have a belt-splitter-jig so I took a piece of MDF and cut a 10mm groove in it. I then took a piece of wood of the same length, put the belt between the MDF and wood and tightened it in a vice (from the sides). I somewhat estimated the center with a scalpel and managed to split it perfectly by pulling it through. Hooray for me!

I’ve gotten less done after this than I wanted but the x (top) and y (bottom) stages have been finished (mechanical side, not the electrics). The y stage bearing arms “swing” from the outside so the screw heads don’t interfere with the extruder.

And the completed assembly:

I’ve been trying to “access” the motherboard with little success until today.

Using the Arduino software I managed to send “version” to the motherboard and got the answer “R3G Master v106”, it’s ALIVE! It’s like sending signals into outer space and suddenly getting a response =)

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Basic structure and USB cable

I’ve been working a bit last weekend and this week on my RepStrap and RepRap actually.

Started in the weekend by cutting up all the threaded rod, aluminium angle, particle board and mdf for the RepStrap. Also cut up all the threaded rod and unthreaded rod for the Mendel although it’ll be awhile before I get to use those parts. I don’t have that many tools where I live so this kind of stuff needs to be done at my parents house.

Due to a light cold I haven’t been able to put down as much work as I’d liked to. I’m also waiting for shipments to arrive so I can get some more essential parts.

On Monday I was able to assemble the basic structure. Had to use some washers on the one side of the bottom to get the z-axis structure to sit somewhat straight.

I really like the shadow from the y-axis structure, looks cool.

Unfortunately the bottom particle board warped quite badly. I had to screw it down to the underside of that table you see in the picture. 7 screws, one in each corner, one in the center and two on the right and left edges.

Next step was to assemble the X and Y aluminum angles. All went without trouble except for one angle that had a small jack in the slipping surface, I think it’ll work anyway. I also got some PTFE sheet in the mail. This PTFE sheet has one side etched meaning I can simply glue it to the underside instead of working with cumbersome screws. I cut out about 1×1 cm squares and simply lay them between the mdf board and the angles. There were no problems moving the platform so that it slid on the PTFE surface (note, the PTFE isn’t glued yet =).

I need bearings and fasteners to complete this and that’s what I’m waiting for at the moment.

USB Cable

I got three “Nokia” CA-42 cables in the mail yesterday. Immediately I spliced one of them open to check it out and that was easier said than done. The outer blue shell was “melted” shut so I cut it open. The inside of course had molded plastic around the PCB and it’s components. Had to cut and pry that of.

The cable only had 3 wires so that was the first to go. Luckily the PCB had marked welding pads for 5V, GND, TXD, RXD, CTX and RTS which is all that’s needed. I grabbed a new 7-wire cable and soldered it onto the contact (it isn’t the easiest with a sucky soldering iron with something like a 5mm tip). While trying to get the case open I managed to drill a hole through the PCB, the only this of importance damaged was the 5V line so I had to use a longer wire for that =).

For the 6 pin contact I used an old IDE type connector which I cut up and pushed in the new wires in, works like a charm and cheap aswell.

It only remains to be seen if this actually works with the RepRap electronics. I’m still waiting for delivery of those.

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Introduction

This is my project page for the creation of a RepStrap and continuing from that a RepRap Mendel. My name is Markus and I’m located in FinspĂ„ng, Sweden.

The idea came to me while watching a YouTube video about of a braingear printed with a 3D Printer.

I’m basing my RepStrap on the McWire design with some pretty significant changes. The biggest change is that I won’t be using a plumbing structure and replacing it with cheap particle board. Many parts from the RepStrap will be used in the Mendel to keep costs down.

The RepRap Mendel will be created according to the Make Your Own RepRap manual. One difference will be the lower extruder parts in which I’ll be using a different design.

Most parts have already been ordered from several different shops.
http://www.iprint3d.org
(electronics, motors)
http://www.reprapsource.com
(bearings, filament)
http://www.ebay.com
(lots of “non standard” stuff)
The rest will be sourced locally.

I’ve gotten lots of help from warpi. Please do follow his blog aswell as he started the process towards building a Mendel at the same time as I (also Swedish).

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