Friday, 25 January 2013

Mendel90 X-Axis

Completed the X-Axis last night after a brief tussle with the orientation of one of the bar clamps (Thanks Mary!). So here it is pretty much complete now:

And with the spool holder assembly fitted:

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Mendel90 build continued

After spending last week in Kiev, I've finally found time to resume my Mendel90 build.
Tonight I managed to complete the extruder assembly. I've built a few of these of varying designs and this one is nice because of the 15 way D-type that brings the stepper and hot end connections to a single point.
Here is the extruder motor assembly, the D-type connector can be seen mounted to the small PCB that has screw terminals on it:

This assembly is then attached to the remaining parts of the extruder:

Sunday, 13 January 2013

I'm fortunate to have access to Nopheads python software. This has the advantage that the extruder temp, heated bed temp, extruder nozzle size and offset from hot end to bed are all accounted for in software. The main advantage in this system is the Z probe. This samples the print bed and calculates a plane against which the gcode is offset to produce a print which is at 90 degrees to the bed.
As I use multiple extruders, but I am a crap machinist, I need to make sure that the length of the hot ends I make is consistent. Due to beer and inexperience this is seldom the case. But I found a great way to compensate for my cock-ups. Just shift the hot end down until it's end is below that of the Z-probe.
Here you can see the the peek barrel where I have lowered it:
In the last month I've printed 5 different kinds of plastic: clear/red/green pla and white/black abs. Flushing out the extruder is a pain. At them moment I have PLA and ABS extruders, but I'm tempted to have one for each type:

I also managed to complete the X carriage assembly today. This was an easy build, but I like the belt tensioner function which you can see at the left hand side of the part.

Mendel90 X Carriage fan assembly

This is a really easy part of the build. But it's a fantastic printed part. It ducts air onto the printed plastic but avoids cooling the hot end. This IMHO is what RepRap is all about: a custom design for a none trivial function.

Here you can see the underside where the air duct avoids the hot end which protrudes from the centre:

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Mendel90 Y axis

Managed to finish my Mendel90 kit Y axis today. I like the way the cables are routed under the dibond base. A small detail, but it keeps the build neat.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Adventure Sports Claymore Mine

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Steve at OperationLasertag had another project for me last year. This time to create software for use on the Milestag Add-On board to allow it to be used as a claymore mine with Adventure Sports lasertag equipment.

Using a digital scope, I reverse engineered the AS IR protocol (which is unencrypted and based upon the open Milestag protocol with minor modifications), and developed my own software in C to send an AS Admin-Kill packet. This worked first time, and Steve packed the add-on module into a rather realistic looking claymore mine which can be activated by remote control:

Guns of many colours

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Over Christmas I managed to complete all the coloured parts for two sets of team lasertag guns for Steve at OperationLasertag.

Each team has either red or green flash diffuser/cooling fins:

I also printed 2 guns with coloured focus tubes to identify them as referee guns:

The coloured plastic is PLA from Faberdashery.

Mendel90 Print Bed

After a break of a few days, I finally got around to completing my Mendel90 print bed assembly.

As mentioned, I'd agreed with nophead to accept some parts that were not finished, and the only task that needed doing here was tapping the Dibond to M3.
To do this I used a tapping chuck:

This is ideal for tapping soft, thin materials as you can turn it with one hand, whilst using the other to keep the tap straight.
I was then able to fit the M3 spacers, and after wiring, attach the heater PCB to the carriage:

Monday, 7 January 2013

Mendel90 Y Carriage assembly

Completed the Y carriage assembly. Just a few nuts and bolts make for about half an hours work.

Mendel90 Z axis

I completed the assembly of my Mendel90 Z axis over the weekend. It's going together really well and I'm enjoying the build. No messing around getting threaded bars lined up makes it so much easier.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Mendel90 X Motor Assembly

With the Christmas break affecting dispatch and delivery of parts, the replacement 15way IDC D types, which I broke due to an unfortunate combination of inebriation and stupidity, arrived yesterday.

I've now been able to complete the X axis motor assembly of my Mendel90 kit.

I like the way all the cables are bundled in a single ribbon cable. My current printer has many single cables that although functional, look untidy.
It was was easy to build and it looks good with the neat cable routing:

Having already completed the Z axis motor assembly, the next step is the Z-axis.