RUG/Pennsylvania/State College/Printers/PSU Unit B

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Unit beta small.png
Color: Wood
Extruder: .35mm
Temperature: 220C
Design: Open Hybrid Mendel
Electronics: RAMPS
Firmware: Marlin
Operation Status: Thumb uo.png



This is the page for the State College Rep Rap User Group's (SCRUG) Beta 3D printer. The printer was developed, assembled, and is currently operated by students in Penn State's Engineering Design 497J course and members of the 3D printing club. Our goal is to continuously tweak the printer until it is ready for distribution and sale to other departments in the University and local schools and businesses.

Most of the information below will be incorporated in the LaserCut Mendel Assembly page.


Date Modification / Problem
12/09/14 The printer is still working well and today we printed 3 different projects at the same time. Below is the picture of the work done today. Unfortunately the scale was to small and the printer isn't good to work on small details.


12/04/14 We had a trouble on Z axix but with an lil adjust to fiz the axis the printer could be ready to start printing the works from EDSGN 497K CATIA-section 901 class. Below is the fist piece printed beyond the test ones.


12/02/14 Today we printed the first "ok" nickel calibration piece. It looks like the printer is ready to start doing its work!


11/13/14 SUCCESS!!!! After fixing the belt and setting home coordinates for the y, x and z axes, we printed with success the space invaders piece. The filament was pretty solid and the part was pretty well done. It is great to see that this amount of hard work has paid off!


11/11/14 Printer has been adjusted. Clamps and the proper axis are set up correctly with nuts and bolts. Belt is still not fixed.
11/06/14 Today we are finishing setting up the bolts and the washers from the previous class. The printer will be running soon.
11/04/14 Today we fixed the screws and the clamps of the printer. I had to tap the clamps since the hole were the bolt went was too small. Also we adjusted the printer so that the belt will not be affected by any bolt that was coming out of it. Hopefully with the clamp this part of the printer will not also move under tension. Next class is to screw everything in, setup the belt and if there is enough time test the printer.
10/28/14 Today the belts were adjusted, so that a certain part of a bolt did not affect its trajectory. Also, clamps are being printed to secure the structure that holds the pulley and the belt passage from moving in the y direction. In order to print these clamps, we had to use another group's 3-D printer.
10/23/14 Today was the first printing test. What happened was that the belts were too lose and had to be adjusted. Also one of the belts was underpowered and the printer didn't move correctly. We then adjusted the belts, and adjusted the power from the battery. We are going to try the nickel test and see if all goes well correctly. The z-axis needs also to be adjusted.
10/21/14 So today I took the arms apart in order to install the new larger bolt. Everything went fine, it was a good learning experience. At first the arm was upside down and was obviously not fitting in the board. After inspections I corrected the arm. With the help of the wrenches the operation was successful. For this model I did forget to put two extra bolts and washers, but before taking the whole thing apart again to insert them I will test a printing sample next class.
10/16/14 Today we had to take the printer apart to insert the washer and bolt forgotten the last time we took it apart. We tightened the bolts so the belt could move underneath the bed smoothly. Now the printer is ready to be used. Due to the fact that the computers were being used by other groups, the printing test had to be postponed.
10/14/14 Today I worked on printer Beta. What was going on was that printer Beta could not Home zero in the X, Y, and Z directions when I tried printing on it because underneath the board the thread rod was displaced. The belt was therefore having problems in working since there was this issue with the rod. What I am working now is on inserting a new thread rod which does not have the risk of falling or being displaced. By that I had to find a bigger rod which was then cut using a saw. This rod was not yet inserted into the printer since it is too big and now it is necessary to unscrew a major part of the underneath of the board. In this picture it is shown the cut made on the bigger rod, and the components used to assemble it in the printer.
09/30/14 Today we leveled Beta and observed its specific dimensions. The Beta printer was significantly not leveled before which caused difficulties during the print.
09/23/14 We finally configured Beta so that it could print our first piece. It was a space invader little guy. Now we are currently printing the coin constraint piece. In order to fix Beta we had to level the z-axis so that the filament could rapidly touch the plate, whereas before it was forming bubbles.
09/11/14 The printer we were handling had a variety of heating problems. The printer we were using, in this case Beta, did not maintain a fixed heating temperature of 190 Celsius.
August, 4th 2014 The new X axis is mounted and the machine is ready for the first test. Calibration is required.
July, 11th 2014 Even though Beta is working, the X axis was wobbling a lot, more than what could be fixed by tightening the wooden parts. It was decided to put this X axis apart and equip the printer with the regular PLA X axis equipping all of our other printers.
19 March 2014 Beta has been working well for a while.
12/05/2013 Unplug, wait for 10sec and plug back in if there is a an issue with no connectivity. Not reliable for long prints.
12/03/2013 Printer is in working condition. - Dimitar
11/16/2013 hot tip is currently out of the extruder and needs new extruder and hot tip to function properly.- crosby
09/03/2013 The printer needs new electronics and extruder
Unknown Both alpa and beta may experience extrusion problems that are not temperature related, please follow these guides to fix it Trouble Shooting Guide


Staging Area for Instructions

The information below will be where our group first posts instructions for the Mendel unit before moving it to LaserCut Mendel Assembly page. This information will most likely be incomplete and/or not in a logical order. If you are building a Laser-Cut Mendel, got to the link above for the instructions.

X Axis

The X-axis of the Mendel holds the extruder and allows it to move laterally left and right. The X-axis jig is also part of the Z-axis as the entire X-axis moves up and down along the Z-axis.


  1. Gather the laser cut parts shown in the picture to the right. Also, have the nuts, bolts and washers bag close at hand.
  2. First, assemble the “right hand side” (in reference to the picture in step 1). Be sure to start with the larger piece facing the way it is shown in this picture.
  3. Put washers on the screws (see note) and push screws through “side pieces” and through the base piece as shown.
    Note: You may want to put 3 washers on each of the outer screws if you are using the screws shown in the image(the picture only shows 1 on each). This is because the screws being used have an un-threaded portion that will not allow the pieces to tighten unless extra washers are used. It might be easier, however, to add the extra washers in step 6.
  4. Flip the piece over so that the threaded part of the screws point up. See here.
  5. Place large nut in receptacle and then put the wood cap over top. See here.
  6. Put washers and nuts on the screws. See here
    Note: As noted in step 3, you may need to add extra washers here in order for the nut to tighten properly.
    Note: Two of the washers may not fit all the way down onto the screw (See here). To rectify this, grind or cut one edge of the washer so that it will sit flush with the wooden base
  7. Now assemble 5 bearing bars as shown here. Only put one bearing on each of the bars for now. Also be sure that there is a washer on either side of the bearing so that it can move freely. This will be important for the rest of the build; if you have a bearing, it should always be sandwiched between 2 washers, unless noted otherwise.
  8. Take 2 of the bearing bars you just made and put them through the slot shown in this picture. Then assemble the bearing on the other side of the bar.
  9. Now assemble the 2 belt bearings and attach them as shown here.
  10. You should now have this: front, right, left, back.

Construction of the new X axis

Below will be updated the progresses in the assembly of the new X axis.

Beta 07 11 2014.jpg July, 11th 2014

Beta 08 04 2014.jpg Beta 08 04 2014 side.jpg August, 4th 2014


Rather than use the TechZone electronics layout and use the two boards they gave us, we decided to re-drill one board, allowing us to have all of our electronics in one single location; the advantage? Less cables to run, a cleaner and more organized machine, and easy access to all of the boards for adjusting pots, accessing reset buttons, etc. Pictures and more detailed layouts along with models of the modified electronics mounting board to come soon.

Settings as of 1/17/2012:

Jarred (talk) 18:27, 19 March 2014 (PDT)

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