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I'm about to begin...

Posted by mcbobbo 
I'm about to begin...
November 09, 2012 11:57AM
Hello everyone. I'm Bob. I'm totally new to all of this, and thanks to a well-timed quarterly bonus, I'm about to dive in head first! Before I start shelling out the cash, I thought I'd see what advice the community may have...

1) I'm considering the Mendelcraft.com Mendel Prusa 12 x 12 XL kit.

Anyone used it? Anything else I should consider?

I realize that the 12 x 12 prints are ambitious, but I'm thinking that it can do small prints equally well as large ones, so I can start small and work my way up to the big stuff.

I think I read on someone's blog that they were really happy with it, but Google is failing me today...

2) Materials? I'm in Texas, in the US, and was wondering if anyone had any tips for good 'first timer' materials? I'm thinking ABS might be more useful, because of the water issue, so I think I'll grab that in a couple different colors.

Any vendors to recommend me?

3) Tips?

If you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing, what would that be? smiling smiley

Thanks all for your time. Your words here will probably save me hours of headache.
Re: I'm about to begin...
November 09, 2012 12:29PM
The one concern I have is the threaded rod. As you make the rods longer, you should also make them thicker to avoid flexing issues. This design may still be fine, it's not that much bigger, but there comes a point where it's hard to get accurate prints because your frame itself starts flexing as the machine moves.
Re: I'm about to begin...
November 09, 2012 12:32PM
Filament: Online Filament has good stuff at a fair price. [www.onlinefilament.com]
Makerbot filament is also good and they have great colors not seen at other vendors.
You really just need a spool or two in the beginning. Get a PLA and an ABS.

For a machine, I ordered an M2 Mosaic (10 weeks ago and still waiting) and have been building a large (40x24x18) machine for several months.
I am tuning the extruder now, and can "Sharpie" print at the moment. Speeds and resolution are OK.
You can youtube "Mitus: first moves" can see a couple of videos. I am close to posting some printing vids, if my luck holds out.
I would not suggest designing and building your own. It's tested me, my marriage, my credit limits and my sanity.

My $0.02: if you want to make a kit, find an 80/20 kit instead of all-tread designs. Mendel Max variations can be scaled for a 12x12 I think.
More rigid, accurate(?) and less hardware/hassle. [mendelmax.com]
There are however, large hoards of all-thread purists, who swear by them.
I would also avoid any laser cut wood assemblies. Just because it's wood.

If you are in El Paso, PM me.

Re: I'm about to begin...
November 10, 2012 09:57AM
I really think the price on that one is tough to beat. I suppose, if all else fails, I'll have the parts to build another design, should I decide it was a bad purchase. But I ordered it and two spools of filament.

It begins!
Re: I'm about to begin...
November 11, 2012 09:30PM
Hey Bob, you will be the third or fourth person to buy that printer, because I am buying it Monday. I chatted with the guy operating that new website, and he seems knowledgable and sincere. I will be testing it for a specific application, so i will buy it although I have both a Hyrel and Form1 on order through kickstarter. I'd like to have comments from the one other person to buy that. Its got good components, but you wont get great resolution out of it as it is shipped, and the guy running it was the first to acknowledge that. You would need a different thicker flatter bed to print very fine resolution(100microns) he told me, so find 200-400 resolution examples and figure you will get that. He also said that other components might be necessary to print finer, but if you want to invest a couple hundred later it might work out fine(pun). That said, you will be able to print bigger faster with thick layers of course, which is the application I need it for. Ive got the Hyrel(fdm) and the Form1(stereolithography) for ultrafine printing.

Re: I'm about to begin...
November 11, 2012 09:33PM
another option is to use acrylic panels for side supports, as is used in the Vision on kickstarter. You might be able to get a couple of his bigfoot side panels which lend stability to the construct and should get us closer to better resolution.
Re: I'm about to begin...
November 27, 2012 12:14PM
I have everything assembled, and still need to wire it. For personality reasons, I'm afraid of cutting into my stepper motor wires...
Re: I'm about to begin...
January 03, 2013 04:46PM
If you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing, what would that be? smiling smiley

Buy Apple stock!

Bob Morrison
W├Ârth am Rhein, Germany
"Luke, use the source!"
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