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Choices made

Posted by BoriSpider 
Choices made
May 24, 2011 10:39AM
When you started this hobby, what machine did you choose and build?

With the knowledge you know now, would you go the same route?
Or would you've gone w/ a different machine/ direction?

enquiring minds would like to know.

"I like to be, what I like to see, in you and me.
I am the Stallion, Mang."

ISTAR Scope Club
Re: Choices made
May 24, 2011 11:30AM
I decided to build a Mendel from a complete kit just for not wanting the hassle of sourcing all the parts.

I chose Mendel as its the most open to being modified and has a good sized build aria. Though it is probably not the easiest to build or get running accurately it is inexpensive compared to some alternatives.

Really depends on your budget and if you want to modify it like I do, or just have a standard machine to use out of the box.

I would still have chosen to build a Mendel even now as I can simply improve and fix what I don't like.
Re: Choices made
May 24, 2011 04:50PM
I went for/am still building a repstrap based on MrKimRobotics 1X2 compact [www.thingiverse.com] and [mrkimrobotics.com] with the intention of doing a budget build. Though I'll never get it finished if I keep changing it! (Replaced bearing stacks with linear bearings recently.) I'm trying to build every part myself, including the hot end, and sourcing as much as possible locally, so it's all taking quite a time, but I am learning so much in the process. I did buy motors (Zapp Automation) and the Gen6 electronics (mendel-parts.com). I know it won't be the best printer when it's finished, but it will be very special to me - until I rip it apart when I have printed out the parts for a Mendel and need the motors, rods, bearings, hot end and electronics!
Had a milestone moment today - motorised the Y axis table. Hopefully get X and Z going tomorrow. I had been scratching my head about making MrKim's belts, when I was wandering through Tesco's earlier today and saw some discarded packaging straps, the long thin sort of nylon ones that, if left on the floor, are a major trip hazard. They seem to work quite well as a belt with MrKim's PVC pulley. This exemplifies my ethos building my reprap; cost-wise it hasn't been that noticable. If I added it up I'd probably be shocked, though it would include various tools I've bought as well, and items that I have bought more than I needed (sometimes 2x) or bought and then replaced with something else. It will probably never work properly, and I'll end up buying a Mendel set from Nophead, but it's about the journey!
Re: Choices made
May 24, 2011 06:18PM
I bought a Makerbot with which I have printed a few prusa's for friends and for myself. If I had it to do over again I think I would do the same. The learning curve is steep, and having built and calibrated a makerbot allowed me to get my feet wet without getting too discouraged. It also gave me an easy way to test the steppers I bought for my Prusa without the added frustration of trying to troubleshoot electronics at the same time. I don't have the Prusa printing yet, so I can't comment on comparative maintenance issues, but the Makerbot has been a pretty solid machine for me. I'm hoping the Prusa will do as well.
Re: Choices made
May 25, 2011 02:14PM
When I started, I got a set of Sell's Mendel parts from someone who posted on these forums (it was before the Prusa design was finished). Nuts and bolts I got from McMaster (though I went with philips head screws instead of socket cap, for cost), rods I got from a local hardware store, and I got a Techzone electronics set directly from them. I also originally went with the old Mendel direct drive extruder with the Dremel splined motor shaft. I got a PEEK thermal barrier and nozzle from someone off ebay.

I was never able to make the direct drive extruder work and had to get someone to print me a Wade's extruder. The PEEK thermal barrier never worked and caused PLA to stick to it, so I first replaced that with PTFE. Then I started getting plastic leaking between my nozzle and heater barrel and nothing I could do would stop it. I eventually replaced the entire hot end with one from Makergear and have had no problems at all.

I have also had no end of problems with the Techzone electronics. All the MOSFETS on the extruder board have now burned out, along with one of the H-bridges. I'm replacing that with an Ultimachine RAMPS set as soon as they ship it to me.

I haven't had many problems with the overall Sell's design, though it was a slight pain to adjust all the bearings. A Prusa would have been easier. If I were to do this again I definitely would have started with a Wade's extruder, a Makergear hot end and a RAMPS electronics set. I might have gone with the Prusa design, especially a SAE based one depending on price.
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