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Mendelmax 1.5 3d printer

Posted by torqu3e 
Mendelmax 1.5 3d printer
July 04, 2013 03:57AM
A bunch of people here seem to be building 3d printers so thought would share mine.

I recently completed a build of a Mendelmax 1.5 using a smoothieboard. grinning smiley

Some pictures...

Smoothieboard [www.torqu3e.net]

Complete printer... [www.torqu3e.net]

printing... [www.torqu3e.net]

It is running a stepper plastruder from makergear, which unlike hobbed bolts or bowden extruders doesn't slip on the filament for perfect retracts(retract is very important in prints, else corners ooze, layers pile), it has an all metal 5:1 reduction planetary gearbox for loads of torque while allowing variable speed printing(very important for dialing in precise feed rate).

All axes run on linear bearings and lithium greased SS304 smooth rods, GT2 belts over proper 608zz bearings.

Most 3d printers that are being offered have various issues around them, including but not limited to rigidity of the frame(acrylic/wood vs aluminium), build quality of the extruder/hotend(most ciritcal pieces for a printer), some excuse for stepper motors being used for the extrusion drive element. These things may work on 1.75 mm PLA, but not much use when a good production grade machine is required that can do 3mm filaments of PLA, ABS, Nylon or any other plastic you think of.

The above prints are at 0.3 mm layer height from a 0.35mm nozzle while the belts were being tensioned and settings being dialed in for the smoothieboard.

Why smoothieboard? Probably the only 32 bit electronics available for 3d printers as of today, Arduinos are 8 bit, not saying they are bad in any sense, I've used Marlin on a sanguinololu 1.3a with a sd connector and LCD before moving to the smoothieboard, the ease of rewriting your config by just text editing or sending files to the machine is so much easier, soon to come along ethernet was a big factor. Tomorrow I want to change the print head to a CO2 laser for some etching, or a high rpm spindle motor so I could mill a PCB or another piece of metal, that is just a config edit away.

A 4pi board is almost equally good but prohibitively expensive at that.

frame+sanguinololu+lcd sometime during the build process... [www.torqu3e.net]

The LCD+SD combo is very awesome as it lets one use the printer completely stand alone.

I currently have some sanguinololu and pololu stepstick hardware and am willing to help people build mendelmax's or other proper production grade 3d printers if you guys arrange a group buy.

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2013 04:19AM by torqu3e.
Re: Mendelmax 1.5 3d printer
July 11, 2013 03:34AM

Very nice build! Did you source all the parts yourself? I tried getting aluminium extrusion in 20x20 but no one seems to stock it in India. I was thinking of getting a 4pi but yup, it's expensive and my 8bit micro is doing the job so far.

Also, do you mind me asking approximately how much you spent on the entire thing?
Re: Mendelmax 1.5 3d printer
July 13, 2013 03:02PM
The parts were sourced by me, not particularly in India, though am helping a friend of mine build a mendelmax in mumbai, extrusions seem to be available there though he still needs to get his hands on them.

Jindal and Prakash aluminiums do manufacture those extrusions, so am sure other suppliers wont be far behind.

I bombed about $900 on the whole deal, with loads of spares left over.
your mendelmax looks good. but the cost is high. do you have other alternatives with less cost?
Re: Mendelmax 1.5 3d printer
July 19, 2013 11:57PM

There is some minimum print quality that I would like to maintain over a few thousand prints with near zero maintenance. Lesser kits sell for more money than that, this isn't for occasional prints but rather day in day out print operations.

Keep in mind the constructor's triangle fast, cheap, reliable, pick any two.spinning smiley sticking its tongue out

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/20/2013 02:00AM by torqu3e.
Re: Mendelmax 1.5 3d printer
August 13, 2014 11:49AM
Is a copy of your firmware file available?
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