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Converting from ToM to Prusa?

Posted by rcboosted 
Converting from ToM to Prusa?
March 12, 2012 12:43PM
So I built me a ToM and got it working pretty nicely. Then I find out Prusa is cheaper(too late now), print area's almost 4 times the size and much quieter! Searching through various threads via google I also find out that it's possible and inexpensive to convert to a Prusa with minimal parts.

My question is, has anyone done this successfully? If so, what parts can I recycle from ToM to use in the Prusa? It's a bit difficult to look through all the threads, but from what I can gather, all 4 motors are reusable, but I might need another Z motor? I need to print out all the plastic parts from ToM, buy all the threaded and smooth rods, nuts and bolts etc. That's all have gathered so far. Are all the electronics reusable? If anyone has any insight to this, I'd appreciate any help!

I'm also using this threads to see whether support for RepRap are sufficient for me to switch over. I understand that everyone here helping out are doing it for the good of the community, so I can't expect help to be there all the time. Whereas with MakerBot, they need to provide support for their product, and so far they have been no less than awesome.
Re: Converting from ToM to Prusa?
March 12, 2012 02:28PM
Pretty much any electronics will work with any machine. You'll need 5 steppers and a new heated bed (optional).

Personally I wouldn't recommend cannibalizing your TOM to build a Prusa.
Not because I'm fond of the TOM (which is a fine machine), but because you will inevitably find yourself at a point with 2 half assembled machines and need to print a part in order to continue!

Build your Prusa (or 2) then teardown/sell your TOM if you must.
Re: Converting from ToM to Prusa?
March 12, 2012 05:35PM
Thanks for the quick reply. What's the 5th stepper for, 2 for z axis?

That's great advice about missing parts after tearing it apart. I'll just have to make sure I got everything before I tear it apart.

I can't seem to find a definite list of what's needed for a Prusa, (hence the 5th stepper question above). I see a big list of things, but it's hard to find out what I need and what I don't need. I definitely see everything I need and more, just too many.
Re: Converting from ToM to Prusa?
March 12, 2012 06:01PM
Yes the 5th stepper motor is for the z axis.
Re: Converting from ToM to Prusa?
March 12, 2012 09:33PM
It's hard to get a list because almost every one who builds one is building their own combination.

You have to make a few decisions that will determine what parts you need to buy or print

-what kind of bushing or bearings you want your axes to slide on (printed pla bushing, plastic/bronze bushings, linear bearings)
-what kind of belts you want to use (standard t5, something finer pitch, etc)
-accordingly, can you print the pulleys well enough or do you need to buy machined ones
-what kind of extruder you want to run (wades variant, makergear stepper etc)

When you decide which type of bearing/bushing you want to use you can start printing parts that use them. Prusa's github is a good start. Also browse thingiverse for upgrades that you like.

The TOM electronics will work fine (with the appropriate firmware or machines.xml) but you'll have to come up with some sort of mount.
Re: Converting from ToM to Prusa?
March 12, 2012 10:26PM
I sell Prusa kits in New Zealand based on the LM8UU variation with a Greg's hinged extruder and J head Mk4B nozzles.

I have attached my PDF of assembly notes as it also has my own BoM. I'd like to upload to the wiki but don't know how

Experimenting in 3D in New Zealand
open | download - Prusa assembly notes.pdf (144.4 KB)
Re: Converting from ToM to Prusa?
March 13, 2012 12:08PM
Thanks again tsb4k, looks like I've got a lot to learn still. But so far I like the LM8UU linear bearing the best from what I've read. I think the best way for me to do this is get more familiar with the parts and build the frame first. Then I can see if I'm missing any parts and print as needed. I'll read up on the github, lots of info there.

Question regarding the ToM electronics, is it fast enough? One of the reason I want to move over to a Prusa is because of the speed it is capable of printing. Is the Arduino board in my ToM as fast as the latest Arduino board used in the RepRap?
Re: Converting from ToM to Prusa?
March 13, 2012 05:23PM
Acording to the part list in the TOM Generation 4 electornics. The arduino 2560 is used, which is what I have on my reprap with ramps 1.4 board. the TOM uses a different arduino shield. I don't see a comment in the Marlin firmware for it. You may need to get a RAMPS board.
I don't have the schematics of both boards to comapore. Hazarding a gues, I would expect the speed difference would be in the firmware and the settings in your gcode generation.
Re: Converting from ToM to Prusa?
March 20, 2012 05:32PM
1. Print 2 sets of Prusa parts with TOM

2. Remove steppers, belts, electronics and extruder from TOM

3. Dispose of remaining TOM parts

4. Make a Prusa.

5. Enjoy owning a better machinespinning smiley sticking its tongue out
Re: Converting from ToM to Prusa?
March 26, 2012 12:37PM
I've decided to build a Mendel separately, since it's worth more to have 2 than have 1 and a pile of plywood smiling smiley
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