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My McWire Build. Updated 3 times a week!

Posted by SCphotog 
My McWire Build. Updated 3 times a week!
May 29, 2009 11:43PM
I ordered the aluminum channel, angle and ss rods today. I actually ordered them through my uncle who is a hardware dealer for several local manufacturing facilities. I got it all at his cost which is roughly 10% below McMaster. As soon as Zack gets some gen3 kits in stock over at makerbot I will order them and some bearings. I am in the process of setting up a site that's independent of my photography site to document the build and modifications and the eventual progression to a Darwin and then a Mendel. I bought "themakersworkbench.com"

I felt that it was a fitting name because I am always making something that would cost $$$ in the retail world but cost me $$ to make. Like for example, my grandmother does not have cable. She thinks it a waist of $$ so I built her a 4 bay Gray-Hoverman antenna and put it on a 30 foot mast. She gets all the digital channels within a 60 mile radius now. The retail model would have cost me $90-150 but this model made from pvc, chicken wire, and some 10 gauge bare solid wire cost me less than $20 including the mast which is a re purposed telephone pole.

I am actually kind of glad I waited almost a year to start this. The extruder design has came so far with the pinch wheel design. The electronics seem stouter and more organized. I have watched the printing resolution and accuracy go from decent to "WOW that looks great!!!" Nophead, Zach, and the rest of you guys have made leaps and bounds in the last year. I can not thank you guys enough for doing the R&D that will allow me to build a simi solid repstrap which will in turn print me the needed parts for a RepRap. So my hats off to you my friends. If I ever have the pleasure of meeting you in person, the beer will be on me.c

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/15/2009 03:45PM by SCphotog.
Re: Finally starting on my McWire.
June 01, 2009 05:32PM
Ok my uncle flaked on the order. He says its not enough to justify him putting an order into his suppliers for. So I ordered all of the parts needed for a McWire from McMaster-Carr today. Total came out to $98.75 Some of the parts in the parts lister were discontinued and I had to browse a little for suitable replacements.

Note: The 4" extension springs specified in the parts lister are no longer listed with mcmaster. The replacements McMaster suggest are about 3lbs weaker than the ones needed. The closest ones I could find were 4.75lb 4" extension springs and they were $9 for 6.

Now I need to source parts for an extruder. I would prefer a pinch wheel from printed parts but if anyone has an old style extruder and would not mind parting with it I would be willing to pay a reasonable price for it.

I also need to go buy some plexi and cut out the bearing arms and stages. I also need to head to harbor freight and pick up a countersink. I have a spare PSU from an old atx case. Zack told me that the gen 3 complete kits will be back in stock this weeks so as soon as I see them in stock they will be ordered.

I need to find a full tower pc case so I can fit all of the electronics including the host PC inside. I might be doing the first RepRap related case mod. grinning smiley I am probably going to build a new gaming pc and transfer my old hard ware over to the reprap case. (athlon 64 x2 5200+ Foxcon AM2+ Motherboard, 4gb ram, 8800gtx gpu.) I will have to buy a cheap 500gb hhd and a cheap dvd burner to throw in it. It will more than likely have Ubuntu installed on it because open source stuff is awesome. IMO Open source software is the only way to go when planning a open source project like building a RepRap

Charles Gantt.
Build blog [themakersworkbench.com] <---- my personal site
Build worklong [www.thebestcasescenario.com]
Re: Finally starting on my McWire.
June 02, 2009 03:25AM
Hi Charles

Don't worry too much about the host PC spec - use what you've got.

I'm using a Toshiba M200 Portege laptop. Crap (by today's standards) single cpu, 1Gb ram, 120Gb HD, no disk.

you'll only need a minimal HD - go for a cheap one - you won't need anything like 500Gb. A full install of ubuntu and the host software is <50Gb. stl and blender files, etc are very small also.

You could get away without a dvd-rom, too - you can often install ubuntu by booting from a usb stick (depending on your motherboard), or by 'borrowing one' for the hour you need to install ubuntu. most important is a net connection and web browser.

Might save you a bit of cash.

Reprapping blog and other rants: [renoirsrants.blogspot.com]
My Reprap: [sites.google.com]
Re: Finally starting on my McWire.
June 02, 2009 06:04AM
Hi Charles,
Shame I can't remember where (on here) I read it, but 4" springs are mostly too long. Different springs are used for the z-axis to hold the z-stage onto the 'vertical base' - I've not worked out what springs I need for this bit yet.
I bought a box of any-old mixed springs, and found ones to suit. I have no idea what strength they are, and they don't need to be tough for the x and y and z stages as they just hold and guide the stages gently against the rails - you don't want them clamped.
My McWire-alike blog is here: [http://copycatbot.blogspot.com/]. Excuse the latest post, nothing to do with my repstrap, Faith, but instead a (well-deserved) microwave-cooked cake!
But you might find some things of use. Note also that I am UK-based, so much is metric (but not all!).
Re: Finally starting on my McWire.
June 02, 2009 10:42AM
Well the order from McMaster-Carr is on its way here. The Atlanta warehouse is only about 3 hours from my home and the FedEx hub it was shipped from is about 2 hours away. It arrived at my local FexEx hub last night and is out for delivery now. That's less than 24 hours after I ordered it and I paid for standard ground shipping.
Re: Finally starting on my McWire.
June 02, 2009 10:11PM
The parts arrived. I forgot to order the 1/2" nuts, bolts, and washers. I will take a trip to home depot tomorrow.

Here is a scan of the invoice with part numbers and prices.
Re: Finally starting on my McWire.
June 09, 2009 02:47AM
MotorAssist Wrote:
> Hi Charles,
> Shame I can't remember where (on here) I read it,
> but 4" springs are mostly too long.

Yep, I figured this out as I have been building my McWire. The x-stage uses a 4" spring, but the y- and z- stages use 2" springs, i picked them up from a local Ace hardware store. I'm not sure what the vertical base springs need to be, as I haven't gotten that far yet. The only things that I had to order from McMaster were the aluminum rails and pipe flange. Everything else I found at Lowe's, Ace, and Fastenal. (Fastenal is great btw, they have stores everywhere.)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/09/2009 02:47AM by NewPerfection.
Re: Finally starting on my McWire.
June 09, 2009 06:38AM
Hi Charles,
interestingly, I've used the same size springs for the x and y and z stages, but I shall need different ones for holding the z stage to the vertical base.
I have, though, worked out where to attach the bearing arms to fit my springs - guess you can't do that if you've got ready-machined stages.

Re: Finally starting on my McWire.
June 09, 2009 07:31PM
There is a fasnal 5 min from my house. I forgot all about them.

I got the base assembled this weekend and the X rails cut and mounted. Printed out the x stage and glued it to the plexi. Now I need to go to home depot and grab a jigsaw blade and cut it and the bearing arms out.
Re: Finally starting on my McWire.
June 09, 2009 07:32PM
Oh yea I finally got the photos up of the build on my site. [themakersworkbench.com]
Re: My McWire Build. Updated 3 times a week!
June 15, 2009 03:53PM
It seems I made the same mistake so many others do. I printed out the sticker designs and they were scaled down. So I tried printing them from autocad with "scale to fit" turned off and it still printed them too small. Unfortunately I did not notice this until after I had already cut out my x stage and drilled all the holes.

This is not that big of a deal though because I am using scraps from the local glass shop to cut the plexi parts from. Enough scrap to build 30 McWires cost me less than $10. I have a Plexiglas rack in my shop that probably contains 600 sqft of Plexiglas in various colors, thicknesses and sizes.

So I sat down and drew the Stages by hand on a drafting table and once I was sure everything was right and the proper size I transfered the drawings to autocad. I will be posing the dxf files on my site for you to download and use on your builds.

I also have several updates posted on my site. [themakersworkbench.com]
Re: My McWire Build. Updated 3 times a week!
June 16, 2009 08:14PM
I built the new X-Stage last night. Hope to have time to build the Y-stage this weekend.
Re: Finally starting on my McWire.
August 29, 2009 08:55PM
Hey, thanks for the scan of your invoice. I have put in an almost identical order to McMaster and your info made it easy.
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