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how far is everybody?

Posted by Bruce Wattendorf 
how far is everybody?
August 16, 2007 08:55PM
I was wondering how far along everybody is and I am wondering if everybody that is working on Reprap/ Repstrap would be interested in posting or planing a day that everybody gives a show and tell so we can get some interest. ( I am one to post with this as for my lab is down because I am trying to sell my house and move to a home with a larger lab shop.) But i think this would be good to motivate all of us and to show any body who is interested how Reprap is doing..

Bruce Wattendorf
Re: how far is everybody?
August 16, 2007 09:10PM
I replied to you via email, but as soon as Summer cools down in my 90deg lab, I'll get down to some major work on my machine.

My current status is 50% done. I have assembled the X and Z axis from RP'ed parts, and have the rest of the parts. Its now a matter of sitting down and finishing the assembly and testing.

Its a shame I dont have AC in my workshop. This winter will be very productive.
Re: how far is everybody?
August 17, 2007 02:09AM
Summer times here as well, plus a rather demanding project on my day job. Things have been very quiet. I have assembled Richard and bumped into 2 major problems. First, the accuracy of the corner brackets (made out of hardwood). The holes are not parallel or perpendicular, which gives problems (i.e. lowering the Z table makes the Z belt too loose so it falls of the gears because the studs are not parallel). Reason is that the hardwood is not square/sides are not parallel. Plan is to make new ones (got a nice, small manual XY table to help here) from aluminum or another material. Second problem is the extruder. It is made from MDF/plywood and works, but not consistent. There is not sufficient "flow" of CAPA coming out, or not consistent enough. Tried many things but also here it's tolerances on the parts made. I even had some curling CAPA in the extruder in front of the PTFE tube, so there is enough pressure but it's going into the wrong direction. Plan here is to redo them using plastic (plexiglas I think) and a small, manual milling setup using the mentioned XY table and a router to redo the guide and pump parts. I need some time to get materials and continue; hopefully in a week or so. Then there will likely be plenty of other problems ;-)

Re: how far is everybody?
August 17, 2007 04:11AM
I do have AC in my work room but summer hasn't happened here this year so it wasn't needed, so no excuses there.

I have a working positioning system and an extruder which seems reliable but the filament is a bit larger than I like unless I run it slowly.

The remaining work to be done is to build some electronics to control the extruder and then modify the host software to drive my completely non-standard RepStrap via ethernet.

I will then have a complete machine but from what I have read from Forrest I don't expect it to work well because HDPE shrinks too much. Perhaps CAPA will work better but it is not readily available.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/18/2007 12:27PM by nophead.

open | download - hydraraptor.jpg (273.7 KB)
Re: how far is everybody?
August 17, 2007 11:18PM
I'm just in the process of putting the boards together and hope to get the to cartesian robot and the extruder heads within the next month or so. Current issue is the PIC programmer.

Are there any plans to make this one of the boards you can buy through RRRF? I have no breadboarding equipment to hand although I do have a friend with some that I may be able to borrow but it would be a bit of a pain.
Re: how far is everybody?
August 18, 2007 10:29AM
i would recommend buying a commercial programmer. i got a parallel port one that works great for $35 total. it works great, and is externally powered, so there is no guesswork.
Re: how far is everybody?
August 18, 2007 11:04AM
Tommelise 1.0 is operational and printing HDPE. I've got all the parts for Tommelise 2.0 and I've got the design about 90% finalised.

Right now I'm doing a major rewrite of my firmware so that I can take full advantage of the accuracy that shaft encoder equipped DC gearmotors allow me. The existing firmware doesn't really handle fine detail extrusion acceptably.

Once I have that done, I will build and test the Mk II AEM extruder with the new much higher torque GM-17 gearmotor. That one should have the punch to allow me to print ABS, homopolypropylene and pretty much any other polymer that strikes my fancy.
Re: how far is everybody?
August 18, 2007 11:35AM

I have decided to call my machine ELF-1. This machine was designed to do
PCB routing. I have made some changes to the original design. It has a working
area of 6" x 6" x 4". I have completed all three stages (X,Y and Z) as well as
the DC power supply (33V @ 10A). I am building a HobbyCNC control board (Step
and Direction TTL signals to control it). I have decided to use the Opto-end
stop boards for my limit sensors. The frame is 20" x 20" x 24". It will have a
skin of 1/4" MDF to help strengthen it (as a hedge against how good my welding
is, and to contain dust and foam). I wanted this machine to help make lost foam
patterns for casting. I will try to have dual work heads. One with an extruder,
and one with a tool bit.

Thank you,
Michael Elledge
Christmas, Florida
open | download - Brute 007s.jpg (100 KB)
Re: how far is everybody?
August 19, 2007 03:14AM
All I have is (RepRap host software and) electronics. As of today I have:

(a) One working and tested PowerComms board

(b) Three working and tested Stepper Controller boards (X, Y and Z PICs installed),

(c) One UCB which passes all tests with an X axis PIC in it, which may well become an Extruder Controller very soon.

BTW I use a low cost serial PIC programmer, a commercial one from SparkFun, the PIC-PG2, which is a JDM style design. I had to try it on a couple of PCs before I found one on which it works. On that (Dell desktop) PC, it seems very reliable.

So far I have tested each controller board individually, including running a test stepper motor using the Stepper Exerciser. The next step is a few more wires (!) and talking to each of the controller boards when they are in a ring and all powered up at the same time.

So far, at least, I've had no significant construction/wiring/test issues at all, each board and each PIC has "just worked" for me, with the mild exception of an incident where my first board would only accept one command and then "sleep forever"; it seems this was probably a bad endstop jumper (I was using a small croc clip instead a jumper!) or something similar. I can't replicate it any more.

After the boards all work together on a serial ring network comes the hard part -- mechanical hardware! :-)

Re: how far is everybody?
August 28, 2007 04:21PM
I'm going a repstrap path and have assembled a machine from a commercial drawing, check out [www.rockcliffmachine.com]
It will double as a PCB drill and so far I think I spent about 500-600 USD on it, probably more..

My machine does not look so nice as this picture, but I got it together with mostly manual carpentry tooling except for the milling done in the MDF board for the slides, where I had to borrow a workshop since the sawdust would have clogged my small flat up forever otherwise.

I built it from MDF bought at the local construction firm and some rods, bronze bearings and stuff from McMaster and a local hardware chain which I raided several times. Then I got some surplus NEMA23 steppers which are really powerful.

Building it took a few weeks but it was great fun glueing it all together and watching it come to live bit-by-bit. The tight sector was the fact that I only had to clamps for glueing, so I used to glue some each morning before going to work then let it dry then back from work another go at the gluing and dry for the nigth... Much to my surprise the mechanics are working perfectly!
My main paranoia nightmare is that one of the home-tapped nylon nuts will break or wear out, then I have to disassemble most of the thing with a crow-bar to replace it :-/

Right now I'm struggling with a home-cooked stepper motor controller.. or struggled. I got tired today and ritually threw it in the "misc old projects" box, now I'm shopping eBay for something descent that might work on a parallel port using emc2 for Linux.

If the first ten extruder kits are not sold within reasonable time, I'll step in and buy one, otherwise I think other people are ahead of me and have better use for them!
Re: how far is everybody?
September 05, 2007 10:56PM
Thanks to Zach, I have the boards, extruder and extruder parts. While I wait for some of the electronics to come in, I have put together a repstrap cartesian robot with which to build the first revision of a Darwin-class machine. I made mine out of plywood and MDF with a deck of white laminated MDF. I am testing with stepper motors (currently testing the setup using linux-EMC [www.linuxcnc.org] and a set of linistepper controllers, an open source design- cheap and simple: [www.piclist.com] ) The deck and cross-slide is driven by threaded rod from the hardware store, and runs on european-style drawer slides, which with their ball-bearings are almost frictionless. The toolhead is also driven by threaded rod and a pair of ball-bearing slides, but mounting the extruder is turning out to be a bit more challenging...

Here are a couple of pictures of the unit under construction:


and I am working on the plans in Google SketchUp, which I will post as soon as I am done with them. As soon as I get the parts for the RepRap electronics, I will replace the steppers with a matched set appropriate for reprap, and the linisteppers with the RepRap elecronics- this way, though, I figure I will have a fully working and calibrated robot before I start to attempt to melt plastic.
Re: how far is everybody?
September 05, 2007 11:18PM
awesome! thats looking good. the linistepper controller looks great. i wonder if there is anything that we could 'borrow' from their board design for ours... seeing as we're both open source =)

keep us posted on your progress, i'm excited to see how things turn out.
Anonymous User
Re: how far is everybody?
September 15, 2007 02:37AM

I have got bit's on order.. motors. pic, L298N other electronics. HDPE, LDPE,

getting the steel rods this week, going to make most of the plastic bit form wood, aluminium and anything else I can found.

extruder all most build, my local hard has run out of 3mm steel wire. and i get funny looks asking for JB Weld high-temperature epoxy glue(any ideas)

going to make the plastic cog's form hot glue gun sticks... might not work, but will try.

have a major calculus test at uni this week. less time for my project.

software... so confused. getting a friend to help out.

Sydney Australia
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