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Progressing from Bootstrap systems to a latest revision machine

Posted by tesla893 
Progressing from Bootstrap systems to a latest revision machine
May 19, 2010 11:40PM
So here we go. First off, everything you see is the result of around 3 months of consistent research and study on the topic of 3D printing. There is still much to learn within the topic and outside it. We understand this is a feasible project and have a general direction. We are three high school students. The primary motivation for this project is manufacturing parts for the school's science olympiad team we are all members of. Since we are all relatively skilled in engineering, we decided each of us would like a machine. Originally we figured our evolution would be Repstrap to a Mendel. We would then use both machines to make another machine, and repeat the process again until we had three Mendels and a Repstrap we would later retire. The large printing time was inherently an issue as we are teenagers and impatientspinning smiley sticking its tongue out. We turned to the Mini Mendel design as a replacement for the Mendel, which seemed much more agreeable. This is our currently established project evolution.

On to current progress, we have a single functioning axis, with two total axes built. Our electronics function and interface with the computer. I more or less specialize in the electronic portion of our robot, so I insistent we purchase and bread board electronics before starting the mechanical design. This was in part from my experiences in robotics, where electronics and programming are last in line because they are determined by the limitations of the robot. Since we are using a Cartesian axis based machine, our limitations are already established. This approach greatly helped us. We have a target of first print next week. It has been 5 days since we started mechanical assembly and two weeks since we assembled electronics. I hope most of our major obstacles have been overcome. Thanks to Tonok, Johnnyr, and everyone else on IRC that help us get our electronics going.

Here are some videos of our progress...

I will try to get some pictures up soon. Mostly we need input to the design. We have been talking to a few of our teachers and they have been giving input and advice- after we explain a "3D Printer" is not a pipe dreamsmoking smiley. We are still in high school so we a constrained in both the financial and manufacturing aspect of the printer. Any guidance would be much appreciated and most definitely listened to.smiling smiley

Re: Progressing from Bootstrap systems to a latest revision machine
May 22, 2010 05:20PM
Some progress...


We are going to cut down the cabinet tracks because our Y axis does not need that much travel. As you can see our repstrap "Judy" is very much based off of the Mcwire design. All of our parts we obtained from Lowes (Hardware store), which allows us easy replacement. We are just about ready to start thinking about extruder designs since our 3 axes are framed out. Tomorrow will probably mark the start of calibration also.

As for our segue into a mini Mendel, we have decided on this structure system. This should probably be around a 30 - 40 hour print for us.
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