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Isaac Mendel build

Posted by jkelso 
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 01, 2010 07:20PM
Most NEMA17s have 5mm shafts, or at least in Europe they do.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 01, 2010 10:11PM
Not at all, it took only a few minutes to drill them out and they fit perfectly now. I bought the kit from a party on ebay and I'm not sure of the shaft size because I don't have a caliper yet, thanks for the offer to replace but they are all nearly perfect with only a small cosmetic crease on 2 of the teeth on one of them from my vise, the belt still fits just right into the groove. I'm still waiting on the rest of the bolts to come tomorrow hopefully so I can get on with bolting the plastic parts together. Tonight I spent a few hours cutting down the threaded rods to the sizes that I got from the Isaac specs Brett sent me via email. It took me a few leisurely hours to get them all cut, with only a few of the rods needing the edges files or re-sawed. I use 2 rod connecting bolts to hold the rods in the vise while cutting so as not to damage the threads. I spent less than $18 on two 72" 5/16 rods and one 24" rod, with 20" of rod left over.
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 01, 2010 10:41PM
Thanks for all the info. This is a great thread. Keep it coming.. smiling smiley
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 02, 2010 12:48AM
bfleming Wrote:
> What size motor shaft do you have? The Makerbot
> motors were all 3/16, so that is what the pulleys
> are. If there are other standard NEMA 17 shaft
> sizes then I'd be happy to offer a different sized
> pulley, or drill them out on my drill press.
> If you find that the pulley's are too messed up
> let me know, I'll hook you up with some
> replacements.

Brett, I had to drill mine out as well. It was easy. I think you should just mention something on the site, because alot of people seem to go for the Lin Engineering steppers because they are cheap...

I have some videos of my Isaac on my YouTube channel. I am gonna get some videos of it printing and good stuff like that. Right now I am working on making printable flags.
My Channel

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/02/2010 12:49AM by tesla893.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 02, 2010 01:42PM
On the day of the 30th the postman delivered 3 small packages in the mailbox, none of which was a bronze threaded pulley I purchased from ebay. I waited another day and he came to deliver the package from Fleming CNC and I asked him if he knew anything of the missing pulley package which the tracking number says delivered on 8/30. After some checking, I realize I paid $7.50 for this and I don't really even need it. But, in the back of my mind it bothers me in some small way. Finally, I just decided to blow it off.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 02, 2010 10:17PM
Decided to wait for the bolts, set to arrive tomorrow. The kitten sees all the new toys and wants to play, she likes to own everything. Once I start drilling and sawing she takes off..
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 03, 2010 08:46AM
Last night I spent a few hours going around on youtube looking for things I could learn about assembling the Mendel. I ran across some very informative videos from profounddevices. One especially caught my eye, on how to hook up a cnc driver controller board to the pin switches on an Arduino. Throughout this build, the one part of it that I've worried about is that the bottleneck in this project would be the acquisition of the electronics. To the novice, it seems that Makerbot and botmill are the only 2 sources for electronics, one of which is out of stock and the other you can't get any answers from. But, I learned there is an alternate way, to use a board like the one I saw on the video, I believe these type of boards are readily available on ebay the same way Arduino boards are. Just search "driver board CNC" on ebay and sort by price then go down to about the $200 range and there are good deals on there from what I can see.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/03/2010 08:58AM by jkelso.
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 03, 2010 12:55PM
there is also a european outfit, iprint3D that i got my eletrics from, bout a 1 month wait, but all the parts there in nice packages.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 03, 2010 02:44PM
Today I got all my smaller size nuts, bolts and washers from amazon.com. Had I known about this before I wouldn't have wasted my money at home depot on 2 packs of bolts for .50 cents each. They are much cheaper by the 50 or 100 pack and buying them at amazon saves me having to deal with sales clerks who kept putting all my piles of bolts back away as I was looking for more.
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 03, 2010 03:44PM
I got my Arduino Mega starter kit today from hacktronics through amazon. The board is much smaller than I had imagined it. I have an Arduino book on the way too, for now I'm going to pack this kit away and focus on assembling the Mendel.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 03, 2010 10:35PM
Step 2: During this step I found it necessary to unbolt the assembly and redo it with 2 washers rather than one as indicated. Now it fits tight with no gap or movement.

Step 3: Although the assembly steps do not indicate which size bolts to use, I was able to figure it out within a minute or two just looking around at what I have from the bill of materials. I'm using nylok nuts and I tighten it very tight, the bearing still moves freely.
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 04, 2010 12:09AM
The next few steps were pretty straightforward, no surprises. I can see now that I came up short on M8 washers, I thought I had everything. Today things started to come together, I feel it is good progress and the project feels like it's starting to materialize.
I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to use locktite on these. I've screwed to bolts so that the bolt head just reaches the top of the nut.
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 04, 2010 03:06AM
jkelso Wrote:

> I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to use
> locktite on these. I've screwed to bolts so that
> the bolt head just reaches the top of the nut.

I wouldn't locktite anything until you get it all together. I found that with assembly I kept needing to turn the machine on it's side and corner that I was throwing everything out of wack. Plus, I forgot to add washers some places, so I had to take things apart. The down side to waiting until the end is that the measurements are slightly harder to get, but I felt it paid off better in the end.

BTW, I finished designing my printable flags for the axes. I already uploaded one to thingiverse (the X axis one won't work for you because I am using Adrian's extruder). It is possible to print without flags (I did at least). It is just much easier once you have them. It is also a pain to make them out of aluminum.


I uploaded them smiling smiley


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/04/2010 04:29AM by tesla893.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 04, 2010 08:11AM

On your y-motor and y-idler... Are you using M8 washers there, or the mud-washers? All the bearings belt guides (x, y, and z) should be using the mud-washers, they have a smaller hole that fits the M4 but are still wide enough to keep the belt inline. I bought mine a home depot in packs of 8 (i think). I used Hillman #880338 washers from home-depot/lowes. Probably can get them elsewhere cheaper, but you don't need a lot.

Isaac: a CNCed Mendel Derived RepStrap
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 04, 2010 10:24AM
Thanks, I'm about to go up there today to look for some more washers so I'll check it. The FedEx guy came this morning with my new workstation stool. I gotta say, it's pretty comfortable and adjusts way high or way low. The finish is black licorice metallic, I got it from the amazon.com store. I'm starting to really like that website.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 04, 2010 12:34PM
So I picked up the M8 washers this morning and replaced the non-standard washers that I had used to mock up the frame assembly. But, on the last piece there was a hole missing. I assumed that these were printed with the holes for some reason but I guess the holes are machined into the solid material. It's times like these when I wish I had that drill press. I'm going to try drilling it out the best I can.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 04, 2010 01:01PM
Trying to drill the hole by hand turned out to be a complete failure. The hole was crooked and now the bolts don't fit on there together. I'm going to contact Brett and see about getting a replacement.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 04, 2010 01:20PM

I'm sorry about that; Brett will send you a replacement early next week (the post office here closed about an hour ago and won't be open Monday). Drilling these without a jig is such a challenge that we've never even attempted it winking smiley. If you're curious, here's an early version of how we do it: [www.youtube.com] and [www.youtube.com] .

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 04, 2010 03:21PM
OK sounds good, thanks Todd
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 04, 2010 08:55PM
I watched a video on youtube, an Adrian Bowyer interview where he was saying that there is a need for a portable shredder that could turn milk and detergent bottles into plastic pellets. I learned about a type of extruder that feeds plastic pellets into a nozzle by means of an auger shaped device. I am interested in learning about the machine that creates the filament for the reprap. The idea of designing something that could shred plastic bottles into usable bits that can be recycled into filament is an idea that intrigues me.
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 05, 2010 11:40AM
Since last night I've begun reading Getting Started With Arduino I acquired the ebook along with others on the subject. This is my first experience with the Arduino and programming electronics and so far the book has shown me how easy it is to write up sketches and upload them to the board, it's very easy. I've had some experience with learning BASIC when I was younger and some Java and compared to those I'd say this language looks very user friendly. I'm about halfway through the book and I'm learning a lot already.
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 05, 2010 03:32PM
Working more today doing experiments in the ebook with my Arduino Mega. I figured out how to properly connect the LED to the breadboard and write simple code to make it blink at whatever interval I want. This is cool.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 05, 2010 04:09PM
Compiling my first code and uploading it to the board is easy with the application I downloaded from the Arduino site. I remember taking a college computer science class which taught Java and this seems to be the same thing practically. I think if I had the Arduino board there and the programming language were taught alongside the actual hardware it controls that students would be able to more easily understand why they are doing what they are doing.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 05, 2010 04:28PM
the program had no trouble compiling, but when I try to upload it to the board I get this error message. The book says something about changing the com port in the device manager but I'm going to look on the Arduino site for help.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 05, 2010 04:36PM
I fixed it using the help topic. First, I went to the tools tab and changed the com port, then I went to sketch tab and used fix encoding and reload (not sure if this step was necessary). It works now though, lovin it. Also I went to the Tools tab and then Board option and designated it as Arduino Mega.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/05/2010 06:35PM by jkelso.
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 06, 2010 09:55AM
I know I'm straying off topic, but I just can't help it smiling smiley. I consider the Arduino a stroke of genius for making both micro controllers and a programming language that has historically been extremely novice-unfriendly (C++) fully accessible. They even managed to do it without stripping features from C++ like other languages did; the features are just out of view until needed (pointers, references, templates, operator overloading, etc.). I just hope that some day I'll have a similar spark and make something complicated easy to grasp.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 06, 2010 06:15PM
I agree with you there. The class I took that taught Java became so complicated that I decided to drop it before the deadline because I wasn't passing the tests. Programming this Arduino and getting it to work I realized that I really can do it. I thought maybe I wasn't smart enough for computer science. This little thing is amazing.
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 06, 2010 07:46PM
For days I've been looking through ebay at granulators, SMT rework stations, pick and place machines, and bulk SMT component kits. The idea of designing and building circuit boards interests me because I can see a need for this. How can somebody just get an extruder controller board? There's none for sale on ebay and none at Makerbot. Gen 6 electronics will be available within a month, but that's only one more supplier. The thought that someone is holding this "magic" out on consumers who need this crucial bit of technology is irritating. I suppose there's a way to chemically etch your own board at home, but I'm not in love with the idea of toxic chemical processes here at home. Finally, I just googled "pcb" and came up with a list of companies who can produce these boards with ease and cheaply. 3 boards for $51 sounds pretty good to me. All I would have to do is download the board files for the extruder controller from the reprap site and send it to them. This sounds pretty good to me.

Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 06, 2010 11:45PM
Ultimachine have a circuit board for the Pololu design that is shown on the Arduino Pololu Mega Shield page off the wiki.

They don't have the thing full assembled, but the board itself definitely beats building it on proto board or even a Mega Proto Shield.

Note: The parts across all the shield designs for Pololu are 'pretty standard', so purchasing most of the parts themselves is pretty much a no-brainer (eg: FETs, resistors and caps, the Pololu drivers, even connectors in some case).
Re: Isaac Mendel build
September 07, 2010 01:21PM
thanks for the info cefiar. This morning I got the 4th NEMA 17 I needed from Phidgets. It looks nice, all the motors I've received have been in new condition, the Phidgets one has a cool two tone black/silver look. I also got some soldering tips, tip cleaner, solder, desoldering wick, and desoldering pump delivered from amazon. I'm waiting on the soldering station any day now.

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