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New Mendel in Wiltshire

Posted by MichaelShillabeer 
New Mendel in Wiltshire
February 24, 2011 08:50AM

After seeing a commercial 3D print at work I went searching for info about them.

I found RepRaps on eBay and decided to build one.

So far I've purchased:
This has cost about £270

I didn't buy the studding cut to size, thinking "its an easy job for a hacksaw". I couldn't find my hacksaw, so foolishly bought one from a pound shop. Two strokes across the studding and the blade broke!! Went searching for my hacksaw and found my angle grinder instead :-)

I'm using two nuts locked together to mark where to cut and am holding the studding in a workmate. Nice easy cuts and a firework show for free!
Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
February 24, 2011 07:32PM
Welcome to RepRap world Michael! smiling smiley

You'll be looking for a lot more tools, and hopefully finding them before the project is done!

Keep us posted. thumbs up

Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
February 28, 2011 06:49AM
Not much Mendel time this weekend :-(

However, cut some more rod and had a think about the electronics.

I considered Gen 3 and Gen 6, but dismissed them because I'd like to do some assembly and these appear to be virtually all surface mount components and I'm put off by the component size!

I've settled on buying a Arduino Mega from D-Robotics and building a RAMPS circuit to interface the Mendel.
Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
March 04, 2011 03:52AM
I've got the Arduino Mega now and have purchased a Maplin pcb etching kit to make a RAMPS.

I've been thinking about how to use a single sided pcb.

The connectors between the boards require the copper side of the pcb to be on the outside of the Arduion / RAMPS sandwich which puts the components on the inside which is not good for cooling the stepper drivers.

Putting the copper side on the inside of the sandwich leaves no way of soldering the connectors to the pcb.

I could attempt a double sided pcb.

Any suggestions?
Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
March 04, 2011 05:38AM
Use SIL headers on your RAMPS board.

ie: The ones that have a socket on the top.

This way, you're soldering underneath.
Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
March 04, 2011 09:59AM

Unless misunderstand what you mean the RAMPS shield has the components on the top of the board with the single sided copper on the underside. you only need to make a few links on the top of the board (the professionally made ones are double sided).

I should have an update on my blog about my RAMPS build after this weekend, but I have some photos of the board I made and some instructions for toner transfer if you have not done it before.

- Check out my latest blog entry, it may save you some time -

Good luck, let us know how you get on.


Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
March 07, 2011 02:50AM
Thanks Cefiar and Rich. RAMPS is clearer in my mind now. Bought an iron from Argos for £4.49 at the weekend for toner transfer.

I've done some more thinking about RAMPS. Investigated stepper motor drivers and looked at:
    * DRV8821 - 1/8th step 1.5A drive two motor drives
    * DRV8824 - 1/32nd step 1.6A output single motor drive
    * DRV8811 - 1/8th step 2.5A output single motor drive

The stepper motors I have require 1.68A, so the DRV8811 is the only one that is suitable.

Then it dawned on me that the DRV8811 is the Gen 6 driver. Has anyone built a RAMPS using Gen 6 components?

I've finished cutting the studding now and put a couple of pictures on my Flickr site.
Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
March 07, 2011 04:26PM
The 'P' in RAMPS is for pololu, thats a 2.0A stepper driver module with 1/16 Step.

The Gen 6 steppers are 1/8 and based on GEN3 electronics micro

The 'M' = Arduino Mega = a much better choice for expansion

I have my RAMPS+ board about 70% assembled, ill try to get a photo up tomorrow.

Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
March 08, 2011 03:10AM
oops, forgot that 'P' in RAMPS is for Pololu

Got my Arduino Mega though :-)

Everywhere seems to have the Pololu's on back order though :-( None in stock on Pololu's website.

Is there any stock in the UK?

This is why I was looking at alternatives. If I go this route I'll think of a new board name.
Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
March 08, 2011 04:02PM
I can't find any more. I have 2 and 6 on back-order.
They should start to ship this month but one UK store told me they are in great demand.

I also got a 4 chan Chinese stepper working well with the Mega it operates ok but not as good as the pololu carriers

if you find any let me know!

Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
March 09, 2011 03:29AM
I ordered four (4) Pololu Drivers for my RAMPS about two weeks ago. I got an email today that they are again shipping. I'm sure they will run out soon, so get your order in quick, in case they have any left after they go through their backlog.
Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
March 14, 2011 08:48AM
Sadly no actual progress this week but found some Pololu Stepper Drivers in stock in the UK at SK Pang so got an order in quickly! Just had an email to confirm dispatch.
Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
March 20, 2011 01:46PM
Pololu Stepper drivers received.

Thick and thin sheet order from The RepRap Kit Store

Plus I've assembled the framework - see some pictures on my Flickr site.

Next stage is to square the axes, check the dimensions and apply threadlock to the nuts.
Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
March 28, 2011 02:44AM
Started assembling the X axis this weekend - more photos on Flickr

I inadvertantly used lock nuts for the caged nuts but can't see this being a problem.

I mis-folded one of the thin sheets the wrong way, so the subsequent re-fold is a little weak. These end stop sensors seem a little feeble compared to the rest of the design.
Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
April 08, 2011 05:40AM
Progress continues - more photos on Flickr

All X axis components assembled and Y axis started - very fiddly putting the washers and bearings into the recess in the Y Bearing 360 - see photo

I haven't read all the instructions ahead of time... found that I've got the new X axis motor mount and that the screws I have are too long. Shorter ones ordered. Also found that I need some grub screws too.

The new X axis motor mount also requires shorter bars. I'd bought stainless steel bars cut to size, so have shortened them with the angle grinder.
Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
June 08, 2011 10:06AM
My Mendel has been on hold while I completed some model railway projects for a competiton.

However, I've taken the components into work for lunchtime assembly :-)

Y Bearing 180s assembled today.
Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
June 08, 2011 07:10PM
Where in Wiltshire are you? I'm in Trowbridge, but only until Monday - moving house! Winchester/Basingstoke area next for me.
Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
October 17, 2011 06:26AM
Its been a while since I posted here or done anything on my RepRap.

I've moved house and RepRap now has its own desk space.

However, I've bought some more parts too:

Extruder HotEnd Set from the_reprap_kit_​store

PCBs for opto endstops and Adrian's cooler running Pololu from WolfSigns Custom Stickers&Clothing - please note that these PCBs aren't drilled or cut to size

Resistors, capacitors and connectors from PW Electronics

I've also registered to attend Adrian's talk in Bath on 1st November - Bath Ventures Innovation Centre

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/21/2011 05:15AM by MichaelShillabeer.
Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
November 02, 2011 04:02AM
I went to Adrian's talk in Bath last night and saw working RepRaps for the first time!

Adrian's talk and seeing RepRaps in action has inspired me to get mine working...

In the meantime, some more components have arrived:

Single row header sockets for the Pololu stepper drivers from Spiratronics

Right angled SIL header plugs for the Pololu stepper drivers from Rich Electronics

MOSFETS, resistors (including 3W for extruder heater) and ferrules from Farnell - they have a minimum £20 order, so have got some spare MOSFETS

The only component I am now missing is a thermistor for the extruder
Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
November 07, 2011 03:01AM
I completed a few tasks over the weekend:
    Thread locked the A frame
    Completed the Y Axis Chassis
    Completed the Y Axis Idler Bracket
    Started the Y Axis Motor Mount

To avoid confusion as to what has already been locked with thread lock, I marked each locked nut with a drop of ink. This was suggested by colleague (Tom Lee) who's building a RepRap.

The penny washers I'm using needed a flat filing so that they would fit next to each other on the Y Axis Idler Bracket and for the 8mm nut holding the bracket to the A frame to rotate.

I've put pictures of the Idler Bracket and Y Axis Chassis on Flickr

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/07/2011 03:11AM by MichaelShillabeer.
Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
November 12, 2011 04:43PM
This afternoon I've:
    Assembled the Z Axis Lead Screws
    Fitted an Optoswitch Mount
    Fitted Idler Pulleys to the lead screw bases

I trimed the spring so that it is flush with the optoswitch mount.

The washers for the idler pulleys needed a flat filing so that they would fit next to each other.

Photos of the above are on Flickr

Two different sizes of drive pulley are in my kit. Which size should I use?
Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
November 30, 2011 04:07AM
I'm working away from home this week, so packed my box of RepRap parts.

Last night in the hotel I assembled three opto endstops.

I drilled the PCBs, cut the PCBs to size and soldered all the components.

Tonight I plan to work on the Pololu PCBs.
Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
November 30, 2011 03:17PM
Closer examination of the PCBs that I purchased shows that one of them is a mirror image of what I think it should be!

The PCB is etched so that all components fit onto the track side.

I'd planned to fit the sockets for the Pololus onto the track side as per the photo on the RepRap website but don't want to fit everything like this.

So I'm going back to my original RAMPS plan and have ordered a v1.2 board from RepRap World

So with a long evening ahead of me I got out the parts to assemble the extruder. Unfortunatley the desk/dressing table in the hotel is too thick to mount my vice on to cut the 4mm threaded rod, modify the wing nut and file the stepper motor drive shaft :-(

However, using the vice as a clamp to hold the 4mm threaded rod I managed to cut it to length. I modified the wing nut in a similar fashion and I now have the 55 tooth gear and M4 insert assembled.

I started to assemble the body of the extruder but found I'd left my allen keys at home.

At least I got some more assembly done :-)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/2011 04:34PM by MichaelShillabeer.
Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
October 24, 2012 07:32AM
Its nearly a year since I last posted and I still haven't finished...

In my defence I have built a T gauge model railway which won Hornby Magazine's 3 foot challenge smiling smiley

Prior to that I did do some work on my Mendel

RAMPS board assembled
Stepper motor and belt installed on x axis
X and Y axes fitted to frame

I'm eager to finish the project now - I want to print a model railway viaduct.

Just realised that in order to fit the Y axis belt I need to dismantle the frame a bit. The alternative is to cut the belt. Is this advisable?
Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
December 23, 2012 06:25AM
I didn't receive a response to my question about cutting the belt, so went ahead and cut it with no adverse effects.

Progress has been positive with the RAMPS and Arduino fitted. Stepper motors and end stops wired to RAMPS.

I've installed Tonokip firmware and have got the X, Y and Z axis all moving using Printrun

I've tried using the newer Marlin firmware with Printrun but get
: Extruder switched off. MAXTEMP triggered !
Error: Printer stopped due to errors. Fix the error and use M999 to restart. (Temperature is reset. Set it after restarting)"

I'll stick with Tonokip for the rest of the build though and install Marlin once a temperature sensor is fitted.

Now to build the extruder with the aim to be printing before I return to work on January 2nd!

This might be the slowest build, but I'm getting there!

Merry Christmas
Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
December 30, 2012 05:09PM
It won't be working by the 2nd sad smiley

just found I forgotten to buy fire cement and kapton tape for the hot end!

The thermistor I bought won't fit into the 1.5mm hole in the heater block.

Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
January 08, 2013 08:29AM
The extruder is nearly complete.

My resistor is smaller than the hole in the heater block, so I've made a brass wrapper using an offcut of brass from an etched model railway kit.

The wrapper doesn't completely surround the resistor incase of expansion.

Has anybody connected the resistor to the two threaded bars? 1: as a physical support and 2: as a power source
Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
January 17, 2013 03:10AM
Extruder completed and wired to RAMPS

Heater reaching operating temperature and thermistor reading ok.

Nearly complete!

Need to fit heated bed and get a piece of glass.

End stops need checking too. X and Y don't stop carriage from moving. Z does.
Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
January 17, 2013 02:58PM
Re: New Mendel in Wiltshire
January 18, 2013 01:46PM
The heated be I bought from Think3DPrint3D won't fit between the bolt heads holding the bed to its chassis.

So I've ordered some countersunk screws to repleace the hex headed ones.
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