UNOFFICIAL: Top 10 needs of the RepRap community (a bit USA centric)
January 02, 2008 11:53PM
My intention is to EDIT this first post of this message based on feedback

This is a bit USA centric. Supply problems and such. I'm not trying to be, just that is what I know winking smiley For example, we recently had an issue with motors taking 4 weeks to deliver from the UK and costing more than many people thought reasonable... and a group purchased has helped that for many (16 sets or so; I think Zach is loading up for a second round).

Context: Right now in early January 2008 I observe that there are probably more people actually constructing McWire RepStrap (Seedling) then there are Darwin. Maybe I'm wrong. Similar: right now I'm guessing that there are equal USA shipments of new electronics (Arduino) vs. standard (PIC). The Make Weekend Project featured what is essentially NOT officially supported ("Seedling" not Darwin + new Arduino electronics)... putting some confusion out there.



GOAL
==========
These are not needs to place blame. My goal with this thread is to to clarify the ongoing situations and to perhaps shed light on issues that the community can help focus on!

I think a lot of people are actually trying to Build right now, so where can we work together?


Top 10
=============
1. Arduino electronics: The new electronics based on the Arduino micro controller are not yet official by the RepRap project... but I personally will vouch that they seem to be working. I believe they need more people testing and reporting results... and to discuss it as a goal/desire to achieve some kind of formal acceptance blessing by the core team. Is this formal acceptance going to take 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months, never? See thread here: [forums.reprap.org]

2. Seedling: The McWire RepStrap too is not really officially supported - Darwin is what we are all officially supposed to be building. But the chicken/egg problem dominated 2007. In late 2007 the Make project featured early Seedling RepStrap ... before things were really documented and fully tested. Zach has stepped up to the plate and is validating the version 1.2 laser printed acrylic. But it is currently in an "optimization" stage and "documentation stage" and is a little short of being ready to assemble in some kind of "formal specification" that is validated/tested/confirmed. It is ALMOST ready, any day now, but be aware...

3. Sourcing Extruder: The RepRap store may not have Extruder Kits for at least a few weeks as the molds wore out. No matter what kind of RepRap/RepStrap you build, the Extruder kit is pretty critical. Any other parts that are currently in such critical supply / delayed?

3a. Sourcing Extruder: Zach has posted details and asked for help regarding a set of machined parts. Read here: [www.blogger.com]

4. Extruding materials: For many people, the officially supported printing material is not really available in simple to use form (and estimates put CAPA around USD$30/kg or higher). So HDPE seems to be the cost-effective popular choice... but it really pushes the design of the current extruder as you have to pretty much run at 220c or even 240c. The issues are starting to come out, keep focused on this.

5. Extruding materials: supply of PCL and PLA filament (affordable and in Darwin 1.0 Extruder usable form). PCL is [en.wikipedia.org] Polycaprolactone aka "Polymorph" (UK), "Friendly Plastic" (USA), "ShapeLock" (USA).

6. Sourcing Darwin: Printed parts in the USA for Darwin. It is great that now we can get Darwin printed parts, but still early in the game. I know Zach has mentioned doing a small batch (10 set) order from bitsfrombytes.com but I'm not aware of any other efforts. Has someone considered producing+selling wooden parts in the USA? I know several people have made their own personal sets... In general, be aware that getting the "printed parts" is the difficult part of Darwin assembly.

7. There is a general desire to get parts even cheaper and easier to purchase to build a RepRap/RepStrap. This forum thread: [forums.reprap.org] is an example of what we need to focus on. Hopefully we can consolidate these practical money and time-saving tips into a Wiki Page or FAQ.

8. Printing Parts: In general, there is a void of information concerning how well the parts that Darwin 1.0 uses can be printed by a perfectly calibrated Darwin 1.0. Some parts seem to require support material... can we re-design these parts?

9. Extruding materials: ABS seems to be desired plastic, but seems to require pressure and temperatures that exceed the Darwin 1.0 Extruder. Not an official material, but a lot of general interest. Do you have details to share on how this material could be used practically with a (slightly modified?) Darwin 1.0 Extruder? Also, this one serves as a warning: Don't expect ABS to work winking smiley

10.



Post in this thread
========================
Ok, what needs to be added to the list that people need to clear about: Focus on ongoing construction and ordering or ??. Am I communicating misinformation based on misunderstandings? Please post here and correct me!

Edited 12 time(s). Last edit at 01/18/2008 01:25PM by RoundSparrow.
Re: UNOFFICIAL: Top 10 needs of the RepRap community (a bit USA centric)
January 03, 2008 08:02AM
My vote would be for a supply of PCL and PLA filament. Those are the materials the machine is designed for after all, so not much point building it without feedstock. I understand PCL is on the way but it has been all the time I have been working on the project.

Not only do we have a chicken and egg problem, we also have no chicken feed!


[www.hydraraptor.blogspot.com]
Re: UNOFFICIAL: Top 10 needs of the RepRap community (a bit USA centric)
January 03, 2008 11:22AM
One thing I noticed recently -- and I'm not sure if it fits here -- is that some of the RP part models are not RepRap-able. As far as I can tell, a number of the pieces in the extruder have > 45 degree overhang, no matter which way you orient them. It's a relatively easy fix but it still needs doing.

I've also noticed that the RepRap host software throws a wobbler if the area it's filling is too small. This happens on the quick-connect extruder body when it hits the top. There are two protrusions with horizontal holes through them. When the host software hits these holes, it throws a null pointer exception. As far as I can tell, it's because the area around the holes is to small to allow a zigzag fill pattern. Or it could be that the area is exactly the wrong size (i.e. some sort of boundary condition) and that areas smaller or larger work just fine.

All the same, it would seem to be a prerequisite of any given RepRap design that its RP parts be RepRap-able.
Re: UNOFFICIAL: Top 10 needs of the RepRap community (a bit USA centric)
January 03, 2008 02:10PM
Steve DeGroof: my first comment on this: It would seem ideal to me that someone make some kind of calibration print that pushes a particular material+extruder combination to the limit. For example, with a given extruder nozzle on Darwin 1.0... you should be able to print this particular shape...

And photos and dimensions of the shape be well documented. So that all of us building could be confident that things are really working as they should.

1. Certain materials cool quicker
2. Extruding temp and nozzle size [and is that nozzle really what you think it is]
3. Cooling time between layers
4. Room temperature and presence of a fan

All these could make some difference in if a part is printable?
Re: UNOFFICIAL: Top 10 needs of the RepRap community (a bit USA centric)
January 03, 2008 02:33PM
Yes I would love to see a 10 x 40 x 20mm solid block made on a Darwin out of PCL and PLA to compare with my HDPE tests.


[www.hydraraptor.blogspot.com]
Re: UNOFFICIAL: Top 10 needs of the RepRap community (a bit USA centric)
January 03, 2008 03:23PM
I started on this concept, on the measurement plate not the same size but my 2 cents on this.

we should add holes on the test plate that are the common size used for Darwin. I have had a time getting my holes to be the right size..

also what I started to do was make a pdf sheet with a calibration chart that would explain the changes you should make to get the machine to be calibrated. kind of like what you get from a common bland you know plan paper printer. then you lay the part on the sheet and adjust as needed..

the last would be hight measurement and maybe a hole on the side or print on the side.

Bruce
Re: UNOFFICIAL: Top 10 needs of the RepRap community (a bit USA centric)
January 03, 2008 03:32PM
Regarding Chicken feed I have 60kg of CAPA in granule form and will be arranging filament production as soon as England goes back to work! Should be available in two weeks.

On the other point a standard calibration design is an excellent idea with easily measured sides holes curves etc.


Ian
[www.bitsfrombytes.com]
Re: UNOFFICIAL: Top 10 needs of the RepRap community (a bit USA centric)
January 03, 2008 04:40PM
These places might carry UHMWPE welding rod. Kinda hard to tell.

[k-mac-plastics.com]
[www.professionalplastics.com]

It looks like the first site carries 1/8" rod at $150 for a 2000ft roll. Their order form implies they can do 3mm.
Re: UNOFFICIAL: Top 10 needs of the RepRap community (a bit USA centric)
January 03, 2008 06:07PM
the place i get plastic from for the RRRF could probably do UHMWPE. if there is any interest, i can do an order of it.
Re: UNOFFICIAL: Top 10 needs of the RepRap community (a bit USA centric)
January 03, 2008 10:19PM
degroof Wrote:

> It looks like the first site carries 1/8" rod at
> $150 for a 2000ft roll. Their order form implies
> they can do 3mm.


I encourage you to started a thread in the newer (and mostly empty) Extruder forums.

Someone also recently pointed out that 3.0mm is the max... we really need 2.6mm? I haven't done any study here, just spitting back up what was here on the forum.
Re: UNOFFICIAL: Top 10 needs of the RepRap community (a bit USA centric)
January 09, 2008 03:34PM
This is probably low on the list but I think we could use a more modern Forum. Finding information in this forum is not user friendly.
Re: UNOFFICIAL: Top 10 needs of the RepRap community (a bit USA centric)
January 10, 2008 01:25AM
Squintz wrote:

> This is probably low on the list but I think we
> could use a more modern Forum. Finding information
> in this forum is not user friendly.

If you have the skills and time to install and run
a significantly better forum package than this one,
volunteer to do that -- talk to us. I suspect
the disruption is unlikely to be worth any real
benefit at this stage... but that's just my opinion.

Specifying what specifically you find "not user friendly"
here would also be potentially useful. Specifying
an alternate forum package you have solid experience
with, and feel is significantly better suited to the needs
of this community, would also be a possibly useful
contribution. Saying *why* you believe it is better
suited to our needs would be a part of that.

Jonathan



Jonathan
Re: UNOFFICIAL: Top 10 needs of the RepRap community (a bit USA centric)
January 12, 2008 03:32AM
Like all repositories of data the bigger the store the harder to find the data.

Do to the wandering nature of the threads (no criticism) data can be difficult to find or even to think which forum it is in, so a global search facility would be good but otherwise I find the forum very use-able I don't tend to use other forums so I'm no expert just get on well with this one.


Ian
[www.bitsfrombytes.com]
A Global Search Facility
January 12, 2008 03:48AM
Ian,

> ... a global search facility would be good
> but otherwise I find the forum very use-able

Try [forums.reprap.org] [http://forums.reprap.org/search.php]
which is also reachable if you click Forum List and then Search.

Isn't that a global search facility? I agree it's useful.
I use it to find things around here :-)

If by "global" you mean a search that spans
the forums, wiki and the blogs... that might
be cool, but they just aren't that integrated.

Jonathan



Jonathan
Re: A Global Search Facility
January 12, 2008 06:44AM
The forum global search works, but is not as good as Google. I just use Google to search the site, e.g.

site:forums.reprap.org thermistor


[www.hydraraptor.blogspot.com]
Re: A Global Search Facility
January 13, 2008 03:15AM
nophead wrote:

> The forum global search works, but is not as good
> as Google. ...

Only valid IMO if the content you are searching has
been in the forums for a while, giving Google time
to grab and index it. Example: A Google search for

site:forums.reprap.org "is not as good as Google"

did not find your post containing that phrase.
Nor did repeating it without the quote marks. By
contrast, searching for all words mentioned, using
the forum search, found it for me first try.

But, my intended point was more that we *do* have
a global search, because Ian seemed to think we
were missing that capability, rather than how
good or bad it is :-)

If the time delay is not an issue, then we can
do something slightly interesting with Google:
our own CSE (Custom Search Engine). I just set
one up as an initial experiment, see

[www.google.com]

Integrated search across forums, wiki, parts lister,
blogs, etc -- all sites within the reprap.org domain
should be included, but no others.

So... now we have a rather more "global" Reprap search,
thanks to Google :-)

If this is actually useful, we could add it to the wiki or here
so you don't have to bookmark that awful URL. Google CSE is
officially "beta", but seems to work OK, based on my tests.

Jonathan



Jonathan
Re: A Global Search Facility
January 13, 2008 05:30AM
Good point, Google does lag behind. I don't tend to search for recent posts, they are still in my memory / Google reader list.

If I remember I will try that query each day till it works to get some idea of the lag.

I think Google updates site like news sites more often. I don't know how they are identified though.


[www.hydraraptor.blogspot.com]
Re: UNOFFICIAL: Top 10 needs of the RepRap community (a bit USA centric)
January 13, 2008 10:05AM
Hey that's excellent it's now bookmarked I'm a bit like nophead it's the older stuff I'm looking for and have no idea where i saw it forum, blog, wiki etc.

It's the little things that make life so much easier smileys with beer


Ian
[www.bitsfrombytes.com]
Re: A Global Search Facility
January 14, 2008 07:31PM
site:forums.reprap.org "is not as good as Google" works now so about 3 days lag.


[www.hydraraptor.blogspot.com]
Re: UNOFFICIAL: Top 10 needs of the RepRap community (a bit USA centric)
January 15, 2008 01:01AM
Would it be helpful I were diligent about moving posts and threads into their proper subfora? I often have a nagging itch to do so, which I don't indulge because I don't want to annoy the original posters.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/15/2008 02:18AM by SebastienBailard.
Re: UNOFFICIAL: Top 10 needs of the RepRap community (a bit USA centric)
January 15, 2008 11:19AM
I think that would be helpful on dead topics--say it's dead after two weeks w/out a post. Otherwise you would just confuse people.

Demented
Re: UNOFFICIAL: Top 10 needs of the RepRap community (a bit USA centric)
January 15, 2008 12:48PM
The problem is that threads often wander from one topic to another, so which forum they belong in is not always constant. This effect has got worse since the forums got more specialised. Not that conversations wander more, but the the fact that the forums are more specialised means that the threads more easily cross forum boundaries.

I don't know what the solution is.

There are now so many forums that I have stopped using this web page interface, except for posting. I just use Google reader which brings them all back to one flat list in chronological order. It is much quicker than visiting each forum with red posts in turn.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/15/2008 12:49PM by nophead.


[www.hydraraptor.blogspot.com]
Re: UNOFFICIAL: Top 10 needs of the RepRap community (a bit USA centric)
January 15, 2008 12:56PM
That sounds like a good way can you give an outline of what you do/need.

Until RepRap I successfully avoided the whole forum thing confused smiley


Ian
[www.bitsfrombytes.com]
Re: UNOFFICIAL: Top 10 needs of the RepRap community (a bit USA centric)
January 15, 2008 05:48PM
i think we need to prune the forums. the massive expansion has caused nothing but trouble. they were much easier to navigate when there were 5 broadly categorized forums.

argh.
Re: UNOFFICIAL: Top 10 needs of the RepRap community (a bit USA centric)
January 16, 2008 01:27PM
I entirely agree, the execution on the forum changes really wasn't so good.
Zach, I started a new forum thread here: [forums.reprap.org]

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/16/2008 01:43PM by RoundSparrow.
Re: UNOFFICIAL: Top 10 needs of the RepRap community (a bit USA centric)
January 18, 2008 01:25PM
Validation of the Ardruino is being discussed here: [forums.reprap.org]
Re: UNOFFICIAL: Top 10 needs of the RepRap community (a bit USA centric)
January 23, 2008 02:17PM
I have posted a copy of the test plate and document I started to work on for all to see and so we can come up with ideas to make to better before I finish it.

The document is only a proof of concept and not to be used to measure and adjust a machine yet..

Bruce Wattendorf
repraptestplate.zip

I also want to thank Steve DeGroof for cleaning up the .Stl file for me

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/2008 02:28PM by Bruce Wattendorf.
Has anyone checked out protomold? They're a fast turnaround small lot injection molding company. I mean it may be a bit expensive, but if we got together we may be able to have then injection mold the reprap darwin parts that are needed.
VDX
Re: UNOFFICIAL: Top 10 needs of the RepRap community (a bit USA centric)
March 19, 2008 03:06PM
... in the past i found a mini-injection-molding system from Drader Injectiweld at Orbi-Tech: [www.orbi-tech.de]

The price is something around 3000 Euros, but with a CNC-mill you can easily make some molding forms for bigger series ...

Viktor
Re: UNOFFICIAL: Top 10 needs of the RepRap community (a bit USA centric)
March 19, 2008 03:49PM
This might be a LOT cheaper if you already have a CNC mill.

[www.lindsaybks.com]
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login