Rhode Island/ New England user group
November 08, 2007 03:52PM
I am from nothern RI (not that that is far from South, East or West RI) and am interested in meeting others in New England...

I have a machine made from wood parts and am in the dialing in stage and I am willing to show and help any body..

Bruce Wattendorf

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/08/2007 03:52PM by Bruce Wattendorf.
Re: Rhode Island/ New England user group
November 08, 2007 06:37PM
Forum created. Hop in and introduce yourself.

A Rhode Islander came by our booth at the Austin Maker Faire. I'll ping him and let him know you've got a forum going.
Greetings all,

I'm in the greater Boston area (Lexington, MA 02421)
I've been lurking for a bit, and am slowly edging closer to taking the plunge.
A friend mentioned reprap to me several months ago -- interesting stuff.
I'd be interested in hearing from others in the area.

Best regards,

Larry Pfeffer
ursine at gm4il dot c0m
Re: Rhode Island/ New England user group
June 01, 2008 11:40PM
Greeting Larry,
It is great to hear from you If I can be of any help let me know also It would be cool to meet up some time and you are invited down here in RI if you want to see a machine run. I have also been working on my machine every Tuesday night at the AS220 in Providence RI.

Bruce Wattendorf

bwattendorf@gmail dot com
Re: Rhode Island/ New England user group
June 03, 2008 08:49PM
Hello, Bruce (et al),

Thanks for your kind offer of help. Right now, I'm reading up on reprap's background info, and trying to decide what I want to work on. (A backlog of competing project ideas, and never enough time....) Some time when schedule permits, I would like to meet and (even better) see what you've got going. Questions:
What is the AS220 in Providence, RI?
At what stage is your rep-rap/strap work? (Any photos?)

FYI, a few details on my background:
My studies were mainly,in robotics (FYI, see [sun-valley.stanford.edu] .)
I'm mostly doing real-time software and sensor development at work.
My electronics and programming skills are stronger than my mechanical design/machining -- but I'm trying to rectify that. I treated myself to a mill and lathe, both manual. I have an idea for actuating robots that I'd like to develop. I'm pondering CNCing the mill and/or lathe (Mill would help repstrapping, but the lathe would help with my other project. Decisions....

Thanks again for your welcome,

Larry Pfeffer
Re: Rhode Island/ New England user group
June 04, 2008 09:16PM

The AS220 is a group in Providence that is artists, hackers.. Some of us meet on Tuesdays to play with electronic projects.
My Repstrap [repstrapping.blogspot.com] is running and my son and I have made about 1/3 of the parts for our 2nd machine.

I would love to meet up some time I see you have done work in aerospace robotics? This sounds very interesting as I am originally a aircraft mechanic. With a manual lathe and mill you would be able to easily make a Darwin Repstrap.

I also work in Canton MA and can meet up any time if interested.. Especially since u do it electronics is on the way to Lexington...

Bruce Wattendorf
Re: Rhode Island/ New England user group
June 09, 2008 01:14PM

Thanks for your offer. If we can work out the timing, I'd really like to come down and see your machine(s) in RI. The AS220 group also sounds interesting.
I'm too busy right now (work and a vacation the week of July 4th), but I hope we can schedule something soon after I get back.

At the moment, I don't have much in the way of projects to show. I've still coming up to speed on the tools I've bought. However, if you're headed to U-do-it Electronics, I'm 10 - 15 miles past it on 128. (I'm close by the 128/2A exit), I'd be happy to show you my bit of chaos. BTW, I've never been to U-do-it; I'm mostly buying stuff online/mailorder. (I miss the surplus places in California. Do you know of any good ones in New England for techno-surplus?)

I know of a couple other guys in the area that may be interested in seeing your reprap. One is a professor who's considering writing a book on 3-D printing. I'm going to forward this message to them, along with a pointer to this forum. (I know them both from a local science fiction club, [www.nesfa.org] . It's possible that the club might be interested in seeing if you'd bring your machine up to our next convention, to demonstrate. (Note, this is only a guess, at this point.) FYI, see [www.nesfa.org] Are you busy February 13-15?

What I'd like to do vis-a-vis reprap (OK daydreaming about) may be a bit too much for my time and skills, but I'll outline it, anyway:

Instead of building a Darwin, I'd rather build a machine that is capable of both subtractive processes (milling, PC-board engraving) as well as extruding plastic. Making such a machine, that can also reproduce its non-commodity components is an interesting challenge. Such a machine would need to be stiff enough that deformations do to machining loads won't ruin parts, or (by causing too much chip loading because of flex or backlash), ruin cutting tools (especially when an axis reverses feed direction.) The usual solution to this has been to throw lots of metal at the problem, increasing both the mass and the stiffness of the mechanism, and really straight, flat, gib-adjustable sliding bearings.

Part of the puzzle is what non-reprap parts/processes is one willing to admit. Darwin uses long rods (threaded and non) that it cannot make. This is justified because those rods are widely available.

It seems to me that there are lots of heavier duty structural shapes, both Aluminum and steel, that are widely available. It's just that the heavier ones aren't easy to cut with a hacksaw. But there are lots of welding shops with cutting torches, and there cut-off saws are also getting more widespread.
(A heavier mechanism would also need more actuation to move them, unless geared more heavily -- thus slowly for the same actuators. I see that as a worthwhile cost to get more capability.)

From what I've read, cast Iron is more dimensionally stable than typical (say A36) steel, especially after the castings have been seasoned by ageing/thermal cycling, and is widely used for machine tool structures. I see from your profile that you're into casting Iron. I'd be most interested in hearing about that, especially about whether the castings are machinable, and how feasible/expensive it would be to make large prismatic castings, instead of using rolled/extruded steel as the basis for a "reprap that can both extruce and cut metal."

What do you think?

-- Larry Pfeffer
Hi, I'm also in the Boston area and I know Larry from NESFA. My concentration is in programming but I have some tools including a model maker's CNC mill. One of these days I will probably have a project that could make use of it and I'll get serious about doing some G code work.
Re: Rhode Island/ New England user group
June 12, 2008 09:20AM
Greetings from Maynard, MA.

I've been following the RepRap stories in Make Blog, Wired, Hack-a-day, etc and I think it's time to jump in. I can make a RepStrap from my MaxNC 15-CL mill. I have an Arduino Diecimila already and hope to have it hooked to the mill soon. The mill was originally driven with step and direction pulses from a PC parallel port so it should work with the Arduino firmware easily enough.
Re: Rhode Island/ New England user group
June 12, 2008 09:45AM
Hello John,

Thanks for chiming in. I'm hoping to foster some critial camm of reprapping in the very-greater-Boston area.

I'm beginning to feel some CNC-envy; you have a CNC mill, as does Peter. My mill is manual. I've only done a couple projects with stepper motors, both times using Jeff Kerr's picStep modules to control them. Sounds like it's time for me to dive in a bit deeper. I'll be very interested in hearing about how the Arduino board does driving steppers. I've used other microcontrollers, but not the AVR, yet. Perhaps we can arrange a Boston-area get together.

Again, good to hear from you,

Larry Pfeffer,
Lexington, MA
ursine at g00gle d0t c0m

JohnWasser Wrote:
> Greetings from Maynard, MA.
Re: Rhode Island/ New England user group
June 12, 2008 10:06AM
Let me know if you need a boston-centric forum.

Also, you should meet up with these guys; they're good folk. (And they've got a laser cutter, cnc mill, etc.)
Re: Rhode Island/ New England user group
June 12, 2008 01:28PM

Is the SETC still in operation? The most recent entries I see there are dated spring 2007, and many of the links are broken (404.) The center for bits and atoms still seems to be alive/well, but whether the SETC is is unclear to me.
No answer on their phone either (though, it's not disconnected.) I emailed the contact listed on that page (edwardbaafi at gmail dot com) and I'll report back anything I learn on the subject.

-- Larry
Re: Rhode Island/ New England user group
June 12, 2008 02:15PM
SETC is going strong, they just don't bother to keep up their web presence, which had fooled me as well.

Ed will get back to you.
Re: Rhode Island/ New England user group
June 12, 2008 02:33PM
I am interested in meeting up some time also.

I am busy over the next few weeks.

And I am working on finding a bug in the host software right now but I am hoping to finish up my Arduino electronics and finish replicating my 2nd machine Before the end of summer I am about 1/3 of the way.

oh and Larry U-do-it is neat but they don't have everything like the online mail order places do.

Re: Rhode Island/ New England user group
June 13, 2008 05:24PM
You-Do-It is handy if you want something TODAY (as long as 'TODAY' isn't a saturday evening or sunday). I had a breakthrough this morning getting the Arduino to run the MaxNC mill. I went to You-Do-It to get some nice headers so I could make a nicer interface cable.

Unfortunately the MaxNC driver box uses quadrature inputs instead of Step/Directon so I can't use the RepRap Arduino firmware directly. Not a major problem if the RepRap software is modular enough to allow replacement of the axis drivers.
Regional reprap meeting -- when is good for you?
July 09, 2008 01:36PM
In thread [forums.reprap.org]
brucew Wrote:
> I am interested in meeting up some time also.
> I am busy over the next few weeks.


I'm back from my vacation and am interested in arranging some sort of meeting.
Are you through with your extra-busy period?

Since you have a working reprap (and are working on a second?), I'd especially like to see your setup. (Thus implicitly asking you to host.) Are you still up for that, and when is good for you? I think some other ~locals are also interested, if schedules can be coordinated. (I know 2 such from NESFA.org, one of whom is working on a book about 3-D printing.) Would such a (reprap-focused) gathering derail a Tues. pm at AS220 in Providence RI?
Perhaps a weekend get-together would be better, if that work'd for you. I can go with either, though I'd rather do it on a weekend, and suspect that may be easier for others.

Please post back if you're up for it, and (if so), when.


ursine at gmai1 d0t c0m
Re: Regional reprap meeting -- when is good for you?
July 10, 2008 10:34PM

I am Available next Saturday July 19th from 1 to 6. So if you have a place to meet I can go any where in RI or MASS.

Bruce Wattendorf
Re: Regional reprap meeting -- when is good for you?
July 11, 2008 10:31PM
brucew Wrote:
> Larry,
> I am Available next Saturday July 19th from 1 to
> 6. So if you have a place to meet I can go any
> where in RI or MASS.


I've asked permission to use the NESFA clubhouse, in Somerville: [www.nesfa.org]
that afternoon. No word yet, but I'll know for sure by Sunday pm.

I'd like to see your machine, if possible; would it be easier for us (incl. Peter and Tom, if they're free next Sat.) to come down to your neck of the woods? Please let me know, either way. (If up here, let me know what I can do to make this work out.)

Thanks again,

ursine at gmail d0t c0m
July 12, 2008 02:13AM
Hi everyone

I just posted a message on the MA list suggesting a meeting place at Olin college (1000 Olin way needham MA) - I've definitely got a room for us to use (A meeting room in the library that seats about 10 people), and its quite probable we could move to a larger room if I can get one before next saturday.

I also wouldn't mind meeting at the NESFA clubhouse, or down in RI if someone could give me a ride to/from Olin (its sort of on the way to RI).

Let me know what you guys would prefer. (my contact info is in the other post)

Regional meetup: Reschedule a week later? July 26-27th
July 13, 2008 12:10PM
Bruce et al,

The good news is that we have (at least) two places, and now 5 peope interested. The bad news is that 2 people (Peter and Tom) have conflicts that weekend, readerCon 19: [www.readercon.org] .

Are you available the weekend after that July 26-27th? I could meet either, but (given our small size), I'd be nicer if we can find a date we can all make.

Please let me/us know.


From my POV, seeing a reprap (ideally in operation) would add a *lot* to my understanding. I'd be happy to drive down to RI to see your machine(s); Would it be possible to meet there? Alternatively, is your machine transportable?

Larry Pfeffer
In case anybody's reading only the Boston forum vs. here.
I'm cross-posting from the Massachusetts/Boston forum: [forums.reprap.org]

-- Larry


Posted by: Larry Pfeffer (IP Logged) (Reprapper)
Date: July 14, 2008 01:16PM


Good to hear that the 26th seems OK for you. Please confirm.
Unless you post otherwise, I'll assume afternoon is OK, as before.

Jim S.:
Can you inquire about a room at Olin for that afternoon?
(Say 1:00 - 6:00.) Also, plz check if we'll be OK with a repRap in a library room? (I'd hate to have the heat of a repRap trigger a fire alarm, etc.)
Any room we can get into (classroom, lab, etc.), and have reasonable quiet would do. Are any of the faculty interested? If so, please extend an invitation. (Rarely hurts; might help.)
Are folks interested in sharing a meal afterwards? Are there any eateries you'd recommend nearby?

If no room's avail that day at Olin, the NESFA clubhouse is (currently) available. (And since I installed them, I can disable the smoke detectors....)

Everybody: Please post, indicating whether you can make that date.

-- Larry Pfeffer
ursine at gma1l d0t c0m
Just figured I'd cross-post this on the Rhode Island forum - for the general context look at the Boston forum:

The room we'll be meeting in is AC109. It is on the first floor of the Olin Academic center. For the location of the Academic Center relative to the Olin in general, see the campus map here:


For directions to Olin, check out:


Or google maps "1000 Olin Way, Needham MA" and you should be good.

If you get lost, feel free to call me at 781-540-9824.

See you all on the 26th,

Re: Rhode Island/ New England user group
July 23, 2009 04:50PM
Is the RI group still active?
Re: Rhode Island/ New England user group
July 23, 2009 08:17PM
Greetings Dave,

We've mostly migrated to a google group:

Take a look, and if you're interested, let me know your email address and I'll add you as a member. You can email me at ursine @t gmail d0t c0m

Best Regards,

Larry Pfeffer,

My blog about building repstrap Cerberus:
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