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Proportional feedback

Posted by boris_blackmilk 
Proportional feedback
February 05, 2014 12:52AM
Hello all,

My adopted brother, who is a adamant RepRapper from way back, and I got talking about improving the situation of RepRap machines. He had just told me about a bed levelling arrangement using a endstop switch and a servo on the extruder. This got me thinking...

Most robots I've designed, pre-RepRap era, had some kind of proportional feedback as to the position of the robot in 3D space. Of course, I never built any of them, I just designed them. I thought about a problem I'd had with RepRaps missing a step in X or Y space, and realised some kind of proportional feedback would be nice, even to alert you your belts are slipping uncontrollably, and not print wildly. The bed levelling arrangement is a Z axis proportional feedback, now its my turn for a suggestion for the community for X and Y feedback:

Along the shafts of the X and Y axis, you stick down a alternatively printed black and white sheet of paper, like a barcode, except simpler. This is wrapped on the shaft with matte sticky tape, an LED shines on the paper, and an optical sensor picks up the movement in X and Y axis's reporting back to the firmware. Almost like a barcode scanner, same principle.

I'm going to be getting a printer I can go wild on in terms of outlandish things, like the bed levelling soon-ish. I want to try this proportional feedback on the shafts idea, and was wondering if I would garner any flames or critique from the idea. It might not be much, but its my little contribution, as I know a job sucks when it "steps" out, and prints wildly.

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