Mendel Multiple Extruder

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Mendel Multiple Extruder Carriage

Release status: Experimental

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This is a new carriage and extruder setup for Mendel, capable of holding up to three paste or bowden extruders
CAD Models
External Link

This setup is extremely experimental and work in progress. The latest files may be found here.

Mendel Multiple Extruder Carriage Printed Parts STL These are CAD files for each part. .zip --Rhys Jones 13:00, 22/09/2010

It is still the intention to get a RepRap working with an automatic changer. This is an intermediate step. In essence this a heavily modified version of the standard mendel carriage to give much more working volume within the carriage. This may be useful for many things, but in this case it is coupled with a mounting plate capable of holding three bowden extruders or 10cc syringes to use with a paste extruder. However, some accuracy is lost when using a bowden plastic extruder. Whilst this is ok for reproducing most parts in the Mendel design, I (Rhys Jones) have been unable to produce some of the finest parts to my liking (Such as the gears)

Within the mounting plate, there are three captive nuts that surround each extruder. This is to enable tach extruder to be easily bolted to the plate. However, crucially three compression springs are placed between the extruder brackets and the mounting plate itself. This is to allow to get the height of each extruder just right. It makes sense to only have height adjustment on the outer two extruders, and to treat the central extruder as the main one. This is because a) it saves springs:D, and b) the central extruder has the biggest build area and should be treated as your main one. Also by introducing springs, we've probably lost build quality a little, and thus this will produce the best results

Also, compared to the standard carriage, the belt travels through the carriage itself on the 360 bearing side, and thus the belt is clamped from the inside out.

To do / further improvements/:

1. At the moment, the opto flag attaches to the mounting plate (which it is occasionally necessary to remove). It would be much better if this could attach directly to the upper of the carriage. 2. The mounting plate could do with being stiffened a little. 3. It would be nice to get the carriage within 100x100mm for the Makerbot fans. 4. Would it be worth transitioning to thinner plastic filament? This would hopefully reclaim some of quality we've lost going to Bowden, also we could use thinner PTFE tubing putting less force on the carriage as it travels (and thus making sure the nozzle position is more repeatable),

related projects

  • Hydra-MMM Prototype is another project with multiple independent tools attached to the carriage.