Sunday, December 18, 2011

RAMPS done, Arduino Connected

Finally finished the damn RAMPS 1.3.  It fits nicely on my Arduino Mega 2560.  Now I just need to solder longer wires to my stepper motors.  I bought unipolar motors with six wires, but the internet tells me I can omit the 2nd and 5th wires and run it like a bipolar motor.  I hope this works,  but I think it will reduce my power output.  Assembling wade's extruder, It cracked.  It took hardly any pressure at all,  I think the part was printed at less than the optimal temperature.  The layers did not seem to be held together with any strength.  Once again probably due to my plastic parts seller wanting to make money more than he wanted to make good parts.  I also think the gear tips should not be hollow, but they are. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

RAMPS is Slowly Killing Me

Oh my goodness, If you are just learning to solder, then assembling your own RAMPS will give you lots of practice.  I am a bit of a perfectionist, and want all of my soldering to look pretty.  It has taken me a good 6 hours to get almost done.  I broke a couple of female pin headers, so I can't celebrate my completion quite yet.  But I am oh so close.  If you see any problems on the board, let me know!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

XYZ Printers Bad News

The RAMPS 1.3 kit sucks.  You need to cut both 40 pin female pinheaders perfectly, or you will be screwed.  Whenever you look this up online, you find that it is easy to cut pinheaders.  They also say that you will almost always loose the pin next to where you cut.  Just try and cut twice in these things and have all the sides turn out.  Just try.  Impossible.  Bastards.  They will get no more business from me.

Late Night of Assembly

Good Morning.  I stayed up late last night assembling everything I could without having the stepper motors.  My project looks like this now:
Coming along nicely.  My stepper motors just arrived!  They have short wires,  so I will have to lengthen them so they will be long enough to reach.  Instructions for assembly are pretty good,  but some of the videos just make me want to scream - Pan the camera! Slow down!  Show the whole part you're working with!
Link:  Prusa Assembly

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Step 2

Cleaning up all of the plastic pieces is the next part.  There are very many strings in the holes that need to be removed.   I will scrape them out with a drill bit and the edges with a knife.   Some pieces have crappy melted corners.  The gears have a lot of fine detail that needs to be cleaned up.  I think this is because of poor print quality from the supplier.  I suppose if you are trying to pump as many parts out as fast as possible for money, you might cut some corners...

Step 1

The first step is cutting my threaded and smooth rods down to size.  The guide says to buy 6 threaded 1 meter long rods, and 3 smooth 1 meter long rods.  I am using 5/16 of an inch size.  Unfortunately this comes in 3 foot long lengths so i had to buy 7 threaded and 4.  Damn that few centimeters.  After cutting you have to clean the ends of the threaded rods up a bit so the nuts will fit on them. 

Threaded rods:
3 X 440 mm
4 X 297 mm
6 X 370 mm
2 X 210 mm
1 X 50 mm

Smooth rods:
4 X 420 mm
2 X 406 mm
2 X 350 mm

Hint: open up the threads with the can opener on the knife.

RAMPS has Arrived

It is now official.  Shipping from overseas has beaten shipping from the US.  My RAMPS from the Netherlands and my heated bed from Denmark came faster than my stuff from the states.  Now I am just waiting on the stepper motors.  I had better get to work!
Now that I see all of the tiny pieces on my desk it seems like it might be rather difficult...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sunday Delivery Photographed

Plastic parts (including for wade's geared extruder), Vitamins, Acrylic sheets

As you can see,  many of the parts need some cleaning up.  I think this seller might have been pushing the speed a little bit, which ended up in some stringy parts.  I hope that I will soon be able to print some replacements.  Specifically new gears for some  2.032 mm belts

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Parts Come on Sunday !?!?!

So my plastic parts came today.  This is weird.  Since when does Canada Post deliver on Sunday?  So now I am just waiting for 2 more deliveries.  I cut my smooth and threaded rods to size today.  It seems that the lenghts I bought are not 1 metre but in fact 3 feet.  So this means I have to get another smooth rod and another threaded rod from the hardware store.  Well,  that will be tomorrow.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Heated Bed

Surprise!  The shipment from Denmark arrived before the stuff from the US.  Waiting is killing me.  Hopefully it will all arrive next week. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hot end Assembly

Well, it turns out that there is only about 3 minutes of assembly to do on the hot end, when you don't have the plastic parts yet.  Anyways,  it's good to have some progress.  I got the hot end with the tiny 0.35 nozzle, and it looks really small.  I wonder how reliable it is going to be.  Goodnight.

First Parts Arrive

Today my first parts came!  I got the non-plastic parts for a hot end and a Kg spool of black ABS filament.  I will begin to put this together tonight.  I am getting over my buyers remorse and becoming excited again.  Here are some pictures:

Kaflon Tape - for heated build platform and for hot end (bought an extra roll)

 My bill :

Spool of ABS (seems really small,  but it really is a Kg)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Tools and Stuff

So I have spent a bunch of time this morning looking for the tools I will need to put this beast together.   This definitely will not be everything, but it should be a good start.

COOP Hardware Store
Fake Dremel Tool - 32.97

Princess Auto
digital caliper - 21.99
digital multimeter - 21.99
measuring tape - 5.49
cut off wheels for dremel - 5.49

butane soldering iron (many tips)- 27.71
super fine solder/flux - 10.97
solder brush - 0.68
extra butane - 6.60

Grand Total $133.89

Super Grand Total (with parts) $709.55
Holy Crap.  Well I guess it's macaroni and cheese for me for a while,  maybe I can sell some printed parts once the machine is done.   I haven't spent this much money at one time in four months!  Damn brushing saw ($1250 stihl fs 550, anyone want to buy it?)...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My Sources for Parts for Mendel Prusa

Ok.  So now I have purchased everything (that I am going to buy online)!  It took about 15 hours of work to make sure I had all the right parts and had the best prices once shipping to Canada was taken into account.
Here is the breakdown :

Electronics - RAMPS 1.3 complete kit with drivers-Pololu A4988 and endstops 131.23 CAD shipped
Nema 17 Stepper Motors (5) - 52.00 CAD shipped from seller tony34306 on ebay (they are used)

Plastic  Parts (including extruder plastic), nuts and bolts, belts, linear bearings - 239.97 CAD shipped from ebayseller elderfarrer2hy7

Heat Bed36.03 CAD shipped shipped from ebay seller snipermand

Hot End, Heat tape, and 1Kg black ABS 1.75 mm - 110.15 CAD shipped from

ATX Power Supply and Gorilla Glue - local 41.80 CAD

Threaded Rods (5) and Smooth Rods (3) - local 30.92

For a Grand Total of  575.66 !!!

Not bad,  as long as the customs charges are not too radical.

Prices for unassembled kits I found are priced at:
1040 from Europe
850 from Australia
550 from Europe (but smaller max print size)
1065 from US
825 from US
1000 from Europe
Without shipping!

Tomorrow I am off to buy the tools I will need.

Building a Reprap Prusa Mendel!!!

I had become bored.  After realizing this I decided to build a 3D printer.   This will be both challenging and fun.  Plus extremely frustrating since I possess almost no skills in any field (other than playing video games, which I imagine is not applicable...).  So two days ago I began.  After reviewing all of the printers out there I decided on the Reprap, version Prusa Mendel.  It is the cheapest and easiest to build.  

The next step was to get the parts...  This is terribly difficult.   I live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.  Most suppliers are overseas, or in the good ol' USA,  which means shipping is a bitch and I am probably going to get shat on with some crazy import charges.  Seeing as I have no idea what those import charges will be,  I just used shipping charges as my basis for buying the cheapest build possible.