bracket

As the RepRap build continues, I designed some motor mounts that will work with the 40mm extrusion I’m using. The Nema 17 stepper motors I’m using are about 43mm wide, so they hang just outside the extrusion if centered, so I’ve designed the mount to be slightly off-center so the motor do not hang outside the frame.

mount-rails

I’ve incorporated the model into the overall render of the printer. I don’t have the hole yet for the smooth rod to fit into the mount. I’m looking at models like this one to base my work on.

reprap-6000

I’ve also worked on the full model a bit, and made it slightly larger for reasons I’ll get into in a future post. I’m currently thinking of a few ways to make this machine a bit more flexible in its capabilities, and a larger frame made sense for that. (And it means I can waste less extrusion when I cut it down to size.)

motor

Things look wonky in this photo because that’s actually a piece of 38mm (?) extrusion I had handy, since all the 40mm is at Milwaukee Makerspace right now. I’ve got a few projects to wrap up before we cut down and mill the extrusion, so I’ll probably keep working on the printed parts for a bit.

Velocity_Loop_5507

You may have already seen John’s post about our Velocity exhibit, and I must say, he did an amazing job with all of the CAD and CNC work to build it.

Velocity_CK_5503

For my part, I handled the technology that went into the exhibit. (Which sadly, you can’t see much of in these photos because some were shot after things were powered down.) For three of the five components, I spec’d the hardware and worked with a software developer to upgrade the old version of the software to something more modern, stable, and easier to calibrate and support.

Velocity_CK_5525

I can’t even tell you how many golf balls I rolled down all of those ramps. At one point we had an issue with a projector overheating and I set up a time lapse camera to run all day and overnight to give us some idea how long it was staying on before shutting off. We eventually fixed it by adding a duct to the projector housing to draw the heat out and away. We’ve used earlier models of this projector with no issue, but this is why we do extensive testing… you never know what problems are going to pop up.

Velocity_Dish_5527

If this exhibit looks familiar (!?) it might be because there are now three copies/versions of it. Besides this one which was a “for sale” item, we’ve got two on the road, one of which will be returning to the Betty Brinn Museum this summer.

Velocity_CK_5518

By the way, if you occasionally have a bunch of old golf balls you want to get rid of, let me know… There’s a non-profit in Milwaukee who would love to take them off your hands. ;)

Velocity_Roller_Coaster_Lazy_River_5517

Velocity_Jump_5499

40x40-extrusion

I managed to get the 40mm extrusion I need for the RepRap frame at Milwaukee Makerspace. Mark is our 3D Printing Area Champion and he’s managed to collect a bunch of pieces from a scrap dealer, pretty much at scrap prices!

reprap-v12

I tweaked my render a bit expanding the frame slightly, and adding in the rods and rod supports. Speaking of the rod supports…

sk12-render

I could not find an acceptable file for the SK12 rod supports. I found one on GrabCAD (which I’ve never used before) but even there I found the file formats very disappointing. I managed to convert something to an STL and I didn’t like it so I used it get dimensions and then remodeled it.

Yes, I could just buy some SK12 rod supports (eBay has some for cheap) but the last time I used cheap rod supports they were not great, so I figured I’d print them for now, and I can always replace them later. (And yes, the nice thing about having access to a good/working printer when you are building a printer is that you can print the parts you need.)

sk12

I printed one on the Prusa i3 at work with low infill to test the fit, and it was perfect on the second attempt. (My 3mm screw and nut hole were just a bit off on the first try.) Oh, the mounting holes are sized for 5/16″ carriage bolts, which fit right into the slot of the 40mm extrusion. That’s another trick I picked up from Mark. (5/16″ is just about 8mm as well.)

sk12-rods

After the second test I was satisfied, and printed the rest on my Monoprice Maker Select Plus at home. It’s also nice to have a variety of 3mm hardware I can use this time around. The first RepRap I built was a kit and came with everything I needed. (Well, in theory.) This time I’m figuring out a lot as I go, but I have a lot of the things I need already.

These linear rods are 12mm diameter and plenty long, so they’ll need to be cut down a bit. I pulled them from a large laminator I pulled apart a few years ago. As I’ve previously mentioned, I’m going to be using lots of parts I’ve been collecting over the years, so hopefully I can keep new purchases to a minimum, at least to get up and running with this printer.

(Note: SK12 Rod Support is available on YouMagine and Thingiverse.)

reprap-prusa-i2

I built my first RepRap back in 2012, and it worked for a few years, and things broke, and I usually fixed them, but when I got my Maker Select Plus I sort of pushed the old RepRap off into a corner. I eventually loaned it to someone at Milwaukee Makerspace, who promptly broke it, and then I repaired it (again) and got it working, a bit…

To be honest, the machine is quite a mess, but I’ve decided to stop being sentimental about it. It’s existed for a while now as a “This is how we used to build printers!” example, but I decided that the time has come to take drastic measures, and it’s all coming apart.

Over the years I’ve managed to scrounge up some nice components for a new build. Some 450mm lead screws from an unnamed medical facility, some 12mm x 720mm smooth rods from an old laminator, etc. Couple that with the donor parts from the old RepRap and I’ve got most of what I need to build a new machine.

RepRap v07

The one thing I don’t have is extrusion for the frame, but Mark (of SoM and UMMD fame) does. He’s got a pile of 40mm Aluminum extrusion which I might acquire to start on this new RepRap journey. (If I do not acquire it, I may end up going with 20mm extrusion. Not ideal, but possibly more affordable.)

I won’t go to the lengths that Mark has in building his heavy-duty industrial-style printers, but I’m headed in that direction just a bit. I’ve looked at the Wilson TS, other T-slot designs, and any other printer using Aluminum extrusion, and I’ve got a rough design figured out. I may try to used machined parts rather than printed parts where I can (meaning where it’s practical and affordable.)

I’ll probably stick with a 200mm x 200mm heated bed for now (since I’ve got two of them) but since I have the long lead screws already, I’ll be shooting for a 200mm x 200mm x 400mm build volume. Quite a bit more Z than the 180mm of my Maker Select Plus.

While I want this to be an economical build, mostly by using components I already have, I’m not trying to build a super-cheap 3D printer. I considered buying a second printer, but the pile of parts and a mostly functional donor machine convinced me to go the route of designing and building my own. Plus, this means I’ll have a printer to experiment on while still having another that actually works! (In theory, anyway.)

link-dump-4

It’s that time! Time for another LinkDump post. It’s basically a blog post that links to other things on the World Wide Web, and often has little to no commentary. Every now and then I’ll just post some links to things I’ve read or looked at or need to check out in the future, or just want to share.

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