Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Another 3d FDM Printer

What's this? Another 3d FDM Printer? Well, basically yes... A little explanation is in order. When I first got my MakerBot Thing-O-Matic a few years back, I decided to create a RepRap Prusa Mendal machine . Unfortunately, the project never got finished and I had moved on to other things. The half-assembled frame and pieces sat in a box for a few years, but was always on my mind (I hate un-finished projects)

Lately, I've been waiting on some 80/20 1" aluminum extrusion and parts to arrive for my 3d UV DLP printer rebuild (yes, that's happening too). However, the itch to build something has been strong, so I decided to un-box my Prusa Mendal (Iteration 1) and finish it. 

Well, after reading about the numerous shortcomings of the iteration 1 Prusa design, I decided a complete rebuild was in order. Using the iteration 3 (I) design as a starting point, I made some modifications to the design, including the addition of a baseboard instead of threaded rod for the Y axis. I went ahead and designed some new y-rod holders, new endstops, a new 5mm to 3/16 coupler, Y motor mount, as well as a few other parts. 

Amazingly, I completed 90% of the build in 1 day (about 8 hours), including build the wood base, painting, and assembling. The second day (2 hrs), I wired it up. The 3rd day (last night) I attached the extruder, did some cable management, and set up the new Sprinter firmware steps per mm. 
The only remaining issues are:
1) Z-Axis endstop switch (I was designing it this morning, I'll probably print it later)
2) HBP Platform leveling.

What am I going to do with this new printer? Well, my 2 main options are: Sell it to a friend who has been dying to get one, or bring it into work under the pretense of designing / printing enclosures for the various work-related projects / products I am involved in.

As a side note, my un-released 'Creation Workshop v12 Beta' now has full support for FDM based machines. I used this to configure and test my new printer. If you're feeling bold, get my latest v12 release from Git and give it a go. I plan on releasing the latest version when I fix some support generation issues.

Update 9/26/2013 - 
Well, I got the finishing touches put on this machine, installed the extruder, leveled the bed, and finished up the end stops. I made my first successful print with it last night!