Monday, 21 March 2011

RepRap Printing it's own Parts!

RepRap prining four PLA brushes. My new skeinforge settings start to get me better quality prints. :)

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

First Printed object!

Here is my first printed object, what actually looks approximately how it should. It has many issues the quality is terrible, but it is the very first!
 So I can start to fine tune the printer, now. ;)

Calibration.... calibration... calibration...

I'm trying to calibrate my Mendel for three days now. I got some great help on Prusa's calculator page. But I still had a problem, Z-axis worked fine when I tested, but when I printed it didn't move (only made some short loud noise). After two days I had the feeling in my guts it is something to do about speed. I upgraded to skeinforge 40 because I found a setting in it to limit the Z-axis speed. It worked like a charm. ;)

Some of the settings still off, I had to set my flow rate on skeinforge to 1700 to get plastic extruded. (I think official setting should be tenth of that). But it may related to the firmware, what I'm using. I may try a different one.

Here are some of the failed calibration prints.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Pololu A4983 Stepper Motor Driver with Voltage Regulator and RAMPS electronics

There is a shortage of Pololu A4983 and I got some Pololu A4983 with voltage Reg.
So I figured out how to mount them onto RAMPS electronic.
I installed two of these motor drivers, for Z axis and extruder.  And they are perform great!
If you want to use all 4 of them with voltage reg, than you need to use more stackable pins on two of them to able to fit them in. (you can get creative ;) )
  1. It has extra two gnd, 5v, vdd, 3v3 and ref connection points
  2. It is longer
  3. It is wider

 So what we need to do in order to use it with RAMPS is add ground from the two extra GND.

Solder across the 5v bridge.

I used 3 stackable sockets to lift it up high enough to fit it.
Because this breakout board is wider then the one without the regulators. Please notice I installed the legs in an angel to fit.

Please don't forget to use heatsink! Without heatsink it could burn out as easy as the non voltage regulated one. See my earlier post!

Friday, 11 March 2011

X and Y Axis Only Printing Test

This is a test for X, Y axis. For the test Z axis and Extruder were disabled.  It is "printing" of this own parts for this test. 

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Five second flamming glory of the stepper motor controller

I have installed the motor controllers into the shield electronics( yes, it has finally arrived from oversee). Two cable short circuited so one of the stepper motor controller burst to flames, literally! ;) It had about an inch tall flame, what is pretty impressive if you see how tiny the chip is ;) 

I was too eager to see the printer come to live, so I was rushing things and I didn't properly insulated the Z axis cables at the plug. 

I had a few problem with the end-stops wiring, but I got quick help from the Reprap community. So I could fix my firmware settings inverting the end-stops. I would like to thank for them as well to recommend the RAMPS electronics the first place. Because if I go for Gen 6 electronics now I would have a burned out main board. But with Ramps I can just get a new controller, what is around £10 only. I did order two right away, just for being on the safe side. ;)

By the way, installing a main switch was a really good idea, I could cut the power in seconds, when it was on fire. Preparing an extinguisher is recommended, for next time. ;)  

Thanks guys!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Stepper motor controllers

I have soldered the stepper motor controllers. They are now ready for action ;) I had to order them from Australia as everywhere else it is out of stock.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Home Stretch

The printing bed has been installed as well the hot-end of the extruder. I had a bit of problem mounting of the hot-end, because the cold part of the extruder didn't had the right mounting holes pre drilled for my hot-end. It looks I had an older version of the Wade's extruder. But a little drilling and filing solved the issue. I installed the Arduino Mega 2560 board to the printer. I configured and uploaded the firmware software onto the board. I run a "virtual" printing test with the board, all looks good. Now, I'm waiting for two more piece of electronics from oversee.