Prusa Mendel Visual Instructions: LaTeX version
I have nearly finished converting Gary Hodgson’s wonderful visual instructions for assembling a Prusa Mendel to LaTeX. I was going to wait to publish this until after ironing out all the style problems, but since Prusa just released his upgrade to the printer today and an update to the guide is imminent, I figured this post was in order. You may ask “Why LaTeX? What’s wrong with...
How to add a Flattr button on every tumblr post
When I first started using Flattr (If you don’t know about Flattr yet, check it out! It’s pretty cool), I wanted an easy way to add Flattr buttons to my tumblog posts. I found this blog post that explained how to do it. This worked great for awhile, but recently my buttons recently stopped working and were just displaying “Error”. On investigation, I discovered that it only...
Prusa Mendel RepRap: Step Eleven
The last step of building a Prusa Mendel RepRap is mounting the build plate. I am using a heated build plate so I also had to mount that. The screws recommended for mounting the top plate were really long and I wanted to conserve as much precious Z space as possible so I used slightly shorter screws and have had no problems. If you decide to do this just keep in mind that you want them to be long...
A RepRap is born: Polybot
I’m jumping the gun a bit on this post, but I’m just way too excited to wait. My 3D printer is finished! My 3D printer printed an ugly, stubby shot glass(ok, so I have one little kink to work out) as per the custom today and I christened her “Polybot”. The “Poly” is partly because of her maker(Polymaker) and partly because I hope one day she or one of her...
Prusa Mendel RepRap: Step Ten (Part 2)
I’d been busy preparing for the rapture the past couple weeks, so I put RepRap building on hold. However, since that fell through, I’ll get back to working on my printer. ;) The truth is, I took a couple weeks off because I broke something… a couple things. Both failures were very preventable so I hope you can benefit from my mistakes. First of all, I fried one of my stepper...
First print! It's a... giraffe?
I got my RepRap to extrude for the first time recently, which was a very exciting step for me. I’m waiting for endstop connectors before I can make a real test print, but I wanted to go ahead and test the extruder anyway (just pushing plastic through in one spot) and here’s what it came up with: As always, however, this adventure was not without it’s pitfalls. First, I had to...
Prusa Mendel RepRap: Step Ten (Part 1)
It’s ALIVE!!! I’m sure this is a fairly common refrain among first time makers when they get their printer to follow an order for the first time. But it certainly didn’t work on the first try. Oh no! After all, why would it? Things are never that easy are they? First, I downloaded the latest Repsnapper code and mucked about in there for a while. I was quite puzzled because when...
Prusa Mendel RepRap: Step Nine
Well, I’m finished with all my axes… sort of. I kinda mighta sorta installed my X axis on backwards. (!!) The belt that drives the extruder is on the front, while the gears are on the back. I’ve thoroughly inspected it and consulted my trusted advisor (thanks John) and I really don’t think it will be a bigger problem than telling the software that things are reversed. ...
Prusa Mendel RepRap: Step Eight (Part 2)
I believe I may have secured some RAMPS electronics from a local source, so I took a break from coding to finish the Z axis on my printer. I made a mistake the first time and put both nuts in from the tops of the channels. Needless to say, that didn’t work, so I had to take it apart and put one nut in from the top and one from the bottom. The instructions were fine, my A.D.D. just got...
Python in OpenSCAD
Want to use a stronger language in OpenSCAD? That possibility may not be far off. I’ve got a basic proof of concept working, and I took the code from here and made a 3d representation of Pascal’s triangle. I’m sure this wouldn’t be too hard in .scad script but I think it was easier in Python. Not just because Python is easy to use, but also because it has a strong user...
This is why I need a 3d printer
What a hack job. Honestly, that’s the best I can do directly with my hands. Isn’t it a far better use of my time to develop something that I can print effortlessly as many times as I want? Ok, Here’s the 3d printer prototype:
I recently found out about a wonderful program called PySCAD. It’s a fork of another program I like called OpenSCAD. Allow me to explain (actually most of these reasons are pulled from here) why I like OpenSCAD and why I like PySCAD even more: You don’t need a surgeon’s hands to use OpenSCAD. I can get 100% perfect precision without dragging anything with the mouse. OpenSCAD...
Prusa Mendel RepRap: Step Eight (Part 1) Revisited
This part of the assembly turned out to be a lot more trouble than I anticipated. Like a lot of things, it was harder than it looked. The bushings were just way too tight on the Z axis. After two iterations of gluing and then breaking the glue when I tried to slide the Y axis up and down, I decided to try a different approach. First, I gave the bushings a little more blow dryer attention to...
Prusa Mendel RepRap: Step Eight (Part 1)
I’m halfway through making the Z axis for my 3D Printer. Items of note: I don’t actually own a level, so I used a great Android app called Bubble :) I used a nut tied to a string instead of a plumb line, which worked just fine Once again I found myself victim of the changing specs; my M3x25mm bolts were too long for the z-motor-holder and rod-clamp. I got around this by smushing...
Prusa Mendel RepRap: Wade's Extruder
There were a number of places where my parts seemed to deviate from the instructions. I don’t know if they are from an older or newer version of the extruder, but I eventually cobbled together a working Wade’s extruder with a MakerGear hotend. The pressure seems good and I tested that it pushes filament through perfectly. The first problem I ran into was that the hobbed bolt (I...
Prusa Mendel RepRap: Step Six (Part 2)
I received my stepper motors in the mail today so I was finally able to finish step 6 (Y axis assembly) of construction. One minor hangup was that the slot in the pulley was way too small for an M3 nut so I carefully used a drill to expand it to the right size. While I’m on the topic of differences between the instructions and my experience, I may as well point at that my M3 bolts have hex...
MakerGear Hotend assembly - Revisited
I finished assembling my MakerGear hotend! I’ll have my chocolate now, thanks. ;) I believe I found another discrepancy in the instructions though. I tightened the jam nuts on the heater barrel and used a wrench on the outer nut to tighten the heater barrel. Like last time, both nuts turned instead of the heater barrel. This time I carefully tightened the nuts only slightly. Unfortunately...
Prusa Mendel RepRap: Step Seven
I was working on converting the assembly guide to LaTeX and I noticed that step 7 (assembling the y axis) doesn’t require the parts I’m missing and it’s separate from the rest of the printer at this point so there’s no harm in doing step 7 before finishing step 6. So “forward ho”, I said and continued with the assembly. No surprises really, none of the holes...
MakerGear Hotend assembly - FAIL
Everything was going fine and I thought I was on the downhill stretch. Instructions for assembling the modular thermistor were missing but I found these instructions on the MakerGear google group. I tightened the jam nuts on the heater barrel and tried to use them to tighten the barrel in the nozzle. Unfortunately the jam nuts weren’t tight enough so they both turned on the barrel instead...
MakerGear Hotend assembly - HeatCore
I began assembly of the my MakerGear.com hotend yesterday, and the first step is to assemble the HeatCore. I wrapped the nichrome around the brass core and smothered it in the provided ceramic paste. I left it overnight to cure and to give me a chance to gather my wits. The instructions for the HeatCore leave something to be desired, so let me point out a few tips that would’ve helped me....
Prusa Mendel RepRap: Step Six (Part 1)-Revisited
As it turns out, I’m even worse at this “working with my hands” stuff than I thought. I guess that’s why I’m building a 3D printer; so it can be my “hands”. I was a bit hasty assembling the Y-Axis and I just randomly picked two matching-length smooth rods that were long enough to go from the front bar clamps to the rear bar clamps. It turns out I used the...
Prusa Mendel RepRap: Step Six (Part 1)
I have finished the first half of step 6 (the Y-Axis). There was a slight hitch when I noticed my bottom sheet was cut uneven. It’s 140mm on one end and 138mm on the other. Fortunately, I’m pretty sure that dimension doesn’t need to be perfect and it only made it more difficult to measure the space between the smooth rods. I went ahead with the instructions and finished...
This is a powerful video that illustrates the benefits of 3D printers by depicting a future with “Fab Lab”s on every street corner.
Dish Scrubber Holder
I have made a second thing! It’s still in digital form, of course, because my printer is not done yet. This thing is a holder for a brush dish scrubber.
Prusa Mendel RepRap: Step Five
I have finished step 5, tightening the frame. It also includes adding a final horizontal threaded rod across the bottom, completing the frame. I have to say that I can’t imagine tightening the frame without the frame jigs. It would have been much more time consuming. Every so called “optional” tool or part I’ve come across so far seems virtually indispensable. After I...
Prusa Mendel RepRap: Step Four
Finished step four, adding the top bars and Z motor mounts. Also very straight-forward. I made sure to pretest the holes on the motor mounts by sliding them around on the threaded rod a bit until it slid pretty smoothly. Nothing more to report here. It’s exciting to have the frame completed though!
Parametric Plant Pot
I made a parametric plant pot, based on the Flower Pot by hathawsh. It’s called “parametric” because you can customize it, based on parameters like height and radius. It can produce a typical pot with holes in the bottom, or an orchid pot with slits down the side and the number of holes or slits is parameterized as well. Once I have my printer running, I plan to print a new...
Prusa Mendel RepRap: Step Three
Following step three of the visual instructions was quite simple and straight-forward, especially after steps one and two. I did it while watching “Batman Begins” last night. Step three is just assembling the rear threaded rods, which are the closest horizontal rods in this picture. I was grateful to have pre-reamed the vertex holes this time.
Prusa Mendel RepRap: Step Two (Part 2)
My RepRap now stands on it’s own! (barely) I picked up a file from Ace Hardware today and I had the vertex holes reamed out to the right size in no time (and vacuumed the filings before my wife got home). I also found some 5/16”x1.25” fender washers which will work perfectly even though my RepRap is mostly metric. Does that make it a RepStrap? I think not. For those who...
Prusa Mendel RepRap: Step Two (Part 1)
I guess finishing step two will have to wait until I get some new drill bits and/or a file. I broke my one and only drill bit reaming out the vertex holes. I guess that’s what I get for trying to ream ABS with a 1/16” drill bit. The vitamin kit from Thingfarm.org didn’t include the fender washers (he has since fixed the problem) and I didn’t want to make him ship them...
I'm making a 3D Printer
My name is Brad, and I like to make things. It’s in my blood. Take my grandfather. There are all sorts of contraptions and toys that he made at his farm. Even in retirement he decorated his lawn with “birds” made of old shovels and rebar. Then there’s my dad, who bought the plans and built a speed boat using the engine from a muscle car in his twenties. Today, he’s...