Monday, October 15, 2012

New Power Supply

Someone had a question about my power supply so I thought I would post a pic.  It hasn't arrived yet and it has been 4 weeks.  I usually receive items sent with USPS within 3 weeks so if I don't get it in the next few days I will have to start tracking it down (bummer).  In any case, this is what I am waiting for:

These have become quite popular for Repraps.  They are small (only about 8x10 inches) yet provide enough current to support dual extruders and a heated bed.  My whole rig should only draw about 16 amps when everything is running so this has lots of extra capacity.  You have to add a power cord and a switch but that is fairly straightforward.  There is also a switch on them to change between 120v and 220v so they can be used anywhere.

Thingiverse has a couple of printable end-caps for these that help to clean up the looks and cover the exposed terminals.  I would like to design and print a case that will contain the power supply, the Ramps boards and the LCD Controller panel.  This would either sit beside the printer or mount to the side of it (for portability). 

I tried to install the QU BD extruders on my X-carriage this weekend but ran into a couple of problems.  The first one was that the extruder barrel is quite short.  It would not reach beyond the bottom of the X-carriage until I removed the carriage and cut off the tabs that held bolts for tightening the bearing clamps.  Actually the bolts don't seem to be necessary as the clamps hold the bearings tightly enough without them.  The second issue is that the extruder motor (I am only installing one to start with) hits the belt clamps when I try to install it.  I may have to come up with some modification to the belt clamps to get this to work but it shouldn't be too difficult.  I may be able to just flip the clamps to the bottom of the carriage instead of the top.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Extruders Have Arrived

The QU BD dual extruder setup arrived last night.   Yay!

Everything was very well packaged and organized and I was able to completely assemble both extruders in about 30 minutes while sitting in front of the TV.   One of the nuts seems to have a bad set of threads so I couldn't attach them to the mounting plate. It kept jamming on the heater barrel and I was not willing to force it.  I will run a tap through it tonight and finish the assembly.  My wife and daughter are both sick so I had other priorities last night.

The plate fits on my X-carriage just fine but I am not sure yet whether I can fit both extruders down through the hole in the carriage.  If not I will have to assemble it as a single extruder and then design and print a new carriage when it is up and running.

The only component I am waiting for now is the power supply.  I can always use the workstation power supply that I bought for my last machine until it arrives but the new one is much smaller and neater.  It will make for a much better organized machine if I can combine the power supply and all the electronics into a single case.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Few Pictures

Here are a few pictures of my current hardware projects

 Here is the exploded extruder from my Classic Mendel.  I believe that the connection between the PTFE and the printed parts failed, allowing the melted plastic to leak out and force the whole nozzle crooked.  I am hoping for better luck with my new dual extruders from QU-BD but time will tell. On the upside, I have the printed parts for 3 extruders and could easily just buy hot ends and assemble them all if needed.

 This is the gantry for my DIYLILCNC.  There are still a lot of parts to go on it but the assembly seems to be fairly straightforward.  It is mostly just a matter of finding the time.

Here is the current Prusa Mendel under construction. It has been much easier to build.  the belt clamps for the Y axis don't match the holes on my sheet piece but that is what I get for buying from multiple different suppliers.  I will just make a couple by hand from some scrap aluminum.  Also, I bought a set of cables but they turned out to have female connectors on both ends and I can't seem to find a male connector locally so I will have to use a small piece of perf board and some pins.  Still, not a big deal compared to my issues with the last machine.

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Return to Posting

I have decided to start posting on this blog again.  I doubt that there are many folks out there who are waiting breathlessly for information on what I am doing but this was always intended to just be a record of my progress for my own use.

Things have actually progressed here even though I have not documented them.  After the extruder "blowed up" on my classic Mendel I decided to build a Prusa rather than repair the old one.  It has turned out to be a great decision.  The build went quickly (for me anyway) and I am just waiting for the dual extruders to arrive before firing it up. 

Some specs on the new machine:

  • Prusa Mendel (parts bought on Ebay)
  • Ramps electronics (came with a full wiring set for a Prusa)
  • Full hardware set bought online
  • LM8UU Linear bearings
  • LCD screen extension for Ramps
  • Dual QU BD universal extruders (1.75mm)
  • PCB heated bed kit
I financed QU-BD on Kickstarter so I have had to wait a while for them to get their first shipments out.  It took a couple of months for me to build the Mendel anyway and they have just announced that they have shipped all of their Kickstarter related hardware to their backers so I am hoping that the extruders will be here within the next few days.  I have both ABS and PLA filament in the 1.75mm size so I will probably set up the extruders by material rather than with various colors.

I also bought a small power supply on Ebay.  This is one of the ones intended for automotive lighting systems.  They are becoming very popular for Repraps as they are smaller than the older PC power supplies like the one I used on my last machine.  I plan on printing a case  that can combine the ramps, the power supply and the LCD screen into a single compact unit along with a cooling fan.

Construction on my DIYLILCNC is also progressing.  The main parts of the gantry have been assembled and the parts for the bed have been cut.  All of the mechanical and electronic parts are here, I just need to get the time to complete assembly.  It will be great to have something that can cut sheet parts for projects as a complement to the plastic parts created by the Mendel.  Note that the design for the 2.0 version is now out so I am, once again, constructing a machine that is one version behind the rest of the world.