Monday, April 19, 2010

Assembly update #1

Made some excellent progress on the x-axis this weekend. I only get about an hour at a time to work on the Mendel, due to the ongoing demands of my actual life, so it is going slowly. Especially since there are a lot of adjustments with an exacto knife and dremel required to make the parts fit properly.

X-Carriage with bearings aligned properly

I managed to fix the alignment problem that I had with one of the bearings on the x-carriage and then proceeded to construct the idler bracket and the vertical bearing 180. There are still some adjustments required because I can't align the bars as it stands at the moment. I will need to adjust the holes in the vertical bearing so they line up better.

Two shots of the Idler Bracket

Vertical bearing 180 (very rough parts, will need major adjustment with sharp things)

It was obvious that the cast gears that came with my RP parts are completely unusable so I posted a request on the Reprap Mechanics forum and discovered that Markus Amsler offers free Mendel gears for just the cost of shipping. A quick email and my gears are now on the way for the unbeatable price of $3.80. Markus is in Europe and he didn't specify the currency so I sent it in Euros, still only about $5.00 Canadian and well worth the price. Thanks Markus!!

I will post a picture of the crap gears along with the new ones when they arrive.

When assembling the idler bracket I discovered that the 4mm fender washers that I bought are exactly the same diameter as the bearings so they will not work to constrain the x-axis belt. I went to Canadian Tire (my favorite store) and picked up a handful of 6mm fender washers which worked just fine. I also finally bought a set of metric hex wrenches to make assembly easier.

4mm washer on the right. Too small. Larger 6mm washer on the left. Just Right!

The opto flags need to be installed as you assemble the x-axis carriage and the vertical bearing so I will have to cut them out before proceeding further. I tried to print out the template last night but couldn't get the scale right. I will try again today and will probably use HeeksCad, which was conveniently blogged about by Niel Underwood over at RepRap Log Phase. It looks like it would be able to match the dimensions on the dxf file to the printer to get the scale right. We'll See. I did get a start on this task by buying a six pack of coke and drinking several, so can report that I have made progress.

I have been having some trouble with the camera so I haven't posted any pictures for a while. I finally asked my daughter. Since she is a teenager she is, by definition, much smarter than me. She pointed out that the old camera that I was trying to use was crap, I have started borrowing her, most excellent, camera for these shots.

Sam the Science Dog

By the way, here is a picture of my assistant. Sam recognizes that I require constant supervision to keep from severing an artery with an exacto knife so he sleeps beside my workbench. Also, when I start throwing parts that don't fit, he brings them back.

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