Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Long Overdue Update

Things have stalled at the moment. I have been unable to get the various components for the x-axis to align properly on the rails. the holes are just not in the right place (or rather, are differently spaced on different components so the rails are never parallel). I have just about given up on the molded parts and I have actually bid on another set of properly repraped parts on Ebay. That auction closes tomorrow and I would then have to wait for delivery before starting my assembly again. If I win it I will also get another set of geared extruder parts so I can build a backup extruder. Since this set is manufactured by Nophead, definitely a respected name on the forums, I can be sure that they have been made properly and will fit together as they should.

I received the "Adrian's Extruder" parts and I have started assembling them. I first gathered all my parts together and discovered that I had not purchased a thermosensor so I sent a quick order to Makergear for a couple, as well as some insulating fabric. I need a couple of 55mm bolts but the longest ones I have are 45mm and won't fit. I am going to cut a couple of pieces of the 4mm threaded rod that I bought and put nuts on both ends. I had to buy 3 feet of the stuff so I have lots to play with. The geared brass insert was the toughest thing to find. I finally located a hobbyshop in England that had them and was also willing to ship overseas so I bought 10 of them and they arrived last night. They are not threaded on the inside but they have a grub screw that will dig into the threads on the shaft and hold them in place.

I also started to assemble the removable HeatCore heater from Makergear that I bought but ran into a problem. After applying the ceramic paste over the nichrome wire they recommend hooking the unit up to the Mendel electronics to cure the paste at high temp. I don't have my electronics hooked up yet so this will have to wait. I thought about trying to cure it in the oven but I don't want to experiment at this point and I have lots of time before I will need a functioning extruder anyway.

Last week I was able to meet Mike (Dissidence) in person. He has a lot more electronic knowledge than I do and is creating his own design from scratch. It's great to have another raprapper within driving distance. We are setting up a forum for Saskatchewan on the Reprap site so we can start to gather other, like-minded, builders together. I look at this in a completely selfish light... the more local people who are interested and working on these machines, the more likely that I can find someone to help me with my inevitable problems.

So come one, come all!

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