Tuesday, August 24, 2010

tv: RepRap 3d Printer Makes a Child

Season 1 : Ep. 2 | 9:59


This episode is a journey in prototyping tech. Watch as a Darwin RepRap 3d printer makes a child Mendel printer capable of printing it's own children. The power of this technology has yet to be realized.

If you want more details on the Darwin used in this episode, check out my restrap blog at:

For any unanswered questions, or any feedback you may have, feel free to add a comment to this episode.

Friday, August 6, 2010

RepRap: electronic choice...

When I was building my Darwin there was really only one option for electronics. Now that the RepRap community has begun to evolve I am finally at the point where I have options. For quite some time Adrian has been developing an eloquent solution here that utilizes Pololu stepper drivers. The people over at UltiMachine have extended Adrian's work into a very compact Arduino Mega shield.

I grabbed one of these Pololu boards for testing and was pleasantly surprised with what I found.

They are tiny, quiet, and capable of taking 1/16th of a step. This means I will be able to multiply the resolutions of my steppers by 16. With a higher resolution obtained through micro-stepping the print quality will increase. That's all well and good, but the real reason I'm going with the Pololu / Mega option is because I really believe this type of solution is the future of Reprap tech. I can't really put a finger on why I feel this way.

So, I think it's time for me to dust off my mill, pull out some double sided PCB, and make a mega shield. Now that just sounds cool!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

RepStrap: fun with family...

My wife and I had some family visit last week and with our small apartment the printer is always an attraction. We decided to print something off for my niece that would be fun for all.

Surprisingly, it came off on the first go. Most of the time I have to tweak skeinforge a bit before I'm happy with parts this small. This time it wasn't needed. I've also been having issues with my extruder burning the PLA, which turns it brown. Luckily this print came out with only a slight discoloration. Fun times!

RepRap: Mendel mechanical assembly complete...

I've been videoing the whole process of making my Mendel and just realized recently that I am neglecting my blog. This is where I stand today.

As you can see, all the parts have been printed and most of the machine has been assembled. All this is left for me to do is to install the belts, make and install the extruder, and install the electronics. More to come on some of my decisions around which extruder design I will be using and how I will choose from the options on electronics.