Friday, 29 April 2011

On Small-Scale Plastic Recycling

While struggling through my last exams ever this week, I've been coming down with a fever, so I hope this blag makes sense, as I can't concentrate on much else right now.

Continuing along my previous train of thought (A Mission Statement), I've been considering how one might best go about recycling such sometimes 'non-recyclable' recyclable plastic bits as small bottle caps, yoghurt pots, or some of the chunkier waste material produced by failed prints.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


The temperature was not the only problem I had (though it may have played a small part). It seems that in my haste to get my printer working, I overlooked a key thing that I needed to calibrate, which I hope anyone after me will remember.

While the firmware on Gubbels' Gen6 electronics will turn the various stepper motors for axis control as far as they should do out of the box, the motor settings for the extruder drive need to be calibrated so that the plastic feeds out at the right speed. It seems that while the Mendel Parts kit was using Adrian's geared extruder, the firmware's step value for the extruder was way off.

This is what resulted in a test before a few people on the RepRap IRC helped me identify the problem:
I'm glad that's biodegradable.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

It's Alive!

Although a bit shoddy so far...

A somewhat crazy end to the week, first I get the neighbours upstairs leaking water through the bathroom light fitting and blowing it out, then British Gas take too much on my direct debit and put me through the bottom of my arranged overdraft, not making other things easy.
Nevertheless, good friends are on hand to help out. With that drill borrowed from an ex-bowyer, I made quick work of the heating resistor mounting on my reprap's printbed, and luckily had a handy friend with a soldering iron nearby.
Heated bed developed by C Gubbels. Only way available to connect that power seemed to be by splicing and soldering wires, hence the zip tie for strain relief.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Bodge It Quick

Having spent nearly all the funds I have til my last student loan payment on this kit, and finding the local hardware stores without a countersink bit, I went through various forms of 'ingenuity' so far this week in my quest to get this printer up and running.

For starters, I really wanted those bolt holes counter-sunk, at least the ones that held the bed onto the Y-axis assembly, anyway. So what does a man do when he has a drill bit big enough to counter-sink the hole, but no drill big enough to hold it, nor cash to get one?

What to do, I ask you?

Monday, 11 April 2011

In One Piece... Almost

After some going round in circles with small assemblies on a few late nights earlier in the week, plus moving my PC into the same workspace so that I could interface with it there, which involved running a long ethernet cable, I finally got the mechanical parts of my RepRap together.
Crazy wires want some electrical tape, extruder wants something to extrude on.
The main mistake that I made and learned from, was going and following the helpful step-by-step instructions on the RepRapWiki before actually checking the complicated assembly models of the custom 'Mendel v2.0' and taking measurements.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Building A RepRap

All the fun of a lego set with all the repetition and small cuts of picking brambles.
Fun times.
Also, washers. Washers everywhere.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Makeshift Workbench making shift for a reprap.
Parts laid out to build

Thanks to my neighbours for the random scrap wood, it's amazing what some people will throw out. Could still do with more planks though.

The Mendel Parts Hot-End v5

They always seemed bigger in the webshop's pictures... I guess Camiel has a good camera. :3