Friday, October 22. 2010
Update: Phooky merged this improvement into the official branch, thanks!!
There was an issue with ReplicatorG posted a while ago:
For RepRaps and Ultimakers a 10x10x10 build volume in the preview isn't the right size (Mendel's is about 20x20x14 and the Ultimaker is closer to 21x21x21). Not knowing Java very well it took me half a day, but I fixed it! It was fairly complicated to get this working, because the machine was initialized after the preview panel. Now the preview panel has a refresh feature which is called upon the loading of a machine and is fed the BuildVolumes objects. The BuildVolumes object currently contains a very simple model of the machine's volume (a 3D block), but there's room for adding cutouts and keep-out zones (e.g. nozzle cleaning brushes) that can also be displayed. With multiple printheads, while your axes can still move a long length, the build volume that both can reach becomes smaller. So in the future the axes lengths are overridden by a BuildVolume element in the XML config.
This is the commit and here is a linux and a windows release. Mind: it's not really ReplicatorG-0021 as the filename suggests, and it doesn't contain a skeinforge profile for 5D printing (yet). If someone can send in a good Vanilla Skeinforge profile for the Mendel (5D), I can include that in subsequent releases.
Note: When trying this, make sure to overwrite or update your machines.xml (in ~/.replicatorg/ or Documents and settings\[username]\.replicatorg\)!
Thursday, October 21. 2010
Some things are just no fun, and in a project driven by volunteers, these parts tend to be neglected. Making things user friendly doesn't help yourself, because when you get to the point where you can improve it, the improvement is of no use to you any more. If you're going to sell the machine, you're going to do a bit more in making it user friendly. With a healthy bit of altruism and effects of peer recognition the problem is migitated to some extent. Especially if you look at projects like Ubuntu: lots of people are passionate to help make "Linux for Human Beings". But in the RepRap project, the software isn't as user friendly as it should be!
I've been tempted to work mostly on cutting edge work, experimenting with the Bowden cable, reversing the extruder, combatting backlash, working on the then-beta Mini-Mendel, different extruder designs and most recently, an entirely new machine: the Ultimaker. However, more recently I'm focusing in making things a bit easier to use. In effect I've made a ReplicatorG fork (which will be merge with the official version) that includes a RepRap 5D driver that talks nicely with 5D firmware. Because of the integration of the newer Skeinforge (currently 31) (which I had hacked into ReplicatorG-0019, too) you can have Skeinforge generate the E codes too. This means ReplicatorG is now fully usable for the RepRap. I've done some work on detecting temperature feedback and some other things, such as filtering out unwanted M-codes that will cause the firmware to throw up
The 5D fork is temporarily, Adam Mayer will integrate the driver into the main branch. But I wanted to have some testing by others before it's merged.
Release files are here: http://replicatorg.erikdebruijn.nl/.
Another thing I did: For new Windows installations, ReplicatorG and Skeinforge are going to become easier to install. I've figured out how to make it an EXE that is only dependent on the Python DLL which can be distributed along with it. This makes it stand-alone, so you don't have to first install the Python programming language to be able to just do printing. Not everyone should have to do that. Installing the FTDI driver is enough of a head-ache. This is not included in the main release yet, as I need to automate the process of building the distribution some more, and it needs to be built from windows (read: in need to install Cygwin and SSHd).
My ReplicatorG branch also contains my progress bar patch. You'll be able to see how far it is, also how many layers are filled, etc. The ETA of the ETA isn't know yet, but I'll add that at some point too.
I must be honest with you guys: I'm encouraged to do this now, because the Ultimaker is already so much easier to assemble, software has become the hardest part. I deliberately chose to base everything on the RepRap code and not fork things (merging changes upstream) any more than needed so that the whole community benefits from it and to prevent duplication of effort. It also helps me feel more responsible for making RepRap and Ultimaker easier. The Ultimaker electronics (will) use the RepRap firmware, so you'll be able to use it in RepRap's too.
Given that the community is already very big and doubling rapidly, the value of these incremental usability improvements is HUGE. So I hope this encourages you to do the same!!
Wednesday, October 20. 2010
[NL] RepRap en FabLabs op Labyrint ... Posted by Erik de Bruijn in [NL] RepRap at 19:25
Vanavond was er bij de VPRO een item op Labyrint met als onderwerp: "Alles is maakbaar!"
...besteedt hetÂ wetenschapsprogramma Labyrint (VPRO/NTR) aandacht aan de technologie van 3D printen. Er zijn o.a. opnames gemaakt in het Utrechtse FabLab, Protospace. De uitzending is om 21:25 op Nederland 2.
Na de uitzending kan iedereen via Twitter en chat live meepraten met de redactie en onderzoekers. Tijdens die live twitter-sessie is er een video stream op Labyrint.nl te volgen.
Dit is de teaser, waar Joris van Protospace uitlegt hoe â€˜alles is maakbaarâ€™ in elkaar steekt.
En hier vind je achtergrondinformatie en een interviewtje met mij over de RepRap.
Update: hier is het item:
Sunday, October 17. 2010
[NL] 3D printen op de Night of the ... Posted by Erik de Bruijn in RepRap at 12:54
[This article is in Dutch, but you can Google Translate it (click)]
De Night of the Nerds was een groot succes! Deze werd gehouden in het Technologiemuseum NEMO in Amsterdam.
Foto: (c) Night of the Nerds
Met name ook de opkomst van veel meiden was opvallend en het stereotype 'nerd' was ook niet van toepassing, of in ieder geval had het zeker geen negatieve connotatie! Heel het "NEMO" liep over van de jongeren die iets met technologie hebben, of die gewoon lekker nieuwsgierig zijn!
Samen met David Lemereis gaf ik een presentatie over 3D printing, mijn deel ging over hoe bereikbaar 3D printing nu al is! Vlak voor ons praatje stroomde de zaal helemaal vol. Verder heb ik de hele avond m'n Ultimaker laten draaien en waren er twee van mijn RepRaps te bewonderen (Huxley en Darwin). Al met al een erg gave avond op een super evenement!
Naar aanleiding van het evenement is er ook een leuk interview beschikbaar.
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