Actually building!

After receiving all those bits (from bytes) I had to postpone my build further because of an exam. That’s done now. I can finally start RepRapping!!!

To document my build, it would be nice to have images and even nicer to have moving images. And nicest to have time-lapse! I bought a Logitec QC Pro 9000. Very decent cam, works out of the box on Ubuntu. I made this tiny script to make a time lapse of my build:

#!/bin/bash
FILENAME=`date +%F-%T`.mjpeg
gst-launch v4l2src ! videorate ! \
video/x-raw-yuv,width=960,height=720,framerate=\(fraction\)1/5 ! \
ffmpegcolorspace ! jpegenc ! multipartmux ! filesink location=$FILENAME
mplayer $FILENAME -fps 10

The one-liner for the actual time-lapse is adapted from: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/GStreamer

or

download view at blip.tv

When I started cutting the rods with a hacksaw, it was almost instantly ruined. The steel of the rods was harder than the cutting blade. I resorted to using a DREMELtool with a cutting disc which worked better for the following reason (besides not being ruined after 10 seconds):

1. Won’t cost you much effort compared to using a hacksaw
2. The disc seems to last pretty long, From 10 cuts it’s 1 mm smaller in diameter
3. It looks cooler
4. You can use it to smooth sharp edges after a cut

The down-side is that you have to be very careful not to: get molten metal powder sparks in your eyes and become blind for the rest of your life, burn your fingers on the rods that become very hot (use a wet towel, apply evaporative cooling), be careful that the disc doesn’t break and parts fly into your body or other important stuff such as girlfriend, computer, the RepRap sub-assembly you just had finished, etc.

Tapping the grub screw holes

This is how I prepared the grub screw holes. I put a M5x30 Cap screw into the drill and carefully drill it in. This way you will tap a thread into the holes.

With a bigger drill it is easier to keep it straight than with a small (short) Allen key. The drill is not to save time per se, it will allow you to turn it a couple of rotations while keeping it steady. If you feel more resistance, you’re tapping to much thread at once, and you need to go back and forth a couple of times before you go deeper. A little grease might help make the screw go a little more smooth.

You have to be very careful that your part will not start to rotate because you could hurt yourself. Because of the friction, the screw may become pretty hot, so allow it to cool often and be careful not to burn yourself! Also the drill will break the part if you insert the screw to deep and it hits something (or at least ruin the just tapped thread). Always keep in mind that if you’re using a power tool for a precision job you have to be extra careful or not do it at all.

More time-lapse video’s will follow…

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