Many RepRap Parts printed!

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11 Responses

  1. nophead says:

    Great work Erik. We need to get the exponential growth going.

  2. Peter Bindels says:

    Speaking of growth… I live quite near you and was searching for *any* way to get started with making my own RepRap. I thought about ordering the electronics kits from the US (the newest versions, to help with debugging & development as I’m a software engineer). I haven’t found any place that has the mechanical bits. I can probably get the rods & so on from the nearest hardware store (gamma, praxis, karwei) but the connectors are the near unsourceable parts. Can I convince you to make me a set and if so, for how much?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Erik says:

      Hi, I’d love to produce many sets of parts, but I need to get production reliable and completely unattended before I will give away kits to people that I do not know personally. I have a couple of friends who are first on the list to receive parts. Of course I would also like to just produce for fun for a while, producing RepRap parts is a time consuming process because there are so many and some need tuning of the parameters to be strong enough and dimensionally accurate.

      The same counts for Chris. I will put anyone high on the list if he has everything working except for the mechanical system because of lack of RP parts. I would recommend that you try to get or make parts in a FabLab too. There may also be other who are willing to give you access to a machine. In Bre Pettis’ words: buy them cookies, do anything to bribe people to give you access to fabrication equipment.

      • Peter Bindels says:

        I’d almost completely forgotten that I’d put this in a reply – I thought I put it in an email and somehow missed the reply.

        Thankfully I haven’t. I’ve gone for the do-everything-yourself-that-you’re-not-sure-you-can-do-yet approach to learn the most from it, so I’ve basically assumed that I can use the existing software and decided to redesign the hardware, physicals and electronics. It’s intentionally nearly the worst decision you can make :-). I’m expecting lots of problems to run into.

        I’ve gone for a bridge-like design (I recall Tommelise 1.0 looking alike) where the X is the platform moving horizontally, the Y is the print head moving and Z is the print head moving up and down (within the bridge). All is from aluminium profiles and the couplings are (lacking the ABS or polymorph or any kind of plastic to use) wood. The electronics is an LPC2106 as base, with two L6219DS’s for driving two axes and a ULN2803 for the third (I have only recycled steppers – no clue on the voltage or maximum ratings, let alone on the torque). Initially I’m going to make all axes threaded-rod-driven so I don’t run into torque issues but I hope to make the X and Y axes ball-chain driven as soon as I can (slowly) reprap the gears for it. The base platform is a sheet of acrylic or an Ikea cutting board (HDPE) mounted on hardboard for extrusion. I’ve made the print surface *huge* so I can fit in other bits of tools as well. I’m also making my own PCB’s, in the hope that it succeeds. No clue on the workability though… I’ll keep you up to date.

        I completely understand your friends going first – and you having friends that also want to make a RepRap. I’ve told about the idea to about a dozen people and the responses are one out of two – either they don’t believe it’s possible or they want one. It’s a really odd thing to be able to print a new coathook as an “upgrade” to the old one.

        Ideas I’ve had for the general design:
        – Encasing everything in plastic sheet, and keeping the inside temp to 40-50 degrees to counter the warping (but not the eventual shrinking) of the bits.
        – Having an exchangeable printhead with multiple extruders and a mill/drill head.
        – Having a heated-syringe approach to extrude stuff that doesn’t come in a welding rod. Might in some way also be usable for using granules instead of a rod for regular plastic. You can also mix granules… I’m thinking RGB printing 🙂
        – Recycling, in the above idea a trasher (two metal bars with some unevenness, heated coach bolt, extruder with chop-thingy to mash to granules, something :-)) would be able to mash the trash to bits, allowing direct reuse…
        – PCB pick&placer with soldering paste, ready to be put on a hotplate or in a soldering oven.

        I’m going to stop here – I’m taking over your blog. I’ll have to start my own on reprapping…

  3. Chris says:

    I’m also looking for the mechanical bits for building a RepRap, but in the Netherlands there seem to be little sources to get the parts from. I hope that maybe you can/will be able to provide me those parts… just let me know if you can and what the cost for it will be

    Thanks in advance,

    Chris

  4. Alex says:

    Hey, I should have all my electronics shipped from the us next week. and I am working on a mcwire like repstrap, but I still don’t have an extruder. do you think I can get one printed at protospace if I buy them cookies? 😉

    most important part that I can’t make myself at the moment are the pinch wheels. the rest I can do at home.

    Kindly,

    Alex

    • Erik says:

      Hi Alex,

      Our design of the extruder can be laser cut pretty easily. You do need 8mm acrylic and a standard bearing. The bearing can probably be bought from someone at protospace. Check out my protostruder blog post, it also contains references to which parts you still need to order (besides the cookies 😉 )

      Have fun with your build!

      B.t.w. Are you planning on making Jewelry with it?

      • Alex says:

        I actually might, but I also hope I might be able to help with finding a screw fed design, that way granules can be used instead of harder to find filament. also, that would allow me to make wax prints that can later be cast in aluminum, silver or gold.

        I noticed the protostruder uses a stepper motor, I plan on using the makerbot electronics and software. how compatible are they?

        • Erik says:

          A syringe might be a more accurate way to deal with wax. Using granules/pellets of plastics would be very cool, but the spindles are a very reliable feed and they’re not prohibitively expensive. It takes a long while to actually consume kilograms of consumables. Unless you’re printing 24/7 🙂

          But that would mean that you’ve completely solved scheduling of prints and such… this is not fully automated yet but relatively easy to do.

          A stepper motor is the way to go. It assures that the flow is constant. Also, steppers have quite a bit of torque even without a gearbox, they can speed up rapidly but also have very controlled motion at slower speeds. DC-motors have many non-linearities when they run below their normal operating speeds. Variable resistance will make the flow of plastic even more variable. The makerbot design will probably be able to work with steppers, since it separates the extruder controller (with its own arduino-supported microcontroller on it) from the ‘motherboard’. Through PWM, I expect that the extruder controller would be able to do microstepping, but I’m not sure, since they might not have wired it to allow this to work.

          • Alex says:

            I think I’ll walk in on a Thursday sometime. where would I be able to get the acrylic sheet?

            so cookies, acrylic and a brearing are what I should bring?