Monday, June 15, 2009

I miss my reprap already

Well, its almost a day since I had to leave my reprap, and I miss it already. During those hours that I could work with the reprap, I did do several things and modifications:

1. Since my Z-axis doesnt work so well (in fact it doesnt work at all, its off by 5mm) I am using a normal kitchen knife to make sure it touches the endstop. Need to replace it with something better.
2. The Y-axis (the one with the 2 bands on it) has the terrible problem of getting loose at one end... I dunno why, but the connection with the stepper motor doesnt work, and it results in the stuff sliding off. Fixed this problem with superglue (and almost glued myself too).
3. Stuff keeps falling off, especially bolts and washers. Most of the time I dont know where it came from, so I wait until the machine is finished, check every bolt on the axis and put it back on. Handy if you have spares.
4. I really need to put the holder for filament back on. Every 30 min. I can untangle the stupid wire.
5. Note to me: That white dust you see is not cocaïne, its ABS. Its scraped off from the filament when going through the extruder.
6. Never make more than 1 piece at a time or never make a bridge, unless you have nail remover to clean it. When the reprap goes from one side to another, it tends to leave a small piece of filament behind. Its not neat. Will post picture when I get home.

Also stuff I want to do:
1. Make a bell on the fan... When the reprap is finished, I believe the fan stops. Ideal moment to put a bell on it, so when I am busy with something else it gets ringing when its done. No more problems of useless waiting time.
2. See if I can make a "mini reprap". And with "mini" I really mean "mini", complete with a mini arduino or PIC (mini sized) to make it all work. I am sure that in the end the electronics will be bigger than the machine itself, but its worth the try... When I hear Adrian talking about "using a Sanguino or ATMega" I am thinking: Why not make it smaller? You only need the size of the biggest part for a normal reprap as your maximum printing size, if you want to conserve as much space as possible (especially in student's homes). And with space reduction, there is also the possibility of making the reprap that small that instead of iron bars we can also reprap plastic counterparts... Also thought about moduling the Darwin. Since Darwin is square, and if I combine that with the latest invention (something to put the extruder motor somewhere else so you can conserve space on top) you can also make it so that you have several modules on top of each other, without problems. Let Adrian Bowyer do the big research work, I want to do the small research work. I hope someone can help me to reduce the reprap to at least half the size of a normal reprap, would be cool to see the reprap downgraded to a bare minimum.

1 comment:

  1. Nice idea: I've also wondered whether you can make a smaller version. Electronics will probably be the same, but a smaller print head and movement might help creating small, detailed objects.

    I suspect problem areas might be changing material properties as it gets smaller, manufacturing (drilling a 0.4mm hole is difficult: going smaller is worse). changing back to lead screw drive (like the mcwire) helps accuracy. My guess is more components will have to be made yourself.

    Sounds like a really interesting project!