Friday, March 26, 2010


Well, over the last couple days I've gotten a few pieces in.

- The geared extruder based on Wade's design
- Full electronics set for the machine
- Copper bar and cartridge heater for the barrel

So here's a few photos:

First, the extruder. This is how I assembled it, I believe this to be correct based on the illustrations I've seen

Extruder with nozzle

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Just wanted to throw a little bit up here about the parts that came in today..

I received my order in from SparkFun electronics earlier today, and since it had the requisite bits needed to build the thermocouple amps, I built that.

Thermocouple Amp

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Parts are coming...

Well, after I got the heater thing posted, I had more parts awaiting me when I arrived home from work.

I got things from MakerBot and DigiKey, so I took pictures of everything.



Well I usually head out to the RepRap forums daily and check out what's new on the site, get a feel for what people are doing and if there's any good deals like the geared extruder from earlier in the week.

I started reading up about extrusion heaters on a thread in the RepRap forums. It referenced Nophead's interesting heater design, utilizing an aluminum block with a nozzle machined into it. Unfortunately, I don't really have the equipment to machine myself some nice heaters, so I'm basically making due with what I do have.

So, I've been thinking a bit more about this, and I've come up with a couple ideas to try:

Extruder NozzleMainly, since I got heater barrel/nozzles already from refsnyderb, I'm looking into ways to use this nozzle instead of making another. The big thing that seems kind of fragile about the nozzle/heater on the normal RepRap is the fact that nichrome wire is used, being wrapped around the barrel. This seems to have some issues, mostly the element getting burned out which requires a complicated rebuild of the nozzle.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I didn't mention in my last post, but I ordered a 12VDC 8.5A power supply from MPJA.
Power Supply
I overrated it because I like to do that, and since I might be moving up to a larger stepper or controlling something else with it later on.
Got the PSU in today, since MPJA is in Florida.

I also took a gander at the reprap boards and found that RustySpoon is selling his geared extruder utilizing an NEMA 17 motor and a pair of reprapped gears with a hobbed shoulder bolt and spring-loaded idler bearing. Looking over the wiki article, it shows some pretty amazing results with the amount of pressure it's able to exert on the filament, showing over 15kg of pull before the stepper started running in reverse.. Looking at the stepper that's being used, it's approx. 69oz/in, so the slightly larger 75oz/in might have even a bit more pull..
So, I ordered one of those as well, and I'll probably use that as the extruder instead of building the one that comes with the kit.

All these parts that I'm adding in are starting to decrease the amount of RP parts I'm going to need to finally get this thing put together. Hopefully things will move quicker now that most of the bits and pieces are on the way or already here.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

It's on the way..

Well, I found I had some more money available for the RepRap, so this weekend I decided to get more of the parts necessary to make the machine. I've now got the following on the way:

1 NEMA 17 Bipolar Stepper for the extruder
3 NEMA 17 Bipolar Steppers for the axes
Electronics Kit (all the electronics/boards assembled)
2 Thermocouple sensor PCBs
      - Also bought the more accurate AD595C variant of the AD595 (a little pricier)
      - With thermocouples and terminals from SparkFun
10ft of Nichrome Wire
1lb of colored ABS filament

Also got a nice 1/4W carbon film resistor kit from SparkFun as I've been wanting one for awhile. Always nice to have resistors handy (even if they aren't precision)

So all that stuff should be coming in this week here, and I'm also looking for a way to get at some of the RP parts. Might be helping some people from FamiLAB with getting their MakerBot tuned up. Getting some time with the software would also be helpful so I can figure out how it all works.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A frame!

Well, I spent all night working on the RepRap (and making a banana cake. I loooove cake) and the outcome is this:

Finally, a frame!

Moving along!

(Just came out of the box!)

Okay! Making a bit more progress with the build! Over the past couple days I've gotten in all the belts and metal parts from McMaster-Carr, the smooth rod from SmallParts, and the bearings from VXB.