Saturday, September 30, 2006


The Borg Updates

I finally got some time for my baby, and I think we made some good progress. We assembled the X and Y stages (no motors yet, though)

I'll put a picture up here, but I've been checking out the Instructables site and I think that is a much better place for this sort of thing. I've put up two different tutorials on there. One on building the frame, and one on the linear stages. They are located here and here.

Also, I created a RepRap group on there if you guys want to join. I really think the people on that site will digg RepRap and I bet we could get other people building their own machines too. I'm starting to think that we shouldn't wait until v1.0 to get the word out. The more people working on the early version, the faster we'll have an awesome v3.0.

I was just wondering how you were getting on today. Borg is looking good!
Nice going! It's interesting that you created a instructables group. I've thought about us working the instructables folk, including working on web stuff with the people who run the site: Saul Griffith et. al.

Once we've worked more on our input file site,, currently here:
We should discuss the matter with them, and see if we can work together.

Forrest, any interest in creating a cnczone group / thread for people making RepStraps?
Where did you get those plastic collar things for the rods? I bet those sure make alignment a heckuva lot easier.
Where did you get those plastic collar things for the rods? I bet those sure make alignment a heckuva lot easier.

I think if you read the instructables site, it appears he made all his plastic parts using CAPA and melting and shaping it.

Very nice going, btw. Looks great.
***Forrest, any interest in creating a cnczone group / thread for people making RepStraps?***

Nope, not at the moment.

As I see it we've got more than a enough good people working on the problem already to get it started here in North America without attracting more and lumbering ourselves with a bunch of additional communications work that getting a CNC Zone group started would entail.

If you look at what Vik has running at the moment you can see that we still have quite a lot of just hard work to do before we can call anything RepRap 1.0 in spite of how great Vik's prototype looks.

While you and I have made a good start towards getting the filament supply and quality problem off of the table for a while there are still lots of big, unresolved problems out there.

Right now, we're pretending that we can do a lot of things without a support material extruder. We can, but we still need that support material extruder before we have a mature system.

I feel like once we have several RepStraps making parts, however crude, things will really get moving.

That will be the time to be starting CNCZone threads. :-D
I think the extruder in general is the biggest thing that needs work at the moment...

We need support material, we need proof of concept for making circuit boards, we need an extruder head that doesn't need to be babysat...

The xyz is easy... we can borrow that from cnc all day long... but where do we borrow all the extrusion? hot glue guns only get us so far...

I've seen a lot of (and created a couple) prototypes/mockups/'in progress' xyz stages, and they all seem to work to some degree (with or without circuitry), but how many working extruder heads are out there? and how 'automated' are they?

It's 'easy' to strap a dremmel onto an xyz axis and let it rip... we can't exactly strap a glue gun on there and expect the same results...

We need extruders to bring to the table for cnc to help us out... otherwise we're just going through the motions...
Nice to see the Borg comming along. I'd also been wondering how it was going. Good that you posted on other sites, Plaas can't be everywhere, and he's needed doing the nifty stuff he's best at.

Lord Cat, you make good points, I've been thinking that the strongest points going for RepRap are the extrusion head and then the software. I believe the extrusion head needs a bit better resoloution, like 0.3mm instead of Vik's 0.8mm

Pressure driven extrusion heads like Plaas (and Reiyuki?) have talked about are possibly the next big critical developments needed. Threaded/worm drive heads don't look like they'll cut it. We -need- finer heads.

All the rest is just catching up to what the CNC guys have been doing for a couple of years now.

From my modest experiance casting metal and epoxy, I would place a support material extrusion head after the improved extrusion head priority wise.
We've toyed around with a few pressure-driven designs, but once you start looking at big printouts, it requires big, hot, heavy tanks to mount.

I am about settled right now on very thin filament extrusions, with the filament being contracted out or made via a second device.

The best advantage, is it would allow a massive spool legnth without weighing down the print head.
***The best advantage, is it would allow a massive spool legnth without weighing down the print head.***

No need for that sort of worry.

Simply allow the filament to feed in from a spool mounted on a fixed overhead frame and have a takeup reel to keep the length from tangling as the xyz stages move the prindhead around.
Yes, I also suspect thinner filament is an interesting direction, but how to presurize and/or melt becomes the question.

I'm still puzzling over my hot air melt idea.

What have you guys come up with?
yeah, like plaas said, i just put 4 blobs of molten capa on the platform, then put that on the rods. just make sure its lined up, and wait for it to cure =)
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