Wednesday, November 29, 2006

 

more Mothra updates

Finally back from the job long enough to get some work done. (4 day weekends are great for this)

Axis:

Whoever came up with the drawer slide idea for bearings was a genius.
The Z axis was always a bit flimsy, so I tried replacing it with a slide. Not perfect, but it's much better than it was before. I'll probably end up replacing everything before long.







Electronics/Software: Played around with some PIC's over the weekend, and ended up soldering 2 little circuits to translate KCAD-4 motor outputs to stepper commands. Was good practice, and now it can run g-code with a pen or dremel tool. No plastic reprap yet, but on the right track. I'm thinking about writing a translator to run custom or cnc-style control boards with the regular reprap software.

Extruder progress:

Rather than go with making things from scratch, I started hacking a regular hot-glue gun. The tip had a 1/8" thread that fit into some plumbing parts.

The GM motor on the bottom will act like a recipricating pump, and a second motor on top will control a valve near the end to turn the extruder on/off.

The tip is a metal pencil tip soldered to a pipe coupling. ~1mm extrusion, to be upgraded later.

I figure it's easier to test with hot-glue, since it would still be able to print out simple rubbery parts and that I can get 8 sticks for 2.50 at the hardware store.

Comments:
Oh wow! I love your hack on that glue gun! :-D
 
Me too, and I did the seminal work on that approach :)

This is where you start to find out whose glue guns are built to last, and which ones go >POW!< after being left on for a few hours.

Also be wary of the glue backing out of the glue gun if it can't flow out of the fine nozzle...

Vik :v)
 
I have a PWM lamp dimmer control leftover from a Tesla Coil project, which I'll hook into the glue gun to dial-down the power, should last longer at 80-90%.

As for hot glue backing out... we'll just have to wait and see. Some tight teflon rings could probably seal any gaps if needed.
 
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