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)


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.

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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