Sunday, November 19, 2006


Z-axis takes shape...

I finally came up with an idea about how to make a stable z-axis for Tommelise.

Here you see some of the bits come together in situ on the x-axis platform. I'll probably have to rebuild it again after I get this try at it put together. I was originally going to use 1/4" steel guide rods like Cat did, but changed my mind after I got acquainted with how easy that arrangement jams if it is the slightest bit out of alignment.

Here is the full z-axis stage without the carriage for the extruders in place. As designed this one can accomodate two Mk II sized extruders grouped in towards the threaded thrust rod in the centre with their electronics cards mounted near the outer edge. This ensemble looks big and bulky. It is bulky, to be certain, but surprisingly light at about 750 grammes. It is also quite stable.

I haven't mounted all of the guide tabs and it tends to try to rotate about the y-axis about half a degree while doing an x-axis traverse. The guide tabs should cure that. I was able to stabilise it by putting one fingertip where one of the tabs will go.

Here is a video of the z-axis stage doing an x-axis traverse.

I'm thinking that it might be nice to have a separate z-axis for each extruder so that we don't have to confront the problem of having the tip of one dragging over the work of another one.

BTW, the effective working volume for Tommelise is now 250x250x90 mm

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