Saturday, January 20, 2007


Debugging the Mk 2.1...

I had some billable hours (meetings) to attend to today and then some research work to prepare for more meetings tomorrow. I finally got around to working on the Mk 2.1 quite late this evening as a result. I did, however, finally get the whole ensemble assembled and tested the polymer pump with 5v current to check to see whether it still was able to move filament.

Mercifully, it still was. The Mk 2 is not exactly an easy device to modify for other uses. I had to move the motor around because I'd tilted the threaded drive rod and then there was, of course, the new extruder barrel to install. That part went fairly well. I had to open up the passage in the PTFE thermal barrier a touch more so that the filament would move easily.

With luck I will be able to get the firmware test program debugged and start extruding some plastic under PC control over the next few evenings.

Moving along with your new design very nicely there.

BTW, relating to your brass brazing problems, I'm puzzled. I've personally used very cheap propane blow torches to braze small steel parts together with brass rod. If I understand correctly, that requires more heat than silver/nickle solder for brass parts no?

Might be worth investigating a bit more to find out exactly what's up with that...
It's a mystery to me. From what you say its a problem that can be solved. Right now, though, I have a way to make an extruder barrel that works so my first priority is to get the whole of Tommelise assembled and working. After that, I'll be cleaning up the messy bits like that clunky extruder design.

I was thinking this afternoon that it would be nice if I could hinge the extruder barrel so that I could clean out the filament path without having to take the whole extruder apart.

That Mk 2 needs a major rethink for ease of assembly, hacking and maintenance. For now, though, it's good enough. :-)
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