Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Adventures in RepStrapping: Day 4

I didn't get a whole lot done today, but I did manage to put the extruder together, and spent the rest of the day troubleshooting my Universal Controller Board communications issues. It appears that the JB Weld is holding so far on the drive screw and cable, so hopefully when I start pushing filament through it will hold up. All I need to do now is get the controllers working, attach the motors to them, set up the opto-endstops, and slap a table on the XY base, and I should be good to go...

Extruder - almost done

And below is a pic of Lamarck as he stands right now:
Lamarck - with head but no brains

He's a handsome enough fellow, but without any brains he's just not very useful at the moment. Thanks to the support of those on the forums and IRC who are giving me advice on the comms issue, I will hopefully have the brains working soon, and Lamarck will be able to make himself useful. :)

Looking good. You might find you really do want to use springs instead of plastic tubing though. I found it worked for quite a while but then just remained compressed.

Those spray cleaner bottles are a good source of small, powerful springs if there's a shortage of suppliers in your area. I've actually switched to using several split-washers interspersed with ordinary washers.

Vik :v)
Thanks for the comment and advice. I'll go ahead and look for some springs that will work - I'm assuming I can just judge a spring's springiness vs. a length of new silicon tubing to figure out what springs I should get? Or is there a specific strength of spring I should go for?
You want something quite powerful - I reckon on one that's too strong to squash between finger & thumb.

Otherwise you end up with the spring compressed to the max, thus giving it little play to take up slack.

Vik :v)
Excellent advice, Vik. That's certainly been my experience. The problem I'm having is finding a spring that stiff that will comfortably seat on the narrow Mk II polymer pump around those little made-up M3 studding bolts.

As soon as I'm printing things reliably I'm going to modify the Mk II design so that the bolts are maybe M5 or an American equivalent of perhaps 1/8 inch diameter. I can get some seriously stiff springs at that diameter. These #40 springs are just too small to be much use.
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