Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Of course, the print itself was nothing amazing, but it is definitely a start. I used CAPA as the print material. The electronics used were the Arduino electronics controlling a Darwin machine. There is a bug with the Arduino SNAP based firmware, so I was experimenting with the new GCode interpreter firmware for the Arduino.
I have to say it was a wild success, because with the GCode firmware I was able to very easily make a test shape and have it printed. I spent some time tweaking parameters and such, but its nice to see that the GCode stuff works quite well and has the added benefit of allowing you to easily switch your RepRap machine over to a milling machine if you so desire.
Finally: I have a good lead on fixing the SNAP based code which will all allow the Arduino electronics to be 100% compatible with the RepRap host software. I'll try it out tonight and report back.
Having said that those shapes look pretty much to have the same shrinkage warping as I get with HDPE. I though CAPA wasn't supposed to do that?
In fact every test I have done has that shape to some degree or other.
I'm a big fan of the idea of using gcode as an intermediate format, because i already have a 3-axis machine i use for milling and pcb routing.
i know it is heresy, but i think a 3 axis machine with an extruder head and router/milling head is more flexible and more useful than a machine that can do only plastic.
thus, convert to gcode, treat extruder as a spindle and you're off and running :)
to be honest, this was made with a custom gcode script i wrote. one of the things i plan on doing soon is modifying to host to add an option to output gcode. the team seemed really receptive to it, so theres a good chance we'll get it in =)
At my day job i manage a team of java developers-- maybe doing that would let me actually write some code for a change :)
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