Sunday, July 26, 2009
First meeting of the Michigan RepRap Users Group
The meeting started at noon, and lasted until after midnight. Approximately 15 members attended, several leaving throughout the night. Our host, Phil Frost, provided an excellent workspace with an incredible workbench, an impressive assortment of tools, and enough
space for all of us to work simultaneously. Five RepStraps were in attendance, though one left early in the day. Much progress was made on the remaining four. I believe everyone wielded a tool at some point during the night.
Devon's (stmaus) McWire:
- Phil and Devon hacked steadily on the McWire throughout the night. They replaced suspect directly soldered wiring with modular headers, mounted all the electronics neatly to the machine, installed software, achieved motion on all three axes, and were working on mounting a bits-from-bytes extruder head as the meeting ended.
Nicholas's (mccoyn) MDF Darwin:
- Nick worked on wiring, and assembled an MDF pinchwheel extruder. Near the end of the meet, he borrowed a 4th stepper controller from me to test it's functionality.
Ben and Tim's wrench-buildable machine:
- Ben worked throughout the night with Bill Putt on this machine reminiscent of Lego. Two motor mounts were added (as well as two motors), lead screws cleaned up with a die and installed, the X stage was coupled to it's lead screw, and some planning was done for the Z
Tim's MDF router:
- Matt Michielsen and Nick McCoy worked tirelessly to debug a firmware problem while I looked on, over their shoulders, and occasionally pointed them to the right website. A few possible causes were eliminated. Daniel Eakin diagnosed and fixed a wobbly dremel collet. Carpenma's partner (who's name I have forgotten) generously completed the Gen3 electronics for this machine with an assembled extruder controller v2.1 board.
Among other activities at the meeting were:
- several (unsuccessful) attempts to program the bootloader on a RepRap motherboard and two extruder controller boards (later followed by success with one of the extruder controller boards, sadly after the other two boards had left with their owner)
- Installation and initial toying with HeeksCAD
- beginning construction of a BuildYourCNC.com-style MDF router
- A great deal of cross-pollination of ideas and knowledge about various open-source projects
- distribution of donated NEMA-23 tin-can style steppers
- great conversation and food
With respect to the group purchase of extruder components to build
Generation 2 pinchwheel extruders:
- I was able to collect $30 from everyone who had pledged and attended last night! I should be able to put in the group order as soon as the last couple payments come in through paypal. We might have parts in time for the next meeting (if Zach isn't out of stock). Currently, that means 16 pinchwheel extruders under construction by MiRUG members!
And the last business of the meeting, we decided to re-convene in the same location on Saturday, August 8th 2009.
Thank you all.
I wish there was something close by in the UK, and that I had the time to devote to it!
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