Thursday, October 29, 2009


Another Child Darwin

In the hopes of increasing my printing speed, and to confirm that it is actually possible to make a RepRap with RepRapped parts, I've printed out and assembled a child Darwin. It's mechanically complete, and the axis all run quite nicely - at least 3000 mm/min so far on the X and Y. I have yet to get a firmware that will run the stepper based pinchwheel extruder, so no minimug yet, but I thought I'd post my results so far. I'd love to hear from anyone who has a stepper driven extruder running with any of the Arduino/Sanguino/Extruder controller firmwares. Also, a big thank you to Barry, who soldered up and donated the stepper drivers and opto endstops!

Also, while I've been assembling the 2nd Darwin, I continued printing out parts, and am now just a few parts away from completing a third set of printed Darwin parts. They're going to some students from UBC, more about that later. Interestingly, the parts fit on the bed when you dump them out of a bucket onto the bed, but unfortunately, the Darwin isn't able to utilize the entire bed space for printing. :)

Here's the parent machine:

A little worn down, but still printing!


And making the parts set took how many hours? :-)
Many. :) About 3 weeks per Darwin, all up. Obviously, I'm trying to improve on that.
Hooray for Wade! Looking great!
This is awesome. There are a lot of us building and tweaking our machines, but so few who are actually embracing the "Rep" part of our "Raps". Go you!
You should make a mendel. It has more building area, if I recall correctly :)
Very cool. I'm a bit jealous.

I'm running a stepper extruder using an Arduino. My firmware is a modified version of the firmware found here:

Unfortunately, that firmware works with a Sanguino and a stepper extruder, but doesn't work with an Arduino in that configuration. I've made some changes to get it to work. I don't have my changes online anywhere, but let me know and I'll put it up.
Damn, you beat me to it, again :)
Have 3 partial sets, but some parts delaminate, so can't make these very well yet. At least, I don't want to be responsible for someone's Darwin falling apart. Plus my setup isn't fully unattended yet/anymore, I do too many experiments with it. I really need a separate production and research machine.
Erik - although PLA doesn't build any faster than ABS, I do find that I loose a lot less parts to cracking and warping when I build with PLA, so I've been able to print quite a bit faster now.

I've got the 5D firmware running now on the new Darwin, but I have yet to get a reliable extruder running on it. Luckily, I can print out test designs on the old machine. Once I get two machines running, it'll be a bit like the old Robin Hood - Friar Tuck virus at Xerox - as soon as one machine goes down, the other one can print parts to repair/upgrade it. :)
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