Thursday, November 26, 2009


The Arrdvark is here

Wondering around t'internet I fell over this.

In and of itself I guess we need to ask the question what relevance does it have to this project.

In a nut shell it is the Arduino IDE and libraries etc ported over for development on a currently limited bunch of ARM based microcontrolers.

How cool is that board.

In essence this means that there is an easier (Arduino friendly) option for those interested in ARM based RepRap controllers to develop in a way that is compatible to a degree with the code base etc from the project to date. 32bit Rep Rap, ooooooh.

I don't know how good this is yet, as I don't have an ARM equipment, maybe someone really in the know would like to comment.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


3D Scanner


I saw an awesome article on wired. I was wondering if anyone has considered mounting a webcam next to the print head and using it as a 3D scanner. Maybe enabling adding features to premade objects. Scan in the object, manipulate it in our design software, add a feature and then print this feature onto the object.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Building an ABS build base

During my early attempts to get my Bits from Bytes machine printing, I ended up burning a rather nasty hole into my build base when I accidentally left the machine alone with the extruder still hot. So i decided to build another cover over that one in order to protect it that would stop any more damage to the base. Simon Kirkby found a source of ABS and built a platform for his makerbot and I decided to take it full size, so it also provides a very strong ABS-ABS bond for my rafts. After 3 months of using that one it ended up too warped and damaged to use. But then that was the point, because it didn't damage the acrylic.

So with the help of Trent Lloyd I made a new one and filmed the process(Trent did a great job with the camera as well as editing the whole thing together, removing most of my pointless rambling and mistakes when we made this, though obviously plenty still remains). If you look carefully in the background you'll see some guys assembling the extruder for a makerbot in the background.

Apologies if it gets a little confusing. I realized while we made it that due to all the glue being used, it wasn't really viable to do multiple takes if we glued it down properly, so we never ended up glueing the ABS sheet down. If you can keep track of when it's supposed to be on and off then it should all makes sense. Also, you may wish to glue down your sheet before you drill the holes, we made this in a hurry and I possibly explained that part out of order. Either way, hopefully this will help people with making their build platforms from ABS and wood. Expect a new one one how to do this with the mendel within a month or two.

Shameless plugs: This was filmed at the Perth Artifactory's ( reprap night which occurs every second monday, next night is on December 7th. Our Mendel is flying out of my machine as fast as I can orient the stl's and print them, slowed only by the need for sleep, machine malfunctions and the demands from my boss to work.

The perth local reprap site is found at . We run a somewhat quiet mailing list currently at And I update occasionally on my reprap blog at (get the joke?)

Teaser: The artifactory has decided to assemble our mendel in a single day, something we will do with a webcam running the whole time. If our internet gets running we'll webcast this, but at the very least we'll have a time-lapse of it being made for you all to see. If we web-cast we'll announce here first.

-Peter "letsburn00" Hillier

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Another 3D Capture Technique

A quick heads up for another webcam based 3D Capture Technique that claims rapid capture.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Ponoko Darwin Progress

I started building my Ponoko Darwin about a year ago. Got everything put together in about two months. Needed to upgrade the PC connected to the reprap, took on a job working for a start-up, and had no free time whatsoever. I still need to have a reprap, so I got started working on it again. Found several problems:
1) I have a Reprap Mother Board v 1.0, which isn't documented. Had to buzz out the pins.
2) I'd failed to solder the motherboard's stepper connectors; just diagonal pins.
3) In spite of what the website says, the Reprap's opto end sensors are inverting. When empty, they emit +5v. When interrupted, they emit 0.45v. Had to invert the sense. Perhaps the Sanguino test firmware should say "ran into endstop" when that happens?
The tests are running now. The X and Y operate fairly smoothly. Z is a bodge. WAY too much friction, even though I used a dry teflon libricant. Fails to move even when I have the stepper driver cranked all the way up. Will only move if I help it along. I suspect the problem is in the ball chain's mating with the gears. Advice cheerfully accepted for alternatives.

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Monday, November 09, 2009


One More Machine

Mo stopped by today to pick up the set of Darwin parts I printed out for his team of engineering physics students at UBC. They've got some interesting plans for their Darwin, but I'll let them explain what they're up to.

Instead of a case of beer, Mo, Jacob and Bing paid for this set with a box of MXL pulleys suitable for Mendels and Darwins that Bing imported from China, plus a hardcover copy of Cory Doctorow's novel Little Brother. I've been a fan of Cory's novels ever since I read Printcrime, which I was introduced to by the RepRap forums, and his latest novel features an interesting take on 3d printers. Sooner or later I'm going to have to send Cory a set of parts!

So, next up, Mendels!


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Sunday, November 08, 2009


Rapman 3.0 commissioned

We printed the traditional minimug after a morning tuning the system. This was my first try at printing the minimug. I was running the extruder 5 degrees too hot for the batch of ABS that I was using and the y-axis drive shaft was loose. You can see how the top melted from the extruder running too hot.

Here you see the taping of the first successful minimug print with a tripod-mounted Flip.

The completed minimug on its print raft.

The completed minimug peeled off of the printing platform

A closeup of the completed minimug. There are a few print hairs on the inside which were easily removed.

Thanks are due to the many fellow Rapman builders at the BitsFromBytes Forums and especially to Bogdan Kecman who has been an constant source of useful advice on getting past the little problems one encounters in getting the excellent Rapman Reprap printer going successfully.

Okay, I think I'm getting the hang of Skeinforge.

There was a little displacement for the first 10 layers because of a loose y-axis belt. I paused the print and tightened the belt. After that the print went smooth as silk.

Forty percent fill, 50 mm 15 toothed involute profile gear. Printed at 16 mm/sec in about 45 minutes.

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