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 (www.theartifactory.org) 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 http://www.reprap-wa.org . We run a somewhat quiet mailing list currently at http://groups.google.com.au/group/reprap-wa. And I update occasionally on my reprap blog at www.freeasinsteins.com (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

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