I bought one

•28-09-14 • Leave a Comment

What happened? Well, the project died… I was having more fun with other tinkering, I buildt other machines, that were easier and I did get finished. My desire for the 3D printer did not lessen.

Technology improved fast – may choices of components have become irelevant. There are many boards that control several steppers suited for 3D printers. Many slicers are available. New and fresh designs are emerging – in particular the Delta layout. Now that looked more like a 3D printer should look!

I managed to make some sort of 2D plotter using 3 arms, made out of string – and that worked, so I have an understanding of principles here, too (I did write the software myself – from scratch). But the same problem with getting good square/parallel hardware remains.

So I bought my own 3D Printer.

That of course offically “closes” this blog. There may be another blog with the assembly, tweaking, modding and running of the 3D printer, but this one is finished.

Talking about it

•11-11-11 • Leave a Comment

I gave a presentation this week on 3D printers, the RepRap in particular, in relation to Open Source for hardware. I referred to my blog here. Thus this post and a few minor tweaks and updates around.

Software developing

•09-01-11 • Leave a Comment

As a side-project to the side-project that put this project on hold, I was trying to write a “simple” program to generate the Gcode to make a dodecahedron. (I had some idea about of the ordering of the Gcode lines I wanted to try on the group RepRap printer). Converting “edges” of the shape to Gcode to trace them is pretty close to the genral STL->Gcode algorithm. So, inadvertently <wondering smiley> I am writing the software needed for the 3D printer, too. My development tools at the moment are Processing and and I use Kmotion (old but free version 2.25)as the simulator.

Pause – it is official

•06-10-10 • Leave a Comment

There has been precious little progress on making a 3D printer this last month or two. The side projects (XY plotter and dismantling copier and ..) keep getting in the way. I have now another electronics project that has a deadline, and the Labitat group is great to hang at with lots of other stuff – and so many are building a 3D printer, it almost is “so yesteryear”.

I will continue, some in the family expect a personal plastic gift this Christmas….

Much more butchering

•23-09-10 • Leave a Comment

I have now finished dismantling the whole of the colour copier. It yielded a staggering 13 Stepper motors (some where truly deep inside), 3 of these brushless/PCB style motors, 5 plain DC motors, a handfull of clutches, lots of rods and gears (a little too specialized) and from the circuitboards recovered 7 steppercontroller chips.

Low Yield Butchering

•17-09-10 • Leave a Comment

I recently owned two large photocopiers, whos purpose was to give me lots of motors and other goodies.  I have so far recovered two steppermotors, but not much more. The other b/w copier is being “sold” again, as it works quite well. The dismantled copier has 3 large “motors” which are coils on a circuitboard and a permament magnet above. I have no clue how to drive them.

I can drive stepper motors, written the firmware and all that, but it is all fragments waiting to be brought together in the XYplotter – real soon now.


•04-08-10 • Leave a Comment

I’ve joined the hacker community Labitat today (the nice meaning of “hacker”) . Paid my dues, spent 6 hours just admiring the good junk they have. And tools I can use (ranging from simple benchdrills to SMD mounting robots). At least 6 persons there are creating RepRap printers. Plenty of opportunity talking about all things related and much unrelated, too.

Update: (8th Sep) Constructing a real iron XYplotter testbed there.


•31-07-10 • Leave a Comment

I am at loss what to do next. The “project” is metamorphosing a little, constantly. My toykit XY plotter is at its limits, so I must go for “real” hardware for the next step. Googling/YouTubing has shown lots of other fun things to do with a “mere” XY plotter: Cutting foamboard, as a CNC wood milling, or a sandplotter. So I might go down that sideline.

In a way this started with me wanting to buy a 3D plotter, or a good kit, or with semi-supplied kit material, and now it is doing most of it “on my own”. It is the journey that has become interesting, not the end result.

Today I dismantled a simple flatbed scanner. That yielded two stepper motors, but too small. Still, ought to test drive them, just for the exercise. Should I keep looking for something to dismantle or just buy two (expensive) steppermotors?


•09-07-10 • 2 Comments

Today I managed to breathe life into a puny stepper motor (ST28), with some small driver transistors. (Inspiration from here). Again, I managed to destroy one transistor by mounting it the wrong way round. This is a habit I must break. A small proto program made the stepper motor follow a potentiometer movement. Now to write the program proper (class unit and so on) and test for speed, try the different modes and I think acceleration.

XY Plotter? Check!

•06-07-10 • Leave a Comment

The XY-plotter side project is complete. The plotter works! 🙂 It is inaccurate, slow, breaks easily, but a lot has been learned. The XY page has the links to pictures, code and videos.

There will be a pause in the progress, as the family holiday starts.  When there is, I have two choices – firstly if I want to improve the current XY plotter (photosensor instead of switches, redo the command interface (both firmware and host display), “tighten” the mechanics) or, to start the next phase. Which might be either another XY plotter but with steppers and a real framework (could be a component for the 3D printer) or start the real project, which will first involve making the frame in “real iron”