Alternate printer design

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Alternate printer design Jetguy 11.11.12 05:41
At the risk of offending or appearing to promote something not
Makerbot, I just ran across this design which has been out for a while
was has some pretty cool features. http://typeamachines.com/

MakerBot has been moving on their progression to non-kit printers and
so has everyone else but the price has gotten ridiculous. The basic
design has not changed in 2 years, the electronics still are failure
prone (heated bed wiring failures and voltage regulators), and the
software (Makerware) is not yet something to brag about. It doesn't
take long in the forum to see users of Replicator1 and Replicator2
have tons of problems and frustrations. Or better, let's bring up the
$350 warranty to cover the stuff that should never be bad in the first
place.

Point being, the community needs competition as MBI is resting on
their name and marketing hype, all while pricing the machines higher
and higher. Yes, they are affraid of HP and other giants, but they
aren't even holding up the market they created in the first place--
the DIY market.

Let me tell you some things that are not listed about the series 1
printer that make it a desirable design. This is based on extensive,
hands on analysis of the design.

Real open source with the CAD files published at release. (They are
missing a few things like the BOM but better than nothing)

Very good software and profile support for mutiple slicing programs.
(MBI has been a Replicator-G only setup forever, and the new MakerWare
is far too Beta.) I'm saying this from a company supported profile
perspective, not what the community has provided.

The basic frame design can accomodate long body NEMA17 motors in all
axis and even the extruder motor spot. The reason why this is such a
big deal is a bigger frame has more mass and thus needs bigger motors
to ensure you NEVER skip steps and ruin a print. MBI designs cannot
fit a larger motor upgrade and are limited to the 2.2kg.cm motors
where this design can take the 5.5kg.cm motors. That's more than
double the torque!Also, for fun, the MK6 extruder motor is also
5.5kg.cm motor (comparing the data sheet behind the Ultimachine
http://ultimachine.com/content/kysan-1124090-nema-17-stepper-motor
and the MK6 motor), and the new MK7 pinchwheel is 5mm bore thus
meaning, you could upgrade the extruder motor, use the 3mm Makergear
hot end, and switch back and forth between 3mm and 1.75mm filament. I
know this as I cut one of these frames today and test fit the larger
motor and had the 3mm Makergear hotend on hand. It will work and I
will have a video up soon.

It uses RAMPS but could easily use RAMBO (basically similiar to
Mightyboard and better built too).

No more limited power supply, go as big as you need. The power bay
could even take more than one if desired for different voltages of
components http://www.lightobject.com/Electronics-C13.aspx

Again, I've probably offended some people so let me roll this into a
creative discussion.

How can we add these features to the Replicator designs?

Can someone create an OpenSCAD carriage for alternate extruder motors
such that it would be possible to use the larger long body motor and
3mm filament?

An integrated industrial power supply under the machine rather than
the standard brick? This could decrease the voltage sag and heat both
the build platform and extruder at the same time, all while reducing
the wait time for a print to begin.

An alternate Y carriage end bracket system that supports the long body
NEMA17 to better support the weight of the dual extruder head or the
3mm filement (AKA MK6/7 hybrid setup)?

Let's look at where we are today with MakerBot products. The real
improvements have been the alternate firmwares created by the
community. Thanks Jetty and everyone else who gave that to us!!!! The
main reason these work as such improvements is the marginal hardware
design of the machines along with the component choices. MBI is about
making money, not about selling you a perfect machine. That's fine,
most companies need to operate somewhere in that margin to be
successful. The problem is, the MBI machines are locked out on
upgrades. The only major change without redesign is firmware upgrades.
There simply isn't physical room in the design to make some of the
changes I've proposed. I know there is going to be backlash saying
there is nothing wrong with the design, but honestly, wouldn't  you
like to see some improvements in the physical bot?

I think this new platform has lot's of DIY oportunity that the
Replicator and Replicator2 simply do not have. It's a big enough and
strong enough design right off the bat. It has more than enough space
for dual extruders and there are some videos on Youtube showing one at
a Makerspace. It could use 3mm filament by changing out a few cheap
components ($19 motor, $7 brass tube, and the PTFE insert in the
Makergear groovemount. That's all it takes and something no other
recent moving head design accomodates that feature.

Again, here is my short list of features I see in an ideal printer.
Dual filament size support (3mm and 1.75)
Larger build area
Extruder must be a direct drive, long body NEMA17 in order to support
3mm filament, but should not be a Bowden due to ooze control issues
that the direct drive solves. ( I have an Ultimaker and love it, but
now like this design better)
Long body, high torque NEMA 17 or larger motors for X and Y (needed to
swing dual extruder or the heavier 3mm filament extruder)
Less than $1500 pricetag
Should be Open source.

Currently, the Replictor2 meets none of that criteria except the build
area. I'm not saying the linked printer is perfect, but a much better
fit to the above design requirements (doesn't come with large NEMA17s
or 3mm filament capability stock). Further, I think the example prints
speek hugely of what the platform is capable of, when compared to the
sticker shock of the Replicator2 or even 1.

I am in no way associated with TypeAMachines, this is just my thoughts
on the machine and some reasons why I haven't and won't buy a
Replicator. I think out of the box, the Type A Machine is more for the
money, will print better and has a far brighter future than a quickly
obsolete MBI product. Even if you spent $100 upgrading the motors and
buying the parts to make it 3mm capable, it's hundreds less than a
single head Replicator. I know this sounds like a sales pitch, but the
intent here is to show the group there are other ideas out there, and
that there have not been many upgrades to the current MBI platforms
other than firmware. I think MBI can do better and as a community, we
should try to make a better printer. My intent is hopefully nudge the
group into coming up with some cool upgrades or just even pressure
MakerBot to release a kit machine at a more reasonable price range
with the features I listed earlier.

I'm not telling anyone they should not buy a Replicator or
Replicator2, just that maybe, they should see some alternative designs
and make an informed choice or demand a similiar design and pricing
from MBI. It seem s to me, MBI just wants everyone to buy a new
machine every year rather than upgrade.
Re: Alternate printer design Joe Larson (aka Cymon) 11.11.12 15:38
Competition is good for the consumer, that is true. I would love to see more sub $1500 3D printers.

What I like about Makerbot is (1) their support and (2) the dual extruders. I use my 3D printer for production so being able to double output with two extruders is a big plus for me. Now I don't know these guys or Lulzbots are about support. They promise it will be good, but Makerbot is trusted to me. Sure their printer have had problems, and know what? They've fixed them. They take care of their printers. And sure they come with a premium price tag. I wish it were lower too. No bodie's perfect but Makerbot is good where it counts.

Not saying anyone shouldn't explore possibilities, just saying why I'm a Makerbotter.
Re: [MakerBot] Alternate printer design Kurt 'The Bot-Guy' Wendt 12.11.12 06:51
Hey there JetGuy,
 
I gotta admit - this is a Long Arse e-mail. And, I have only read down to what I have included/clipped below.
That being said - I am EXTREMELY Intrigued by what you wrote - and what I saw of the TypeA website. I liked the fact that the machine is NOT so pricey - since, at $1400 - the machine comes pre-assembled (building my CupCake -at least for ME - was NUTS - and then I had TONS of problems getting it to work - which in the end was resolved by my Hero - Mark Cohen - here on this List)! And, a 9" cubed build space Absolutely ROCKS - along with how they say you can build fine details AND its FAST!
 
So - between U and thier website - I am highly enticed by this Bot. Too bad I can't afford to buy one now - since, last Thur. I was laid off from my job due to financial difficulties of the co. where I worked and me being one of the 1st CutBacks!!!
 
L8r,
-K-
Re: Alternate printer design g. wygonik 12.11.12 07:49
I totally hear you about competition, and totally agree. However, any competition has to deal with more than just technical specs these days -- MBI has a great community/community presence, and they "get" marketing to both techies and non-techies alike. Doesn't seem like a lot, but let me explain.

Prior to the Rep2/Form1 announcements, I really wanted another printer just to do PLA prints (my ToM has old Mk6+ extruder which is difficult at best to get PLA working with) and was seriously looking at the Type A (great price, great build size, etc). There were a few pre-sales issues that kept me from ordering though, issues that MBI (and others) didn't/don't have:

- no information anywhere online about anyone's experience with one; all of the info was only from Type A only (do they really have any users? I mean, I looked at youtube and there were and are thousands of 3D printer videos from actual users... except for Type A)

- knowing the current state of 3D printers and how things work (or, rather, don't work), I would have liked to have seen more info about support options OTHER THAN using an IRC channel (forum, google group, etc. -- things pretty much all other 3D printers out there have and have been incredibly useful in getting information about the state of a given printer)

- while I appreciate the desire to be open source, their pulling of their designs from Thingiverse and putting up "this is not open source" objects seemed incredibly juvenile and not what I wanted in a company I was going to give my money to. Is that indicative of how they would handle other things they didn't agree with? Take their toys and go home, as some folks would say? Because there is no user experience info out there, this is all I can go on.

This is the state of DIY 3D printers these days: MBI has set precedent for a lot of things beyond just their printers. Even over a year ago when I bought my ToM, there was a MBI wiki, a forum, user groups, loads of information, tons of user videos, etc. I knew that there would be support -- even community support -- if I needed, so my decision then was easy. Not so much with Type A; I'm still considering one, but as I spent my savings backing a Form 1, it will be a while before I can buy anything, which maybe by then some of my concerns will be quelled.

On the flip side, however, MBI has gotten SO good at marketing, their product isn't yet matching their hype. If I had bought a Rep2 and experienced the problems folks in this group are experiencing, I wouldn't have tried to be fixing it like some folks are, but would have just sent it back and never ordered another. Maybe if they get a >50% return rate, they'd figure out how to make a product that really was leading the field.



On Sunday, November 11, 2012 5:41:04 AM UTC-8, Jetguy wrote:
At the risk of offending or appearing to promote something not
Makerbot, I just ran across this design which has been out for a while
was has some pretty cool features. http://typeamachines.com/

MakerBot has been moving on their progression to non-kit printers and
so has everyone else but the price has gotten ridiculous. The basic
design has not changed in 2 years, the electronics still are failure
prone (heated bed wiring failures and voltage regulators), and the
software (Makerware) is not yet something to brag about. It doesn't
take long in the forum to see users of Replicator1 and Replicator2
have tons of problems and frustrations. Or better, let's bring up the
$350 warranty to cover the stuff that should never be bad in the first
place.

<snip/>
Re: Alternate printer design turn rock 12.11.12 09:44

Cymon, Type A has a dual extruder in the works and i can tell you first hand the support and customer service is probably the best i have ever dealt with.
Re: [MakerBot] Re: Alternate printer design Joseph Chiu 12.11.12 09:58
Taking the PC revolution as a comparison, Apple ran away with the market for a very long time.  There were a handful of other "semi-" successful competitors - some had technically superior products, others were priced much less, and a few did both.   

Off the top of my head, I recall these systems were popular to varying degrees in the US: Tandy/Radio Shack TRS-80, Commodore 64/VIC-20, Atari 800 and siblings (400, 1200, others), Texas Instruments TI 99/4A, Tandy Color Computer, Sinclair ZX Spectrum.    Then there were countless other computers that were not as widely known/distributed that were still for sale in the 80's.  I remember Rockwell had a computer kit for a while too (the same Rockwell that also built the Space Shuttle) - I used to get a catalog from a computer store in Hawthorne twice a year with pages upon pages of different personal and small computers.  (In Japan, MSX's were also popular.  And the UK had its own favorites - PET's were AFAIK as popular as Apple over there.)

Still, the eco-system of the Apple software and its community base was so strong that the Apple II family maintained their dominance until the PC came along.




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Re: [MakerBot] Re: Alternate printer design geneb 12.11.12 10:13
On Mon, 12 Nov 2012, Joseph Chiu wrote:

>
> Still, the eco-system of the Apple software and its community base was so
> strong that the Apple II family maintained their dominance until the PC
> came along.
>
I beg to differ.  The sales of the Commodore 64 wiped the floor with
Apple.  The Apple ][ may have been a good choice for a "business" computer
for those with deep pockets, but the Commodore 64 completely owned the
home market.  It was actively sold from 1982 to 1994.  Here's a site
that's got a great breakdown of the sales by year:
http://www.pagetable.com/?p=547

I would much rather see a good 3D printer made with the attitude of "for
the masses, not the classes" (Jack Tramiel) than the sneering elitism of
the Apple II. :)

g.



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Re: Alternate printer design JohnA. 12.11.12 10:22
I got to play with a TypeA a bit out in SF at the Make Printer Shootout weekend.  The hardware is decent, some ideas that I really liked.  That being said, I saw a few things that looked like 'bad ideas' in general:

- Unsupported bolts for Y axis belt pulleys:  (big pic) http://www.flickr.com/photos/jabella/7960565652/in/set-72157631476303462/lightbox/

We've seen over the years that just having a bolt with washers that sticks through plywood with any tension on it will be a losing proposition over time.  I'm sure someone will make a printable fix that clamps that bolt to the case so that the belt tension doesn't pull the bolt off axis...

If I remember correctly they're not shipping a ton of them yet (or weren't) so support is a little easier. 

Andrew seems like a smart guy and I'd love to play with one more.   Going to be a while before I get yet another printer though....


JohnA.
Re: [MakerBot] Re: Alternate printer design Joseph Chiu 12.11.12 10:42
Hahaha.  I stand corrected!   I guess I had my bubble...   I had been well-steeped in the Apple II family by the time Commodore 64 came to the market, and in 1984, I had made the switch to PC's that I stopped paying attention the 8-bit world.  

Just goes to show that there isn't necessarily "one true winner" - the market will shift with time and will have occasional pivots.  My main point, of course, was that although there are market leaders, there were also innovative "also-rans" - some of them with their own community of enthusiastic users.





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Re: [MakerBot] Re: Alternate printer design geneb 12.11.12 11:56
On Mon, 12 Nov 2012, Joseph Chiu wrote:

> Hahaha.  I stand corrected!   I guess I had my bubble...   I had been
> well-steeped in the Apple II family by the time Commodore 64 came to the
> market, and in 1984, I had made the switch to PC's that I stopped paying
> attention the 8-bit world.
>
> Just goes to show that there isn't necessarily "one true winner" - the
> market will shift with time and will have occasional pivots.  My main
> point, of course, was that although there are market leaders, there were
> also innovative "also-rans" - some of them with their own community of
> enthusiastic users.
>
Heh.  You want to see fireworks, tell an Atari fan their computer sucks.
Ahh the good old days. *laughs*

If there's any Commodore geeks in the audience, I strongly suggest
checking out http://www.commodoreserver.com and http://store.go4retro.com/
Re: [MakerBot] Re: Alternate printer design Big-E 12.11.12 12:40


On Monday, November 12, 2012 1:56:06 PM UTC-6, geneb wrote:

Heh.  You want to see fireworks, tell an Atari fan their computer sucks.
Ahh the good old days. *laughs*
 
Tell me about it; An old friend of mine was a die-hard Atari user, I'd get into arguments with him all the time about who's computer was better. My computer of choice back then was my TI99 4A (Kick ass graphics for it's day, and probably the best speech synthesis around if you had the speech synthesizer for it, which I did!)

My cousins had a Timex Sinclair (known elsewhere as the venerable sinclair spectrum z80, never really took off here in the states but a cool little computer nonetheless)

My grandad had a Commodore, and some of my stuck up schoolmates had Apple II / IIe's. They had floppy drives, and I had a tape deck to read/write software to, but I had better graphics (as they had monochrome green monitors. LOL!

By the time I was in high school, I, along with my friends, were all using IBM PC compatible hardware. While IBM PC's weren't very popular, they pretty much established the standard for the PC's we use today, just all the manufacturers adopted DOS, and then eventually Windows. Good times. I also had a Tandy Pocket computer at one point! fun times!

And so as not to derail the thread completely, I looked in to the Type A machines unit, Very impressive machine, and I may get one of those later. I'm also looking into either a mosaic or a printrbot kit to build. I definitely want another printer or two, I just haven't decided what route to go yet. I may run all MBI printers, but I'm trying to just keep my options open and my portfolio diverse.

I honestly think it will be about a decade or so until 3D printers standardize into a couple of "go-to" standards. It may never. Just look at the Inkjet printer; there are lots of companies out there still ( Brother, Cannon, Lexmark, Kodak, etc) although most people use an HP to print at home. It may never standardize completely, since it's a peripheral, and not a platform dependent piece of hardware.
 
Re: Alternate printer design jd_oc 12.11.12 20:31
Just wanted to chime in from the perspective of a Series 1 owner, I've had my printer a little under 2 months and have been very happy with it. I originally was deciding between the Replicator and the Series 1 and went for the 'underdog' so to speak. Their support is really good (part of why I decided to buy from them), and you don't have to pay extra for it. They are releasing a forum within the next week or so, and I was thinking of writing a full review on there since there really are no reviews on this printer.

I am looking at starting a business and will be using my printer, but may need a second one and was thinking of the Replicator 2. I've been lurking around these forums a while and was expecting to be blown away by the prints owners of Replicator 2's would be doing, but so far that hasn't really happened (I even started a thread calling for pictures of prints from the Rep 2, but no one posted any). Anyway, I will say that this forum is really good, with a lot of knowledgeable people, so keep printing!
Re: Alternate printer design Jetguy 12.11.12 22:30
Update! I have been working with Andrew and already modified the
design to use a single Y motor with a horizontal 8mm shaft supported
by 608 bearings in the sides with caps. Basically, not entirely
different than the Replicator setup. The key advantage is the build
size, low cost, and ability to mod this thing to no end.While the
front tensioners are not yet fully supported on both ends, a mod is in
the works.
> to go yet. I *may* run all MBI printers, but I'm trying to just keep my
Re: Alternate printer design JohnA. 13.11.12 04:06
The TypeA Series 1 is part of the Ultimate 3D Printer Shootout guide, which goes on sale a week from today:


I think you can get a free PDF copy of it for being part of the Google+ Hangout this week:



JohnA.
Re: Alternate printer design Jetguy 19.11.12 22:15
I need to give an update to the build.

Check out my flicker stream of this modified Type A machine series 1.
This required almost no effort to get up and running. I simply loaded
the firmware via Rep-G 40 supplied on the Thingiverse page for
Sailfish, Calibrated the homing via the built in script in the
firmware on the LCD control panel, and was able to print perfect, the
first time, every time. The proof is in the prints.


I'm actually swinging an entire MK6+ extruder at up to 180mm/s travel,
120mm/s extrude with Ultimachine long body NEMA17s and not even close
to skipping steps using Sailfish and default T-O-M SF 50profile. The
extruder head weighs 1.5lbs, the MK6 motor is 1.1 of that. All the
credit goes to the Sailfish team, who made the firmware that makes
this possible and Andrew at Type A machines for posting the original
design.

The video : http://flic.kr/p/duMWtW

Close up of the print out of the box with no settings changed in the
SF50 T-O-M default.
http://flic.kr/p/duLKHb

I've had the vision of creating a fast bot. I've gone the bowden route
in a real Ultimaker frame. The results were less than stellar and
there is a reason why I've abandoned it. It frequently jams or chews
the filament. It is was very dificult to tune any kind of anti-ooze or
stringing and never met my expectations. In short, my Cupcake with a
Mk6 gave better quality prints. Thus, the things I've learned is that
a bowden is not the way to go. It will never give the control over
filament that a direct drive can.

I am about to sell every other bot I own and stick with this new bot.
I'm tired of ooze and strings and wanted even more build area than the
Ultimaker. I was about to go the full diy route with an aluminum box
frame and moving gantry but came across the Series One by accident.
The big difference between the stock Series One and mine is that I
wanted direct drive 3mm filament capability, not anything with a
bowden (they only do 1.75mm direct drive now). It's easy to swing a
MK7, just look at the Replicator/2. But I did some calculating and
dual MK7/8s is the same as a single MK6 in mass. If MBI could swing
that with 2.2kg/cm torque motors, I knew heavy duty 5.5kg.cm motors
could do even better and not ever skip steps. Then, MBI has also
announced the Makerware will be ported to work with the T-O-M/Gen4.
It's not that great now IMHO, but maybe it will be one day. Thus, by
basically keeping my gearing the same as a T-O-M (17t at the motors
Gt2 2mm), I have huge choices and tons of support from all kinds of
firmware and profiles.

And, as far as bots go, If I had a T-O-M and was shopping for
upgrades, you could get someone to cut this frame in plywood for less
than $100 (1 sheet of 1/4 inch plywood), then you only need about $100
in parts (8 each LM8UUs 8*$1.75, a smooth rod kit for a mendel $30, 2
5.5kg.cm torque motors 2*$20, 2 608 skate bearings, the Cupcake Y
belt, 3 Cupcake Z belts, the 5 36t Gt2 *mm bore pulleys, and finally,
a Reprap heated bed. I also used a 360watt 12 volt supply but you
could use a PC supply mounted on the back. I call this  the ultimate T-
O-M upgrade. Or, from scratch, get the gen4 electronics $370, and a
Mk6 or even cheaper Makergear hot end if you only want 1.75mm filament
capability. Damn hard to beat in cost or performance. No need to spend
thousands on a new bot, upgrade what you have into a new frame. There
were lots of good things about the T-O-M, but now with Sailfish, you
can take advantage of a larger build area and different frame for
peenies on the dollar compared to buying a new machine.

I'll post every single edited DXF and part up on Thingiverse soon.
I basically gave the BOM above. If I had a T-O-M, this is going to be
a stellar upgrade for those willing to take the leap!!!!

On Nov 13, 1:30 am, Jetguy <barrych...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> Update! I have been working with Andrew and already modified thedesignto use a single Y motor with a horizontal 8mm shaft supported
> > a platform dependent piece of hardware.- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -
Re: Alternate printer design Marcus Wolschon 20.11.12 05:10


Am Dienstag, 20. November 2012 07:15:28 UTC+1 schrieb Jetguy:
 Damn hard to beat in cost or performance. No need to spend
thousands on a new bot, upgrade what you have into a new frame. There
were lots of good things about the T-O-M, but now with Sailfish, you
can take advantage of a larger build area and different frame for
peenies on the dollar compared to buying a new machine.

I'll post every single edited DXF and part up on Thingiverse soon.
I basically gave the BOM above. If I had a T-O-M, this is going to be
a stellar upgrade for those willing to take the leap!!!!


I have a ToM to upgrade and this path sounds very tempting. ;)
 
Re: Alternate printer design Jetguy 20.11.12 09:39
Minor update this morning but last night was the first time I ran PLA
through the MK6 on this thing. I had already done the thermal barrier
tube mod to reduce the heat soak up, but during a 3 hour print, the
hot end jammed and stripped the filament due to heat soak, Basically,
I found the filament had expanded and was tight in the PTFE tube. The
fix was so simple, strap a 40mm fan with zip ties to the 2 white
spacers that attach the hot end to the MK5 filament pusher (exactly
the same as a regular MK6) so that the fan blows across the tube and
also hangs down just enough to blow across the heatsink below the
stainless plate too. The results are just amazing. I have never gotten
PLA to not string and ooze all over, This time, it printed like ABS.
Now for the real kicker, with Sailfish and the Gen4 electronics and
control panel, to switch between PLA and ABS, I use the gcode
temperature override in the firmware from the LCD menu, set the heated
bed (kapton over aluminum) to 80c (from the 110 for ABS) and leave the
extruder at 220. That's it! I printed the exact same file from SD
card, got the same quality and everything with no hassle or even re-
creating the gcode!!!!

Seriously, I'm about to sell 2 ultimakers, 2 repraps and 2 cupcakes
and keep this thing as it beats them all. The fact PLA and ABS
switching just became a no brainer is even more reason.
I was keeping the others aroudn becuase some were good for small parts
or worked with one plastic better than the other, but now, this
machine has the build area, speed, accuracy, and ease of use like no
other.

I have to say again, the sailfish team nailed this. For the most part,
there is not any one thing that radically different in the mechanical
build other than the nice build area, but it's all off the shelf parts
and a few laser cut parts. If you have a T-O-M, you are most of the
way there! About $200 in parts if you can get the laser cut parts and
there are tons of places that do that.
Re: Alternate printer design Jetguy 20.11.12 09:46
Also, just got a brainstorm. I'll make a derivative design to use the
parts from the T-O-M, so that you have less parts to purchase if you
want to stick with the original 3/8 bushings and rods. You'll still
need to get longer rods for at least one axis, but just another way to
offer T-O-M owners an upgrade to build area even bigger than the
replicator.
Re: Alternate printer design The Ruttmeister 20.11.12 10:35
Hi Guys!

I'm the Andrew in question. Proud owner of Cupcake 435 and roughly half of the design team behind one of the coolest collection of ToM videos (if that GE thing counts as ToM videos). So I figure I still have my mailing list cred.

I have been stunned by how fast our design got picked up and improved. Yes. Improved. And I'm excited to see where you guys can take it.

I won't claim our machine is perfect! We just started with our frustrations with earlier machines and industrial design in general, then tried to build something better.

We really want to support people with ToM's and Cupcakes if we can. We will be making the key parts of our new extruder (inspired by the excellent Minimalist Mk7) available at some point in the near future. And if we can figure out a way to make it work, we would love to offer an upgrade kit for ToM owners. I started out designing printed upgrades for my Cupcake after all!

We still have a lot to work on (and we always will), but thanks for the mention, and a huge thank you for picking up our design and making it your own.

(And one day the telescopic machine will return. Its too damn cool to let rust away. Don't hold your breath though).
Re: Alternate printer design SirIronDuke 21.11.12 19:33

I too would love to see some more options for the cupcake. Im having an issue with my gen3 eating ethernet cables, so Im looking into changing to a ramps style setup.

I love the cupcakes size, and with me mounting the fillament reel to the top, has made it portable for the most part.
Re: Alternate printer design Jetguy 22.11.12 15:36
To that effect, I just published the intial design http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:35372
 
It actually does use a ton of Cupcake parts and if you have either a MK5 or 6 hotend, it will work with it. I also need to point out the stock Series one uses a Makergear groove mount hot end, so you can go multiple routes withe whatever extruder you feel like. I tried to keep this as widely compatible with whaever people had. Since Gen3 also supports Sailfish, this printer will work with just about any electronics too. They key is that by sticking with Makerbot GT2 style belts and 17t pulleys, we keep the same gearing Makerbot uses on every bot for steps per mm.
 
 
The key here is Sailfish is what makes this so great, along with a solid design by Andrew and team. Hopefully, I can refine this enough so that Type A can produce the kit.
 
Here's to reviving all those Cupcakes and T-O-Ms. No need for a new $2k printer, upgrade what you have to a larger build area and faster speeds, while retaining your elecronics and a pre-built and ready supported profile.  Most people should be be able to upgrade for a few hundred dollars. The most expenive part might be getting the wood cut and BTW, a full sheet of 5mm uderlayment at Lowes is $11.  It only takes less than 3/4 of a sheet.
Re: Alternate printer design Jetguy 10.12.12 08:28
Ok, so I posted an update to the Ultimate Cupcake and T-O-M upgrade.
Main fixes are:
Corrections in lines not joined and other tiny  errors
Gen4 mounting is much better in this version
Power supply is now able to be enclosed (note this is because the
original design used a smaller supply, due to not having a heated bed)
Single motor Y mod is moved internally so all belts are inside. Proper
bracing is done with 4each 608 bearing support
Y motor is moved to power supply side for easier electronics mounting.
Changed to lower case t slots for the screws so they don't bottom out.

Other notes, this is 8mm rod and LM8UU version. I will go back an
submit a 3/8ths version that uses the original T-O-M bearings, but
it's not saving anyone much. The 8mm version is only $50 in the
bearings and rods, so not exactly breaking the bank compared to the
fact the 3/8 rods alone are about $32 from VXB. It less than $20 to
upgrade from using crap bushings to linear bearings so I ask if anyone
even wants that option? I'll have to investigate is the 3/8 linear
bearings will not intefere with the Y belt path. The bushings are
smaller diameter than bearings and the clearance was close but it just
might work.

I'm working with the folks at Ultimachine to offer a hardware bundle
of the rods, bearings, belts, and pulleys making this easier to gether
the hardware.

Another thought is custom extruder controllers. I say this because
pushing the large heated beds on these machines is not optimal on a
bone stock un-modded 3.6 extruder controller. Since the only thing the
extruder controller does these days is run the temps and maybe a fan,
not exactly rocket science to make either a shield or custom board
with full size TO220 mosfets, heatsinks, better connectors and better
footprint. The tip of the day is to power the heated bed (the 12V+)
side directly from the power supply, and let the return current sink
through the MOSFET on the extruder controller. The difference is in
the wiring and connectors. The molex powering the EC has 2 grounds,
but only 1 single 12V+ line and pin. By running the HBP wire directly
to the power supply, we remove the screw terminal, copper traces,
molex pin, molex socket, and single wire back to the supply,
increasing the voltage and current which makes a huge difference in
how fast the bed heats up. The 2 ground wires and pins in the molex
seem to load share the return path and obviously, removing the extra
paths and connectors on the 12V+ side ensures we actually have more
power with less heating of parts we don't want to fail,



On Nov 22, 6:36 pm, Jetguy <barrych...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> To that effect, I just published the intial designhttp://www.thingiverse.com/thing:35372
> >> top, has made it portable for the most part.- Hide quoted text -
Re: [MakerBot] Re: Alternate printer design dnewman 10.12.12 10:46

> Another thought is custom extruder controllers. I say this because
> pushing the large heated beds on these machines is not optimal on a
> bone stock un-modded 3.6 extruder controller. Since the only thing the
> extruder controller does these days is run the temps and maybe a fan,
> not exactly rocket science to make either a shield or custom board
> with full size TO220 mosfets, heatsinks, better connectors and better
> footprint.
If you do this, you may want to keep it AVR pin compatible with the
existing 3.6 controller
so as to minimize the effort on the firmware side.  And I know of a
couple of minor, inconsequential bug fixes to the EC firmware.  There's
a couple
of query commands that no one uses which have bugs.  Also, there's the
problem
we uncovered where if you send valve on/close commands the HBP platform
temp is allowed to climb past the set point.  I don't know if that is a
fw bug
or a hardware problem.  But, if some one were actually looking at a new
rev. to the hardware, I'd be willing to look at the firmware to see if I
can spot
a bug on that side.

Dan

Re: [MakerBot] Re: Alternate printer design Marcus Wolschon 10.12.12 10:50





I'm SO looking forward to do your upgrade to my ToM.
Great work!
Re: Alternate printer design Jetguy 10.12.12 11:00
Oh absolutely, that was the entire point of almost all of my design. I
want this to be as compatible as possible with stock profiles,
firmware, etc.

Also, a minor gripe I know but does represent an issue is that the 3.6
uses the extra analog inputs on the surface mount version of the 328P
that do not exist on the DIP version and thus Arduino shields. In
other words, it could be trivial to make shields but would require a
minor firmware change. Otherwise it's got to the the surface mount
version wich means more complex for others to copy. Basically, I think
I could do this in a simple single or worst case dual layer board that
people could fab up throughhole, but that single limitation is what
really kills it. BTW, that analog is for the HBP temp sensor, the
entire reason for wanting a beefier board.
Re: [MakerBot] Re: Alternate printer design dnewman 10.12.12 11:11
Jetguy wrote:
> Oh absolutely, that was the entire point of almost all of my design. I
> want this to be as compatible as possible with stock profiles,
> firmware, etc.
>
> Also, a minor gripe I know but does represent an issue is that the 3.6
> uses the extra analog inputs on the surface mount version of the 328P
> that do not exist on the DIP version and thus Arduino shields. In
> other words, it could be trivial to make shields but would require a
> minor firmware change. Otherwise it's got to the the surface mount
> version wich means more complex for others to copy. Basically, I think
> I could do this in a simple single or worst case dual layer board that
> people could fab up throughhole, but that single limitation is what
> really kills it. BTW, that analog is for the HBP temp sensor, the
> entire reason for wanting a beefier board.
When you have a suggestion for alternate pins/ports, let me know and we can
work something out.

And yes, the choice of pins in the Gen4 electronics is somewhat mysterious.
I seem to recall on the Gen4 motherboard some PWM capable pins being
used for something which (1) didn't need PWM, and (2) could have used
other free I/O pins.  Maybe it made the auto-router in Eagle work better?
(Yuch.)

Dan
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