Prusa Mendel 3d printer for space

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Alan Dipert

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Jun 26, 2011, 8:25:27 PM6/26/11
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So, at the Maker Faire, Neil Underwood of the Winston-Salem
hackerspace said this to me: "you guys need a 3d printer!" I had to
agree with him.

He told me about his favorite kind, the Prusa Mendel:
http://reprap.org/wiki/Prusa_Mendel

He says it's one of the simplest designs, straightforward to build and
maintain, and pretty robust. It's also one of the cheapest in parts
and effort to build. He's built many of them, and he's offered on
many occasions his assistance and guidance. For about $400 in parts,
we could have one. Once we had one built, we could use it to print
parts for more.

For a cool video overview of both 3d printing and Mendel operation,
check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3D56IpACME

I think a 3d printer would be an awesome addition to our space, and
that we could have a lot of fun putting it together. I know there are
other directions to go - other RepRap variants, the Makerbot - but
everything I've seen and heard about the Prusa is positive, and I
really respect both Neil's recommendation and his offers to help.

So, people interested in 3d printing, what say you? I think moving ahead means:

1) we agree that the prusa mendel or some other model is the way to go
2) we budget money for acquiring parts via consent agenda item

Alan

Phillip Rhodes (Fogbeam Labs)

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Jun 26, 2011, 8:28:43 PM6/26/11
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On Sun, Jun 26, 2011 at 8:25 PM, Alan Dipert <al...@splatspace.org> wrote:
> So, at the Maker Faire, Neil Underwood of the Winston-Salem
> hackerspace said this to me: "you guys need a 3d printer!"  I had to
> agree with him.
<snip>

>
> 1) we agree that the prusa mendel or some other model is the way to go
> 2) we budget money for acquiring parts via consent agenda item
>
> Alan


+1

Jeffrey Crews

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Jun 26, 2011, 8:36:24 PM6/26/11
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I believe that when Ace hardware closed down I got enough 5/8 rod, washers, and nuts  to make 2 Prusa frames.  I'll chip in one set. So besides the printed parts you'd need the smooth rod, mechanical bits like belting, a set of electronics, and 5 (or maybe 6) NEMA17 steppers. The electronics and steppers are prob. the single biggest expense, depending on what Neil wants for the set of printed parts.

Does he have any recs on what to use for electronics? Gen4, RAMPS, or what? I assume that you're going to be using a geared stepper extruder; the electronics have evolved mightily since I built my Makerbot.

JSC


Scott Hall

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Jun 26, 2011, 8:47:45 PM6/26/11
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On 06/26/2011 08:25 PM, Alan Dipert wrote:
> So, people interested in 3d printing, what say you? I think moving ahead
> means:
>
> 1) we agree that the prusa mendel or some other model is the way to go
> 2) we budget money for acquiring parts via consent agenda item

And we think about printing the parts for a second one, one that we would
modify to handle a Dremel-like cutter for 3D CNC work. I know my first
project would be a cuckoo clock.

Besides, we need to print our own buttons (where we embed a
talking-Hallmark-card button and a blinky LED) to pass out at shows and meeting
door prises.

--
Scott G. Hall
Raleigh, NC, USA
Scott...@GMail.Com

Jeffrey Crews

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Jun 26, 2011, 8:56:16 PM6/26/11
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I wouldn't recommend putting a Dremel on a Mendel. Or in a Makerbot, for that matter. There are other CNC designs out there specifically designed for a mill, that have more X/Y force and are easier to clean shavings out of.

JSC

Alan Dipert

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Jun 26, 2011, 10:10:11 PM6/26/11
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** UPDATE **

Neil has offered to let us borrow a functional Prusa for a week, and
I'm visiting him on Friday to pick it up. We can use it to print the
parts for our own, or to print anything else we can think of!

Weekend of sweet 3d printing nerdery anyone?
Alan

Jeffrey Crews

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Jun 27, 2011, 7:11:53 AM6/27/11
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Cool. Make sure to get info about his settings for whatever toolchain he is using.

Geoffrey Tattersfield

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Jun 27, 2011, 12:53:06 PM6/27/11
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I also talked with Neil about this. 

Neil suggested I dig out his blog post on sourcing a 3d printer. It has nice video comparing a sells mendel with a prusa.

electronic: he's recommending RAMPS - it's a single board and cheaper.

extruder: I think he said he recently switched from the geared extruder to a stepper extruder.

regarding milling:  to build on what Jeff said, a milling machine requires much more rigidity in the frame to handle precision under the greater forces on the x and y axes.  If you poke around the reprap side you will come across some info about Eiffel (CNC router/milling machine - project in infancy), using grid beam or possibly contraptor for the frame.  There also seems to be good stuff happening at MIT.  BTW, In an earlier thread, I suggested a machine found on instructables. I retract that suggestion based on this. :)

-gt

Jeffrey Crews

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Jun 27, 2011, 1:08:40 PM6/27/11
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I've been looking at the RAMPs as well. Each Polulu stepper board is only about $12 IIRC. You'd need 4: 3 axes + extruder. The Wades extruder has a good history and uses a geared Nema17 stepper. It is also for 3mm filament, which is still more common than the skinny stuff.

I'd say start with a 3mm extruder; you can always switch later, but right now I have a backstock of 3mm in ugly colors that I don't mind letting people use for prototyping.

There is now a CNC mill out there (have to look up the link) that is open on the bottom, is highly portable, and can even be bolted onto a much larger piece of material- like a vehicle or building. (Not that you should ever consider doing CNC-milled graffitti, no matter how intriguing the idea may be.)

JSC
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