please call neil if you work on reprap

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Alan Dipert

Jul 24, 2011, 1:54:20 PM7/24/11
to, Neil Underwood
Hey all, I got an email from Neil. He sounds a little worried about
our reprap tinkerings and would like for us to call him before we work
on it more.

So, please contact him before working more on it. I'll be in the
space tomorrow evening working on it; if you're planning on working on
it before then, and need neil's #, please e-mail or call me directly.


Jeffrey Crews

Jul 24, 2011, 2:07:43 PM7/24/11
to, Drew Nelson
I have not been working on it for several days, in fact since the last wiki post. I spoke to Drew about who was responsible for managing this project it and he had no idea.

There seems to be no direction and no accountability, so I am hands-off until it becomes more clear.


Bill Culverhouse

Jul 24, 2011, 2:08:18 PM7/24/11
Well now I'm interested in what could be "worrying" about working on
a reprap? Bad setup? Using bad numbers? I assume some kind of
damage could result, what sort of damage?

On Sun, Jul 24, 2011 at 1:54 PM, Alan Dipert <> wrote:

Jeffrey Crews

Jul 24, 2011, 2:09:58 PM7/24/11
Dunno. It might be because of the last wiki post I made (after Tuesday). The machine was doing things that seemed completely unrelated to the Gcode. Skippy and I were at a loss, so we shut it down. AFAIK, nothing has happened since.


PS Alan- what does the email say?

Neil Underwood

Jul 24, 2011, 2:20:09 PM7/24/11
I worry because you guys are just sort of shooting in the dark on troubleshooting the machine instead of asking. :)
That machine was printing fine 24 hours before you got it, I had to unplug some stuff to fix a wiring issue, but it looks like you have all that straightened out.  The extruder is jamming, but that's not a hard fix, definately not worth doing new hobbed bolts for and all the others.
The 3.5mm PLA was the start of the problem, but I think your guys are using fresh PLA or abs now right?
If you guys park in,makergearv2 me and the 20 or so other people that do tech support for reprap 24/7 can get you going quite quickly... It just pains me seing you guys flailing.

Alan Dipert

Jul 24, 2011, 4:28:05 PM7/24/11
to, Drew Nelson
The direction is to get it working and print parts for our own, and
our accountability is to Neil, who it belongs to. Our responsibility
to him is to contact him if we run into any problems before trying to
fix it ourselves.

I don't think I did a great job communicating these things after I
picked it up, or the large degree to which Neil's willing to help us
over phone, e-mail, and IRC.

Neil's high availability and interest in helping is the reason it
never occurred to me that we would need a project manager proper, and
also why I didn't effort to frame myself as one. It's also why even
though I've been out of the loop the past two weeks due to injury and
project launch at work, I didn't see the reprap initiative as being in
any kind of peril.

Having this context, does anyone still feel hesitant to work on the
project? If so, what outstanding questions or fears do you have?

My apologies for not being clearer earlier. Also, thank you everyone
for your work so far! I didn't mean to imply with my earlier e-mail
that anyone has done anything wrong. We just need to communicate with
Neil more.

Thank you,

Bill Culverhouse

Jul 24, 2011, 4:48:35 PM7/24/11
Oh, that makes a good deal more sense. I was under the impression
that Splat had purchased it. Yes, given the comments and questions
he would have cause to be concerned for his machine.

Neil Underwood

Jul 24, 2011, 4:51:20 PM7/24/11
No it was a loan :)  A fully assembled RepRap goes for $1500-$2500... I figure you would rathe put one toegether yourself and spend $400ish.
I just want to see you guys get your RP parts printed, and learn the basics of trouble shooting these bots.  Sooner you print your parts, the sooner I get my bot back. :)
I don't find if the printer goes home with someone, as long as it comes back.  :)  I trust Alan and Jeff's judgment.

Eric (Skippy) Hope

Jul 25, 2011, 10:00:39 AM7/25/11
I'd sent a email to the list and Neil on Wednesday detailing where Jeff and I had left things, but I'm guessing that I sent it from the wrong account again since I see it never made it to the list.  Part of that email was to let Neil know where we were and ask if he'd seen the behavior we were seeing.

The summary of what I meant to send:

At this point it looks like there are two problems.

One is the extruder jamming.  It seems like the bolt is turning smoothly now with no whining or stops, but when trying to feed in 100mm we aren't consistently getting 100mm.    Neil, the early 3.5mm measurement of the PLA may have been a red herring.  We never managed to repeat that measurement on any part of that roll.    We're current using the PLA that Jeff baked I think.  We also have the chunk that he put through the vacuum dehydrator.

The second problem is a bit weirder.  On Tuesday we tried printing the 10mm cube to see how serious the extruder problems actually were when printing.  The gcode looked ok (unlike the previous time we'd tried generating it) but when we tried to print, it ran way up the Z axis -- maybe a couple hundred mm -- and tried to print up there.  Nothing in the gcode looked anything remotely like commands to do that.  Neil, is that something it's done before, and what should we do about it?

 So how do we want to proceed?  At this point it seems like having a project manager however formally or informally would be a useful thing.


Jeffrey Crews

Jul 25, 2011, 10:19:48 AM7/25/11
Well, that explains what happened to Skippy's summary. I had been wondering if he just forgot it.

I don't know if you call it a "project manager" or "coordinator" or what, but one person who aggregates what is done, what is to be done, and handles comms would be a good idea.

My experience across various technical labs that I have managed is that a small group of competent people w/ good attitudes don't need any mgr or guide for routine work. Hands-off works best. However, when something special or odd shows up, then someone needs to take the lead and coordinate it or it doesn't get done. IME this is more because people don't want to step on each other's toes rather than because they don't want to get it done.

That's certainly my case: I am loath to touch it unless Drew or Skippy is around, because I don't know if I'd be undoing something that they did or interfering with their ongoing work.


Neil Underwood

Jul 25, 2011, 4:54:38 PM7/25/11
Sounds like your gcode is not setting home 1st, home is somewhere 100mm up so it's going to z0, which is way up.

It is seriously easy to help you guys in IRC or on the phone because you guys are about there.

Just printing before calibrating doesnt' do much besides just making crap prints.  Is the filament stripping?  what is your feed rate?  what is your temp reading?

BTW please don't bake or try to dehydrate the plastic, all you do is make it oval, any moisture will be though out it mostly from the tips... again just sort of silly.  PLEASE call me if your going to work on it, your acting like voodoo doctors :)

Did you guys ever clean out the hot end after the PLA issue?  did you clean the barrel and the thermal barrier or just the thermal?

Alan Dipert

Jul 25, 2011, 5:33:57 PM7/25/11
to, Neil Underwood
Thanks Jeff. I'm down to fill that role if we agree that we need it.

How does everyone feel about meeting tomorrow at 8pm with Neil, after
the meeting's announcements and greetings wrap up?

Neil, will you be available by phone, skype, or IRC at that time?

Thank you again everyone for your work so far. I look forward to
helping more with the continuity and communication piece.


On Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 10:19 AM, Jeffrey Crews <> wrote:

Mike Broome

Jul 25, 2011, 7:01:59 PM7/25/11
to Neil Underwood,
On Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 04:54:38PM -0400, Neil Underwood wrote:
> Did you guys ever clean out the hot end after the PLA issue? did you clean
> the barrel and the thermal barrier or just the thermal?

Yes. We did that on 7/10. Here's the quote from the wiki[1]:

Took apart extruder assembly and hot end, melted out plastic.
(Expected to find glob of PLA from the day before. Only found
ABS from today.)

Not sure what you mean by "just the thermal". We cleaned all of the
plastic out of the barrel and the nozzle (by heating it with a torch).
There was only red ABS and no sign of any qhite PLA gooped up in there.



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