Thursday, August 26, 2010

hot end experiments

I have been working on some new hot ends for a while, I purchased several kits from makergear of the Noophead style and have one of them installed in my makerbot right now. then wouldnt you know it but makerbot releases their mk5 extruder and completly changes the course of my expiriments. after looking at their design (i have one hot end on the way and parts for 3 more) I started working on fabbing some equivelents for my mendel.

I will probably post pictures of each test one of these days but the one that im fealing the most confidant about was pretty simple. take a section of 1/8" schedual 40 stainless pipe, turn down the end to 3/8" and thread it 3/8-24. then using one of the aluminum blocks from the makergear kits I drilled it out with a Q bit and tapped it to 3/8-24.

my first test used a single resistor but it could only get to 130C so i have fabricated a new one with two resistors. I have a fealing that im going to have to drive power to each seperatly with my current set up since its a gen2 pwm board so i doubt it can handle the current draw of both resistors in paralel. I may try just applying 12v directly to one and triggering the other with software.

I will post more later, hopefuly with pictures.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Ive been working on some prints and watching netflix for the last couple weeks and got into watching the terminator tv series. I have to say Ive always loved the franchise but it has always caused me to both laugh and scream.
When terminator first came out it was showing the fears of society in a very real way to the best of hollywoods abuility to show, but looking back at it the whole concept is ludicris. If man were to somehow create a truly artificial intelegence there wouldnt be a fight. No war. No battle. Mankind would either cese to exist or just become a slave meatpuppet.

The good thing is, truly artificial intelegence is a long way off, not that i believe that we will not achieve intelegence in silicon soon, just not artificial intelegence.

Atomicaly precice manufacturing will soon become a reality. While i dont have much hope in it occuring in reprap first I know that once it occurse reprap will achieve it in short order. With that leap there will be a whole new dimension of technology occuring almost simultaneusly.

There are so many things I could write about but going back to the terminator stories, obviously the machines had developed the technology, at least in the form of Utility metal or as its sometimes called claytronics. The truth of this type of technology is, a war fought with it and one side possessing it only isnt a war. One of my greatest fears is nanotech being in the hands of the few or the one. If everyone has it, its just a tool. If one person has it its a weapon.

Please forgive the typeo's I dont have a spell checker on this computer so will probably edit this again when im on a different one. Also please forgive the rant. Most of you who would be reading this already know what im saying so im just preaching to the choir, but sometimes you just have to rant :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


The other day i was on irc #reprap and somehow we got onto the subject of steampunk. there were a bunch of ideas thrown around about punking a reprap but it got me thinking about doing a real steampunk reprap.

My design idea's are still in the rudimentary stage but here are the thoughts on it.
using two steam pistons at 90 deg from each other on a connected cam you can make a steam steper with 4 steps per revolution, connecting this to a hypocycloidal gearbox with a 100:1 gear ratio makes it a 400 step per revolution steam stepper. by printing the parts in pla and doing lost pla casting of bronze or copper parts I believe i could print the entire printer to include the guide rods or a equivelent design. essentialy printing all the parts for the printer. It would require some post printing/casting machining but i dont believe it would be eccessive.

if i actualy get it built I will probably be testing it with reletivly standard electronics at first but the end desire is to have it print by being controled from either a player piano style reel or with punched or raised copper disks similar to a music box.

of course so far this is just in concept phase but i figured i would throw the idea out there and see if anyone else thought this idea was just too cool to pass up trying.


well, im now moved onto the boat, and actualy have been for the last month but getting organized in the new cramped environment has kept me from doing much printing. I did print out a new x axis carriage assembly to replace the one on my mendel, its a bit warped and I feal its causing a lot of the stiffness in my axis. I havent installed it yet and im probably going to print out some new footed frame vertexes before i do the disassembly and reassembly.

I also just ordered a batch of bitg head nozzels and noophead style heaters from makergear and another mega board from makerbot, my last one im having some issues with installing forth onto and all of the blog posts ive seen of my symptoms point to a board failure of some kind. I plan on downloading the new mega's kernel and trying to install it on the forth one to see if i can unbrick it, if so then ill try installing the forth kernel on the new mega and see what happens. If i cant unbrick the one well, at least ill have a save of the mega firmware to resort back to.

Im also seeing a bit of rust developing on my bots from the salt air so i may have to try installing zinc's to them first and if that doesnt help replacing all the steel parts with stainless. that could get a bit on the spendy side but i guess that is just a price you pay for the mobility of a boat :)