Posts Tagged ‘reddit’

Production update: 3D printer is now heating, moving, and extruding!

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

The gentlemen and ladies at the Vancouver Hack Space are truly worth their weight in gold. Certainly more than the $50/month membership! I have been hanging out in IRC freenode #reprap fighting with this Makerfarm Prusa for a week. VHS found the issue(s) in a single evening. Go visit your local hackspace! They are probably even more incredible.

Before I go on, I want to be clear: Makerfarm make a great product and have excellent support. Truly! I had to get a couple of parts that I knew weren’t in the kit and, naturally, documentation couldn’t cover them. The mistakes I made were entirely mine.

The biggest thing was with my power supply. I have one of those ugly ATX boxes from a computer. (A ThermalTake TR2 600W.) It’s the part you plug the power cable into, and on the other sides it has a giant fan and 50 smaller colored cables of different types coming out. As a safety measure the box won’t turn on unless it’s connected to a PC. The way to trick it is to close the gap between two of the wires with a “bridge”. I bridged the wrong two so it was constantly turning on and off very very quickly. Whoops.

Then we found the polulu carriers – the chips that make the steppers move – had to be adjusted. There’s a little knob, called a pot, that needs to be turned very gently with the tiniest of screwdrivers to tweak the amount of juice going to each stepper.

The next thing was the greg’s extruder – it was moving backwards! Thankfully this is also an easy fix: The plug goes in two ways, and I guessed wrong when I put it together. Then I tried extruding some plastic from the hot end and found that there was some slip in the toothed gear that grabs the ABS filament. A drop of gorilla glue later and the gear was moving great.

So happy days! I got my first night of real sleep in about two weeks and woke up feeling fantastic. I felt so good I cleaned the tub while I was in the shower. The relief is palable. (go on, touch it. ha!) The very next thing I do after I hit post is starting making test prints to calibrate the machine. More updates on the way!

PS: Can you think of any tech blogs that are looking for news? I’d love to get my indiegogo campaign mentioned on them. It would mean far more coming from you than from me. Think Endgadget, Slashdot, io9, Hack-a-day, IEEE spectrum, Reddit, etc. If you submit one, please comment below. I’d love to build a list of related blogs for future media blagging.

Update 15:40 – I think I have it fully calibrated for XYZ movement. I’m trying to check extrusion now but Slic3r (the program that makes my model into gcode) is being stupid and doesn’t want to talk to Repetier (the program that runs the printer).

CanDo makes an Arbitrary Day appearance on RedditGifts!

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Please engage the karma conspiracy machine – upvote and share with your friends.

Drawbot: now taking your requests

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

To stress test my machine for the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire I’m on Reddit’s AskReddit making drawings for people by request. Event ends 2012-06-22, the day the Faire begins. Tell your friends!

Art Drawn with a Single Line

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Any medium is accepted, and vector images are preferred.

You should tell your friends right now!

The greatest creativity is born out of limitation.

Drawbot Experimental Branch with Look Ahead Ring Buffer

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

I’ve created a new experimental branch so as not to ruin the latest working version. It has two big changes.

Feed Rates
The old feed rates were units/s.  I’ve adjusted the feed rate setting and display to be in units/minute – call G21 and it will display mm/min, call G20 and it will display in/min. This makes more sense because most machines are rated in in/min. I didn’t think 2cm/s was fast until I converted it and realized I was running almost 50in/min. Not bad for a hobbyist!

Look-ahead Optimization
Let’s say the machine has to draw 5 lines in a row, all in the same direction. In the past the software insisted that the machine come a complete stop between each line segment because the software had no idea what was coming next.
In the latest version the software stores the next several lines in a ring buffer and plans ahead: if the lines are all in the same direction it doesn’t slow down. If they are on a slight angle it slows a little. Anything 90 degrees or more is an automatic full stop.

A generous user on created a new “Hello World” vector that I’ve been using to test and the results are fantastic! Using the old method it took 11 minutes to draw. In the new method it takes only two!

At this point I feel the software is “good enough” and I’m going to focus on pen up/down.

Drawbot Does Spidey

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Part the first:

Part the second: (as soon as the video camera recharges)

How to Drive the Drawbot Manually

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Draw > Start Driving

Click+drag in the Preview window

The black line is your speed and direction.  The red circle is your top speed.  The green circle is the dead zone.  If the black line is inside the dead zone, the robot won’t move.  If the black line is on the edge of the dead zone then it will move very slowly.  In the picture above, it is moving at about half speed down and to the right.