Friday, December 24, 2010

Skeinforge upgrade

I accidently forced myself into upgrading to Skeinforge version 37, the most recent. I was using 33, which was working well enough, when I noticed today that it was doing some very strange things processing objects. Apparently over the lunar eclipse / solstice I ran replicatorG with Skeinforge 35.  I don't really remember doing this, but it broke everything with the two programs writing to the same .skeinforge folder. So I'm going through all my present settings again.

Friday, December 10, 2010


My repstrap is running almost 24/7 now.  There's still a lot of failure but it's getting better.  I'm working right now at printing large objects without a heated bed.  Turns out the default raft settings are not really sufficient for a large object.  I've found they worked fine for small things; belt holders, bar clamps, snowflakes... whatever. But for anything greater than 5cm on a side I would start to get warping.

I managed to get all the small parts for two Prusa Mendels printed, and I'm slowly SLOWLY working my way through the large bits with Frame Vertexes first.  As you can see I got one side of one machine done already.  I'm planning, as I did with the Wade Extruder I printed last month, to keep one and sell one.  Hopefully before the beginning of 2011 I'll have a fully working Prusa Mendel and then I can start dismantling my Catalyst to make another Mendel of some form.  Really, at this point it's just the threaded rod X-axis that's the problem, since, I've had to upgrade and change SO much just to get it to work.  But to replace the X-axis I have to replace the smooth bars because they're oversized, and the Z-axis then because the new bars won't fit in the Z bits. And then the top bar also to fit anything else properly... at that point I'm replacing half the machine.  I'm replacing half the machine after it makes a reprap.

SOOOooo rafts. I found here a suggestion about using only the Base raft in skeinforge, but very large and dense. long story short it works much better for large objects, and When I find a setting in Skeinforge that works great I'll be posting it here.  I cannot wait to make a new reprap, this machine is SLOOooooW.  And here's the frame vertexes I'm printing; posted to thingiverse.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New Y-Axis

I'm finally moving away from the problematic Catalyst design.  My first step is changing out the Y-axis, which is the slower between X and Y... why?, I'm not sure.  So I'm making it into a belt design, somewhat more standard fare for a reprap/repstrap. I'm working from the Prusa Mendel design because of the simplicity of it and fewer parts that need to be printed.  My repstrap is ungodly slow...  Once I have it finished I'll post all the design files on Thingiverse.  I've been tweaking the Prusa mendel files in openscad...
I broke the bed the night before, so it was back to Blue Tape.

Bed removed, exposing the threaded rod to it's fate.

I'm keeping this stuff around just in case this new y-axis fails and I have to print other parts.

Amara is not very helpful.

Adding in belt and y-motor attached to new bracket.  Using wood bed as "squished frog" to test bits.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

firmware on github

I updated my 5d firmware fork on github to what I've been using. I need to be more diligent in keeping track of code changes with github. The firmware is working for me, with the hardware and software I'm using, but I'd like to update it to work with the most recent release of reprap host and make sure it works with ReplicatorG... which I have yet to start on. I'm using a nightly build of reprap host 20100713 for now.

Parametric Snowflake

I posted this to thingiverse. I think it turned out pretty well, and I understand OpenSCAD really well now. Up next I'd like to try a design for headphones I've had bouncing around in my head

Friday, November 19, 2010

Wade's extruder

I finally have some really decent prints coming out of my repstrap, I managed to make a couple of wade extruders, I had to replace some parts on my extruder. I also have another whole set of wade extruder parts finished. Instead of saving them until I can assemble my first child reprap I'm going to sell them on ebay. These are actually the parts that turned out the best, I took the second best ones for my use. There's still some imperfections I'm working at solving and may have already solved since I printed these two weeks ago.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

reprap notes 11052010

from yesterday skeinforge settings;
Feed Rate: 5.0
Flow Rate: 5.0
Travel Feed Rate 5.0

This looks more printable

first thing today I tried to printing a gear at these settings, it looks really close, but flowrate needs to be greater

Feed Rate: 5.0
Flow Rate: 7.0

those are the settings. awesome gear came out.
alright old blog is gone now. Time to start over.
2:26 break for lunch

Friday, November 5, 2010

reprap notes 11042010

it seems the default settings move the machie much too fast and the extruder is crawling but working consistently.. need to lower feedrate a great deal

no changes, updated firmware, I had forgotten to
I just saw the speed problem I have max feedrate set at 600 mm/s should be 350

corrected settings, I believe
changed dump location resaving wades_gear_C.gcode
This looks a hellofalot closer to printing an object
forgot about the backlash problem... have to solve with host
layer 3/51 for some reason x and y moving incredibly slow towards home
going home between layers? adds a lot to build time
2:23pm 5/51 leaving to take a shower
2;44pm 14/51 still working, some small burnt places
try with shield off next time, it doesn't seem to be printing
3:16pm 26/51 still working
3:20 26/51 extruder crawling reverse... why?
3:28 running forward now...
3:30 looks like it's cooled off while crawling
3:42 31/51 printing teeth on gears isn't going so well, extruder needs to be faster

I cannot find anyting wrong with the Gcode file... so the issue has to be with the firmware or communication from host to firmware. but how do I figure out which it is?

downloading newest skeinforge...
Looking at this and thinking more about this; I have to start over with Skeinforge, it was foolish to think I could use my previous settings. This is a completely different machine from my previous settings.

backing up .skeinforge to skeinforge.old
setup with default skeinforge settings
turn dimension on
turn chamber off
Base Temperature (Celcius): 235
Interface Temperature (Celcius): 220
Object First Layer Infill Termperature 220
Object First Layer Perimeter Temperature 220.0
Object Next Layers Temperature 235
Support layers Temperature 200.0
Supported layers Temperature 230.0

Feedrate (mm/s): //how best to calculate this? 10.0
Flow Rate (mm/s): 10.0
Travel Feed Rate(mm/s) 10.0

Max Feed rate in Gcode is F960.0

Feed Rate: 5.0
Flow Rate: 5.0
Travel Feed Rate 5.0

This looks more printable

Nov 4, 2010 *grumble...*

I've been trying to find some terrible gremlin in between the firmware, reprap host, and skeinforge's Gcode... it turns out it was a result of a change in process_g_code.pde with M108 going from setting extruder temperature to max extruder speed. This has resulted in the heater not turning on at times and possibly what I thought was a problem with interrupts... now I need to fix it... OH wait I was wrong...

Ok here's the problem. standard Gcodes across machines software and tool chains... why not? is everyone using reprap as the standard? Do I need to upgrade? I cannot upgrade, so do how do I fix this, I need to decide on one end to change. the Firmware is the only part of the toolchain that I presently know how to and can change quickly. But this then sets me upon a path of modding my firmware by hand into the future for an indeterminate time.

Now I can't find anything wrong with the Gcode processor... trying different skeinforge settings
nevermind skeinforge, I think Dimension is also an issue...
trying reprap host for gcode

Clearly a moment of wtf is wrong with me...? I don't know.

Oct 29, 2010 FiveD_on_Arduino

Still trying to grok a configuration that will work with my machine. I found I had to adjust some of config.h, a thermistor table in temp.c and check through everything in arduino_168_328p.h . Originally when I thought I had it working around lunch today It turned out I could not get anything with temperatures working. No T: response to reprap host and unable to turn the heater on. I just found the thermistor table before starting to write this and I found a setting for reprap host compatibility which I believe I have set correctly now. The copy of host I've been using is a nightly build 20100713, apparently there was communication protocol change with 20100806. I might have to upgrade soon, which won't be an issue anymore since I have a stepper extruder now.

And after a download of the most recent reprap host release, 20100806, still no response for temperature. Also when I tried to home I found the end stops don't work... crap. I Know that I have inverted endstops, perhaps that's the problem... Oh well I'll get back to it later. I've switched reprap host preferences to use 115200 baud and in my firmware so I don't have to worry about it in the future.

...reading though,33082 it seems that endstops aren't full implemented yet? and thermistor support was only added recently... thankfully reprap forums have rss, so I can just add this google reader.

Oct 27, 2010 Wade Extruder Installed

I finally have my wade extruder installed I have been having trouble with the 5d firmware I was using previously. God damn it needs updated... I'm also going to try out triffid's 5d firmware. I think I'd also like to tryout the z wobble arrester for the makerbot on my X axis axis. It wobbles allll over the place . It doesn't really matter all that much but it bothers me.

later... Ok so I have some rewiring done. I removed the heated bed and thermistor board I had attached, I moved some connections around to work better with Triffid's FiveD_on_Arduino firmware. But at present I'm working with the FiveD reprap firmware fork I created a couple months ago. My fork is working, but does have some bugs and I think I'd be better served learning and using Triffid's firmware. I know enough to know that I'm not much of a programmer.

So all told I have a working stepper based extruder, I'm trying out printing to 1mm acrylic sheet sandwiched atop 3-ply wood board. The hot end I'm using is still from the Plastruder Mk4, it's oozing a bit around the heat barrier but it works. Unfortunately I'm using a bowden cable to connect the wade extruder to the hot end. I'd prefer directly driving it but I'd have to completely redesign and rebuild the X-axis closer to Mendel. I think the Z-axis will stay, I noticed Josef Prusa is using something similar in his new reprap. I'd like to also change the Y-axis to something similar to Mendel or Huxley so I can put ALL the electronics under the machine, protected and out of the way. We'll see what I can get to tomorrow...

Oct 21, 2010 Heated Bed Bugs

bed bugIn trying to print to my heated bed I found a few issues. ABS will not stick to the surface already on the bed, I cannot seem to get it to heat above 55 C, I'm concerned about out gassing at higher heats (from the unknown surface) and meow. crap. I'm sanding off the surface and replacing with kapton tape, it seems to work for everyone else. As to the heat, I could just wire up the nichrome wire to the wall outlet as the fish tank heater originally was. There isn't anything to that circuit; a thermostat and a high heat cutoff (in case of failure). Of course I'm only using a small amount of the total resistance that was originally in the circuit. Instead of the thermostat I'd use the thermistor as is, and open the circuit with a relay. But I'd have to add in more resistance or lower the voltage in some other way...

It seems the heated bed, even with a raft, has no effect with ABS. I need to increase the temperature of the bed or switch to PLA, which I have not tried printing with yet.

Oct 20, 2010 Skeinforge on Bebop

Skeinfox is based on 2010-02-25_skeinforge... I want to stick as close to the same release so I can simply copy over my settings and have them work. I found on the skeinforge download page a listing for 2010-02-21 and 2010-03-01. I'm trying the latter first, lucky 13. Installed in ~/bin... AND tkinter is missing.
apt-cache search tkinter
blah blah python-tk blah blah
sudo apt-get install python-tk
jeremy@Bebop:~/bin/Skeinforge 13$ python

pff that was easy, now I just have to move over some configuration files from ~/.skeinforge on my mac

Oct 20, 2010 skeinfox whoops...

So today I tried to make a gcode of wade's extruder block, the one piece I need to replace the plastruder I'm using now, and firmware. I was hoping that I could print it with a raft and cooler heated bed, about 60celsius. But instead I got an error from skeinfox in it's console. I'm really not sure what is going on here, a problem with python? I think it means I need a backup of skeinforge... time to setup skeinforge on my linux box, I can fix this later.

File /Users/jnfischer/Desktop/M8_Extruder_Block_3.stl is being chain exported.
Carve procedure took 9 seconds.
Preface procedure took 0 seconds.
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/Users/jnfischer/Reprap/", line 302, in

Oct 19, 2010 heated bed. done.

I have built a heated bed for my catalyst repstrap. In testing it gets up to a PLA heat as quick as the extruder, about 2 minutes. But I did notice that it slowed as it reached 55C, the target temperature. I'm still using my fork of the generation 2 firmware, I added in code for a heated bed. I couldn't find that anyone else has added heated bed support to the generation 2 firmware... looks like everybody moved on to other things.

The bed it's self I made from a road sign I found in my parent's basement. Probably from my brother's ill spent youth... or mine. I thought it quite appropriate that it says fire lane on the build platform. Between the rat's nest wiring and too many things heating from a janky power supply, this will probably catch fire soon. I'm not sure if it will work with ABS, and I'm inclined to not find out. On the back of the metal base are lines of nichrome wire which I liberated from an old fish tank heater. The nichrome is held on with kapton tape, and that is covered with a small amount of ceramic tape. To complete the sandwich I have the original crappy plexiglas build platform that came with the machine. The ceramic tape, I hope, is just enough insulation that there aren't any points of high heat that might melt the plexiglas. The binder clips are there in case the plexiglas does deform... more.

I haven't tried printing on this yet, I still have ABS in the machine from the last time I printed. I want to test some PLA I got from Ultimachine, maybe make a wade extruder to reduce the mess. Two things; 1. I'm not sure if anything will stick to the fire lane graphic and 2. If I use ABS I don't know if I can get the platform up to a high enough heat. Let alone what may fail at that high heat.

some references:

Oct 9, 2010 Gcode Interpreter Fork

I have a fork of the Generation 2 firmware that I'm working with right now. It's allowing me to use a Makerbot Plastruder with my repstrap. Here's my fork maybe somebody will have some use of it, I'm switching back to a 5 Dimensional firmware after I make a heated bed and then a new extruder.

Oct 9, 2010 Starting with Skeinforge

I'm actually working with SkeinFox, a
Skeinforge front end developed for the Macintosh. I'm working on creating a working profile for my linux server that runs my catalyst repstrap. Reading through and changing my first skeinforge settings, I've come to realize I need a caliper... I guess I'll make do for now. I'm starting with a Makerblock post about calibrating Skeinforge for a makerbot.

Working fromConfiguring Skeinforge on the Makerbot wiki I'm going to start from the recommendations here and change as needed to fit my machine. Starting with the Flat Calibration Square Mentioned in the wiki I'll work my way up to full 3D objects.

  1. Skeinforge Tuning and Calibration Makerblock post

  2. Configuring Skeinforge Makerbot wiki

  3. Calibration Flat Square Thingiverse object

Sep 24, 2010 First Day of Autumn

...and I have a fully functional repstrap, I printed all kinds of little blob-squares and little blob-blocks, then through tireless effort despite a horrendous case of the common cold I managed to set everything down in it's place. I now can print little squares and boxes and closed cubes without blobs. I started working with skeinforge today, I was using the reprap host to make Gcode but found it too limiting and difficult to use...lots of blob-squares. Skeinforge within skeinfox... awesome. I'm processing stl files into Gcode on my Macbook, saving into directories on my linux box which is running the repstrap. Tomorrow, where I am and where I'm going with this. Friday September 24th the fun actually starts. YEA AUTUMN!!

Sep 9, 2010 firmware changes

I have had nothing but problems getting a working extruder. The original Profounddevices extruder did not work at all, and it took me 4 attempts to make a good hot end. The hot end is awesome now, the only problem is an occasional small plug which when fully heated for a few minutes ceases to be an issue. but the drive end what the hell... I ended up buying a makerbot mk4 extruder and I'm working to fit it to my machine now. The firmware I was using, I forked from Nick Mccoyn's does not support a DC motor extruder. So I've started into firmware hacking, when I know very little c or c++, just started learning c++ a month ago. I did find on github David Buzz is working on a 5D reprap firmware that supports the arduino328p and DC motor extruders. SOooo maybe I can get that to work.

Aug 25, 2010 Gcode differences

I did not know that reprap host and skeinforge make considerably different gcode. There seems to be 5 to 15 different M codes for setting the temperature of a given extruder. And trying to use the gcode of either with my machine is proving... difficult. I know that the Gcode in the firmware I'm running is sketchy, I guess I'll have to fix all that now to make sure any Gcode will run. Since I've already devoted myself to using skeinforge, I'll start there with Gcode compatibility in the code. In addition I think the tool head is too far from the platform, and 240C is yellow too hot.

Aug 22, 2010 Skeinforge Calibration Research

It seems to me that it's important to have my machine calibrated properly and to have a basic understanding of the materials I'm using. I guess it's my artist background that I want to know my tools and the materials I'm working. Assuming I have a full functional reprap or repstrap, three things should be read, understood and done. One, go through the Getting started page in the reprap wiki. Two, configure the axes of my machine, because there are always likely to be differences from machine to machine. Three, make sure I have the correct thermistor / thermocouple settings. Adjusting the Thermistor Settings on the Makerbot Wiki is the best page with thermistor/thermocouple calibration methods I've seen.

And to understand the materials I'll be working with I'll be using Category:Filament on the Bits from Bytes wiki. There they have a great listing of the popular polymer filaments used for extruder based 3d printing. Properties of the each polymer and common uses, MSDS sheets if I want to download them and pages on each material, in case I need something more in depth.

Aug 20, 2010 third... fifth... ugh, sixth times the charm

So I have been playing around with the hot end of my extruder for weeks.

Every time I thought I'd make a post of "it works!", it failed. I've been considering renaming this blog the repstrap fail blog. The extruder hot end design I have come to is a confluence of better skill and craftsmanship through failure, and some design ideas I played with to work around my lack of Kapton-fu.

Aug 20, 2010 Makerbot Plastruder MK5... wow

Plastruder Mk5
Just wow, you put together every great idea... that is a sexy bit of machine. Congratulations to the guys at Makerbot. I'll be buying one of those soon.

more here

Aug 4, 2010 extruder rebuild again

I've been having trouble keeping my heater barrel at a constant temperature. It tends to vary about 10 degrees while it is hot. This is just what the thermistor is reading, I assume it's actually varying more. i found that I had to keep it above 250C to get ABS to consistently melt. So i decided to make the barrel even closer yet to the Makerbot MK4; I had to get some ceramic tape. Unfortunately I also wanted more nichrome wire, the Makerbot shop was out... crap. Fortunately there are a lot more people selling reprap vitamins on the internet now. From Ultimachine I ordered about 60cm of Ceramic tape and 5' of nichrome wire and they also sent some amount of plastic filament in green and brown. Thanks guys.

I was just going to warm the barrel and see how it's pushing plastic now but it quit working and started cooling after it hit 140 degrees Celcius. Crap. This is the second time this happened, I have to assume it's either the nichrome wire the I got originally from Profound devices or something in the way I am wrapping the nichrome around the barrel that's causing such a consistent failure. I'll have to dismantle the heater tonight and see what's what.

Jul 30, 2010 scratching out Gcode

I've spent most of the day toying with a Gcode routine to push and heat filament on my reprap. It seems to be working finially, but not a consistently las I would like. I think I need an extruder drive with more torque, like the anymore standard Wade Extruder... Anyway here's the code:

; GCode Written by Jeremy Fischer
; Created: July 30, 2010 3:43 pm
; heating and pushing filament to find optimal temperature for the machine, change S### as needed
G21 ;metric is go!
G91 ;relative positioning
T0; select new extruder
M113; set extruder to use pot for PWM
G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length
;#!LAYER: 1/9
G28; go home
G1 X40 Z30.0 F500 ;move to postion to extrude
G1 F900
M109 S245.0 ;set temperature to 246 and wait
G4 P8000
G1 E50 ;extrude 50mm
;#!LAYER: 2/9
M109 S245.0 ;set temperature tp 246 and wait
G4 P8000
G1 E50 ;extrude 50mm
G4 P3000
;#!LAYER: 3/9
M109 S244.0 ;set temperature to 246 and wait
G4 P8000
G1 E50 ;extrude 50mm
G4 P3000
;#!LAYER: 4/9
M109 S244.0 ;set temperature and wait
G4 P8000
G1 E75 ;extrude 75mm
G4 P3000
;#!LAYER: 5/9
M109 S243.0 ;set temperature and wait
G4 P8000
G1 E75 ;extrude 75mm
G4 P3000
;#!LAYER: 6/9
M109 S242.0 ;set temperature and wait
G4 P9000
G1 E75 ;extrude 75mm
G4 P3000
;#!LAYER: 7/9
M109 S241.0 ;set temperature and wait
G4 P9000
G1 E75 ;extrude 75mm
G4 P3000
;#!LAYER: 8/9
M109 S241.0 ;set temperature and wait
G4 P9000
G1 E75 ;extrude 75mm
G4 P3000
;#!LAYER: 9/9
M109 S240.0 ;set temperature and wait
G4 P9000
G1 E75 ;extrude 75mm
G4 P3000
;#!LAYER: 10/9
M109 S240.0 ;set temperature and wait
G4 P9000
G1 E75 ;extrude 75mm
G4 P3000
G1 F400
G1 X10 ;move X 10
M0 ;totally done

On a side note it appears my repstrap doesn't properly shutdown with an M0 command, and the reprap host doesn't think it finished. Weird more firmware fixes to get to I guess.

Jul 17, 2010 New Yaxis oddness

I was about to try printing something finally, so I homed all the axises after the computer came up. For some reason Y went in the opposite direction to home. I reset the machine and tried again, thinking this was just some glitch similar to when my extruder was reversing if I restarted the reprap host with the reverse check box checked... But no, Y is still going the wrong way. I changed INVERT_Y_DIR from 1 to 0 in parameters.h . Which worked, or so I thought.

I decided to find out with the full dimensions of build area are, so I started stepping Z up and then I was going to try Y. When I clicked to step Y 10mm it went out about 5 and came back to home... uh what?... so... uh what? Once more I reversed INVERT_Y_DIR and it homed ok, but when I tried to nudge it out 10mm it goes out a little bit and rushes back toward home. And again when I tried to go out further, 100mm with the "go" button in the Reprap host. It goes out a little bit, looks good, and rushes back to home, and keeps going despite the minimum switch...

I'm presently using the July 13 2010 nightly build of the Reprap Host, so I switched to the July 2 2010 standard release. "Home Y"; worked ok, moved all the axises out 10mm; worked, and "Home All"; worked...

I switched back to the nightly build I was using... same thing, it all worked... now I'm back to where I was at the beginning of the day with everything working, and I don't know WHY!?!

Jul 13, 2010 more bugs... really?!?

I rebuilt the heater portion of the extruder, I actually followed part of the Makerbot Wiki. The heater barrel section is similar enough to what I'm working with that it was a good template to make sure I didn't miss anything. I think it turned out well, pictures to come.

Unfortunately I found while testing it that all the axises are moving about 1/10 the distance they should be, and slower than they were. I assume I messed something in the firmware on the last update or the one before, since I was only paying attention to the heater and extruder.

Jul 7, 2010 github

I have a fork of the reprap firmware I'm using on my Catalyst repstrap. Just started using git and and github, new things are fun.

Jun 30, 2010 knurled knob extruder

So I have a knurled & domed knob from an old guitar. I want to attach this to the stepper motor as directly as possible. I have to cut off the dome so I can screw it onto something. or something else. the knob is meant for a 1/4" potentiometer, so I'm using a 1/4" tap to make it screw on instead of a push on knob. This worked easily, so now onto cutting off the dome I can push it through I was writing this I got it all together and the frame broke before I could power up the motor... lame.

But I have a knurled wheel now, and an idler wheel to match it, more to come. Back to the drawing board...

Jun 11, 2010 stupid extruder.

Everything is back together, deja vu... I swear I've typed that before. But more problems, er problem. The new thermistor is working, the temperature is showing about 4 degrees higher than the old one. The problem is the heater is not working, it came on briefly when I first connected it went to 45C and back down, but a shutdown and computer reboot later it's not. The PWM light is coming on for the heater and it's clearly not an issue with the Reprap host software, so assume it's a short in between the PWM driver board and the nichrome wire.

I'll have to fix that in the morning. Time for some beer.

Jun 11, 2010 extruder rebuild; continued

I got the nozzle holding screws each cut down, easy peasy. Putting everything back together before a late lunch and the tiny thermistor provided with the catalyst kit split in half... wuh? Again I planned ahead, I have a replacement on hand, and another extra. There are things you don't know that you don't know, but I know I make stupid mistakes, and things break.

Jun 10, 2010 Extruder Rebuild

Last night I was trying to print a 40mm box. I couldn't even get the extruder to start, it would kind of ooze plastic but not extrude fast enough to be useful printing. I took it apart today to find out what was wrong, unfortunately it's jammed full of plastic now. And fortunately I bought an extra nozzle from someone on eBay a few months ago. The nozzle is considerably shorter than the one that came with the Catalyst kit, so I have to cut at least 2cm off the extra long screws that hold it in place... woohoo, Dremel time! But I rebuilt the extruder with what I could salvage from the old one. It's all salvageable but I need a butane torch or something to get the old plastic out of it.

I think ultimately it might be my fault, I noticed I put the shaft in the nozzle cap backwards... Another mistake I won't make again.

jun 8, 2010 Catalyst Fixes and Rebuilds

Today I started working at some small fixes before I start printing. The X-axis in some tests has bothered me moving around. The Extruder shaft was wiggling and there was too much play in X movement, so restructuring and super-glue fix. I'm waiting for it to dry to test again.

While I was doing that I was homing the Z axis again, because as a result of my repairs the extruder shaft is about 10mm shorter. Fortunately I put some tape flags on top of the z-axis threaded rods. I noticed that the left Z-axis rod was not turning consistently with the right one.

Jun 4, 2010 Catalyst doing list

Mendel Catalyst

Profound Devices

finish rebuilding/finishing catalyst

  • use a sharpie to measure the distance for revolution on y axis

  • reuse distance found for y axis, try on z

  • stick to reprap host
  • Jan 4, 2010 things to test

    from this forum
    Re: Catalyst Mendel continued development

    Posted by: AphoticJezter ()

    Date: April 29, 2010 05:37PM

    Ok, so I did some reading and matching up the specs in the datasheets and had a couple interesting findings.

    1) I goofed when reading the dips. (ok maybe that isn't interesting) The board was actually configured for 1/8th steps and not full steps. It's full stepping that wasn't working, and according to the arduino source, this appears to be as designed.

    2) The Z-Axis motors, being hooked up in parallel will consume twice as much current as the other steppers. I've tuned the board to provide 1.0 amp to the Z axis, while the X and Y axes appear to work fine at the factory default of 0.5 amps

    3) The pinout on the motors is A+ A- B+ B-, while the pinout on the controller board is A+ A- B- B+ This means that they should not be wired straight through, but should be wired with either pair swapped. In my case I've rewired my motors so that the B pair is swapped.

    May 28, 2010 Testing Temperature and Extruding

    All temperatures in Celcius

    210 too cold barely moves
    220 not moving
    230 not moving, wiped might be blocked now
    240 not moving
    245 slow movement
    250 extruding slow, working, popping sound
    252 very easy moving
    254 as well, curling more, more popping while not moving
    256 just as easy lots of popping while stopped and little while moving
    258 browning slight but easy moving, reprap host froze temp at 255 does not show 258 does not move
    smoking from extruder somewhere
    ... now it's dropping

    testing extrude button in Extruder 0 no reaction, I thought this would move extruder motor this is the last thing...

    I've decided to set the target temperature for 252 since it moved and the wide variance high to low of the temperature, it looks like about 10c. At 256 and 258 the plastic is yellowed a bit and is more brittle than the other temps. Now back to figure out what's going on with the Extruder Stepper. THAT is the last thing.

    It looks like I need to do this again. That temperature, even with it uncalibrated seems too high...

    May 11, 2010 The Story so far...

    Catalyst reprap...
    added generation 2 electronics from makerbot store, among other places

    January 7, 2010 Reprap-repstrap

    A new macbook pro, and a lot of bored unemployed time... I'm going to build a 3d printer. I'd like to start with a version 2 reprap "Mendel" but obviously don't have the money to just buy one. So I'm sourcing parts and information to make a repstrap. I already have a lot of things and I think I can get more by thrifting. I'm going to start with Generation 2 electronics on a Mcwire design cartesian robot. I have an arduino already that I'm not using... well I actually bought it to ultimately build this, I wanted to get to know arduinos first. So next is stepper motor controller boards. I'm going to use the 3rd generation driver boards since they're backwards compatible with generation 2 electronics. I'll post a list / plan later on.
    So I found some wooden mendel based repstraps, so I'm not sure which design to start with. Mendel as a design seems rather complicated to make out of wood. But i have a lot of scrap wood and plywood laying around in the garage. The Mcwire design has been used over and over... hand tooled together, old, stable, more documentation. It may be a quicker, and cheaper way to start with a wood mendel. I really only NEED it to work long enough to print the parts for another mendel....

    moving here

    I'm working to move everything from my previous blog at There were about 40 posts I have to get and repost here. They'll all be posted in order right after this post. Nothing will change except the address, which is here now. Happy Guy Fawkes day!