Monday, June 27, 2011

Inspiration comes

My first attempt to a system frame was a flat based polyhedron, made out of M8 threaded rod.  The Z-axis was made from plywood glued to M8 nuts on the threaded rod of the frame, configured as a Sarrus Linkage.  Problems were plentiful:
  • The M8 rod was not rigid enough to handle the sideways forces applied to it by the Z-axis.  This flexibility created play in the linkage, and the resulting platform was not stable enough.
  • The M8 nuts had too much play on the threads of the rods.
  • Mounting the nuts were also problematic, and my temporary solution turned out to be very temporary indeed.  Metal and wood have different expansion curves, and the glue simply broke off pieces of the plywood.
It was simply put, nuts.

I have since explored electronics options, and decided to go with the RAMPS board for now.  My intention is to get a working Rep Strap as soon as possible in order to start working on Morgan 1 - a potential Gada prize candidate.

Next up however is the X-Y axis implementation.  The RepStrap should be a close approximation of the completed RepRap, since it will probably replace parts of its self until it is transformed into Morgan 1.

Morgan will return to the Darwin-like top mounted x and y axis format.  The main reason for this is for print quality.  The enemy of fast controlled movement is momentum.  You want to reduce the weight of the X and Y axis as much as possible.  Mendel did this by removing the need for the Y axis to move around the heavy stepper motor for the X-axis, but as build sizes increase, this advantage will diminish.

The plan is to implement the X and Y axis using two stepper motors mounted off axis, while keeping expensive rods and endless belts out of the equation.

Total cost target for this section: R800.00 ( US$ 115.00 )

More info to follow soon...

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