Monday, November 7, 2011

RepRap design

I've made a few parts and tried them for fit. The frame seems to basically hold together, so I'm moving on to designing some of the Y/Z axis. I really ought to do something about those simple little brackets on the end of the bracers, 'cos that won't fly in the final version...

Also been working on the new Diamond Age website upgrade, assisted by Ania.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

How To Make RepRap Nozzles

The above is the crib sheet I use for making an extruder. The ingredients are: 18mm PTFE rod (can be whatever), 18mm SS hose clamp, 45mm M6 brass bolt, M6 brass dome nut (can be plated), 4 Ohms of nichrome wire, 100k thermistor, slightly diluted fire cement or fireproof rope cement from the solid fuel supplies house and PTFE "thread seal" tape.

Basically, you make it look like this:

I'll add pertinent details as people ask awkward questions. Or I sell them for NZ$55 and ship worldwide :)

The main issue people have with PLA extruders is that they leak where the brass barrel screws in to the PLA. There are many complex machining options, but the easiest is to wrap the barrel with PTFE tape, screw it in, and then add a heavy stainless steel hose clamp over the join. That holds it!

New RepRap Under Construction

The new design moved from virtual to real world over the weekend. I found longer sockets are going to be needed, and you really need to avoid having the layers print along the length of the sockets. Still, a mock-up is starting to take shape in the workshop.

The Z axis is looking like being even more unusual than I'd originally anticipated. But simple. Very simple. The drive mechanism isn't on the plans yet...

The X carriage sits on the top 2 rails. It's my one-piece design:

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Vik Has Cleared The Tower

Due to pressures of work and family, I've had to make a tough decision in a real hurry. Consequently I'm now my own boss, Diamond Age is now a full-time RepRap company, and I get to finish off my exciting new RepRap design. Not all details are ready for public release as I don't want to have an embarrassing climbdown. However, I can give you a picture of the tubular frame layout as a teaser :) Build area (red) is [180,220,180]mm

Friday, April 1, 2011

Bronze Age Arrives

With help from Ben, I've fired up my forge again and smelted some bronze. The Winter is coming in these parts, and the surrounding bush is now sufficiently damp for me to not worry about setting it all on fire. Just to make sure we're now sporting a spark arrestor. This year the forge has a 110mm centrifugal 12V blower that I printed myself on the RepRap:

The blower is in turn powered by a car battery with a dead cell, charged from a 5W solar panel strapped to the awning. I just drilled 4mm holes into the battery terminals and use 4mm banana plugs for everything. As a bonus, I can plug in a LED spotlight which lights up my nocturnal smithing activities.

The flowerpot used as the forge's firebowl has fragmented, but it was far too deep anyway. Time to spend another few bucks at the garden centre and get a more bowl-like flowerpot. But we're back working metal again, and this makes Winters bearable for me!

I hope to cast bronze in plaster moulds made from RepRap'd cores, but for this test we just cast it into a crude charcoal mould.