Thursday, October 18, 2012

S&W M&P 22 Review

I wanted to do a quick firearm review.

Recently I purchased a Smith and Wesson M&P 22 pistol.  This pistol is a .22lr version of their popular M&P line of pistols.  I good buddy of mine is a police officer in Charlotte and he carries the .40 cal version of this pistol.  After getting a chance to shoot his, I knew I had to get one.

I decided to go with the 22 simply because of the cost per round.  In bulk, a .22lr rounds can be picked up for around 3-4 cents each.  Compared to around 27-28 cents per round for .40 cal.

In short, this means a lot more rounds down range for a lot less money.  Since this is my first pistol, I wanted something I could shoot A LOT.

The M&P 22 offers the same shape and fit as it's larger caliber brothers.  It fits most of the same holsters.  Personally I went with the Blackhawk Serpa, as recommended by the friendly Charlotte cop.

The gun fits perfectly and tightly.  The button needed to release the firearm automatically places your trigger finger in the safe position when the gun is pulled out.  Great design, totally worth the $35 you find it online for.  

I also went ahead and purchased an extra 10 round magazine, which I promptly converted to a 12 round by removing the plastic spacer.  For some reason, these magazines are impossible to find so they cost about $30 themselves which is ridiculous.  Hopefully someone starts making some aftermarket ones soon.   

I have fired CCI's, Golden Bullets, Federals, and Winchester rounds through it; all in "bulk packs" (>250 rounds).  Out of approximately 2000 rounds through this gun I have had 6 failure to fires, 4 stovepipe jams, and 3 failure to chamber the next round.  

All in all, not bad.  The failure to chambers only happened with the Winchesters, and I have no idea why.  Perhaps the shape of the bullet?  No idea.  I'm not going to complain.  99% of the time, when I pull the trigger, the gun fires.

I will say, the Golden Bullets, made by Remington, are truly terrible.  They are cheap, but that's about all they have going for them.  First, they are absolutely filthy.  Firing 25 of them makes the inside of the gun look like I fired 200.  Secondly, they are definitely the least accurate of the aforementioned list.  Admittedly, I don't expect much from any of the bulk rounds.   If I was looking for accuracy, I'd pay more money.  But still, I had more "fliers" with Golden Bullets, than any other brand.  

The gun is only as accurate as who's holding it, and that's definitely true for this gun.  The Safety trigger that is only this firearms, in my opinion, accentuates poor trigger control.  I found myself for the first 300 rounds shooting low and left.  After asking for some advise from my gun enthusiast friends, I improved greatly.  
15 Yards, Grouping Left
I'm not a great shot and I don't ever claim to be.  I like to shoot, and would be more than capable of defending my household if needed, but I am not putting 1" groupings down  at 25 yards with this gun.  (Not even 15 yards, unless I'm really, really trying!).  I think I drink too much caffeine; a little too jittery.  

15 Yards, Much better!

All in all I would highly recommend this gun to anyone looking for a reliable .22 semi auto in a full sized frame or anyone looking for a cheap to shoot understudy for their M&P 9/40.  

Sunday, August 19, 2012

MendelMax 1.5 Build

Just finished my Dark Knight themed MendelMax 1.5.   Great printer design.  I highly recommend it.  Aside from drilling and tapping a few holes, it was extremely easy to build.

I use an old xbox 360 power supply and RAMPS 1.4, both of which are mounted under the build platform.    I painted the Prusa MK1 heated PCB bed gloss black (make sure you use high temp paint).


The wiring is cleaned up with TechFlex 3/8" wire loom.   Check it out on ebay.  I paid $4 for 10' which was plenty and it makes the printer look so much more professional.  Great stuff.

A little more expensive than the standard Prusa i2, but definitely worth it in the end.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Slic3r on Raspberry Pi

Installing Slic3r on Raspberry Pi

After installing PrintRun on my RPi, I wanted to get a slicing software running.  Skeinforge is written in Python so I'm sure it would install pretty easy.  The problem is Skeinforge is so slow at slicing.  Even on my normal computer, it takes at minimum a couple minutes to export G-Code for an STL that would take a few seconds on Slic3r.  

Note:  Slic3r is fast and for the majority of slicing that I do, it works flawlessly.  Unfortunately it is still in it's infancy for certain features, such as support material.  Therefore, Skeinforge is a necessary evil you will likely eventually need.  


I followed these install instructions for the most part.  Another fellow Reprap-er anwe79 suggested a few more needed dependencies to get it up and going.  I will list the full install process to make it easier.  


sudo apt-get install git build-essential libgtk2.0-dev libwxgtk2.8-dev libwx-perl libmodule-build-perl libnet-dbus-perl
sudo apt-get install cpanminus
This next part may not be needed but just go ahead and make sure you have them:
sudo apt-get install curl
curl -L | perl - --sudo App::cpanminus

Next is the extra needed dependencies that aren't listed on the original tutorial:
sudo apt-get install libextutils-cbuilder-perl
sudo apt-get install gcc-4.7
sudo apt-get install g++-4.7
Now you will be ready to go forward and get Slic3r:
git clone
cd Slic3r
Now you need some misc. perl dependencies:
sudo apt-get install libwx-perl
This next part installs some dependencies through cpanm.
sudo cpanm Boost::Geometry::Utils Math::Clipper \
    Math::ConvexHull Math::Geometry::Voronoi Math::PlanePath Moo Wx
NOTE: This will take forever! Just press enter and let it go. Don't mess around. After you get back to the main terminal prompt, scroll back through and check for errors. If you see errors then you need to check out the build log. Insert the correct build.log directory, should be something like /root/something/build.log

sudo nano buildLogDirectory
This will open the build log in nano and you can see where the problem is. For example it may say gcc-4.7 not installed. Therefore other dependencies won't install either.
Note: At times when installing dependencies, you'll need to update. Watch the terminal, it'll tell you when to update. Feel free to reboot whenever you'd like. Just remember to cd back to Slic3r when you return to the terminal like above.
At the end of all of this, you should have a working Slic3r. You can navigate through a file manager to the Slic3r folder and find and execute or you can type ./ in terminal.
Once again, I'm not expert, this is simply the way I got it working on my RPi. Once again follow along to the RepRap developers forum topic here. Good Luck!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Raspberry Pi Contained!

I found an old portable DVD player I had laying around. I noticed it had a video in port. So I plugged in the 'Pi and it worked. I gutted out the unneeded parts and threw the 'Pi inside. Now I'm not tethered to my HDMI cable/tv. (just the keyboard, mouse, power cables)

If you have one laying around, just tear out the drive, the buttons, and the battery hookup and with a little trimming you'll be all set.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Reprap printing from Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi controlling my RepRap

I just received my Raspberry Pi a few days ago and after seeing fellow RepRap-er RichRap's success, I wanted to start printing from it.  Since the RPi runs Linux (Specifically a specialty distro of Debian called Raspbian) I wanted to lay out the steps it took for me to get running.

Items needed:

4GB SD card or larger. ( suggests atleast 2GB, but trust me you'll need more with the extra dependencies needed to run the needed Reprap programs)
Raspberry Pi
Micro USB powersupply (Its crucial to have at least 1A capacity, anything less and you'll have issues)
Powered USB Hub (make sure it provides plenty of power, mine is capable of 2A)
RepRap.  (I'm running RAMPS 1.4 w/Marlin Firmware, but anything that'll connect to Pronterface should be fine.)

Initial RPi set up:

First and foremost, upon initial starting up your RPi, expand the partition to the full SD capacity.  It'll save you a lot of hassle later on.

Optional:  Overclock the RPi.  This isn't 100% neccessary but it will make future steps quicker.  There are multiple tutorials on this but it's pretty easy. 

From your root terminal enter:

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

This brings up the config file and allows you to overclock easily. 
Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and type:


Then press Cntrl O to write the file.
Then press Enter.

This will bring you back to the first menu, so now you can exit by pressing Cntrl X.
You should be back at the normal terminal screen now so it's time to reboot:
Type reboot and press enter.

Once you reboot you should be running an overclocked Pi.  You can adjust the arm_freq higher (up to ~900.)  I have mine currently running at 850.  It worked at 900, but I started to have some booting issues. 

Installing Dependencies:

You'll need a few dependencies to run Pronterface.
Once again go back to root terminal and type: 

sudo apt-get install python-serial

Note:  After all terminal commands you need to press enter.  This should be obvious so I won't list that in the directions from this point on

This will install PySerial.  Once this is done type:

sudo apt-get install python-wxgtk2.8

This will install wxPython.
Both of these will take a bit to download and install so be patient.  You'll know your done when you get back to the main terminal prompt.

Now is a good time to reboot.  Once again this can be done from terminal by simply typing "reboot" or "sudo reboot" if your not in sudo.

Downloading Pronterface:

Open up the web browser and navigate over to PrintRun on github.  Click downloads and save. (I'm sure there is a way to do this from terminal, I just didn't know how.)

Now open up the file manager and open up /home/pi  and find kliment's folder. 

Scroll all the way down until you see and double click.  Then click execute and wait a few seconds. 

Pronterface should now be up and running.  

Connecting to printer.

On another computer change the baud rate on your firmware to 115200 if it isn't already.  250000 won't work.

Some of these steps may not be needed but they don't take too much time so just go ahead and follow along.

Close Pronterface if you have it open. 

Reboot (I like to make sure everything is fresh and clean before trying to connect.  I had some issues before.)

Plug in your printer.  Then open Pronterface.  You should see the appropriate port in the port box.

Assuming you haven't run any other serial com ports yet, it should end in 0.   

Now click connect.

This is where I've had some difficulties.  I'm not sure if they stem from power issues or if its a bug in the system some where.

It may take a bit to connnect.  Or it may not connect.  Sometimes I need to close pronterface and restart a couple times before it finally connects.  But eventually it will connect. 

From this point on, it's the same as it would be on any other computer.  Set your temps, load your G codes and print yourself a yoda. 

I have attempted to install Slic3r but no luck so far.  I'm sure Skeinforge would be easier to install since it's python, but thats slow on my regular computer so I figure it'll put it off for now. 

Next we'll download the Android IDE.

This is pretty easy, since some very smart cats putting together the Raspbian distro included it in the available packages.  All you have to do is go to the terminal again and type

sudo apt-get install arduino

This should install Arduino.   Then once again everything is just like any other computer. 

One thing to note, the compiler used in this Arduino IDE is slow, so be patient.  It'll get there. 

Now its time to buy one of these 7" screens and integrate it all into my new MendelMax build.  With a wireless adapter, soon i'll be remotely logging in and starting a print before I leave work. 

Follow along with all of the RPi RepRap development here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Friday, June 8, 2012


I'd like to introduce a new printer mainly of my own design but heavily influenced/inspired by dkennel's Pocket Printer.  I call it the K1-Rap.

This is a work in progress.  I'll be updating this as things progress.

I really liked the idea of using aluminum extrusions for the main structural components of a reprap.    My Prusa i2, constructed mostly of threaded rods, worked flawlessly but I wanted something a little more sturdy. 
I saw Dkennel's Pocket Printer on Thingiverse and actually started out attempting to replicated his.  I didn't have any PLA available and ABS did not make for a good slide material.  ABS was too soft and did not "slide" reliably.  Since I had smooth rods and lm8uu linear bearings on my Prusa, I decided to cannibalize it and start a "new" design.  It should be noted that this is really Dkennel's basic design adapted for 8mm smooth rods.  They really deserve the credit for the initial idea.
I attempted to design the printer around a few constraints (much like dkennel's original idea).

1. I wanted to keep the moving mass low (arguably didn't do a very good job)

2. I wanted to keep the amount of hardware (screws, bolts, nuts, etc.) to a minimum.  I loved the simplicity of the Prusa i2 design. 

3. Like the Pocket Printer, the extruder had to move only in the Z direction. Eventually, I want to add a second Plastruder to the printer and the added weight would make a "mobile" extruder hard to accomplish. 

4. I wanted roughly the same build envelope as I had on my Prusa. 

Keeping these ideas in mind, I started off by mimicking Dkennel's basic design.  I then added the smooth bars to the exterior of the 2060 extrusions.  All axes slide on 8mm smooth rods with lm8uu linear bearings.  In doing so, I had to then redesign the basic structural components on the printer. 

You'll notice the smooth rods sticking out on all the axes.  This was done purposely so I didn't have to cut the rods to length.  Mainly I was afraid this design wouldn't work properly and I didn't want to cut my prusa smooth rods and then not have a single working printer.  In the final designs, I will enclose all rod brackets and cut the smooth rods to length. 

The smooth bar "brackets" fit within the interior of the Al extrusion.  This is a pretty snug fit and friction is the only thing holding the majority of the printed parts in place.  The X axis connects to the Y axis with lm8uu bearing fittings reminiscent of the Zip-Tie bearing holders used on the Y axis of a Prusa.  Connected to the X to Y bearing holders are the 2020 Al extrusions that make up the X axis.  .
I'm using a NEMA 14 on the X axis.  This is the only real deviation in electronics from the Prusa.  I had this laying around and its lighter than a '17.  I would highly highly recommend using a '14 instead of a '17 simply because of the added mass a '17 would give to the X axis assembly.  (As a matter of fact, my '14 is a little bigger than I really need, Dkennel lists a better motor for use with the Pocket Printer).
Once again smooth rod brackets fit into the extrusions.  The build plate then sits on top of the X axis smooth bars using Prusa's i2 lm8uu Y bearing holders. 
I'm using a thin sheet of plywood with Prusa's Mk1 PCB heated build plate on top.  I will likely swap this out for a sheet of aluminum. 
The Z axis consists of a vertical 2060 extrusion with 8mm smooth rods on either side.  The cantilever extends out over the build plate and rides up and down on the smooth bars. 

I used 2 Z motors only because I wanted to maintain speed when I eventually add a second extruder.  I'm sure you could get away with a single Z if you wanted. 

I'm using my Plastruder Clone and it sits on a printed extension off of the Z cantilever.  The Pocket Printer used a nice aluminum plate for this, I would recommend that instead of the printed part.  Unfortunately I didn't have access to equipment to make that plate, so I designed a printed part instead. 
My RAMPS 1.4 sits on the back using Dkennel's RAMPS box.  My X ends are essentially printed versions of his.  The Y motor bracket is once again Dkennel's design.  I'm using the T5 belts/pulleys I had on my Prusa. 

Current Build Envelope: X-200, Y-120, Z-180. 
Actual Build Envelope: X- 200, Y-200, Z-180. (Once my replacement Y Al Extrusion comes in)

To Do List:

Brace the vertical Z axis.  Currently I'm using 90 degree brackets and they still allow the Z to wobble very very slightly.  Bracing the more will allow for faster printing speeds. 
Replace the ZipTie brackets on both the X and Y.  These seem to work fine, but I just want something a bit more sturdy. 
Make a single X carriage.  I will eventually design an X carriage that is all inclusive.  Currently I have a belt clamp bracket mounted onto the plywood between the X bearing holders.  I want to integrate all of these into one bracket like the Pocket Printer design has. 
Extend my Y! A miscalculation resulted in a Y extrusion that was 80mm too short.  This is an easy fix just a longer belt is needed. 
Enclose all smooth rod brackets.
Integrate cross bar (The bars on the bottom the feet are attached to) brackets into the Y axis end brackets. -I've already actually done this, I just haven't printed out replacements. 


Allows the extruder to remain mostly stationary.  Except Z travel.
Entire assembly is very rigid even at travel speeds speeds of 200mm/s.
Other than the a few 5mm bolts and the associated aluminum extrusion nuts, there isn't much in the way of hardware, as everything push fits into the aluminum extrusions. 
Will likely allow for some light milling, if so inclined.  ( I probably never will attempt this)
Can easily be built out of a retired Prusa.  -Motors, smooth bars, bearings, HBP, etc
I designed and built it myself! (Ok, this one really just applies to me, but none the less, it's a good feeling to see something you imagined come to life.)


Entire alignment of each axis relies on perfectly aligned printed parts and straight aluminum extrusions. If the parts aren't printed correctly and fitted correctly, then the axes won't be squared and level to each other.  
There isn't an easy way to fix misaligned parts. 
Requires both aluminum extrusions and smooth bars.  This adds to the cost slightly. 
There is still a significant amount of mass being moved by the Y motor.  I don't know the exact weight but its higher than I hoped for.  This means a fair amount of vibration at higher print speeds.  This is where the bracing between the Y and Z extrusions comes into play.  Without proper bracing, the extruder end of the cantilever can bounce up and down causing ugly prints.  I'm printing reliably around 70 to 80mm/s depending on the part being printed. 

I’d like to thank DKennel for the Pocket Printer design and Prusa for his design, allowing me to steal parts of both for this design.  All of the parts are on Thingiverse if anyone is interested.  I will post a BOM including lengths of extrusions and smooth rods shortly.  Feel free to leave feedback in the comments!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Mark II

I printed a Mark II robot friend today from Thingiverse.  I made mine for my nephew, and I'm sure the rest of my nephews will want one as soon as they see it.  Pablo did a great job on this one.  Printed full size, Mark II stands about 9 inches high.   I would recommend printing the "pins" and "joints" slightly smaller so they fit without trimming.

Plastruder Clone Update

I've been using my Plastruder Clone for a number of prints and I am very happy with it.  I print between 70 and 80mm/s with out any problem.  The increased weight on the X carriage from the larger geared stepper means I can't print much higher without crazy vibration.

I did notice an issue that I never experienced with the hobbled bold on my Wade's - clogging.  I have had an issue multiple times where the drive pulley's teeth will clog.  This has always been my fault.  It always happens if I set my Z height too low.  As long as I avoid this, I am completely fine.

I never had this problem before with my wades, it would just squash out the abs and make the first layer look like hell, but never clogged.

Now if my drive pulley clogs, I'll get a very weak infill on my first layer and subsequent layers will lack in density once the pulley spins around to the clogged position.  

Moral of the story: be precise with your Z heights.    Other than that, everything is going well, even with the incorrect stepper.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Printer Build!

I'm in the process of obtaining all of the required parts to build my Pocket Printer derivative.  As stated previously, I am building mine with the standard 9x9"(ish) build area associated with a Prusa.  This way I can use the Prusa Mk1 PCB heated bed. 

I purchased the 8020 extrusions from Misumi. You can get it cut to specific lengths and have them tap the ends for you too.  I will post more information as it progresses.

Monday, May 14, 2012


Be sure to check out the webstore for RepRap Printer Parts.  Different colors available.  If you have any questions/requests, let me know.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Plastruder Clone

I have read many posts and reviews complimenting Makergear's Plastruder.  They charge $170 for the whole kit.  I already had my J-Head hotend and could print the parts myself so I decided to try and build a clone.  I put this Plastruder clone on my Prusa Mendel i2.  Here is the build process.  Hopefully this saves someone some time/money.   

Drive Gear: ($12 + $20 for machining = $32)

I purchased a replacement mk6/mk7 drive pulley from a seller on eBay. (Makerbot sells them here too, but they weren't in stock when I started this project.)  The gear had a 5mm for a standard Nema17 motor shaft.  It needed to be 8mm to fit the geared stepper I used for this (see below), so I took it to a small machine shop around the corner and they opened it up for me.  It cost me $20 but its perfect and I know I would have screwed it up if I did it on my own.  It's 305 Stainless, so it wouldn't be the easiest thing to do on your own.

Geared Stepper: ($34 + shipping = ~$60)

I kind of screwed up here.  I really should have done a little more research before I bought this stepper.  I noticed after I already had this stepper in my possession that Makergear provides the manufacturer and model number on their website for the exact motor they use.

Side note:  Makergear has two different motors listed for their plastruders.  One is a 14:1 gear ratio and the other is a 5:1 ratio.  I assume the difference here is it's intended use.  The 14:1 has more torque, therefore I have to imagine when a plastruder is used with 3mm filament and a 0.35mm nozzle, this is the motor of choice. (Although I don't know that for sure, but check below for my reasoning.) 

You can find the "correct" motors here. These motors are a bit more expensive and I have no idea how much shipping would cost.

I didn't notice this and decided to pick out my own geared stepper blindly.  I chose this geared stepper by Phidgets. ( sells these as well, and they may have cheaper shipping).  It has a 5:1 gear ratio and a respectable 20 kg-cm torque rating  (16kg-cm holding torque).  In hindsight, it's torque is slightly less than the 26kg-cm that the "correct" Kysan stepper has.  (See below).

Printed Parts: (Self Printed = $0)

I found this on thingiverse, and used it for my filament drive body.  I liked the rear facing motor because it didn't decrease my X distance at all.  (The size of the x carriage, driver body/motor is still shorter than my Wades on my normal x carriage so my Z clearance actually increased by a few mm.) 

I used this for my new X carriage.  I already had linear bearings so this worked perfectly. 

Both of these objects absolutely need to be printed with support.  So be patient and clean them properly after printing. 

I had to make my own J-Head mounting plate.  You can see in the pictures its the white block with the split in the middle directly under the blue filament drive body.  Its basically a collar that fits around the groove on the J-Head body.  While it works flawlessly, its not the best solution since it requires me to remove the entire extruder from the X carriage to change hotends. (I can upload the design to thingiverse if anyone is actually interested in using it, just let me know.)

Hardware: (Stuff laying around = $0)

5x 5mm bolts - 2 to connect motor to drive body, 2 to hold everything to the X carriage, 1 to hold the idler bearing block

2x long bolts w/nuts - used to hold idler bearing block closed.  Probably should use springs, I didn't but I make sure they are tight often.

1x 608 bearing - idler

8mm smooth rod - idler

Total: ~$92

End Result:

This is made for 3mm abs filament with a 0.5mm nozzle.  It works perfectly as long as the bolts holding the idler body closed are tight. 

Side Note:  I originally tried this with my new 0.35 J-Head hot end.  I couldn't get it to work correctly.  I don't think the motor has enough torque to push the large 3mm filament into the smaller 0.35mm nozzle.  If I tightened down the bolts to a point where it would push the filament, the motor was skipping steps.  Increasing the current to the motor eventually resulting in even more missed steps.  I imagine this may work better for 1.75mm with the 0.35mm nozzle but I haven't tried it.  The Kysan 14:1 ratio model has a holding torque of 26kg-cm. (compared to the Phidgets' ~16kg-cm)  I may purchase one of these in the future and see if they helps my problem. 


My Plastruder Clone works and works well (as long as I stick with the 0.5mm nozzle.)  I do notice a slight increase in print quality over my previous Wades ( but I may just be bias).  It was definitely cheaper than buying a full kit from Makergear, since I didn't need the majority of the parts included in the kit.  I'm not sure if you priced it all out separately if you would end up saving any money, maybe?  But its always fun to do things yourself!  Let me know if anyone has any questions/concerns. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Started to sell RepRap Prusa V2 kits on eBay.  First one sold in less than a day.

I have started to notice a need for higher resolution.  My current printing quality is being held up by my 0.5mm hotend nozzle.  I just ordered another J-Head hotend with a 0.35mm nozzle from (Yes thats a real site)  I love my original J-Head.  Unless nearly ever other item associated with my RepRap, my J-Head has never had a problem. (Knock on wood) 

I am also in the process of building another 3D printer.  This time built out of 20 Series T Slot extruded aluminum framing.  While I apreciate the fact that my RepRap can replicate, or print, itself (especially since I can sell those replications to fund my hobby), I am looking to make a printer that is much more sturdy.   My Prusa can easily print over 80mm/sec, but the quality of the print suffers.  When moving at that speed, the entire printer vibrates causing "waves" in the finished printed part.  While this doesn't affect the integrity, it does tend to make it unsightly. 

I was inspired for my new design from the Pocket Printer on Thingiverse.  My design differs slightly by incorporating the X motor onto the X axis.  The Y axis will then move the entire X axis (x axis slides, x axis motor, printbed, etc).  While this will increase the weight of the X axis, I'm going to risk it.  I may even try a NEMA 14 instead of a 17 if it will work, in order to decrease weight.  I appreciate The Pocket Printer's novel design, it seems overly complicated and I'm not sure that belt configuration provides much benefit to printing speed/quality.  But I could be wrong.  I'll keep this blog posted with my findings. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012


99% Completed Prusa Mendel Iteration 2.  Just waiting on the MK1 PCB heated bed.  All parts printed on my now defunct Huxley.  The X axis is a little short since the Z height on my Huxley was about 10mm too short to print them, but they work.

I'm also using a greg's accessible wade "reloaded" by Jonaskuehling.  Wade Reloaded

The blue glow is a bit of EL wire heading down the wire spiral.  Serves no real purpose but looks good.

Once again I'm using RAMPS 1.4 with Marlin firmware.  This time I hooked up a cooling fan to cool down parts while printing if needed.  (Skeinforge and Slic3r both have this option)

My "D9" terminal was screwed up and was always on.  It turned out to be a faulty MOSFET which I removed and replaced with another transistor I had laying around.  Since I'm only switching a fan on and off, it'll work.

When removing the old MOSFET, I pretty much destroyed the traces around it, so I had to hard wire the transistor in.   Will post more pics once my heated bed gets in.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Here are some examples of prints from my rewrap Huxley.  I have been experiencing some banding which is likely caused by my Z leadscrews.  I'm not overly concerned since my Prusa will be printing by the end of the week.  I would post pictures of my Prusa build but there is plenty of documentation on that model.

Fishbone gears for Wade's Extruder
 Hollow Owl at 35% scale and 12 tooth T5 pulley
 1.5 scale Love Loft Box
 50% scale hollow Stanford Bunny.

My tool chain is:

Pronterface host software.  Slic3r/Skeinforge/SFACT (Depending on print).  RAMPS 1.4 with Marlin Firmware.

Friday, March 30, 2012


For those of you who are not familiar with the RepRap project I would suggest getting a little more information from their website:

The basic premise is to great a machine that can replicate itself.  Therefore the majority of the parts on a rewrap machine are plastic that the machine can then print.  This allows for printing of another rewrap for a friend and/or allowing for continuous upgrading.

I started with a TechZone Huxley.  I would not recommend it at all.  If you're even considering it, head over to RepRap Forums.  This post will explain the difficulties associated with this company and this design.

The Huxley is a smaller RepRap with a build size of approximately 100 x 100 x 70mm.  It is also supposed to print at higher speeds due to the lack of a stepper extruder on the X access, thus decreasing weight.  While this is true, the use of a Bowden cable, (See for explanation) decreased print quality significantly.  Subsequently, I attached a direct extruder to my X axis, decreasing X axis length and Z height.  I chose quality over size.  It allowed me to print out a replacement Prusa Mendel which I am assembling currently.

First Post

I think it's time to start documenting my many projects.  I'll update this as much as I can.