Thursday, October 20, 2005


First Polymorph Object Made

I attached the new Polymorph extruder (10 September 2005) to the old Cartesian robot mentioned in the blog for 14 May 2005. Then I programmed the robot to build a rectangular block. It worked...

Here is a still taken at the end:

Click here for a Quicktime movie of the extruder working to make the block (N.B. it's a 20 MB file...).

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Removing floppy steppers

Having survived a brief but rapid descent down the side of the Waitakere ranges with only minor injuries, I've replaced the stepper motor on the horizontal thread drive with a much bigger one that has a 7.5 degree step size. I now have more resolution than I can handle on that axis, and it runs much quieter.

I found that a 50mm length of 2mm i/d PVC plastic tubing, as used in irrigation and hydroponics systems, fits smoothly over the stepper motor shafts. This slips into a piece of 4mm i/d PVC tubing that has been screwed onto the end of the M5 threaded rod. This gives a smoothly rotating drive without going to the hassle of having to line up the motor and the rod precisely. I'd used the same materials before, but only as shim rather than as a flexible coupling.

It's much quieter and more reliable now - no skipping even under heavy load. I'll experiment with speeding it up, but Fire Brigade duties are getting in the way - I have to rig up some "light bars" for the celebrations in the hall, and that needs my 12V PSU as well as my time.

ECONZ Have donated heaps more connectors of the type used in Adrian's impromptu socket designs, and 200 LEDs. I can see we're getting set up for mass production in New Zealand well in advance!

Vik :v)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Why so quiet?

We've been a bit quiet recently. Just to ressure you all, this means nothing more than we've had our heads down and we're busy. Files have been moving in and out of our CVS, and a major presentation is being worked on that will be made availabel to all. For those who happen to be going to LinuxConf 2006, I hope to have the Meccano prototype and a Polymorph extrusion head demonstrated as part of the RepRap presentation there.

ECONZ Has generously donate more stepper motors to the cause, so I might upgrade the drive system at some point as the new ones are stronger than my salvage from the floppy drives.

The big push now from my perspective is to get some communications going between the PICs in a meaningful way, which Simon and Adrian have been preparing code for. I'm also stuck right in the middle of the perparations for Laingholm Volunteer Fire Brigade's 50th anniversary, which is no small task but will be over in a fortnight.

So, back to work.

Vik :v)

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