Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Playing Fast & Loose

Above is an Orca-style RepRap frame using 10.8mm round extruded aluminium tube simply whacked into printed sockets with a large mallet. The result is slightly under tension on the back bracing which holds the whole thing very securely together with no fasteners.

This is much lighter and simpler than traditional prototyping-style construction with adjustable threaded rods all over. It has the benefit that the smooth rods can be used as axis guides as well as support structure. The Orca-style dihedral distributes load and prevents swaying from side to side.

It's crowned with a one-piece extruder that includes all the guides, clamps and sliders in a single printed piece. It could still be easier to assemble though.

This is really an initial space model - I've not put much work into the brackets and Z lift mechanism yet. Didn't want to have to rework everything if it wasn't stable! I'll cause controversy with the Z axis next :)

Vik :v)

So the build plate is going to be moving in the Z axis or is that a temporary spot for the extruder?
The Y build bed will be pushed up and down on the Z, yes.

The extruder is going to live there - I'm printing the adapted bracketry now.
Looks very cool!

So does the bed go above the two horizontal bars? Initially I pictured the bed between them, but realized that when the bed moves along Y anything on the bed would be scraped off if that were the case.

Can't wait to see more!
(facepalm) Can't believe I hadn't seen the Orca RepRap yet. Yep - y-axis above the bars.
So is this the next gen of your nutless mendel, or are you still hacking on the other one too?
Nice design, easy to scale up and down. PLA runs smoothly on the Alu bars then?
Vik? Controversy? Yeah right ;-)
Can't wait to see! It's funny how after all these years, it still seems like the prize for the most efficient cartesian positioning system eludes us. (It's enough to send one polar ;-) I'm off to find out more about orca....
Hey eD, I'll be in the UK over Xmas and maybe a bit longer. Catch up, eh?
I've been thinking for awhile that the z axis could be entirely mechanical and triggered to rise and fall by the extruder's motion somewhere outside the build area. Is your plan as controversial as that?
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