Let's Make Robots!

3D Printer Build

My friend Mr. Ossipee recently asked me how my printer build was going. So I decided it was time to start blog to chronicle my blunders! :)

I started out with a very ambitious plans to build a hybrid rostock style delta printer. As you can see below I had ordered quite a few parts in preparation for the build.

Arduino Mega, Ramps 1.4, and Display.

 

Misc Hardware, Bearings, Traxxas Ball Joints, Spacers, Etc....

 

Stepper Motors, Heated Bed, Misc Metal...

 

3 Makerslides...

 

And an E3D Hotend kit.
Copious amounts of 3/4" thick Black HDPE.
This is where the plan began to unravel...
I found it difficult to machine the HDPE using the tools that I had on hand. The plastic would re-weld due to the heat generated by the end mill. My small mill is not setup with a liquid coolant system, so I was trying to get by with compressed air to remove the swarf and cool the mill. This did not work out well at all! So, in the end I changed course and pursued a more conventional build.
Many of the items that I originally purchased for building my 3D printer (Steppers, Electronics and Hot End) were still useable on the new machine. And as for the Makerslides, HDPE, Bearings, and Misc Hardware that would not be used on the new build, that will not go to waste. I plan to later build a light duty CNC router using these parts.
So, I then decided that I would build a Rostock Mini version 3D printer. I found a company called 3D Borg that offered a very nice kit that included the printed parts, plus the acrylic frame pieces, carbon fiber rods, and all of the misc screws/hardware items for $130. I ordered the kit and waited. Without bashing the company I will just say that in the end I waited 3 weeks and I eventually had to invoke a 3rd party (Paypal) to get a refund.
Seeing that this company was unresponsive, I downloaded the drawings for the acrylic frame and found a local company (Pololu) that could laser cut the parts for me. The process was painless, upload the design, ok the proof, and the make it. I got the finished frame in one day delivered to my door. They actually overnighted it to me, even though I paid for normal shipping.
I then turned to EBAY and purchased a kit containing the Rostock printed parts and carbon fiber rods for about $70.00. Below you can see the partially assembled towers.
I could not find the proper length of 3mm screws, so I purchased 100 3mm x 20mm screws and had to hand cut each of the 42 screws used on the 3 towers to proper length. It took me several hours over a period of a few days to get the towers to this stage.
Today, 24 May 2014, I completed the towers and installed them onto the frame.
That is my progress to date. I will update this blog as I move forward with thebuild. Thanks for your time!
- Don

 

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Ive had good success milling HDPE. Trick is to make nice fat chips to take away the heat. Try either increasing your feed or turning down your spindle rpm and use a single flute cutter.

Otherwise nice work on the printer!

Thanks for the kind words!

And I very much appreciate the help with the HDPE milling. I did try setting my spindle rpm to the lowest speed possible. But I only have two and four flute end mills. I decided to try your suggestion of using a single flute cutter and just got done ordering one. When it arrives I'll give it another go!

 

...Pulling the paper off of the Plexi only enough to put the screws in...   ...thus keeping the Acrylic as shiny as it can be until the final end. Oh yeah, I noticed. 

Quality.

Yup, you got me. Probably OCD or something like that!  ;)

Wow, nifty! Ya, I actually built a 3D Printer because I liked HDPE, but the reweld made it difficult to be precise. Excellent work, sir! Can't wait to see it moving!

Thank you Ladvien! How is your printer working out my friend? I still have a ways to go before it will be moving. But I am slowly getting there! :)

That's looking great, your almost there! Have you picked out your software, I'm fond of repetier host, but other's seem to prefer the new cura or pronterface. Either way you almost at the really fun part, first movements.

Thank you Oss! I have not picked out the software yet. I also purchased a Sanguininololu board for the printer. Not as capable as the Ramps/Mega board, but the frame is already designed for mounting it.

I cannot wait to get some movement going!

it is very amazing.

Thank you for the kind words Smartaduino! And thank goodness for open source designs! Very creative folks make it possible for dolts like me to make something elegant. :)