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MOST RepRap Build
| By Michigan Tech's Open Sustainability Technology Lab.
Wanted: Students to make a distributed future with solar-powered open-source 3-D printing.
|This page is part of an international project to use RepRap 3-D printing to make OSAT for sustainable development. Learn more.
Research: Open source 3-D printing of OSAT • RecycleBot • LCA of home recycling • Green Distributed Recycling • Ethical Filament • LCA of distributed manufacturing • RepRap LCA Energy and CO2 • Solar-powered RepRaps • Feasibility hub • Mechanical testing • RepRap printing protocol: MOST• Lessons learned • MOST RepRap Build • MOST Prusa Build • MOST HS RepRap build • RepRap Print Server
This page documents the RepRap build for the Michigan Tech Open Sustainability Technology Research Group.
-March 2012 - Printing with a purchased J Head hot end. Calibrating and making test prints for mechanical testing.
-12/9/2011 - First extruder hot end failure. Going to change from nichrome heater to embedded resistor.
-12/2/2011 - Fixed problem of having the printer move slowly despite the high feed rate set in Skeinforge. I had "Cool" activated which sets a minimum layer time, and since I was printing a small part, it forced it to take a minute per layer no matter what the feed rate is. Deactivating "Cool" solved the problem, although a shorter Minimum Layer Time should work also.
-11/30/2011 - Fixed some problems of having inconsistent extrusion by tightening the pinch-wheel bolt on which the gear was slipping. Still had problems with too much filament being extruder causing build up. In Skeinforge under Fill I changed the Infill Width over Thickness ratio from 1.5 to 2.5. This has fixed the problem enough for me to complete my first print. It is poor quality, but is a starting point for making adjustments. I think changes need to be made to the Feed Rate/Flow Rate and Layer Height.
-11/9/2011 - Mounted and testing heated print bed. Using glass as the print surface on top of the PCB with the thermistor taped to the top of the glass. Still trying to figure out problems with the G-code from Skeinforge.
-11/4/2011 - First printing test. Had problems with the extruder speeds in the G-code as well as problems with the extruder not putting out filament when it should. Couldn't complete an entire print due to the filament not sticking well to the bed and aforementioned extruder problems. Currently I am using Skeinforge to generate G-code and then I am running it in RepSnapper.
-11/2/2011 - First extrusion test, successful with nozzle temperature around 230C for ABS.
Two printer Reprap species are in place: Mendel and Prusa. In order to minimize spares inventory and ease machine maintenance, where possible, common parts/software will be employed:
Common Components (mostly)
- RAMPS 1.4 electronics
- Marlin firmware (only stable versions will be loaded on production machines) []
- Mechanical end stops
- NEMA 17 motors
- T5 belts
- AlephObjects 12 tooth x/y drive sprockets []
- Standard Wade's extruder []
- 11/39 involute spur gears for extruder []
- Printable LM8UU bearings []
- Parametric z-axis coupling []
- Wire holder/standoffs []
- Model: Mendel
- Printed Components: Commercial RP parts from Queen's University
- Control Software: RepSnapper - Tim Schmidt Version (as of 10/31/2011) 
- G-Code/Slicer: Skeinforge
- Print Bed Heater: Josef Průša PCB Heatbed MK1 
- Print Surface: Glass covered with Kapton tape
To build the RepRap Mendel, follow the instructions on the RepRap wiki.
Deviations and problems not found in the above documentation are described below for each sub-system.
Instructions - X-Axis Build
Instructions - Z-Axis Build
Instructions - Y-Axis Build
Instructions - Frame Build
Bolt - cut grooves with Dremel instead of hobbing
Heated bed mounting instructions - June 14, 2011 Post
- To get the PCB to mount at the correct height on the wood bed, the bolts mounting the wood bed to the Y-chassis need to be countersunk.
RepSnapper - Tim Schmidt Version
- -Use instructions for Ubuntu 10.10 if you have Ubuntu 10.04 or you won't get all the dependencies
- -When connecting to printer, make sure you set the correct baud rate or you can't talk to the controller. Default baud rate in Sprinter is 115200.
- -The instructions are for using it with Sanguino, but you can still use it for RAMPS.
- -Works with Arduino 0022 also.
- -Modifications to the configuration.h file need to be made as explained on the RepRap page
- -Configuring Sprinter Video
Cura - http://daid.github.com/Cura/
- Description of G-Codes
- Reprap Wiki: G-Codes
- Forum: Skeinforge Settings
- Forum: "Nozzle Drag" - Discussion of getting correct fill parameters
- Mendel-Parts Forum: "Skeinforge 40 setup notes" - General overview of initial Skeinforge settings
- Gary Hodgson - Skeinforge E steps issues and settings
- Set non-printing axis speed in Carve->Maximum Initial Feed Rate
Configuring Sprinter - 
Calibrating X,Y, and Z Axes -
General Calibration Equation:
Setting Z-Axis Height - Forum: "How to set the Z axis home?"
Extruder Volumetric Calibration:
- Josef Prusa E steps calibration
- Wiki Volumetric Dimension Settings
- Forum: Discussion on E steps and Filament Density Packing Ratio
-May have to clean the nozzle to remove built up, burnt plastic