Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Software ToolChain

I really enjoyed meeting everyone at the at the Philadelphia 3D printer workshop Meetup last night.

Here is a copy of the presentation I gave:
3D Printer Software Toolchain

To answer some questions I was asked

The 3D Printer that I use is a Mendel90 that I built from akKit
It was designed and sold by Chris Palmer, AKA NopHead
Here are instructions on how to order it: Mendel90

The Slicer software I'm currently using is Slic3r v0.9.10b
Originally the printer came with Skienforge

The Printer Controller software I'm currently using is Repetier Host
Originally the printer came with Pronterface

Monday, April 22, 2013

Assembly - Part 2


Continued working on assembly after work today.
It's really starting to look like a 3D printer.
By the way, all these photos are taken with my Samsung Galaxy S3 Cell phone camera


Y Carriage parts

Y Carriage with Hotbed

The backside showing ribbon cable on Y Carriage

X Carriage Head base


Hot End Circuit board - back  (Pretty good soldering eh)

Hot End Circuit board - Front

Extruder motor asssembly

Extruder Motor assembly

Sunday, April 21, 2013



I am very impressed with the kit that Nop Head prepared.
Clear instructions, Very well packaged and everything's clearly labeled

Small Parts Lables
X Idler Assembly
X Motor Assembly
In the instructions, each sub-assembly is in a separate section. it starts out with a parts list of required Vitamins, Goodies and Printed parts.  I start each sub-assembly by counting  out the parts needed for that section, and putting the small parts in a Chinese carryout tray.

Parts layed out for X Motor Assembly
X Motor Assembly
X Motor Assembly

Z Motor Assembly
Parts for Z Motor assembly

Closeup - Z Motor Assembly Parts

Closeup - Z Motor Assembly Parts

 Z Axis Assembly

Parts for Z Axis assembly includes previous sub-assemblies

Left Side Z Axis Assembly

Right Side Z Axis Assembly

Y Idler Assembly

Y Motor Assembly
 Nop Head has designed a really nice wire handling system by using ribbon cables for the flexible bridged

Soldered up the ribbon cable to the Hot Bed and thermister

Completed Y Carriage Assembly

Completed Y Carriage Assembly



So last night I went to several places trying to find the Honeydew Krylon Fusion spray paint, but I could not find that color. I ended up going with my second choice which was Patriotic Blue #2329.
The color scheme was inspired by this particular photo which I had seen recently on the Airshow and Aviation Photography Google+ Community.
Photo by  Andre Lamerant

Painted DiBond Panels


 All in all I'm pretty pleased with the result, but the finish is not as shiny as the original black finish.

The Kit Arrives


Yay ... It arrived Friday at about 4:30 PM

The box was in good shape.

Here's the unpacking.

The Box

Parts laid out

Printed Parts... Seem very high quality

Some Vitamins

The Hot bed and some PLA to start

DiBond panels. I didn't expect black.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mendel90 Kit Build

I'm starting this blog to document the process for getting a 3D printer running at home.

Earlier this year, I joined the 3D Printing community on Google+

It's a very dedicated and talented group, and has been both very informative and inspirational.
I came down to a short list which included the following printers:
Bukobot 8 Vanilla kit by Deezmaker 
Rostock Max kit by SeeMeCNC
Mendel90 kit by nop head

After reading lots of reviews and asking some questions I settled on the Mendel90 design.
I really like how nop head has simplified the design, and it looks to be very rigid, and gets very positive reviews from it's users.  Both for functionality and quality of prints. The frame is made from panels of DiBond, which is constructed of aluminum skins with a polyetheylene core. The cost was also very reasonable.  I have lots of ideas for future improvements, but this one should get me going quickly with high quality prints. I also like that nop head is fully dedicated to the open source concept.

Mendel90 Specifications:
  • Build volume 200mm x 200mm x 200mm
  • Filament 3mm
  • Nozzle size 0.4mm
  • Footprint 465mm x 419mm
  • Height 400mm, with spool 609mm.
Mendel90 3D Printer
Here are some links to information on the Mendel90
RepRap Wiki Page
nop heads blog post
Github page with Parts lists

I ordered a Mendel90 kit from nop head in England.
The best way to order is via email using his Gmail address, which is what I did.
He has recently begun to sell parts kits.
He does not supply the power supply unit to the USA or Canada. 
Even though the demand is very high, He was backordered of only about 2 weeks.

I purchased a like new 650 Watt Ultra LSP650 Power Supply Unit on eBay.
The users manual available here:
$28.85 with $10.00 for shipping

ULTRA LSP650 output
+3.3V    24A
+5.0V    32A
+12V     38A

I purchased 2 lbs of 3mm Taulman 618 nylon filament directly from
2 x $19.75 + $11.50 for shipping and handling.
The properties of this filament sounded very interesting to me when I first heard of it, and now all I hear are positive reviews.  I'll probably try some PLA, and ABS also.

I also ordered on eBay, a few small Peltier solid state thermal panels and some 20A terminal strips to play with.

I received an Email that my printer was nearly ready to ship, and that it was time to send payment. The cost was  £484.00 + £60.00 S&H = £544.00 GBP  =  $834.44 USD.
I submitted payment via Paypal for $834.44 USD to The Nopbotshop.

I received the 2 x 1lb spools of 3mm Taulman 618 Nylon.

2 x 1lb spools of Taulman 618 Nylon Filament

I studied up on the painting the DiBond panels which make up the Mendel90 Structure.
Apparently the DiBond factory finish is a polyurethane paint.
The DiBond fabrication guide is here:

Many people have had success with this painting process for DiBond panels:
  •   Scuff surface with red Scotchbrite.
  •   Wipe surface with Acetone,
  •   Spray paint with Krylon Fusion for Plastic
  •   Let dry completely between coats or it may orange peel
Some people have recommended painting the panels as the very first step, because once you start fitting up parts, you may never want go back to paint it... seems reasonable, so that is my plan.
My daughter chose this paint color for the DiBond panels:
Honeydew                    # 2335

I modified the wiring on the Power Supply Unit.
The cable ends cut off

Inside the Ultra LSP650

Wires rebundled together for Mendel90

PSU Back together again

I received an email notification that my Mendel90 is shipping Via UPS.
I also received a tracking number. According to UPS, the kit should be delivered by the end of the day, Friday 04/19/2013.  Wow that's fast if it really comes that quickly!

PSU Wiring
I added a 10 Ohm, 10 Watt resistor, a switch and some LEDs to the wires, so that I could test the PSU... Seems to be working OK, I tested all the outputs with a voltmeter (12.20V, 5.15V & 3.31V), and looked at the 12V on a scope... about +/-50mv Ripple... not too bad, but I would have liked better. It may improve under load.
Wire Connections
Grey:     (Power OK) to Blue LED (lights when 12V,5V,3.3V output is on and within spec.)
Purple:  (5VSB) to Red LED (lights when PSU is plugged in and on
Orange:   (3.3V Sense) Connected to larger guage3.3V orange wire
Blue Wire:  (-12V) NC - Tucked back into sheathing
Green:    (Power ON) to on/off switch
Red:  (+5V) 10 Ohm, 10 Watt load resistor

The Mendel90 Controller will only use the bundle of yellow and black wires for 12V power, The rest I'll hook up to a terminal strip to allow for potential future upgrades.
Red:  (+5V)   - maybe some RGB LEDs?
Yellow:  (+12V) I split out 4 yellows for use as auxilliary 12V
Orange:  (+3.3V)  - maybe for my Teensy 3.0?
Black:  (COM) Ground wires
For now I'll just leave them as pigtails, and once I get the printer up and running, I can create a switch/indicator panel, and a terminal block holder.

So now I must just be patient...just be patient...

Gack!  UPS package tracking page just says "adverse weather condtions"...What does that mean!?!?
Well at least the scheduled delivery time hasn't changed...Yet

09:00 Woohoo!!   Out for delivery!
Hmmm... Suddenly I'm not feeling so well maybe I should leave work early today :-)