MakerBot Build Log + Prop Control Discussion

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 20,603
edited June 2014 in Robotics Vote Up0Vote Down
The Thing-O-Matic kit arrived! Here's the open-box photo and a photo of its contents:

attachment.php?attachmentid=82995&d=1310670522

attachment.php?attachmentid=82994&d=1310670520

It was nicely packed, but the neat compartmentalization in smaller boxes hides one overwhelming realization: OMG! There are a lot of freaking parts in this kit! No wonder it took a month to ship. Just kitting the parts must take hours for each one. Well, it looks like building it will be a weeks-long not week-end project. I just hope I can keep the workspace organized that long.

Another first impression: The framework is bare plywood, which I knew from the product photos. It appears to be birch veneer over a single-ply core, probably of a softer wood. Given the necessary tolerances, I might have wished for 7-ply marine-grade plywood instead. So now I have to make a choice, since the Northwest is a damp climate: Varnish it? Head out to EdenSaw and find a marine-grade wood I can cut on my laser cutter? (I'm pretty sure the CAD files are available somewhere.) Or?

More to come -- slowly. I've still got the day job to think about.

-Phil

BTW, Rich (W9GFO) ordered his a little before I ordered mine and is probably a few steps ahead of me in the build process. So Rich, you're welcome to add your own impressions/experiences here if you like.
648 x 345 - 53K
648 x 486 - 46K
“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

We had many discussions at the galley table and there had been many honest attempts to understand each other's thinking. There are several kinds of reception possible. There is the mind which lies in wait with traps for flaws, so set that it may miss, though not grasping it, a soundness. There is a second which is not reception at all, but blind flight because of laziness, or because some pattern is disturbed by the processes of the discussion. The best reception of all is that which is easy and relaxed, which says in effect, "Let me absorb this thing. Let me try to understand it without private barriers. When I have understood what you are saying, only then will I subject it to my own scrutiny and my own criticism."  This is the finest of all critical approaches and the rarest.

The smallest and meanest of all is that which, being frightened or outraged by thinking outside or beyond its pattern, revenges itself senselessly; leaps on a misspelled word or a mispronunciation, drags tricky definition in by the scruff of the neck, and, ranging like a small unpleasant dog, rags and tears the structure to shreds.


-John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez
«134567

Comments

  • 194 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 12,308
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I am watching eagerly :)
    My Prop boards: P8XBlade2, RamBlade, CpuBlade, TriBlade
    Prop OS (also see Sphinx, PropDos, PropCmd, Spinix)
    Website: www.clusos.com
    Prop Tools (Index) , Emulators (Index) , ZiCog (Z80)
  • Mike GMike G Posts: 2,702
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Me too, jealously :)
    Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple. Woody Guthrie
  • BeanBean Posts: 7,797
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Phil,
    Thanks for sharing. I eagerly await futher updates.

    Bean
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    Esterline Research & Design
    thitt@esterlineresearch.com

    We offer consulting on the following areas of expertise:
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  • JoannaKJoannaK Posts: 44
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Ooh, nice... Please keep updates coming.

    I did order eMaker Huxley kit some weeks ago. I'm not sure when I'm supposed to get it, but hopefully within couple months. It's supposidely quite similar machine, but based on RepRap development and is made of printed plastic parts combined with metal rods.
  • ercoerco Posts: 17,245
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    MMMMMMMM... another plywood robot on the way ! :)
    “Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.”

    -Leonardo da Vinci
  • W9GFOW9GFO Posts: 3,677
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Nice!

    My TOM is printing right now. I can offer some tips if you like... Ah what the heck here are the tips anyway.

    Print out a new extruder! http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:7113 It will save much frustration with filament slipping and stepper skipping.

    Modify the Z stage! The very short distance between the bearings on the Z stage is a bad design and will lead to problems. There are several mods for it on Thingiverse. I have designed a mod that requires zero additional hardware and is printed. It has been in use for a couple weeks and has worked flawlessly. I will be putting in on Thingiverse soon. If you like I can send you the files.

    Print out some strain relief parts for the HBP (you are going to use the HBP and not the ABP right?) and the X axis endstop - another thing that I will be putting on Thingiverse but easy to design your own.

    Get the aluminum plate to put on the HBP and a roll of the wide kapton tape. It makes raftless printing a piece of cake.

    There are errors in the documentation. Be sure to read ahead - there are cases where if you were to follow step by step you might wish that you hadn't.

    If you use a Mac,download Pleasant3D. Very useful program to view the toolpaths before printing.

    If you use Sketchup, you'll need a plugin to export to stl. Also, do not design in mm inside Sketchup. Use inches instead. I have modified a plugin (it was super easy) to make exporting in the correct units a one step process. The reason is that for very small parts Sketchup may not work correctly.

    Come to StudentRND on Sat Jul 23 where I will be presenting "Intro to 3D printing". It is free.

    Rich H
  • W9GFOW9GFO Posts: 3,677
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Oh, since you already have a laser, I would get some better quality ply and cut out new parts for the Z stage. The cheap wood that they use flexes too much in my opinion, especially with the weight of the stepper.The files are on Thingiverse. It's one of the things I will be doing once my laser arrives.

    Rich H
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 20,603
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Thanks, Rich! That's all good info. How many hours do you think you have into the kit build?

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

    -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    We had many discussions at the galley table and there had been many honest attempts to understand each other's thinking. There are several kinds of reception possible. There is the mind which lies in wait with traps for flaws, so set that it may miss, though not grasping it, a soundness. There is a second which is not reception at all, but blind flight because of laziness, or because some pattern is disturbed by the processes of the discussion. The best reception of all is that which is easy and relaxed, which says in effect, "Let me absorb this thing. Let me try to understand it without private barriers. When I have understood what you are saying, only then will I subject it to my own scrutiny and my own criticism."  This is the finest of all critical approaches and the rarest.

    The smallest and meanest of all is that which, being frightened or outraged by thinking outside or beyond its pattern, revenges itself senselessly; leaps on a misspelled word or a mispronunciation, drags tricky definition in by the scruff of the neck, and, ranging like a small unpleasant dog, rags and tears the structure to shreds.


    -John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez
  • W9GFOW9GFO Posts: 3,677
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Hard to say, I built it pretty much straight through. Maybe around 8 - 12 hours?

    Rich H
  • RobotWorkshopRobotWorkshop Posts: 2,300
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    More to come -- slowly. I've still got the day job to think about.

    That looks more like a couple vacation days to me! Christmas came early for you sir. That sure looks like a fun project! I'm looking forward to pictures of the build.

    Robert
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 20,603
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I just called EdenSaw to see if they had any 5mm marine plywood. The only thing they had was okuma, a relative of mahogany, and I'd have to buy a full $50 sheet. I did pick up some 6mm scraps of it (5-ply) from my neighbor who owns a CNC shop and may use it for the top piece at least.

    Rich, did you varnish or paint your wood parts before assembling?

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

    -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    We had many discussions at the galley table and there had been many honest attempts to understand each other's thinking. There are several kinds of reception possible. There is the mind which lies in wait with traps for flaws, so set that it may miss, though not grasping it, a soundness. There is a second which is not reception at all, but blind flight because of laziness, or because some pattern is disturbed by the processes of the discussion. The best reception of all is that which is easy and relaxed, which says in effect, "Let me absorb this thing. Let me try to understand it without private barriers. When I have understood what you are saying, only then will I subject it to my own scrutiny and my own criticism."  This is the finest of all critical approaches and the rarest.

    The smallest and meanest of all is that which, being frightened or outraged by thinking outside or beyond its pattern, revenges itself senselessly; leaps on a misspelled word or a mispronunciation, drags tricky definition in by the scruff of the neck, and, ranging like a small unpleasant dog, rags and tears the structure to shreds.


    -John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez
  • W9GFOW9GFO Posts: 3,677
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I considered it but there really are a lot of pieces and I decided that to do them all would just take too long, would not improve performance and may require more attention when fitting the pieces together. Plus, I didn't want to wait.

    Rich H
  • ElectricAyeElectricAye Posts: 4,561
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Don't let the cat get near it.
    It might do to your Thing-O-Matic what it did to my shoes.
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 20,603
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Browser is way more interested in shoes than anything mechanical -- the stinkier the better! So no worries there.

    I've come to a decision on the plywood: I'm going to use it as-is. The okuma doesn't have as nice a surface finish as the birch laminate. Also, I don't have a spray setup where I can coat both sides of the pieces at once. I learned from experience over Christmas that coating one side (at a time) will cause thin plywood to warp as the varnish dries, so that's not an option. Plus, I share Rich''s concern about the tabs fitting the slots once the pieces are varnished. If the top piece wants to sag from the weight, I can always laser cut some struts to reinforce it.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

    -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    We had many discussions at the galley table and there had been many honest attempts to understand each other's thinking. There are several kinds of reception possible. There is the mind which lies in wait with traps for flaws, so set that it may miss, though not grasping it, a soundness. There is a second which is not reception at all, but blind flight because of laziness, or because some pattern is disturbed by the processes of the discussion. The best reception of all is that which is easy and relaxed, which says in effect, "Let me absorb this thing. Let me try to understand it without private barriers. When I have understood what you are saying, only then will I subject it to my own scrutiny and my own criticism."  This is the finest of all critical approaches and the rarest.

    The smallest and meanest of all is that which, being frightened or outraged by thinking outside or beyond its pattern, revenges itself senselessly; leaps on a misspelled word or a mispronunciation, drags tricky definition in by the scruff of the neck, and, ranging like a small unpleasant dog, rags and tears the structure to shreds.


    -John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez
  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 12,308
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    So we shall see it running in 8-12 hours ???
    My Prop boards: P8XBlade2, RamBlade, CpuBlade, TriBlade
    Prop OS (also see Sphinx, PropDos, PropCmd, Spinix)
    Website: www.clusos.com
    Prop Tools (Index) , Emulators (Index) , ZiCog (Z80)
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 20,603
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Cluso99, I think you're more anxious to see this thing done than I am. :)

    Today, I'm going to take Rich's advice and read through all the instructions before starting assembly.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

    -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    We had many discussions at the galley table and there had been many honest attempts to understand each other's thinking. There are several kinds of reception possible. There is the mind which lies in wait with traps for flaws, so set that it may miss, though not grasping it, a soundness. There is a second which is not reception at all, but blind flight because of laziness, or because some pattern is disturbed by the processes of the discussion. The best reception of all is that which is easy and relaxed, which says in effect, "Let me absorb this thing. Let me try to understand it without private barriers. When I have understood what you are saying, only then will I subject it to my own scrutiny and my own criticism."  This is the finest of all critical approaches and the rarest.

    The smallest and meanest of all is that which, being frightened or outraged by thinking outside or beyond its pattern, revenges itself senselessly; leaps on a misspelled word or a mispronunciation, drags tricky definition in by the scruff of the neck, and, ranging like a small unpleasant dog, rags and tears the structure to shreds.


    -John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez
  • ajwardajward Posts: 1,057
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    The Thing-O-Matic kit arrived!

    It was nicely packed, but the neat compartmentalization in smaller boxes hides one overwhelming realization: OMG! There are a lot of freaking parts in this kit! No wonder it took a month to ship. Just kitting the parts must take hours for each one. Well, it looks like building it will be a weeks-long not week-end project. I just hope I can keep the workspace organized that long.

    Another first impression: The framework is bare plywood, which I knew from the product photos. It appears to be birch veneer over a single-ply core, probably of a softer wood. Given the necessary tolerances, I might have wished for 7-ply marine-grade plywood instead. So now I have to make a choice, since the Northwest is a damp climate: Varnish it? Head out to EdenSaw and find a marine-grade wood I can cut on my laser cutter? (I'm pretty sure the CAD files are available somewhere.) Or?

    More to come -- slowly. I've still got the day job to think about.

    -Phil

    What a cool toy! (Yes, I know it's a serious piece of equipment, but... what a cool toy!!! :-> )
    Founder of the "Society for Aimless Tinkering and World Conquest"
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 20,603
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Today I began the Thing-O-Matic assembly and completed the Automated Build Platform. In reading the instruction's comments about the screws, nuts, and T-slots, and how the screws need occasional retightening due to vibration, I decided to use Loctite on all of them. (Lockwashers do not fit the slots.) I used the medium-duty type so as not to preclude disassembly.

    Getting the nuts into the T-slots and stationary long enough to start the screws can be frustrating. If you have children, their small fingers would definitely be an asset for this task. Barring the availability of forced child labor, an extensive swear vocabulary is the next best option. At least that has helped me.

    Because the wood pieces are laser-cut, there's a balck ash that coats all the edges. The instructions recommend wiping it off with a damp paper towel. Well, that was a mess, with little paper shreds everywhere. I ended up using a damp microfiber rag instead. I still didn't get all of it off, though, to which my dirty smudges on the bare wood stand in mute testimony.

    Be sure to pay close attention to the photos in the instructions when putting parts together. Because the tab and slot locations are symmetrical, it's very easy to attach parts backwards. Had the tab and slot locations been asymmetrical, this problem could have been alleviated.

    The first order of business is to solder a cable to the belt drive motor and a connector to the end. What the instructions don't say is that the cable is much longer than it needs to be. Although the excess can be coiled under the front panel, cutting it shorter would have been the neater solution.

    One of the next things the instructions have you do is sand one of the slots that the belt goes through a little deeper:

    5279942449_cf599596e0.jpg

    I used a file instead because it produced a neater recess than I could ever hope to get with sandpaper. Temporarily bolting the pieces together helped to get the file aligned properly. I assume that subsequent laser-cut fabs of these pieces will include the additional slot depth.

    The belt rollers consist of rubber tubing pushed onto steel rods. You have to cut the tubing to length, and the instructions explicitly state that accuracy is important. What they don't explain is that it's almost impossible to trim a little of the end and have it come out square and smooth, if you cut it too long. My solution was to insert a bamboo barbecue skewer into the end to support the rubber, so I could cut around it with the provided razor blade. The results aren't perfect, but they're good enough.

    The belt slides over the top of the heated build platform. One of the screws that holds the platform down to the frame also holds a silicone "nozzle wiper." If screwed down per the instructions, it would interfere with the belt's movement, acting as a brake, essentially. To remedy this, I cut a piece of 0.03" plastic shim for the rubber to sit atop, so the belt could slide underneath it:

    attachment.php?attachmentid=83022&d=1310771889

    Stretching the belt over the rollers is a bit tricky. The instructions suggest snapping the front roller into place first, then the back one. For me it worked better to position the front roller just prior to snapping it in, snapping in the back roller, then finishing the front one. In the course of doing this the belt caught on one of the center shaft supports, which put a raised burble in it. Without a completely flat build surface, extrusion errors are all but certain. I was worried that I would have to do some major disassembly to replace the belt with one of the provided spares. In an effort to avoid that, I applied my heat gun to it, and the burble flattened out. Phew!

    Here are photos of the top and bottom of the "completed" automated build platform. (I put "completed" in quotes, because I see I left out some screws.)

    attachment.php?attachmentid=83020&d=1310771887

    attachment.php?attachmentid=83019&d=1310771886

    This part of the build took most of the day. I don't see how Rich ever got this done in eight hours. Maybe it was forced child labor instead of swearing that sped things up for him. :)

    So far, I'm pretty happy with the materials and instructions. The plywood should have been a much higher quality than what was provided. But I was happy to see extra material provided where one might lose it or screw up cutting it. I'm still paranoid about dropping a small part on the floor, as I did today with one of the nylon washers. I was lucky to find it.

    And when I get frustrated, I can just look out my shop window and enjoy the local "fawna":

    attachment.php?attachmentid=83021&d=1310771888

    -Phil
    570 x 442 - 62K
    469 x 352 - 38K
    449 x 353 - 41K
    469 x 445 - 38K
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

    -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    We had many discussions at the galley table and there had been many honest attempts to understand each other's thinking. There are several kinds of reception possible. There is the mind which lies in wait with traps for flaws, so set that it may miss, though not grasping it, a soundness. There is a second which is not reception at all, but blind flight because of laziness, or because some pattern is disturbed by the processes of the discussion. The best reception of all is that which is easy and relaxed, which says in effect, "Let me absorb this thing. Let me try to understand it without private barriers. When I have understood what you are saying, only then will I subject it to my own scrutiny and my own criticism."  This is the finest of all critical approaches and the rarest.

    The smallest and meanest of all is that which, being frightened or outraged by thinking outside or beyond its pattern, revenges itself senselessly; leaps on a misspelled word or a mispronunciation, drags tricky definition in by the scruff of the neck, and, ranging like a small unpleasant dog, rags and tears the structure to shreds.


    -John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez
  • JoannaKJoannaK Posts: 44
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Today I began the Thing-O-Matic assembly and completed the Automated Build Platform. In reading the instruction's comments about the screws, nuts, and T-slots, and how the screws need occasional tightening due to vibration, I decided to use Loctite on all of them. (Lockwashers do not fit the slots.) I used the medium-duty type so as not to preclude disassembly.

    Getting the nuts into the T-slots and stationary long enough to start the screws can be frustrating. If you have children, their small fingers would definitely be an asset for this task. Barring the availability of forced child labor, an extensive swear vocabulary is the next best option. At least that has helped me.

    ....

    -Phil

    IIRC someone has used some clear tape to temporarely fix those nuts at the slots.
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 20,603
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    The instructions also suggest using tape. Maybe I should not have ignored that suggestion, but it seemed like an unnecessary extra step at the time.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

    -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    We had many discussions at the galley table and there had been many honest attempts to understand each other's thinking. There are several kinds of reception possible. There is the mind which lies in wait with traps for flaws, so set that it may miss, though not grasping it, a soundness. There is a second which is not reception at all, but blind flight because of laziness, or because some pattern is disturbed by the processes of the discussion. The best reception of all is that which is easy and relaxed, which says in effect, "Let me absorb this thing. Let me try to understand it without private barriers. When I have understood what you are saying, only then will I subject it to my own scrutiny and my own criticism."  This is the finest of all critical approaches and the rarest.

    The smallest and meanest of all is that which, being frightened or outraged by thinking outside or beyond its pattern, revenges itself senselessly; leaps on a misspelled word or a mispronunciation, drags tricky definition in by the scruff of the neck, and, ranging like a small unpleasant dog, rags and tears the structure to shreds.


    -John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez
  • W9GFOW9GFO Posts: 3,677
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I think I saved quite a bit of time by skipping the automated build platform. :) I opted for the heated build platform with the aluminum build surface for the largest possible build area and highest quality printing.

    Rich H
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 20,603
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    W9GFO wrote:
    I opted for the heated build platform...
    That was probably smart. I was enticed by the siren song of unattended mass production, I'm afraid. I hate to think about how much I'd have to disassemble if I change my mind!

    Tonight I finished the Y-axis platform, which holds the X-axis slides and stepper motor. Things seemed to go swimmingly, and I almost finished it until I realized some things were fishy about how the X-axis belt was supposed to get tightened. For one thing, the tightening mechanism consists of slots in the bare wood, against which small-diameter Allen screws get tightened. This is a recipe for trouble because, once the heads bite into the wood, further small adjustments would be nearly impossible, since the heads would seek their prior indentations.

    The other problem is that two of the screws lie completely underneath one of the X-axis slides. Tightening them -- even with the ball-end Allen wrench provided -- is simply not possible.

    So I took everything apart and laser-cut some Delrin gaskets to keep the screws from biting into the wood:

    attachment.php?attachmentid=83029&d=1310791196

    Next, I tightened the ones that would lie under the slide until the motor could not be moved, then backed them off a little. After reassembling everything, I tensioned the belt by pulling the motor against the endplate and tightened the two screws that I could still reach to hold it in place. This caused the motor to tilt a little, due to the soft cork gasket between it and the wood. But I'm not worried about the belt binding as a consequence.

    In the course of pulling the motor against the endplate, I managed to crack the wood at a point that's very thin and weak:

    attachment.php?attachmentid=83028&d=1310791194

    A couple drops of Super Glue were all it took to fix the problem.

    Here's the completed Y-stage:

    attachment.php?attachmentid=83030&d=1310791197

    -Phil
    327 x 323 - 29K
    534 x 484 - 48K
    648 x 486 - 61K
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

    -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    We had many discussions at the galley table and there had been many honest attempts to understand each other's thinking. There are several kinds of reception possible. There is the mind which lies in wait with traps for flaws, so set that it may miss, though not grasping it, a soundness. There is a second which is not reception at all, but blind flight because of laziness, or because some pattern is disturbed by the processes of the discussion. The best reception of all is that which is easy and relaxed, which says in effect, "Let me absorb this thing. Let me try to understand it without private barriers. When I have understood what you are saying, only then will I subject it to my own scrutiny and my own criticism."  This is the finest of all critical approaches and the rarest.

    The smallest and meanest of all is that which, being frightened or outraged by thinking outside or beyond its pattern, revenges itself senselessly; leaps on a misspelled word or a mispronunciation, drags tricky definition in by the scruff of the neck, and, ranging like a small unpleasant dog, rags and tears the structure to shreds.


    -John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez
  • ercoerco Posts: 17,245
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Very nice text & photo documentation of assembly and your incredible ability to "adapt & overcome", PhiPi!
    “Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.”

    -Leonardo da Vinci
  • W9GFOW9GFO Posts: 3,677
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    That's a good point. I do not understand the lack of washers on slotted holes. I use a washer on every hole that is slotted.

    I don't think much dis-assembly would be required to use the heated build platform alone. The kit comes with separate parts for each. I think you would only need to remove the bearings and the pcb. But, since you already have it completed - might as well play with it for a while.

    It looks like you have end stops on both sides of the Y stage - how many did your kit come with? I only have three. One on the right side of the Y stage (min X), one on the acrylic floor (min Y) and one to the right of the Z stepper for max Z.

    Rich H
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 20,603
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    W9GFO wrote:
    It looks like you have end stops on both sides of the Y stage - how many did your kit come with? I only have three.
    Oops! I screwed up. I just assumed, since the holes were there, that I was supposed to install a limit switch. I need to pay more attention to the instructions.

    Okay, it has been a slow day so far. Every Saturday, my not-so-brief interlude with Will Shortz's torment takes precedence over everything else. But that's over, and I completed the Z stage platform. I've got some reservations about this unit. The Z nut (circled below) that supports the entire platform is in the top section. This means that the entire weight of the platform has to be supported by T-slot joints that are in tension rather than compression. These are not the kind of joints you want in tension, since the screw heads are so small and the nuts are pressed against the plywood's very soft core.

    attachment.php?attachmentid=83049&d=1310872678

    But I'm going to give this one the benefit of the doubt and press ahead. I suspect I'll be readdressing this somehow -- if not immediately, then later when the Z stage begins to sag.

    -Phil
    648 x 486 - 50K
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

    -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    We had many discussions at the galley table and there had been many honest attempts to understand each other's thinking. There are several kinds of reception possible. There is the mind which lies in wait with traps for flaws, so set that it may miss, though not grasping it, a soundness. There is a second which is not reception at all, but blind flight because of laziness, or because some pattern is disturbed by the processes of the discussion. The best reception of all is that which is easy and relaxed, which says in effect, "Let me absorb this thing. Let me try to understand it without private barriers. When I have understood what you are saying, only then will I subject it to my own scrutiny and my own criticism."  This is the finest of all critical approaches and the rarest.

    The smallest and meanest of all is that which, being frightened or outraged by thinking outside or beyond its pattern, revenges itself senselessly; leaps on a misspelled word or a mispronunciation, drags tricky definition in by the scruff of the neck, and, ranging like a small unpleasant dog, rags and tears the structure to shreds.


    -John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez
  • W9GFOW9GFO Posts: 3,677
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Phil, I think you'll want the leadscrew nut on the top side of the platform. Although I think I read that there were two types of leadscrews so yours may be different. If mine were to be mounted on the bottom like you have my Z stage would fall off the end of the leadscrew.

    I agree completely about the design of the Z stage - lots of room for improvements.

    Rich H
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 20,603
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Rich,

    I have the Moons motor. This is the photo in the instructions I was going by:

    5167482764_d9900b1cbe.jpg

    It looks like the nut protrudes into the hole from the bottom. But the nut I was provided does not fit into the hole.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

    -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    We had many discussions at the galley table and there had been many honest attempts to understand each other's thinking. There are several kinds of reception possible. There is the mind which lies in wait with traps for flaws, so set that it may miss, though not grasping it, a soundness. There is a second which is not reception at all, but blind flight because of laziness, or because some pattern is disturbed by the processes of the discussion. The best reception of all is that which is easy and relaxed, which says in effect, "Let me absorb this thing. Let me try to understand it without private barriers. When I have understood what you are saying, only then will I subject it to my own scrutiny and my own criticism."  This is the finest of all critical approaches and the rarest.

    The smallest and meanest of all is that which, being frightened or outraged by thinking outside or beyond its pattern, revenges itself senselessly; leaps on a misspelled word or a mispronunciation, drags tricky definition in by the scruff of the neck, and, ranging like a small unpleasant dog, rags and tears the structure to shreds.


    -John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 20,603
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    'Got partway through the filament drive assembly. The next step is to cement some spacers to the support arch. 'Just discovered that all my acrylic cement had long ago turned to stone. So that's all until I can get to hardware store. (I hope they carry it.) 'Could use Super Glue, but there will be a lot of stress on these joints, and I don't trust it it such a situation.

    Here's a photo:

    attachment.php?attachmentid=83050&d=1310881457

    The spacers get glued to the feet at the bottom of the arch; and the feet, in turn, get bolted to the Z platform.

    I'm still Loctiting the screws, but it's tedious, and Loctite is really messy stuff to work with -- nearly as runny as diesel fuel or soy sauce. Most of the smudges you see on the wood parts are from dirty Loctite fingers, not laser-cutting ash. I've had to disassemble some of the Loctited joints, and I know from that experience that the stuff works. (I hope it doesn't attack acrylic!)

    -Phil
    539 x 406 - 50K
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

    -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    We had many discussions at the galley table and there had been many honest attempts to understand each other's thinking. There are several kinds of reception possible. There is the mind which lies in wait with traps for flaws, so set that it may miss, though not grasping it, a soundness. There is a second which is not reception at all, but blind flight because of laziness, or because some pattern is disturbed by the processes of the discussion. The best reception of all is that which is easy and relaxed, which says in effect, "Let me absorb this thing. Let me try to understand it without private barriers. When I have understood what you are saying, only then will I subject it to my own scrutiny and my own criticism."  This is the finest of all critical approaches and the rarest.

    The smallest and meanest of all is that which, being frightened or outraged by thinking outside or beyond its pattern, revenges itself senselessly; leaps on a misspelled word or a mispronunciation, drags tricky definition in by the scruff of the neck, and, ranging like a small unpleasant dog, rags and tears the structure to shreds.


    -John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez
  • W9GFOW9GFO Posts: 3,677
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Mine is a Moons as well. The nut came with four smaller screws and nuts as the regular M3 will not fit (unlike what is shown in that picture). I would suggest flipping the nut over to the topside. There is really no disadvantage as it will not contact the top of the frame at the Z stage's highest position but it will fall off the leadscrew at it's lowest - especially if you use the lower HBP.

    I used Goop to glue the acrylic feet on. It holds very, very well. I know this because my son glued one on backwards and I had to pry it off.

    Rich H
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 20,603
    edited July 2011 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Thanks, Rich. Based on your recommendation, I might do that. I'm a little concerned, though, that the entire weight of the platform will then be hanging from those four tiny 2mm screws. I'm rather more tempted to ream the hole out so it can accommodate the nut, flipped over, pushed through, and supported by the flange on the bottom. That way the stress won't be on those four screws.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

    -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    We had many discussions at the galley table and there had been many honest attempts to understand each other's thinking. There are several kinds of reception possible. There is the mind which lies in wait with traps for flaws, so set that it may miss, though not grasping it, a soundness. There is a second which is not reception at all, but blind flight because of laziness, or because some pattern is disturbed by the processes of the discussion. The best reception of all is that which is easy and relaxed, which says in effect, "Let me absorb this thing. Let me try to understand it without private barriers. When I have understood what you are saying, only then will I subject it to my own scrutiny and my own criticism."  This is the finest of all critical approaches and the rarest.

    The smallest and meanest of all is that which, being frightened or outraged by thinking outside or beyond its pattern, revenges itself senselessly; leaps on a misspelled word or a mispronunciation, drags tricky definition in by the scruff of the neck, and, ranging like a small unpleasant dog, rags and tears the structure to shreds.


    -John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez
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