Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mechanical endstops constructed

Finished wiring up my mechanical endstops.  This should complete all the electronic bits for my repstrap.  I've got the main firmware on an Arduino Mega, 5 steppers connected to 5 of my pololu carrier boards, two thermistor circuits, and two mosfet circuits.  The endstops (min and max) are wired to connect in via the stepper drivers I made up.  There are rj45 connectors on those that accept the connections.  I've got a big box of cat5 plenum cable, so I wired up my own cables.  For the actual mechanical endstop end, I just deadbugged the components to the side of the SPDT switch.  I used the following schematic for wiring up the stops.

don't have any picture of the setup, but I'll scan in a pic of the cables later.  I have to do a whole write up of the process and my design when I'm done.

I've also decided to try to take several paths forward on my extruder.  I will be making an extruder to hold my stepper out of mdf that I will mount the hot end to.  I will also be headed to my local hackerspace to see if I can get a Wade's extruder printed there on the Darwin they have.  I will also be trying to see if I can get a metal frame extruder built in case the MDF one won't work.  If I can get the MDF or metal one to work, I'll promptly be printing a wade's and also a brutstruder.  Or if neither the MDF or metal extruder are able to be made, I'll be working to get the Darwin printing and print out a wade's at the hackerspace.  The hackerspace route may take the longest, since I am only able to make it out there once a week on Monday nights after the kids head to bed.  but with these options, I hope to have a functional printer soon.  If I can't get any of these things to work, I'll buy a stepper brutstruder from Makergear, but I think I can get things working.  I've been trying to build this machine up from bare basics as much as possible to learn everything I can about the reprap/repstrap process.  I hope my MDF route works, since it is the easiest and fastest route forward that I can see.

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