Sunday, February 9, 2014

Building a 3D Printer: Part III

Continuing my last post...

So now we had the right aluminum angles. Everything was peachy-keen from here on out, right?


Turns out, neither Ryan, Jacob, nor I are fantastic fabricators. We're not robots. Robots are perfect. We're not perfect.

We drilled some holes, and tried to fit things together. They didn't fit. The holes were off by millimeters, but that was enough to screw everything up.

I like to think that if something needs to be *perfect* to work well, it must be very poorly designed. So we revisited our model. We ended up with something like the following:

We printed off brackets that the angles all slid into. We also integrated the smooth rod clamps and the belts pulleys into these brackets. All in all, a pretty elegant solution! Not perfect, as we'll see later, but definitely workable.

This part also popularized the "45 degree print" orientation that is very popular among one specific WOOF member... It's able to be printed without any support. I personally think that it's pretty darned slick.

Of course, these parts weren't perfect either. That would be way too easy! Stay tuned to hear the biggest problem with this printer design...

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