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Feeling a little nostalgic today, I dug up an picture of a project that I undertook during my undergrad years.
If I recall correctly, this was made while I was in an Experimental Multimedia unit in 2000 and we were learning how to hook up physical sensors to a computer (using an EZIO board and Macromedia Director). However this wasn’t my final project, it was something that I used to explore and experiment.
No, not that kind of e-famous.
I’ve been working on a little project lately. It’s nowhere near complete but after performing the first mechanical test, I figured that I put it up on Thingiverse anyway as a WIP.
The project in a nutshell is to produce an animatronic tentacle that responds to one’s mental state.
The parts were printed with PLA on my Ultimaker. I’m not sure how I should tackle the ball joint as it’s brittle when printed with PLA, and I think the print was too solid (and hence too heavy).
The Ultimaker has arrived!
Can’t wait till I have some time to start work on it. But in the mean time, maybe I should stain the wood a nice mahogany.
A few weeks ago, I replaced Ubuntu on my laptop with Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE).
During this time, I haven’t been doing much printing, just waiting for the geared stepper and other parts. This also meant that up to now, I haven’t attempted to connect to the Cupcake via LMDE.
When I attempted to connect to the printer, ReplicatorG 24 could not find the USB-serial port, but the FTDI drivers were installed, and it was listed as /dev/ttyUSB0.
Just yesterday, my geared stepper from MakerGear arrived.
I’ve already upgraded my electronics to Makerbot’s Gen 4 set, so for the firmware and electronics standpoint it was pretty easy.
I made a 6-pin to 10-pin cable to hook up the Gen 3 stepper driver. The MakerBot wiki didn’t give much detail if it was supposed to be the first 6 pins or the last 6 pins of the 10-pin connector that needed to be wired up, but after studying the images, it looked like it was the first 6 pins that had to be wired up.
When someone asks you to name the printers that are able to print themselves, you might have listed the Mendel and/or Darwin. But now, you can add the Makerbot Cupcake to that list!
This isn’t some mini, pint-sized version either. The entire chassis along with the X & Y stages are printable. However, the laser cut acrylic parts are not printable yet.
Along with other printable items/replacements such as Zaggo’s Printruder II and holders (aka dino replacements), insulator retainer, and Z-Stage, you might have an almost fully printable printer (sans rods, extruder heater, build platform, electronics).
A week or so ago, I decided to switch over to Skeinforge 007. Mostly because the Raftless script only works with that version.
Skeinforge being Skeinforge, it didn’t carry over all its settings and I had to manually transfer them by hand. Having said that, thanks to the built-in profiles, there was one that for the Cupcake. It seemed to work well enough, but had a few issues such as the “extrusion over” ratios not working at all for me.
I’ve always wanted a laser cutter. If I could get one, I’d do so in a heartbeat… but I do not have a few grand of pocket change to splurge for one, nor do I see myself being in such a position any time soon.
But just today I heard about the Lasersaur. It still hasn’t really gotten off the ground yet and they are seeking funding to start this project.
After tons of wrangling, I’m slowly getting closer to my goal of producing prints of an acceptable quality (and doing so consistently). I had printed Zaggo’s whistle, but due to extruder issues (as explained below), it was missing a few layers, causing the finished product to be fragile, but if you pressed the layers together hard enough, you can use it.
First there was the firmware issue. Going up to the 2.
If you thought the Cupcake build went too smoothly over the last few days, think again. It’s all action and adventure here in the workshop!
Seems that the Cupcake needs a little adjustment.
The pinch wheel on the extruder occasionally slips, but moving the idler wheel further in and tightening it even more seems to have fixed it.
Another issue that I’ve come up against was the Y-stage slipping during builds.
Am I done? I can’t believe it. Working though the night into the wee hours of the morning, I can now say that Cupcake is now complete!
Well, almost… I have no endstop triggers at the moment, but from what I’ve been reading, they are not essential.
Initial tests seem promising. The extruder works, the build platform works, and the Z-stage works in reverse. Fixing the Z-stage was thankfully easy, just a simple checkbox in the machine preferences and voilà, it’s fixed!
If you have read my last post on the Cupcake CNC, you would have heard of my firmware woes.
Basically, what has happened was that I fried the boards (both the motherboard and extruder controller) during hotplate reflow soldering. It seems that the AUD$10 hotplate was simply too crap and the temperature spiked high enough to damage something (I never got round to desoldering the microcontrollers and testing each one).
Today was my first episode of drama with the Cupcake CNC.
Just assembled the extruder controller today. The whole experience was rather uneventful… That is until I attempted to burn the bootloader.
First the AVR programmer won’t work on my machine due to a lack of drivers for Vista x64. But I managed to run it off another machine. But after that, programmer seems to be unable to communicate with the chip on the extruder.
After wrangling with customs to get this though, the box sits before me. Fragile none the less.
Upon opening the box and removing the packing material, I’m greeted with a few more boxes, a power supply & 3 bundles of plastic filament.
Shipping contents One box contains parts for the Cupcake’s body. Laser cut plywood, foam build bases & threaded rods.
Cupcake CNC body parts And below are the 3 bundles of ABS filament (aka print stock).
The Cupcake CNC has arrived. Unboxing pictures and a full writeup will soon follow.