The RepRap is alive!

I have previously written about my RepRap build, now its starting to come together. The last part I need before i can make my first print is the hotend that I’ve ordered from www.hotends.com

I use a RAMPS 1.4 board that, I ordered from 3D Gadgets, to control the stepper motors. RAMPS is an Arduino based RepRap controller that you can flash with several different firmwares. My first try was Marlin which seems to work fine. Since I dont have any hotend and temperature sensor I had to make some firmware hacks to get the thing moving. But I did!

And some picture of how it looks right now.

Picture of my RepRap
My RepRap including motors and RAMPS controller. It’s just put together to see if it works.

The steppers are pretty small but I got them very cheap. Let’s hope the have enough power not to loose steps while printing. A worst case solution could be to crank up the current and put heatsinks on them, or just buy bigger ones.

RAMPS 1.4
The RAMPS (RepRap Arduino Mega Pololu Shield) 1.4 controller loaded with Marlin firmware.

RAMPS 1.4 have 5 Pololu stepper drivers to be able to control X, Y, Z, E0 & E1.I only use one extruder and the Z axis have two motors connected in paralell on one of the driver. Maybe I’ll change the firmware so I can use one driver for each motor instead, but I don’t think that is necessary right now since the load on the Z-axis is very low.

Z-Motor
One of the stepper motors controlling the Z-axis
Y-Motor
The motor controlling the Y-axis
X-carriage
The carriage and extruder moving in the X-axis
X-Endstop
Each axis have a mechanical microswitch for endstop.

Right now I only have 3 endstops which is enough for the controller to find the home position (coordinate 0, 0, 0). It’s probably safer to have 6 endstops, one for each end of each axis, maybe I’ll add 3 more in the future.

Extruder
The extruder which push the plastic filament through the hotend
Extruder-top
Top view of the extruder, you could see the hobbed bolt inside which grips the filament

I use Wade’s Geared Extruder I hope my small stepper motors are strong enough for this extruder.

Filament
A 1 kg roll of white 3 mm PLA filament

I will start out with PLA plastic for my first prints, from what I’ve read I think ABS is more likely to warp because of uneven cooling. I think PLA will work great until I have my heatbed working.

4 thoughts on “The RepRap is alive!”

  1. It feels like there is something missing: On the x-rod-mount there are two nuts on each z-spindle. the upper one has a spring under it. this adds tension between the nuts to eliminates internal play.

    1. Hello and thanks for your comment!

      You are correct that a nut and a spring is missing on the z-axis. I havn’t found a spring with the correct size yet and I rely on gravity to eliminate any play in the z-axis for now. I havn’t noticed any problems with this until now but I will install a spring as soon as I find a suitable one.

  2. Bonjour
    Je suis novice mais je demande qu’à apprendre,je viens de finaliser la partie mécanique que je maîtrise parfaitement.
    Par contre se qui est de la partie programme je suis vraiment nul,ayant réaliser une imprimante
    Comme vous avec arduino mega 2560 et ramp 1.4 mai juste le design diferent ,pouvez vous me dire command mètre en route la partie arduino.
    Cordialement

    1. Sorry, my french is too bad for me to understand exactly what you are asking. Google Translate didn’t help me much either. Could you rephrase your question in English?

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