The RepRap is printing!

The RepRap build is moving along I haven’t installed the heated bed yet since I need a 24 V power supply, capable of delivering 10 A, first. I found a small pack of four 200 x 200 mm mirrors at IKEA named Sörli that will be perfect for a heated build surface. But for now I will print on a cold printbed. I measured the build volume without risk of hitting anything, it’s around 180x180x100 mm, so the mirrors will be perfect!

For the first real print after installing the hotend I put kapton tape directly on the aluminum sheet. The print wouldn’t stick at all, the printer just smeared a large blob of heated plastic around. I’ve read that blue painters tape is the preferred surface when printing PLA without heated bed so I bought two different brands of tape, Tesa and Kip at the local Hornbach store.

Blue painters tape
Blue painters tape from Kip and Tesa

So far I have only used the KIP-tape and I would say it works great. I’ll come back with a comparison when I’ve tried them both. Most people recommend Scotch blue 2090 but I haven’t found a supplier for that brand here.

I ordered a 0.35 mm J-Head MK V-B hotend from www.hotends.com. Most of it was already assembled, I just needed to insert the resistor and thermistor and put some kapton tape on it, then I could mount it to the extruder. I’ve also ordered some thermal grease that I will put on the resistor and thermistor when it arrives, but for now, the printer works fine without it.

J-head MK V-B
J-head MK V-B mounted on Wades geared extruder

Here are some pictures on my first print, maybe you could guess what it is?

First print
First print, here I used honeycomb infill, which probably results in the strongest parts, but to achieve any print speed, you need something more sturdy than a Prusa Mendel because of all the small print head accelerations needed to create a honeycomb pattern. The printer was shaking like crazy!
Finished print
Finished and assembled print, the outer part is mounted with two ball bearings and can be moved by a servo.
Finised print 2
The same part from above. Servo cable neatly hidden in the aluminum tube.

When generating the g-code for the printer you can choose how much infill you like to have. This particular print have the outer 3 layers solid and the inside have a 40% rectilinear infill which saves plastic filament, print time and weight but the parts are still very strong. This infill pattern is not as demanding on the printer as the honeycomb.

Infill
This image shows how the parts look on the inside, the top print was aborted half way through.

I will soon write another post about the thing I am printing together with the STL-files and a complete BoM.

2 thoughts on “The RepRap is printing!”

  1. Nice, I am thinking about getting a Reprap prusa i3 this Christmas as well. However I am not so confident in my hardware skills 🙁

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