Here’s a quick update on some of the projects we’ve been working on this year:
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We went to the 2014 USA Science and Engineering Festival up in Washington, DC, and we wanted to share it with our fellow school Maker Team members. Here’s the video we produced to do that.
USA Science & Engineering Festival
April 24-27, 2014
SPECIAL THANKS to: Lockheed Martin, Snap-On, K’Nex, Lulzbot, U.S. Naval Academy, Natasha, NASA, and Printrbot.
MUSIC: “Saturdays Basement” by cdk, 2014 – Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) http://ccmixter.org/files/cdk/45072
There are live links on the youtube page for the video for each of these segments:
0:33 Scenes from the Festival
0:53 Lots of 3D Printers!
1:05 Lockheed Martin Large Robot Arm 3D Printer
1:52 Lockheed Martin F35 Lightening II Cockpit Simulator
2:23 Snap-on Racecar
2:33 Huge K’Nex Ferris Wheel
3:14 Lulzbot 3D Printing
3:50 U.S. Naval Academy Robotic Arm
4:52 Natasha the Maker
5:23 NASA Astronaut Alvin Drew
5:57 Brook at Printrbot
6:43 Summary with More Scenes from Exhibits
In this video, Jacob shows an easy way to set up a PCB heatbed for your 3D printer — a method that allows the entire surface of the heatbed to be used for printing. He also shows how to cut inexpensive certificate frame glass to size with some simple tools. We’ve had printers with a heatbed setup just like this running without incident for over a year.
Supplies used: PCB Heatbed (with high-temperature wire attached), glass (same size as heatbed), scissors, kapton tape, four M3 nuts and screws (12-16mm), screwdriver & pliers, thermistor, thermistor lead insulation (kapton tape works, too), and pipe insulation tape. See below for glass cutting tools.
Glass Cutting Tools & Materials: Safety glasses, sheet glass (certificate frame glass works well), glass cleaner, paper towels, permanent marker, ruler, cutting oil, straight edge, glass cutting tool, breaking edge, leather gloves, and sandpaper.
A project-based RepRap build is the perfect way to bring STEM and many other disciplines to your school. To learn more about starting a 3D printer build at your school, visit http://www.thefrankes.com/wp/?page_id=2766.
- “Pulse (George Ellinas remix)” by George_Ellinas. 2008 – Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution (3.0). http://ccmixter.org/files/George_Ellinas/14073
- “Drops of H2O ( The Filtered Water Treatment )” by J.Lang. 2012 – Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution (3.0). http://ccmixter.org/files/djlang59/37792
Here’s a video to the team from software developer and RepRap expert Alessandro Ranellucci, the creator of the extremely popular Slic3r software.
We made a video to show the difference in noise between the Pololu A4988 Stepper Motor Driver Carrier, which has 1/16 steps, and the DRV8825 Stepper Motor Driver Carrier which has 1/32 steps. These drivers are common in RepRap 3D printers. The resistor soldered onto the DRV8825 is not required on their latest versions of the board.
The goal for this video was originally to capture the difference in sound that I noticed when I switched from one driver to the other, and this test seemed to do that. I updated it to be a bit more scientific than it was originally by carefully setting the current limit, adjusting the steps per unit, and including details about the setup.
For this test:
- 12.17V DC
- Kysan 1124090 (1.8°, 1.5A/phase) stepper motor
- 18T Aluminum GT2 2mm Belt/Pulley
- PLA bushings on W1 tool steel smooth rod with white lithium grease
- 1.3A current limit using VREF method
We got an older laptop to use for one of our 3D printer builds, and so we set out to set it up for 3D printing. The laptop is an IBM ThinkPad T41, and because the processor doesn’t support PAE, we weren’t able to use the latest versions or Ubuntu or Mint. Mint 13 installed okay, but the default window managers gave us some trouble, so we ended up installing Lubuntu 12.04. This version doesn’t require PAE.
After installing and updating the operating system, we set out to install pronterface (Printrun) and slic3r from the git repository. Here’s what we did:
First install python support for printrun, and git.
sudo apt-get install python-serial python-wxgtk2.8 \ python-pyglet python-tk sudo apt-get install git
Create a directory for RepRap stuff, and clone Printrun to it from the git repository.
mkdir RepRap cd RepRap/ git clone https://github.com/kliment/Printrun.git
Next comes build-essential, perl, and cpanminus — all required for slic3r.
sudo apt-get install build-essential libgtk2.0-dev \ libwxgtk2.8-dev libwx-perl libmodule-build-perl \ libnet-dbus-perl sudo apt-get install cpanminus
Go into the Printrun directory, get slic3r, and then dive into that directory where we’ll test it to be sure it all works.
cd Printrun/ git clone http://github.com/alexrj/Slic3r.git cd Slic3r/
Grab the cpan modules required for slic3r, and test it to be sure it loads up properly.
sudo cpanm Boost::Geometry::Utils Math::Clipper \ Math::ConvexHull Math::ConvexHull::MonotoneChain \ Math::Geometry::Voronoi Math::PlanePath Moo Wx ./slic3r.pl
Step up one directory and make sure pronterface works well.
cd .. python ./pronterface.py
We went to the Midwest RepRap Festival (MRRF) in March, and Jacob interviewed some experts to learn more about the event, the RepRap project, 3D printing and its future. This video includes a great overview of a delta bot 3D printer, which is pretty new on the RepRap scene.
Music: “December Nights” by cdk, 2011 – Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) http://ccmixter.org/files/cdk/34714
Here’s a short documentary, produced by onshoulders TV, that describes what the RepRap project is all about. Yes — we’re in it.