Sunday, October 24, 2010

First Tests

Yesterday I continued building my Mendel. I started by filing the small holes in my extruder to make the bolts fit in there. It took me a while, but everything fits now. I also added the motors and opto's to the printer. When that was done, I attached everything to the electronics board.

After downloading and installing the software, I plugged the usb-cable in my pc and all the motors worked. I had  to tighten the bolts on the z-xis a little more, because one of the two sides skipped some steps. But apart from that there were no problems.

Now that the mechanics were working, I planned to build the hot-end of the extruder. I wound some nichrome wire around the metal part, attached the temperature sensor and got stuck. I found what wire had to be attached to what pin on the wiki, but I couldn't find what pin is on what side. So I went to the webchat and asked my question. Luckily someone was able to help me and told me that pin1 is the furthest one from the power connector. I added that information on the wiki for people after me with the same problem.

Now that the hot-end was finished, I wanted to test it before gluing it to the extruder. I tried many different temperatures from 240°C up to 260°C to melt my ABS and tried to push it through the small hole. At around 250° the plastic started melting, but I wasn't able to push it through the hole. That's why I went even higher with the temperature, hoping it would start coming through the hole. But it didn't help. I just can't push it through by hand. As long as this doesn't work, I'm kind of stuck. I know the extruder can push harder than I can, but it could also break everything. So I don't want to try that. Any hints on this would be appreciated.

I also noticed that mendel-parts sold some faulty green belts. My belts are green, so I mailed to Camiel to know if mine were part of that bad series. I haven't had any problems with mine yet, but as they are part of the bad series, he told me he would send some replacements for free. Really good service from him. :)

Ow and below is a picture of everything wired up. I haven't done all of the cable management yet, so there is a big mess of wires at the top. Prettifying the machine is for when it starts printing.

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