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Fabber update

I am constantly having bad luck with the standard mk4 extruder on my makerbot inspired fabber. I have even gone so far as to make mk5 style worm gears for driving the filament, and printing out printruder extruder bodies, only to have my filament kink, bend, or continue to strip.

With great frustration, I designed and milled out my own prototype extruder body from aluminum. With the mk5 style worm gear, this one actually seems to be behaving.

Here's a pic of the most complete version of the Belfry Fabber so far.



Aug. 17th, 2010 07:23 am (UTC)
*Does the Garfield-style nose-to-monitor thing.*

Still following with interest!

Do you plan to submit the designs for your large-enclosure, augmented-print-head fabber to the MakerBot site? I'd be sorely tempted to buy one, and it would also be a hedge against what happened with the CandyFab people (they stopped updating the site half way through developing their second-generation fabber, haven't been responding to pings, and have no plans for their fabber online, meaning anyone else's reimplementation would have to be from scratch).
Aug. 17th, 2010 11:15 am (UTC)
I intend to publish just as soon as I'm satisfied with the design. And that's really, really close now.

I can build you one for $1200, but I'd need makerbot.com to get the electronics back in stock.
Aug. 17th, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC)
I'm interested, but not in a position to take you up on that for several months at minimum (I need to know how much I'm paying for tuition in extension-land, and what my budget looks like after FC '11).

I'll also need to do a proper analysis of options. In a perfect world, I'd get a CandyFab and make molds or positives for casting, but that won't be an option soon. I can at least make _some_ of the things I want with the CheeseCake CNC.
Aug. 17th, 2010 07:58 pm (UTC)
I stopped calling it the CheesecakeCNC name months ago, as it's, well, cheezy. I just didn't explicitly mention the name change here. I've been calling it the Belfry Fabber Mk I or Belfry Fabber One.
Aug. 17th, 2010 07:26 am (UTC)
That. Is so. SHINY.

And really, that on Thingiverse would make everyone squee so much.
Aug. 17th, 2010 11:07 am (UTC)
I'm trying to figure out how to present it on thingiverse. My sources for the design are meta-toolpaths laid out in my CAD. It's not exactly a blueprint, and my .tkcad files are in an app specific XML format. I could export DXFs, but they would lose the offsets and CNC info that my CAD handles natively. I could release my CAD with the files, but at the moment it's for OS X only.

Maybe I could release the gcode toolpath files that I sent to the mill.

Edited at 2010-08-17 11:17 am (UTC)
Aug. 17th, 2010 04:52 pm (UTC)
I of course always side on releasing code-- you could put up a GitHub repo for the CAD and then perhaps someone will port it. In the mean time, you will at least have encapsulated the knowledge of how to do what you did with what you have which could then be extended by others to what they have, until it covers all points.

Also I noticed the Belfry Fabber's laser profiles aren't on Thingiverse either...

Not that I'm a pushy open-source ideologue or anything -___-;
Aug. 17th, 2010 08:08 pm (UTC)
But but but.. then I'd have to write documentation and support users for the CAD! :) Also, it's not exactly what I'd call production ready.

I'm aaaaaalmost there with the Fabber. I'm on internal revision 5 of the design, and I keep doing tweaks to improve various things. I inset the endstops to reduce light pollution issues, and to make it look nicer, and I changed the Z-axis platform to use slider rods and wobble arresters. Right now, the only thing left I'm unhappy with is that the Z-axis slider setup sometimes gets sticktion between the nylon bearings and the rod. This is problematic. I think I can fix it with brass bearings instead.

Err, as you can see, I'm kind of an obsessive perfectionist sometimes.
Aug. 18th, 2010 12:20 am (UTC)
I ended up making a real blueprint DXF file, as folks will be able to tweak that for whichever system they are using.
Aug. 17th, 2010 09:56 pm (UTC)
ooh, that's freaking beautiful! Nice.
Aug. 17th, 2010 11:01 pm (UTC)

Ohhhh... *shiney*

And jolly primary colors!

Is it lickable? Does it taste like candy?
Aug. 18th, 2010 12:23 am (UTC)
Mmmm. Aluminum. Tastes like... Alzheimers. :) (or maybe not. The research is inconclusive)
Aug. 18th, 2010 04:32 am (UTC)
*takes a closer look* ...Did you MakerBot-fab the brackets holding the milled extruder in place? They have telltale raster lines.
Aug. 18th, 2010 05:05 am (UTC)
Yes. Oh yeah, I should probably post the design for those on thingiverse.
Aug. 20th, 2010 06:56 am (UTC)

With the Mk 4 extruder, Makerbot-series printers are pretty much British cars - you spend as much time working on them as you do using them. I'm getting annoyed by prints that fail because the Mk 4 strips out the filament and stops extruding. It'll be good to see your extruder in action. We all need lots of work in this area.