Archive for the ‘News’ Category

3D Printing Presentation at Hallmark

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Back near the end of October, CCCKC did a set of presentations primarily focused on 3D printing (mostly DIY 3D printing) at Hallmark in Kansas City.  Here's the video from the event (I'm speaker #3 starting at about 25:00):

I wish they would have recorded the last session we did rather than the first, because it seemed rather polished in comparison by the third time we had presented (and I need all the help looking like I know what I'm doing I can get)!


KC Fabricators and CCCKC members in print

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

3D Printing Gang

Up on the MakerBot blog you can see the article running in 3D Artist magazine:

It features a picture of the KC Fabricators local 3D printer operators group (I'm second in from the left) meeting at CCCKC. The pic was originally taken as an entry for one of MBI's challenges to see how many bot's (and their owners) we could get together for a meet up. Don't know who this David Neff guy that seems to be claiming copyright on our photo is though...


Kansas City Maker Faire Recap

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

I know it's been about a month since the event, but I thought I'd at least mention it a bit here.  First off, the 3D printer village went great and attracted the attention of lots of faire goers.  The TechZone guys were there showing off some of their new kits, we had a lot of MakerBot Cupcakes, Thing-o-Matics, an Ultimaker, an a few custom RepRaps there.  In addition to the 3D printer village, there were a few bots by the robot arena area, and one outside by the Power Wheels track brought by the Hackerspace in St. Louis, Arch Reactor.

I got the R3 prototype up and running for the event using a PC power supply and some RepRap V1.2 stepper drivers.  All the PCBs I ordered arrived about 2 weeks before the event, and with the exception of putting the parallel port on the opposite side of the break out board that I wanted it placed (it works fine, I just wasn't paying attention to the side it was mounted on when verifying the PCB), all the electronics worked first try.  I'll post some more info on this as I work on it and get the whole system running on 24V later on.  I've already nabbed the Z-axis off the R3 I demoed for another project, so it's currently non-functional again, but I've got the parts in for the second prototype that I'll be working on soon.  Hopefully I'll have more info and a full progress report in a few weeks.

Finally, Power Wheels racing!  I helped CCCKC build two cars for the PPPRS that we hosted and got to drive in the race portion.  We had one car that was a very stripped down lawn tracker and one that was half snapper riding mower, half electric scooter:

I particularly like the improvised petal, which is constructed from a couple 1"x4" wood blocks, a crude spring, a pair of shutter hinges, and some copper pipe clamps.  This one was reasonably fast, but got outclassed by the more experienced teams.  It might have done well in the endurance competition, had the rear wheel hub not been completely destroyed during the race while I was driving:


And here's a close up shot of the hub:

Both of our cars were in no shape to race at the end of the event, so I doubt we'll be going to Detroit to finish off the series.  Next year I think we'll be a lot better prepared by the time the series starts up again...



Laser Cut R3 At Kansas City Maker Faire

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Here's a sneak peek at the prototype of the laser cut version of the R3 platform with just about everything but the lead screws installed.  It's based off of the OpenSCAD models for the milled R3 parts with a few modifications, primarily to use T-slot construction rather than 1/4" threaded rod.  I experimented with match drilling as mentioned in the Mantis 9 build page and it yielded some very smooth motion on every axis of travel.  If all goes well, I should have my R3 prototype up and running for demos at the Kansas City Maker Faire June 25th and 26th along with my Makerbot, PE00001, in the 3D printer village section!


R3 Initial Electronics Progress

Friday, April 29th, 2011

I haven't gotten much done on the hardware side of things lately, but I've been busy with the electronics of the R3 platform I'm working on.  Above is the first draft of the parallel port adapter that will be used for the first round of machines.  This board allows a PC running Mach3, EMC2, or any other G-Code interpreter with a parallel port driver to control up to 4 RepRap/Makerbot stepper motor drivers and has separate inputs for X, Y, and Z axis home, emergency stop, and limit switches, as well as a few additional outputs and it exposes the enable functionality of the stepper motor drivers, allowing you to disable all stepper drivers if needed.  I'm planning on using Mach3 for the initial prototypes and then moving to a microcontroller based G-Code interpreter (possibly based on GRBL) once development is further along.

Other than the main PC breakout board, I've also designed boards for mechanical end stops (seen above) and a stepper signal splitter board (seen below) that will allow two stepper drivers to be controlled by the same signals, allowing for some interesting mechanical drive options.

While designing these boards, I tried to keep them single sided if possible, keep the required part counts low, and use big parts where applicable to make them easy to construct.  The idea is to make them easy to "bootstrap" via traditional DIY PCB etching methods and easy to mill once I've got a machine up and running.