Anyway, back to my project. I joined to learn more about printers in general, but the main selling point for me was being able to get help building my own.
UW professor Mark Ganter designed a fork of the Reprap Prusa Mendel called the Clonedel. The parts are designed to be able to be cast in polyurethane out of silicon molds. You can cast an entire set of printer parts in only 30 minutes! Our club was fortunate enough to use Ganter's molds and only pay for materials, so my vertices, carriages and mounts came out to only 15 dollars! It was a great deal.
|Casting the Clonedels in Solheim Lab at UW|
|About 6 Clonedels!|
A cool feature of casting is the ability to use dyes and transparent resin. Many of our club printers were cast in dark purple, but there was definitely a printer or two cast in pink with sparkles. My printer ended up being mostly translucent red, with a couple of purple parts thrown in.
We also did a bulk order of the threaded and smooth rods, as well as all the nuts and bolts. Big thanks to the club president, Matt Rogge, for dealing with all that. That was another 60 dollars. I had the entire frame put together for less than 100 bucks! I love 3D Printing, but there is definitely a time when casting parts is a better process.
A short timelapse of the frame build.
|Still have got a ways to go...|
At this point, my build really slowed down. Getting bulk orders on heavy items like rods was nice, but having to wait for every person to lay down the cash for the next parts got a little tiresome. Tyler Habowski and I surged ahead and ordered our motors, electronics, belts, and all that on our own. We got most of it from Ultimachine.com, and they were awesome. But that's for another time.
Next up, soldering the electronics!