Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Made in (insert country here) – British Prusa Mendel

Hello everyone,

here is a progress update on my British Prusa Mendel build - (It's almost finished)
And just to get the chronology correct - This is the 1st son (Daughter?) of 'Mendel Bling' (Bling also has 12 other children in the big wide world) - Bling was the first offspring of 'Bath Mendel' - confused? - good, carry on -

Inspired and encouraged by comments and feedback on my Mendel Bling build and the wonderful colourful Faberdashery plastic that is also manufactured right here in the UK, I have designed and printed a British themed LM8UU Prusa Mendel.

The aim and purpose of this exercise is to promote local design and manufacture of everything and anything.
Wherever you are in the world !

I hope you like how it turned out...

One thing to note is the X carriage size of 450mm wide instead of the normal 406mm, this allows more movement for the Extruder - Allowing a dual extruder set-up to print over the entire build surface.

The X Carriage is of the 4 Linear bearing design - also allowing for future upgrades.

It's printed with Fire Truck RED, Lapis BLUE and White PLA from Faberdashery, the Extruder body and X carriage are printed with Natural ABS.

I wanted to try a few new different techniques in this design for getting interesting looking prints, the first was a double sided colour print on both the top and bottom, after some thought, it made sense to print the top as normal, and print out a second section that could be bonded onto the underside.

I used Sketchup to get the design and colour sequence correct for the layer selective colour printing.
So this is my plate of frame Vertex parts with the British flag as a layer selective colour section, in the real print I also added some colour stripes to the vertex body (See below).

And they came out quite well I think.

Here is a video of the printing progress If you view it on Youtube Here it's in Hi-Def resolution or you can watch it below.

(It's quite long, so skip bits if you wish, but please take a look at the end results)

Then I needed the other side set of flags to bond onto the vertex, again done in Sketchup and plated up as a single print job.

The Square flags are for another experimental technique, intended to be hot-wrapped around the Z mounts to give horizontal colouring, I need to experiment more with this process.

And spot the obvious mistake, I had a different layer sequences in the Square flags and the Vertex flags when I designed them, so the white and blue colours are accidently reversed on the Square flags, Doh! 

The flag is only 2.4mm thick so it was bonded with heat onto the six Vertex pieces.

X carriage motor end with LM8UU linear bearings on the Z Axis. 

All other parts are printed in a Blue, White, Red, White, Blue sequence.

Again a short video on the other printed parts - Check it out in Hi-def on Youtube Here of view below -

I also wanted an identification plate and some status indicators for the machine.
Designed in Sketchup, it's going to cover almost all my build area.

This was the largest single object I have printed so far, shortly after this photo I did start to wonder if it would actually come off of the build platform at the end of the print?

The print is only 17 layers high, 4 White layers all solid, 4 Blue, 6 Red and 3 Green.

Printed at 80mm/sec the total print time was just over 90minutes.

It popped off the bed when cold, not a single bit of warp.

The Indicators plate was done in a similar way.

Plate building on Youtube here - and below - 

All of my machine now have a T-slot frame around them, this allows me to fix all the electronics, power supply and cables onto and into the frame, it also doubles as an essential filament holder.

I printed out a set of 8MM Rod/Bar clamps from Antona and also the very neat 8mm rod holder from Kludgineer here - Well recommended if you are doing a similar thing.

The Electronics are housed in the same style enclosure I have used before, with cooling fan. 
An ATX Power supply is fitted to the T-slot frame to supply power for the electronics and heated bed. 

Last video of the completed build, just some wiring to do and it will be running !

I had many other suggestions on how to make it look 'British' including a great one from Bob "hang a teabag on it!"
Short of printing a bowler hat and walking cane I still think it needs a little more eccentricity and quirkiness, but I'm sure it will evolve over time to have some of those quintessential British qualities.

It's not fully built and completed yet, but I hope to get it fully running for the next local Reprap meet-up.

I started with 75M of 3mm Plastic filament 25M of each Red, White and Blue and only printed one complete set of parts. At the end of this print run I had less than 40cm of each, which was just enough for a Starfish.

Thanks again for reading and I hope you decide to source something from a local supplier today, happy building.