The parts sourcing for the 3D printer challenge is almost complete – the stepper motors arrived today! In fact I ordered A batch from China two weeks ago but they have not yet arrived – so I checked the prices from Watterott and they were really reasonable. Only downside is postage which is usually free when ordering from China.
I was pleasantly surprised to find put that the motors have a D-shaft and are the same Pololu steppers sold elsewhere with a much higher price tag.
The 3D printer challenge is coming together quite nicely – today the RAMPS 1.4 controller board and the display board arrived in the same package.
RAMPS 1.4 board was nicely packaged in a cardboard box – only negative thing was the power transistor leads which were left uncut and would most probably have short-circuited the Arduino MEGA. Also the solder job looks a bit shady – well what would you expect for 9€ worth of electronics =)
The display / controller board looks OK to me – it came with an adapter for RAMPS 1.4 board so connecting is a breeze.
Because of the design goals of the 3D printer project and money constraint I had to source the cheapest reasonably solid looking hotend and found this J-head hotend from China – just under $19 postage paid!
I have been playing with my ultimaker for a while now and have been very happy with it. However it costs an arm and a leg and costruction is quite demanding (my kit with dual extruder and ulticontroller was 1299€).
I decided to try to push a working 3D printer price as low as possible with the following design goals
o as cheap as possible – cut every corner =)
o price under $199
o 0.1mm resolution
o DIY – easy
o 3mm filament
o bowden extruder
o heated bed
o stand alone printing
o 20x20x20 cm build volume
o all non-metal parts 3D printable
It will be built on top of RepRap Mendel with some modifications to keep costs low.
I stumbled across a new Arduino compatible board on Tindie (tindie.com). Manufacturer is BBTech from Taiwan and they ship free across the globe. Board itself is an AtTiny 85 with a micronucleus bootloader.
After only one week of waiting I received a package and the new boards neatly packed in a padded mailer bag.
After a wildly succesful Kickstarter campaign the Spark Core (http://spark.io) is now shipping. I got mine last week and here are the first photos. Really nice design and the protoboard is an added bonus.
I’ll keep posting more when I get time to dwell into these.