I have to say what really got me started on this project was this. The design is nice, parametric and simple. I had been messing with hollowed out vertexes and trying to make them lighter. Whosawhatasis’ vertex uses as little material as possible and is well executed. I posted up a updated scad file here. There are some comparison photos on thingiverse, but to try and interest my readers I will repost them below (more words after the pictures).
These vertexes are not compatible with the Y motor mounts used on the Mendel. I have given it 3 tries but my math was off. I am going to be reevaluating my OpenSCAD script tonight and will hopefully figure out how to mount it correctly. After I verify it works it will be up on thingiverse. I am going to go back a relook at my hacked Prusa Zmotor mount that took ideas from hacklab.to’s remix. I got really excited over the weekend and was hacking the files so I could get my printer done quickly. After Jmil kindly directed me to the Google Science Fair, I have decided I will try and flesh out the development and do something useful for the community, rather than hack together my second RepRap.
The Mendel I am going to be building is aiming to be simpler, faster and more precise. To achieve the faster and more precise part I am going to be pushing the limit of my firmware. I have forked off the Tonokip-Firmware I have been maintaining the past few months and am going to be optimizing it for use with gcdump and step gcode. Gcdump has been my sender of choice lately, because it is simple and works well. Coincidentally it doesn’t resend, do checksumming or line numbering. This means that the sender and arduino do a lot fewer communications and their communications are smaller in size.
Some of the first changes I made to the racetrack firmware was to remove all the checksum, resend, echo and failsafe stuff. Next I began to play with skeinforge gcode step generation and figure out exactly what it is. It turns out the step code generated is best described as the steps from origin. So if one line of code was “G1 X6000” and the next was “G1 X3000”, we would be going 3000 steps in the negative X direction. This makes the math really easy. Racetrack is up on github here. I am going to be working on it slowly. I just wanted to get a head start on the software side as I work on construction and design. This way I can think about it and improve it when I get bored with OpenSCAD. 😛
Mixtape Mendel is a project with many goals covering differing disciplines. The main goal is to use existing tools and designs, throw in a bit of my own work and bring it all together to make a simpler, faster, more precise 3D printer. The real hypothesis is going to be something along the lines of studying exactly how high of a positioning and filament resolution we can achieve now.
Really it comes down to William Gibson’s idea of the future being here, just not evenly distributed. 😀