Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bodge & Midge Visit Fab Lab Manchester.

Its time to write a few things up and share with you the wonders of  FabLab Manchester

As you know I have been making drawings of both of my Re-Strap renditions so that others can build their own Repstrap that works without having to re-invent the wheel to solve the problem of not having printed parts to start with. I have been taking at least a week to make all the parts from my drawings it gets tedious you end up with huge collections of sometimes useless parts. I have piles of failed ideas filling boxes in the workshop.

Above Right MTM multifab has a similar design principal to a small box sliding on two cross hair bars.

So I thought I would save some time if I could make use of the equipment at FabLab Manchester.

The Laser cutter in particular which is the most popular tool in FabLab so there seems to always be a Que for it.

I have now used the  Dimension 1200es Series 3D Printer It has produced an interesting result as seen in the pictures.

The most interesting stuff is the support material that is said to be ABS + additive. Its feels hard snaps like wafer biscuit its a dull brown in colour it behaves like what I imagine extruded sugar would be like brittle and crunchy turning to dust.t usually is dissolved in an heated bath of water soluble solvent taking several hours to be dissolved.

Dimension 1200 Print options for Wades extruder body

Low density 30.45^3 cm

High density 39.00^3 cm

Solid 44.37^3 cm

Support material

Basic 11.37^3 cm

Sparse 11.66^3 cm

Smart 10.23^3 cm

I Opted for the lowest density with sparse support material as you pay £0.33 per cubic cm for both materials plus VAT so the extruder body and Clamp was £18.05 ~ Print time on the 1200es was 4 hours.

The amount of support material used by the Dimension is huge Things printed by RepRap without any form of support material need to have support material in the Dimension. Having seen the results of RepRaps and a Dimension 1200 I think Adrian's RepRap project  has really cracked the nut particularly as RepRap results are constantly getting better.

Any way I printed Wades Extruder body and clamp un-fortuantly the resultant print has an extra part to it where there should be a hole there is a thin membrain of ABS. This is not visable in any applictions I use to view STL files. Im sure that when I loaded the STL file before it was printed the hole was a hole all the way through.

You can see I am going to have to drill out the extra material that is a 1mm thick membrane to make use of the part..

I have also used the Laser cutter its a neat tool I have save a week of sawing chiseling and drilling for each revision of my drawings I have made. As promised to Sebastian Ballard I will not blog the making of Huxley seedling here until I have put it in the ReprapWIKI.

Picture of Repstrap Mendel parts / Drawings Laser cut based on my Mendel 2009 build.

Midge took a few pics of Fab Lab so here they are.

I also introduced some of the other users to REPRAP and HydraRaptor ending up having to explain what a NOP was.

Strange until that point I had not given much thought to it.. as we all know  NopHead is far from being a Nophead.
I also discovered that its really only us old hand coding or in your head assemblers form the era of and Nascoms / 8080s - Z80s that even know what a NOP is.

NOP in assembler is the instruction or mnemonic for No Operation Performed


Wade Bortz said...

Nice write up and photos! That 1 mm membrane on my extruder is there so it can be printed without support material; I should put a note on the wiki page about drilling it out. That print looks pretty nice - mind putting some photos up on the Thingiverse page?

Unknown said...

Uploaded both pics on Thingyverse I have made Laser cut versions also I wasnt happy with my original versions though as they required glueing together I have a new design thats not tested yet. As I didn't get to do any Laser cutting yesterday at FABLAB I will post the new drawings on Thingyverse though.
and will update if needed next week.

Have Blue said...

The brown Stratasys support material doesn't contain any ABS. There is a wealth of info in a recent patent application: