If you’ve been following Midsouth Makers you know that we’ve been building. using and tweaking our 3D printers for a while now. Well thanks to a kind donation by LulzBot we now have a dedicated 3D printer at the space for member use! The printer is an AO-101, a MendelMax 1.5 variant.
The AO-101 currently uses 3mm filament and can print in ABS, PLA, Nylon and even Laywoo-D3 wooden filament. We have it setup to allow for remote printing on the LAN, using either OctoPrint or Repetier-Server. We recommend Repetier-Server due to it’s stability.
The AO-101 will be using a donated a 1U server as the host computer. Repetier-Server will allow you to load a gcode file and control the printer. We will be exploring webcam functionality for use in monitoring and in generating time-lapse print videos.
We will need the following items to get our new 3D printer setup and functional:
- Filament- Currently setup for 3mm:
- Webcam- Logitech C110 or C270 preferred (we’ve already tested and confirmed stability)
- 120mm silent PC case fan
- Build Area – 190mm 200mm 100mm
- Hot-end – Budaschnozzle 1.2
- Extrusion temperature range – 180C – 240C
- Filament- Currently setup for 3mm and can reliably print the following material types:
- Taulman 618 Nylon
- Laywoo-D3 Wooden Filament
- Heated Print Bed (65C-110C)
- Borosilicate Glass Bed with PET film on one side for printing with ABS and bare glass on the other side for printing with PLA
- Integrated Filament Mount for either loose coiled filament or spindles for spooled filament
Current AO-101 Modifications
- Nozzle Fan for printing in PLA installed but not hooked up
- RGB LED lighting (white for now)
More information on the new 3D printer can be found in our wiki.
If you’d like to use it, please contact Claudio, Ben, Dan or Cliff- more information will follow. In order to have access to the 3D printer without one of us present you will need to have had verified prior experience with a RepRap 3D printer, or attended an upcoming class on running & troubleshooting 3D printers(TBD) or be able to demonstrate the appropriate knowledge.
Please show our thanks and appreciation to LulzBot and the RepRap community!
We are slowly and painfully making progress with learning to fly our 3D Printed Mini Quadcopters. Cliff has helped us out with some tweaks & balances. Hopefully some more members will be interested in building their own, and will help add to the swarm.
Recently Ben, Cliff and Claudio have built Diametric’s Mini Quadcopter. We met a fellow RepRap user- Diametric- at this years Midwest RepRap Festival in Elkhart Indiana. He brought along a 3D printed quadcopter that he designed and built.
The quadcopters are remarkably inexpensive, the design, models and bill of materials can be found on Thingiverse. They are easy to build and easy to get off the ground. We’re still learning how to fly them however. While all three have taken flight, we have had some accidents and damaged the frames on 2 of them, twice. We’re not too worried when that happens, for we can always reprint the frame within about an hour and a half on one of our 3D printers.
For all those that may not be aware, good friends of Midsouth Makers, Makers Local 256, down in Huntsville, AL are having a pig roast and LAN party extravaganza on June 2nd starting at noon. These guys know how to throw down a good party with awesome food and a great selection of games. If you go down for a visit, you wont be disappointed. The LAN party wont happen until later in the evening, but for the early part of the day you’ll get to enjoy the excellent yummies they’ve prepared. In addition to the food, it’s a great opportunity to see what other spaces look like. They put on an excellent open house with the grub. There won’t be any lack of exciting things to see with them showing off projects, tools, shop upgrades, and the vast array of all the cool things the Makers have going on. Any of the Midsouth Makers that are free to go down that weekend should take the opportunity to go hang out with our fellow makers. It will be great motivation for what kind of things we can have going on here at our very own space. The LAN party will undoubtedly be a blast as well. They always put on a great set of tournaments with prizes and amusement all around. There are pretty good chances there will be some interesting Minecrafting going on, as well as all the fun games from Steam that everyone loves such as Team Fortress and Monday Night Combat. The LAN is assured to go on into the early morning so be prepared for lots of fun. If you manage to go, don’t forget to take a few bucks with you as well as your computer. The Pig Roast is 1 for $10 or 2 for $15, and it would be equally kind to make a donation to the Huntsville guys for putting on the LAN party in addition.
What: Food and Games
Where: Makers Local 256
When: June 2nd @ Noon, LAN party starting later that evening
Cost: $10 for 1, $15 for 2, and any other donation
I get a lot of blank stares and strange looks when I tell people that I am working on a 3D printer. As such I’d like to set out to explain what one is as well as show off what I’ve completed on mine thus far.
So you ask, “What exactly is one of them there 3-Dee printer things you’re talking about?” In short, it is a rapid prototyping machine. Since I’m sure that clears it all up and removes any further questions you have in your mind, I’m done here and everyone’s good to move on to the next blog right? No of course not. The best explanation I have is it’s a machine that takes a plastic material, melts it down, and places a thin layer of the melted plastic one layer at a time until you have a finished object. It is a printer that works like your old school inkjet printer but also moves on a 3rd axis to make non flat prints.
The idea is as follows. What do you do when you want to develop some brand new, earth shattering, world stopping, sign of the apocalypse product that has never been in existence before and it needs a custom part that even Nostradamus didn’t predict? You design it of course, in your favorite 3D modeling software like Google Sketchup or Blender or any of the other dozens that are out there. The show stopper before was how you went from a digital model to something tangible that you could hold in your hands and break if you are one of those accident prone individuals. It always meant that you had to go pay some exorbitant amount for a machine shop to make you just one of that item, and heaven forbid that item didn’t fit the needs on the first round. I’m sure you can imagine where the price would go up rather quickly in development. So why not just make it out of cheaper material and something that works just well enough to serve as a proof of concept. Well, that’s exactly what the 3D printer does for you.
A handful of months ago two of the other members at our hackerspace and myself all decided we wanted to build our own Prusa 3D printers. No real defined reason behind it other than we knew we wanted our own printers, and that if we had one it would open new possibilities to us. Since there is no real completion point for these things, it would simply be that once we had it “working” we could use it to create new items and repair or replace old ones that were no longer available. That in a nutshell is the appeal of having such a device and the driving force behind our continued development of them. One of the single most awesome things about this particular printer that we are building, the Prusa. Is that it’s relatively cheap, easily reproducible, modular, and upgradeable. Currently we are in the process of getting them fine tuned and working to some extent. From there we’ll be able to spend further time using it to upgrade itself and improve it’s quality. Expect to see more details in the near future right here on my very own blog enlightening all of the saga of blood, sweat, tears, cursing, and agony that is the way of life a homemade 3D prototyping machine is.