Building a new 3D printer, Prusa I3 ITOPIE – part 1

Finally decided to go for a Reprap prusa model after my Felixiprinter died, the head is blocked and they don’t sell a new one any more. So I have to upgrade but that almost cost the price of a new printer.

On the openbuilds site I saw the design of the Reprap ITOPIE, designed to be cut from 16mm MDF, luckily I have a cnc machine.

First step is to translate the dxf file in cut paths for the cnc router via Cut 2D.

Here’s my first attempt:

prusa-i3-itopie

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RS Components RepRapPro Ormerod 3D printing kit

RS Components the well known supplier of electronic components has launched a 3D printer kit for a very nice price 724,79 € euro incl vat, this kit also offers stand-alone printing with files supplied on SD card.

The site also states that the design can take 2 extra print heads for multi colour printing WOW.

 

Seems a nice design but have my doubt on the extruder arm which is only connected on 1 site, my experience with such designs is that on the long run there will be some play on the joint and the arm won’t be level any more, but maybe I’m wrong…

More info can be obtained on the RS site http://be02.rs-online.com/web/c/computing-peripherals/printers-printing-supplies/node_under_construction/

The Openbuilds website

This is something I had to post a long time ago, the openbuilds site is a community site for makers where you can publish your open projects.

http://www.openbuilds.com/

The site is created by the nice people of the openbuildspart store, the same people who launched the V-slot aluminium profile. ( I backed their Kickstarter V-slot campaign and have some of the first few meters of 20 x 20aluminium  profile).

DSC_0166

If you are searching for a Delta 3D rpinter design or a portal cnc router, then you’ll find some nice design over here.

Next step is buying the parts at their store, really fair prizes for decent material. http://openbuildspartstore.com/

They have some dealers over here in Europe like https://www.iprototype.nl/search?search_string=v-slot

My goal is to make a portable cnc router and/or 3D printer with the v-slot profiles I obtained, I have already a 3D printer and 2 CNC routers, but the v-slot profile can make very compact designs and that’s what I need.

So happy building.

 

 

Why I like the Arduino Tre already

Let’s face it who can’t like the cross breeding between the Ti Beaglebone and the Arduino Uno.

ArduinoTre_LandingPage.jpg

It’s a win-win situation, while the Beaglebone is the big boy with ethernet, hdmi, audio, 1Ghz ARM processing speed and 512MB ram. Similar to most processing power found in today low spec smartphones, the Uno with the Atmel AVR is still king in embedded processing, simple, lean and efficient.

The Arduino Tre has it all, I really hope it will be available early 2014,  I haven’t seen any pricing yet but let’s make the math Beaglebone black (55 euro) + Arduino Uno (24 euro) = 79 euro this will make a really cool deal. (price source http://www.electroshopdendermonde.be)

On the landingpage at Arduino.cc you’ll find more detailed specs.

Hopefully it finds a place in my new to design small 2.5D CNC portable routing machine, but more about that in another post…

 

Connecting old school joysticks to the Arduino and more from VintageGamer

The fab-o-lab blog was my new brainchild this year, but I blogged already since a few years, one of my most popular posts on that blog was ‘Connecting old school joysticks to the Arduino’. So it’s no bad idea I think to repost it here. More vintage gaming stuff here 

So you’ve got some old school joystick with a DB9 connector lying around, time to connect it an Arduino board.

The pin out’s for the joystick connector (male connector) I took from the original Atari pin out, as we see later on this pin layout is the most generic one and works with joysticks from Atari, Commodore, Sega, Quickshot, …

Pin’s 1 to 4 are up/down/left/right

Pin 6 is the fire button

Pin 8 is the GND

If you need to support more button’s then there’s some bad news every manufacturer seems to did his own extra button wiring, so for simplicity I took a one button configuration. We simply need to connect these pins to the the Arduino digital pins. I choose pins 3 to 7, you can choose other configurations but for me it was more easier to choose 5 pins next to each other as I reused an old serial switch box to recuperate the DB9 male connector on it, so I simply cut the wires from it.

Next I soldered the wires comming from the male DB9 to the  pins as in the picture. Pins 7 -> 3 Up/Down/Left/Right/Fire

A soldered 1 pin to the GND wire.

Then it was time to test this setup, I used an Arduino Decimilla for the test, with a small sketch.

/*
 Joystick test Sketch

 Reads the digital direction and button state from Atari compatible joystick.
 Some code reused from the Sparkfun joystick shield test sketch.
*/
//Variables for the buttons
char buttonUp=7, buttonDown=6, buttonLeft=5, buttonRight=4, buttonFire=3;
void setup(void)
{

 pinMode(buttonUp, INPUT);
 digitalWrite(buttonUp, HIGH); //Enable the pull-up resistor
pinMode(buttonDown, INPUT);
 digitalWrite(buttonDown, HIGH); //Enable the pull-up resistor

 pinMode(buttonLeft, INPUT);
 digitalWrite(buttonLeft, HIGH); //Enable the pull-up resistor
pinMode(buttonRight, INPUT);
 digitalWrite(buttonRight, HIGH); //Enable the pull-up resistor

 pinMode(buttonFire, INPUT);
 digitalWrite(buttonFire, HIGH); //Enable the pull-up resistor 

 Serial.begin(9600); //Turn on the Serial Port at 9600 bps
}
void loop(void)
{
 Serial.print(digitalRead(buttonUp)); //Read the value of the button up and print it on the serial port.
 Serial.print(digitalRead(buttonDown)); //Read the value of the button down and print it on the serial port.
 Serial.print(digitalRead(buttonLeft)); //Read the value of the button left and print it on the serial port.
 Serial.print(digitalRead(buttonRight)); //Read the value of the button right and print it on the serial port.
 Serial.println(digitalRead(buttonFire)); //Read the value of the button fire and print it on the serial port.

 //Wait for 100 ms, then go back to the beginning of 'loop' and repeat.
 delay(100);
}

Then I did  some testing with joysticks and gamepads I had lying around:

Quickshot standard, original from my C64 works exactly like the Atari.

Atari joystick

Atari gamepad with button 1 & 2 both buttons trigger the same fire button but can be wired different to get both working.

Sega Master System gamepad, only button 1 works.

Sega Mega Drive gamepad, only button B works.

We can conclude that all support the directional buttons and fire button but the extra button’s are a different story maybe for another blog post ?

Finally I hooked the joystick up to my Uno/Gameduino setup, that’s why I didn’t used pin 2 as it’s used by the Gameduino.

I remapped the pins in the Gameduino Asteroids sketch and the whole thing runs perfectly. Although the Asteroids game doesn’t use the fire button.

 

RepairCafe Bornem

Last Saturday I participated at the first Bornem (Klein-Brabant) repair café.

The local TV channel made a small item of it which can be watched on their site http://www.rtv.be/artikels/nieuws/2013100513362210_eerste-repair-caf%C3%A9-in-klein-brabant

Image

The goal of the RepairCafe is to help people with broken products like a not working cd-player, a staff of ‘fixing people’ is available to  help and explain how to repair the broken product.

Products range from clothes to chairs to microwave ovens..

Sadly my 3D printer broken down a few times due to some unknown reasons (Murphy’s Law) so I spend most of my time fixing my own printer … luckily the camera guy had my printer on film before it broke down again.

So next time I hope to be printing some useful artefacts.

Free maker magazines

Essential reading for makers, the reprap magazine is an in depth magazine about 3D printing.

Features in depth articles and interviews.

cover_reprap2

Over to The MagPI a magazine dedicated to the Raspberry PI, already a nice list of published issues.

cover_magpi13

Ok, this last one isn’t free but is the über maker magazine – Make Magazine -, so it’s worth to pay for. Haven’t seen it on news stands in Belgium but can be bought online. Already collected a few issues.

m34-cover

So start reading…