There’s movement in the station

Because the word has got around.

Electronics and the RunCNC machine itself, connected and working for the first time.

We have gotten two of the main bits connected. Electronics and the motors with the frame. So we can move the head around. Huzzah!

There are some pretty funny details in here. The cogs are all made of layers of 2mm steel piled on top of one another. And they work fine. They fit into the teeth on the toothed belt very tightly. Just like a bought one.

We had to jack up the voltage on the current sensors to have the X axis steppers running hard enough not to jam slightly. They were making a bit of an ugly sound.

The extruder is coming along nicely. We have a basic MK-4 Makerbot extruder that we are enhancing before we even get it working. Today we extended the nozzle and mounted a kick-arse heatsink so that no unnecessary heat should end up in the plastic barrel.  It looks pretty cool.

From left to right: extruder wheel, PEET plastic insulator, M6 nut, disk, nut, heatsink, nut, aluminium block heater (see hyrdaraptor) and nozzle. Thermistor not yet mounted.

Next steps: getting the extruder mounted, then getting it set up with temperature coefficients and all that jazz. Setting up the end stops, probably using proximity sensors for accuracy. Then we start being able to actually build things, so we can look at making interesting things happen. And to look into improving the design with “proper” gears and we would also like to get an extruder with a remote filament pusher so the moving head is lighter and smaller.

And built some pretty, some funny, some useful and some surprising things. That should keep us busy for a while!

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