Building a new 3D RepRap Printer to Replace old Mendel Printer.
I currently have a Mendel Printer that I originally purchased as a kit form MakerGear. This printer works will but I want a larger print bed and more height (Z). Current Mendel build is 200x195x100. Looking at getting 300x300x200 out of new build. I am also looking to build a more ridged machine so plan on using extruded aluminium construction as the main frame components.
Decided to go with the TAZ build from Lulzbot build. Lulzbot is a great company and have made all their 3D Printer designed open source. Of course their designs are great but there are not build instructions so that is something you have to figure out your self. Lukely they have provided plenty of excelent pictures that help with figure out how to build it. The TAZ is a derivative of the Lulzbot-TK-0 which includes 3D cad drawings which also helps with the build, the cad drawings are included with the open source TAZ files.
Source for building this printer can be found here.
Ok, making some progress with this build. I currently have printed and assembled all the hardware. Pictures to be included below. Key to figuring all this out has been using the BOM that was included in the source files and looking at a lot of pictures. I ended up doing a lot of zooming in on the pictures from Lulzbot’s site of the TAZ. I also just yesterday found out that all the printed parts have a file of type .xoj which I thought were CAD files but turns out they are from a linux note app – http://xournal.sourceforge.net/. The xoj files contain notes about how to build the parts that are NOT included in the pdf files. Of course I did not figure this out until AFTER I had mine build – LOL.
On interesting aspect to building the TAZ is the use of heat inserted nuts (Metric Brass Heat-set Insert For Plastics) that you imbed into the plastic parts and then used to assemble with. I had to get a new soldering iron and special tips made for the install of these inserts. If you order from McMaster-Carr using the listed stock numbers in the BOL you will also see the tips and iron that you will need for install. Anyway, after a second order to get everything I needed I managed to install these inserts – and to tell you the truth I really like them and think I will use them for other designs! One thing about these inserts is that you can pull them out if you tighten you screws to tight, but i tried to eliminate this issue by installing the inserts of the opposite side of the plastic when possible to the screws pull the inserts into the plastic and not out. Not sure if this is how Lulzbot is doing this but…
I also had some fun building the heated table. I go the table plate from Lulzbot but could not get the heater for it because of its size. I did some searching and ended up finding a site (http://store.qu-bd.com) that sold the silicon heater bed the right size (300mm x 300mm), why they call that a silicon heater BED i have no idea. This heater is an actual rubber pad that needs to be glued directly to the glass plate (also from Lulzbot).
In order to mount the table (Y axis) to the rest of the printer the TAZ design used thumb screws under the bed; instead of ordering those thumb screws I designed my one and mounted them using heat inserts and some M4 screws. I did this because the cost of buying those thumb screws from McMaster-Carr was not worth it, especially for just the 4 i needed, now if I was building a bunch of the TAZ’s it may be worth it then.
Linear rods are 10mm and 500mm long so this was became another issue getting. No one sells these in this length on ebay or any of the 3D printer sites. It was going to cost me $200 getting them from the supplier in the BOM and I did not want to pay that much for them. What I did get was drill rod from McMaster-Carr that I had to cut to size. As a backup I also purchased some from a Chinese supplier which only cost me $60 but took a month to get them. Both work well but I thing the ones i got from China have a better polish (need a set of 10mm rods?).
I used two rolls of 1KG plastic to print all the parts needed but the TAZ, excluding the electronics box. I had some bad prints that took up more material that I should have but even then I would still need more than one roll. BTW, printing some of these parts were maxing out the capacities of my Prusa Mendel printer, spacificly the lengths of a couple of the parts were 200mm. When printing I usually print a skirt to get the plastic flowing good but had to remove that as there was no extra room for a skirt. I also had to re-calibrate my printer to get the maximum print area, I originally only have 195mm of print width on my X access. My Mendel can only print 190mm on the Y access because of how my bed is configured/built.
As a note I want to mentions I am thankful to Lulzbot for making the TAZ designs open source (do not remember the license type but did check to make sure they were open). In support to Lulzbot I did buy some of my parts from that that I could – especially the pad plate.
OK, some of my current pictures of what i have so far.
Next step is the electronics. I am about to start that but I am still waiting for a couple of components I missed in original purchases and am I need to make a new electronics case design to hold my RAMPS 1.4 that i am using. I have worked with the RAMPS and also it is cheaper than the Rambo that is used by Lulzbot.
Update – 14Aug2014
Have not made an update for a while but printer has been completed for a while now. I have actually made a few mods to it already and am currently waiting for a new HotEnd that I purchased a couple weeks ago. I am also going to replace the current Extruder with a NEMA 17 Geared Extruder – give it a little more power – the current extruder I am currently using is stalling out at times but part of that is due to the my HotEnd I am using right now.
Below is a picture of a print I made on the TAZ and a video of the printer in action today.