I'll start with the beginning of my RepRap adventure. I first thought about 3D printing in may 2013 (yes I was running pretty late..) , just a day before I watch the video by Vice news about Cody R Wilson and his 3D printed gun. I used to make potato launchers in the past (see here http://patator.frbb.net/t9316-realisations-de-tomyboly) and this video was quite interesting compared to manufacturing process and design ideas. Quickly, I come across RepRap and his huge community, I succumb to the charm of the project and the thought of and open source organisation on the subject of mechanical and engineering improvement.
Some weeks after, I started to chose what RepRap printer to build and I finally chose the Prusa i3 by Josef Prusa (http://reprap.org/wiki/Prusa_i3) which wasn't as famous as it is right now. Build documentation wasn't complete so I opt for a large investigation work about FFF 3D printers and Prusa i3 building tips. I started develop a personalized B.O.M with Sanguinololu board and wooden frame structure. I ordered the major part of my items on the Reprapworld website (electronics, mechanics and filament), others where bought on eMaker shop UK (printed parts, frames and J-Heads V) or Panucatt (Helios HBP).
The assembly began after my end-of-term examination at the end of June.
|Prusa i3 - Y frame assembly|
|Prusa i3 - Waiting for extruder mount|
After some wired issues, the Sanguinololu board turn out to be defective so I opt for a Megatronics v2 board, quite expensive but really fitted for my setup and my development perspectives. This board is designed by Bart Maijer and is available on Reprapworld.com. I recommend it, this is the perfect board for our printers! Dual extrusion support, SD card, optoendstops, debug LEDs, multiple thermistors, fans, LCD, keypad and more.
Prusa i3 - Megatronics v2 board
Ok, now let's print some plastic! I'm not so proud of my first attempts...
Prusa i3 - X lift on first prints
... but after some calibration and adjustments it was quite better:
Prusa i3 - Yoda PLA print 50% scale with clear PLA from RRW
Usefull tip: Planes can be machined with a simple Dremel. You can control pulley position with nail varnish on the axis and the pulley. Now you are sure pulley will not slide again!
Prusa i3 - Planes and nail varnish on the X axis motor
These prints are sliced with Slic3r 9.9 and 9.10b, now I use Cura, an open-source slice-engine by Ultimaker which is, for me, more reliable than Slic3r for some advanced prints. For the moment, Slic3r doesn't do the job as well as expected for dual-extrusion work (see http://forums.reprap.org/read.php?263,215749). However, Cura seems to have some issues with dual extruded support structures... (I'll write a post about that).
|Prusa i3 - First acceptable prints|
Prusa i3 - ABS, neutral PLA, Nylon and Laywood (0.1mm layer height)
More pictures here: Dropbox or here Flickr
|Prusa i3 - Today|