Ultimaker: first (real) print success…

After a bit of startup struggling, I think I’m finally on track with the Ultimaker. To be fair, said struggling was mostly my own damn fault. Sigh…

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Posted in Ultimaker | 10 Comments

MakerGear announces new 3D printer: the Mosaic

Rick Pollack announced it last night. Preorder now with 5-7 week lead time..

There’s a base model for US$799 which includes:
– RAMPS (unassembled)
– MakerGear stepper extruder (3mm or 1.75mm)
– About 5x5x5 inch build platform (~127mm)
– Much slippery mechanical goodness via bearings and PTFE coatings
– UP! style X/Y/Z axis arrangement
– No power supply?

Then there’s a Plus version for $999 which adds to the base model:
– Assembled RAMPS
– More filament (variety pack type deal)
– Power supply

Note that these are just the bits that caught my eye. Visit www.makergear.com for actual & official details.

I’m a little bit surprised at the UP!-style design, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing – it’s just different than I expected, based on meeting Rick at MakerFaire NYC last year and chatting about some ideas.

MakerGear has a very solid (and deserved, IMO!) reputation of building high-quality gear and offering unmatched levels of service. I’m not sure yet if I’m going to order a MakerGear Mosaic but it’s something I’m definitely going to keep an eye on…

Posted in MakerGear | 17 Comments

No smoking!

No smoking but some purdy blinky lights!!

Just powered up my Ultimaker for the first time and, amazingly (amazingly based on my build skills, not Ultimaker quality), it all seems to work. So far, anyway. I still haven’t put any filament through it yet. That’ll come soon, though.

There were a few bumps on the road here: the box was missing a couple parts which the Ultimaker folks rush-shipped to me, work, just being lazy and, most fun, my PC caught a virus last week that eventually resulted in my just buying a new PC; 3 nights wasted with that crap. Grr..

Total build time for me was just under 2 weeks but I took my time and had several interruptions. Anybody who’s built a Cupcake or something similar could do it in a weekend if they wanted to. Total soldering: 0. Total multimeter time used: 0.

Anyway, the build was pretty straight-forward. The laser cut parts are nicely etched with labels on what goes where. Here’s a picture of the back panel – notice the etching for the motor and endstops:

This may seem like a small thing but, speaking for all other mechanical klutz’ out there, it’s appreciated. The bottom panel where the electronics are mounted (sorry – don’t have a good picture of that. edit: here’s one) is really well labeled with laser etching – where the wires for each endstop and stepper goes and which color wire goes to each terminal. Nice.

Another small thing that I really liked is that the kit uses square (not hex) nuts for all t-slots in wooden pieces. Anybody who makes a kit with t-slots and wooden pieces should use these too – hex nuts are a real pain in the neck in small areas.

Even though I haven’t printed anything yet, I’m really impressed with the thought that went into this box. It’s neat & tidy and nothing, nothing, along the way felt like a part was used in the design because they happened to have it on hand.

Erik did have me a little worried recently when he commented that the X/Y belts are very tight to improve print quality at the expense of making the machine louder. I’d gotten used to have a quiet machine – my Cupcake got Rob Giseburt’s PSDM X/Y drivers and Aaron Double’s X/Y low rider, both of which did very nice things to the Cupcakes noise level – and was dreading a little going back to having a noisy machine. Turns out I was worried for nothing because, moving at 100mm/second, the Ultimaker is maybe just a little louder than my Cupcake at 25mm/second. Sweet.

Next up is actually making it print something, which I hope to start poking at later tonight…

Posted in Ultimaker | 8 Comments

WordPress: Destroyer of Hope

And I say that, “destroyer of hope,” in the nicest possible way. I appreciate WP giving me some free web space where I can rant. Thanks, you jerks.

WordPress, if you didn’t know, is the host/software of this here blog.

If you have a WordPress blog, they give you some nifty stats and such about search terms that end up here and page hits and stuff like that. My blog gets a fairly steady number of hits. Not great, not horrible. If I write about stuff people actually care about, it goes up. If I don’t, it doesn’t. I get paid the same ($0) either way so I tell myself I don’t worry about it, even a little.

Anyway, today, I see this:

Holy crap! Look at that spike today on the right! I’m popular!! It’s about time all you godless heathens started paying attention.

Yeah. Hovering my mouse over that spike and I see a different picture..

You jerks.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Ultimaker pre-order open!

I’m floored that this isn’t getting more press. Really.

Looks like things are coming together for Erik and company – they’re now taking pre-orders for their Ultimaker 3D printer!!

I got to meet Erik and see this printer at Botacon, back in December, and was really quite impressed. It looks very clean. It moves at speeds that border on psychotic. It’s got more than twice as much room on X/Y/Z than my trusty old Cupcake does (aka: +8x build volume) but the machine itself is only a little bit bigger.

I’m a little nervous about the lack of a heated platform. I’m not too, too worried, though – I expect that either the Ultimaker people will have one before too much longer or that something like the one that MakerGear has on their Prusa will work on it.

Also nervous that the Ultimaker is fed by a Bowden cable.. It’ll be interesting to see how well that deals with ooze.

Even with those (potential) issues, this thing still seems like it’s going to be a monster. I’m excited.. 🙂

Posted in Ultimaker | 11 Comments

But I’m not dead yet!

So.. Yeah.. Not much for blog updates lately.

My last post (last year! :O ) ended up with me wanting to do a series of posts in the following weeks about configuring my new MakerGear stepper extruder but then I started to notice some trends in the output.. That led to the revival of some work I started last summer to make coming up with new printer profiles easier. That led to some weird results that made me scratching my head for a while. Then work got crazy, insanely busy. Then I was quite tired and did nothing but watch cartoons for a while.

Anyway.. Just in case anybody’s wondering, I’m not dead yet. More is coming..

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Profiles for my stepper extruder at 40mm/second

I recently picked up a MakerGear stepper extruder for my MakerBot Cupcake.. This thing is really cool but now I’ve got to go back and redo all my skeinforge profiles. This post, which I hope to update fairly frequently over the next couple weeks, is a collection of different combinations that seem to work pretty well..

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Posted in MakerGear | 13 Comments