Wednesday, June 15, 2016

"IvorBot", the early days...

I found some short videos of early days testing of my core-xy movement (stacked, fishing-line, rectangular format). Worth sharing I thought, as even a short video shows so much more. In the first clip you see it plot, probably doing about 40mm/sec. It was my first experience of a core-xy movement and was pleasantly surprised at how precisely it plotted, and how accurate the repetition of the same drawing was. Fitting a pen holder to an x-carriage is always a practical way to get an initial feel for movement and dimensional accuracy, in x/y directions at least. See video below.
(In the audio you can hear the poor quality groove bearings beginning to grind, which was it's ultimate downfall. The stepped nature of the circle is just the way it was drawn.)

Driving it at higher speeds didn't help the failing bearings, but you could really open the throttle on this chassis. Having no weight at all on the x-carriage helped. In this other short video clip (below) you can see the movement running at faster speeds. I used an old Gen6 board to drive the experiment, which it did without issue once I updated Marlin firmware for the core-xy support. The tests were controlled from Repetier Host. If you don't have an extruder fitted and want to trick the printer into working you need to set a dummy thermister "998" in Marlin Configuration.h, and un-comment #define DUMMY_THERMISTOR_998_VALUE 185". You can then slice something and send the gcode file, which it will pretend to print, or plot if you have a pen fitted, and no Z mechanism.

I learned a lot from this 'prototype'. I was able to draw on my existing body of knowledge and understanding of 3d printing, and build on that to construct this experimental chassis. The plans were drawn up in Sketcup primarily, which I use quite a lot for design visualisation. With some plug-ins I can export for printing (STL), and export for laser cutting (SVG).

I've also found Autodesk 123D very good also, and move to it for more complex components.

By building the physical working model I was able to get a true sense of scale, construction challenges, and mechanical performance. I was then able to modify design and rapidly improve through iteration, swapping out both printed parts and laser cut framework. I'm constantly keeping an eye to my primary design goals of compact size for given print volume (200x300x250 approx), along with dual extrusion capability with room for experimentation.

More detail of the journey to follow.
Tks for viewing.


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