Building the printer over the last few weeks, I’ve had to strip a lot of wires. It’s been a real pain to use the crimper / stripper that I’ve had for the last few years. It strips wires, but it’s slow and finicky.
When I was in Countyco last week, looking for a 1mm allen key, I saw these wire strippers for $20. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but after stripping a few more wires over the weekend, I thought that it might worthwhile.
I picked this up this afternoon and stripped a few wires for the hot-end as soon as I got home. Wow. Dead easy and does a perfect job in seconds.
If you don’t have one of these yet, and you’re doing a reprap build, run out and buy one, now. You won’t be disappointed.
Still more parts this week, but one of them I can actually do something with!
PCB Heat bed from Reprap source
Aluminium pulleys. These are supposed to give a better quality of print, by having less slop and backlash. A pretty cheap printer upgrade.
A wand-type temperature probe for my (forthcoming) temperature gun.
Hobbed bolt from Arcol.hu.
And finally, and most importantly, the hot end! For my hot end, I decided to go for one from Arcol. It looks like a great design. Things I like about it:
- A super-short heated zone. From what I’ve seen during my research, the Arcol hot-end probably has the shortest heated zone of any hot end. This should greatly reduced extruder force.
- A removable and exchangable nozzle in 0.5mm and 0.35mm sizes.
- An excellent support structure. Unlike most nozzles, it has a fully triangulated structure. This should reduce the movement of the nozzle head during printing, resulting in more accurate prints.
The best thing is that this is the first part that I can actually do something with! I can start assembling it right away.
Only one part arrived this week: Kapton tape.
I decided to go for the 50mm wide tape. It had a good balance of price / mm, and it will only need a few strips to cover the heated bed, minimising the amount of hassle required to perfectly line up each join in the tape.
This week, the PSU and the stepper motors arrived.
I decided early on in speccing out the printer that I wanted to go with a heated bed. It generates much higher quality prints, but with no need of a raft. One of the problems generated by having a heated bed, however, is that you need almost 20 amps of power. Each stepper motor (or more correctly, the stepper motor driver) is rated for about 2 amps, and the heated bed can use up to 9 amps when warming up. Add on the hot end, and you’re nearly at 20 amps when starting off a print. Fortunately for power bills, this drops down a lot once the hot end and bed are up to temp.
I contemplated going route of other people and modding an desktop computer ATX supply. But in the end I decided to go for this one. It’s cheaper than a ATX supply that’s rated for 20 amps, and I don’t need the 3v and 5v outputs. This PSU is designed to recharge batteries for radio-control vehicles, but it makes a good 12v lab bench supply.
Also arrived are some stepper motors from AusXMods. The specs on these are pretty good, get the full amount of torque required (50 Ncm) at low volts and amps. These motors should easily be able to handle the load required by the Prusa.
The first parts arrived this week. By good luck it’s the RP parts made by nophead.
They came very tightly packed in the box. I wonder if he’s written a python script for optimal packing?
All the RP parts laid out.
Now I just need the metal to arrive, and I can start assembling! However, I think the metal parts are coming by sea-mail, so they won’t arrive for a few months yet.