RepRap Update

Got a bit of time to work on the Mendel today. I finished soldering the stepper motor extensions and attached their connectors (although I believe I did not have to use a connector for the extruder so that one will have to be removed later). In terms of the other electronics, I placed them on their mounting plate. I think some revisions were done on the motherboard and stepper drivers. For the motherboard, the addition of a SD slot removed a mounting hole, which required the mounting plate to be flipped for a three point mount (luckily the plate is perfectly symmetrical, though the relative position of the extruder controller shifted slightly). For the stepper drivers, the board sizes were reduced which left slightly larger gaps in between them. As well, due to the reduced size, the four point mount was replaced with a three point mount and an additional washer used as a spacer per bolt for better clearance. This worked out well in terms of parts count (3x4x4=48 washers vs. 3x3x5=45 washers, 3 less washers needed).

Meanwhile, parts for the frame and x-axis were put together and some of the rods cleaned (one of the rods had some residue that may require further cleaning by a solvent). It was noted that three large C-shaped pieces (for the large triangular frame) was missing and might have not been printed yet.

Although the 10-pin rainbow cables were not all finished, we did have enough to do a test. I believed the Replicator-G firmware was uploaded to the motherboard and therefore had to update it for the Mendel Reprap software. Everything was routine except for the driver installation of the TTL232R cable. Windows 7 did not find a suitable driver right away (could be due to driver update settings under user control) and caused a lot of headache. This was eventually resolved and the cable was recognized as COM4. The rest was a breeze and after we tested the steppers, we wrapped it up for the night.

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