Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Build Has Started!

Since the last post was written, I have received the missing rod and some extra parts too from ThreadShop!

I won't go into detail about the assembly since it is all very straight forward, especially after Garry Hodgson created the Prusa Mendel Visual Instructions. I have to be honest, I am very very impressed with the instructions; there is almost no ambiguity and everything comes together quite perfect!

Before I get to some pictures of the build I want to mention one thing that confused me at first. Instead of snap on bushings, I was sent bushing holders and metal bushings. I was really unsure of how this would all come into play, but after I started building the Prusa it all came together.

The Frame Coming Together!
Well, this was exciting! I went from nothing to a frame in almost no time at all. It was unbelievably easy to get this far. Everything seems to fit well and go very smoothly. The only small issue I ran into was that the rods were not perfectly cut on each end and sometimes was not perfectly smooth and round. This meant that for some rods, I had to put the nuts on from one side to get around this. Nothing I could not handle though!

A Motor Bracket
 As an electrical engineer, it has been years since I have done anything mechanical. This is getting to be a lot of fun!
Upper Motor Bracket (Z-Axis)
Here is a close up of the z-axis which is on top of the frame. Two stepper motors are used for the z-axis on the Prusa. I hope my motors fit! We will see when they arrive.

As I mentioned above, the bushings gave me a bit of frustration. At first I was at a loss as to how it all worked. The metal bushings did not fit in the bushing holders and I was not sure if I was doing something wrong. After a few emails to both the people who sold me the hardware and the printed parts, I was not doing anything wrong and I just needed to sand down the inside of the bushing holders a bit. I was very scared at first of breaking the plastic part, but after a few bushings snapped in just fine I become more comfortable. I found that the best way to sand down the inside of the holders was to first scratch the inside with a knife to get some material loose; then finally sand down the inside using one of the threaded rods. It worked quite well as you can.

I am not sure what I will do next, but I will be sure to keep you all updated.