This project began much like many of my projects at Milwaukee Makerspace have: an off-the-cuff discussion; in this case, with Lance Lamont about a possible project for Maker Faire Milwaukee. After a few rounds of discussion, we came up with the idea of an electromagnetic crane. I decided I’d attempt to build one similar to this style, and that I’d start off with the magnet. I purchased several small electromagnets from Tom‘s favorite website, Banggood. Thus, the MicroMagnetArray was born:
And failed miserably. Running at 18v (50% more than its rated voltage!), it was only drawing ~200mA, and could only lift 2-4 of the 7/16ths nuts I’d borrowed for use as ballast.
So my inner maker came boiling to the surface and yelled at me, “why not wind my own!?”… Continue reading
Join us on the evening of Friday, June 3rd, 2016 for Bay View Gallery Night! We’ll be open and have plenty of things to show you, much of it made at the space by our members, but we’ll also have a few guest artists from the community as well.
(Rumor has it this is the only BVGN happening this year, so don’t miss it! And hey, maybe your friends are going!)
We’ve been printing wheels… lots of wheel! We tested some at Madison Mini Maker Faire’s Nerdy Derby event last weekend, and we’ve been using Son of Megamax to crank out little plastic wheels.
Yes, we are printing 37 wheels at a time! And we’re using ABS filament from CoEx in Appleton, Wisconsin. They were kind enough to supply us with some spools of filament to keep SoM busying printing pretty much day and night!
I know you’re wondering how we keep an eye on all those wheels being printed. Well, when we’re not at the space we just check out the Milwaukee Makerspace Webcam. (As long as it’s pointed in the right direction.)
(Thanks again to Coex for the filament donation!)
The glass bed on the Makerspace’s Taz 3 printer recently did what glass does- it broke. Time for a repair and upgrade!
I started by cutting the under carriage down and modifying it for a three point leveling system instead of the stock four point undercarriage/bed plate bending scheme.
Modified undercarriage mounted on the printer
The original heater was separated from the shards of glass and glued to the 12″ x 12″ x 1/4″ cast aluminum tooling plate using high temperature silicone. 3x #10 countersunk screws and springs support the plate on heat resistant teflon blocks. The whole assembly stands about 1 cm taller than the original bed plate so I printed a small extension for the Z=0 set screw so it would trip the switch from the higher position. I tested the heating time and found that the bed gets up to 110C in about 16 minutes- a little slow, but we probably won’t be printing much ABS with this open frame machine anyway. Next- run PID autotune for the bed heater and adjust acceleration (greater moving mass means lower acceleration and print speeds).
New bed plate and undercarriage mounted on the printer
Some of you might ask why I would replace the glass bed with a piece of cast aluminum tooling plate. Thermal performance is one good reason. Here’s an IR photo of the original glass bed:
IR image of the Taz 3 printer with original glass bed.
Notice the hot and cool spots- 30C temperature variation across the bed.
Here’s what the new aluminum bed plate looks like:
Temperature variation is just a few degrees over the entire surface (the bright almost horizontal lines are not hot spots- they are reflections of the X axis guide rails).
I have run the PID tuning on the new bed and modified the firmware with the new constants. It heats from 25C to 100C in about 9 minutes.
I officially declare the Taz printer ready for action.
Four 1/2″ diameter lengths of EMT, twelve hose clamps, nine square feet of MDF, and some wood screws. Two hours to design and build. Continue reading