Now we hurry up and wait. 02/25/2010
Latest news in my quest to finish up the CNC is that I've placed the order for the PCBs. I had to order 21 of them to meet the minimum order but Id rather have done that than to have paid 70 bucks for just 4 of them. It turned out to be close to 140 shipped with a 2 week turn around. I figure I can put a couple up for sale on ebay and connect with people looking to build their own RepRap. In my opinion its cool what the RepRap team is doing but its abit unstructured. For the average builder, not being able to acquire the stepper drivers or the bare PCBs to make them would be a dead end. Especially if they looked around and found out how much it would cost to have them made.
Head on over to Edward Fords page and check out his project CNC. Ill be looking into the software side of what he has dug up when I start pulling my electronics together and testing them.
The first batch of parts arrived today! 02/18/2010
Its for real now. I just received the stepper drivers from digikey. Ive been emailing around for some quotes for the PCBs.....wait WOW the UPS just dropped off the rest of the parts from mouser while I was writing this post. Thats crazy. What perfect timing. Ok. so whats left? Lets make a list.
- Get the PCBs made
- Get a hot plate
- Get solder paste
- Figure out how to work with SMD
- Wait for back ordered parts from mouser
- Assemble, repeat, repeat
- Figure out how to get it all to work together.
- Cut some stuff out
After looking at some of those parts Im amazed at how small they are. Its taken me a long time to get to the point where I am willing to try SMD. I guess you look at how to after how to and the pictures give you a false sense of size. Well see how it goes after I get the boards made and come up with a hotplate. For everyone out there trying to get PCBs made, make sure you mention if your a student. One of the places I got a quote from offers a 50% discount. Unfortunately they were still higher than my lowest quote.
A bit of history on me and my build after the break.
Started the Ball Rolling 02/16/2010
Ok, I took the first step. I thought I had sourced everything to make the Reprap driver boards. I ordered all but one part from Mouser (11.58) and the driver came from Digikey (5.81). I ordered four sets of components so I could have enough to have one as a spare. Then I went to order the PCBs. MakerBot used to have the whole board assembled and everything for 30 bucks a piece but thats been discontinued. They used to have the bare PCB as well in this nifty red but it as well had been discontinued. I found another site selling the bare PCB but it turned out to be discontinued there as well. So I spent the spare moments of the day looking into "fab houses" (places that make bare PCBs). Sparkfun has one that comes out to be close to $70 for three boards and I found a larger company that could make 12 for not much more than that. Im pretty sure that Im going to bite the bullet and get the 12 and either sell them on ebay or on here if any one is interested. A parts list can be found in the Reprap link I posted in my last post. The drivers are run off of a computer PSU and can run up to a 2A motor. Just so everyone knows, I didnt design this circuit. Props to the Reprap community for all they have accomplished for the open source community.
Possible Motor Driver 02/13/2010
I think I may have come across a suitable stepper driver board that will provide the 1.75A that my steppers need. Some of you may have read about the reprap projects. Basically the reprap is a cnc that lays plastic down rather than cutting material away. After doing some reading I found out the reprap boards will handle up to 2A it looks like.
Again, Welcome. Lets start off with a little background. Ive been working on building a CNC machine for a couple of years now. Ive got a couple of videos I can post up for anyone to see and I might be able to find a couple of early pictures from several forums Ive been apart of over the years. Id like to hp ahead and thank Edward from www.edslifedaily.com for encouraging me to go ahead and make a web page to post information and pictures of my progress. Pictures after the break.