Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Back at the start

At the start of September 2010 I decided I wanted to build a reprap.

At the time I had been watching the project for years, but had not started anything towards it.
Looking at the various options I decided building a repstrap and printing my own parts for a Mendel was probably going to be the beast way to go, since being in New Zealand is somewhat isolated getting printed parts was going to be expensive, especially when you convert to NZ dollars and there is also that nasty additional cost of shipping.

I decided on building a McWire Cartesian Bot 1 2

Although this project is now marked "Death March: Do not build!!!" It wasn't when I started, I also like the idea of having a general purpose Cartesian bot around.

I started gathering parts...

Then the 04 September Quake hit,

So for a month or so after this no one really did anything as we where all somewhat quake shocked.

After a time things began to get back to normal, and I continued to get parts.
I managed to get most parts locally, the hardest was the U channel aluminum, I eventually got this threw Element14, but they warned me this was the last of the stock and there wouldn't be any more.

One of the first things to turn up where the NEMA 23 stepper motors

I tested these with a controller I got from morestuff.biz

The next step was to build a frame, Unfortunately I could not find anyone to supply me with bits of pipe, not for a price I could afford. So I had to find a substitute. I found burnings had aluminum and joiners, so I built the frame from that.

I also had some difficulty finding acrylic, eventually I found a guy on trademe.co.nz who would sell me what I wanted, even cut to the correct sizes.

After much cutting and gathering of parts I had enough pieces to assemble the Cartesian bot
Here it is, just placed together

As you can see, no fancy laser cuts parts here.

After much drilling and gnashing of teeth and screwing and bolting, I had a Cartesian bot.

Since I had to modify the stand, I found that the Z axis moved to much, so I had to add braces

The next step was to turn this into a repstrap...


  1. Overall, how much did it cost so far?

  2. A few people have asked that... I'm sort of scared to look :P Ill gather the invoices and make a list shortly.

  3. Prices include GST, (as far as I can tell).
    Aluminium U channel 3/4", PK5 from Element13 $89.01
    Loctight, Bunnings $24.63
    PCB stands, Jarcar $16.90
    Assorted bits, Bunning, $20.00
    3 Stepper Motor Coupler, morestuff.biz, $42.50
    3 Stepper Motors, morestuff.biz, $190.10
    Parts for frame, bunnings, $80.00
    2 Threaded rod M8x1m Zinc, Mitre 10, $8.68
    Angle Equal Alum 40x40x3.0MMx2M,Mitre 10, $54.96
    Most of the nuts and bolts, Blacks Fasteners, $54.03
    The rest from EDL, $10.00
    Perspex, threw trademe, bay plastic, $64.40
    The PTFE I picked up from DOTMAR platics , $5.00

    Only used on Cartesian bot, not in reprap
    150 Watt 24v Powersupply, Jaycar, $115.00
    CNC 3 Axis Stepper Driver, morestuff.biz, $160.00

  4. And bearings from http://sites.google.com/site/nzminibearings, 8 608's $20.00