RepStrap Mondo 3d Printer Build Log

Posted by ezmobius Mon, 07 Nov 2011 08:59:00 GMT

Just a quick follow up post to my last one about my makerbot and how I have fallen in love with 3d printing.

If you just want to skip to the photo gallery of the build log then here you go all you TLDR’rs, for the rest of you read on…

I love my makerbot, it is a very nice little unit and the kit is solid with very good documentation./ It is the perfect kit to grab for your first 3d printer. The print quality is also awesome and there is a large community and the makerbot has the largest installed base of 3d printers at 5k+ and counting.

But the build area is only 5”x5”x5”, so you can only print things that will fit inside of a 5 inch cube. This is pretty big in reality though and you can always break things apart and print multiple objects and then join them back together.

But I wanted a much larger build area and I also wanted a much more hackable 3d printer. The RepRap community is the original OG’s who started the 3d printing at home movement and there are 3 main models of rep rap’s, the darwin, the mendel and the pros mendel. Darwin as the name suggests was the first model, it had a few issues that were mostly fixed in the mendel model which of course was printed on a darwin ;). But even the mendel started to show its age and the latest in the official RepRap line is the prusa Mendel. This one gets most things right and has a nice larger build area, somewhere around 8 inch cube depending on how you install your extruder head.

I considered building a prusa but i wanted an even bigger print area and the way RepRap printers are put together it doesn’t cost much more to scale the size of the printer up to get a bigger print area as the design is so “open” with the threaded and smooth rod construction. The RepRap printers are very “airy” looking and you can reach in and get at any place in the system and this makes it very easy to hack, customize and try new things with a rewrap.

I’ve been learning arduino and embedded hardware/softwere development over the summer as I wanted to automate a glassblowing torch I got that has 6 knobs. It gets really annoying when you have a large hot piece of glass and you have to take a hand off of it to adjust 6 knobs. So I wanted to build an arduino based system with a small touch screen and a stepper motor attached to each knob. The UI would be 6 sliders that you could slide with your finger and while you did that the torch knob corresponding to that slider would open or close as you moved back and forth. Then once you had dialed a certain flame in just right, you would give it a name like “laser” or “bushy” etc. Now later when you are blowing glass, instead of taking your hands off your hot molten artwork, you cant just shout out the name of the flame you want and the voice recognition model attached to the arduino would tell the arduino which preset to use and the stepper motors would rapidly turn the knobs just to the right position.

So that project is what sent me down the rabbit hole of hardware/embedded/arduino/design and eventually into 3d printers and multi-=rotor helicopters. Over the last six months I purchased way too many arduinos and assorted shields and gadgets to learn what I liked and didn’t like. So I have amassed about $4k worth of arduino related kit and all different kinds of robot and stepper motors as well as all kinds of cool stuff that goes along with this theme.

But back to the bigger 3d printer I want real bad, I figured that I would pile up my arduino kit that I know I am not using anymore now that I have found my interests and put it up for sale to fund the build of my new RepRap printer.

So get in touch with me if you want anything arduino related, I have at least 123 different kinds of arduino boards, uno’s, mega’s, teensy’s, teensy++’s, jee nodes, boarduino’s, USB host arduinos that can connect to android phones. I also have GSM cell phone shields, wifi shields, tons of XBee related kit as well as too many sensors and bits and bobs to list.

Seriously if you want anything related to arduino and electronics hit me up first, all of this stuff is used once or brand new in the original bang. And I will sell it for around half off what its worth new.

Amnyway back to the RepRap! I went ahead and got myself the supplies needed to build a RepRap “Mondo” 3d printer! This thing is fucking huge, I mean large in charge,. The build area is 18 inches x 12 inches x 10 inches.

This means I can print a full life sized darth vader mask and then just put it on once it cools ;) How baddass is that?

So tonight I decided to get started building my new Mondo and let me tell you, RepRap printers are sooooo much faster and simpler to assemble then makernbot’s are.

I started at 10:30pm and it is now 1am and I have fully unpacked and assembled the full frame of the printer and written this blog post about it ;) All the while taking pictures of every step so you can see what it is like to build one of these bad boys.

Here is the link to the photo gallery of me unboxing and building the frame, step by step. Probablky tomorrow night I will assemble the X, Y and Z axis as well as install the electronics and start calibrating the thing to get started printing by tuesday. So follow along here and stay tuned.

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  1. Paul Hammond said 66 days later:
    Glad to see you had success with the RepRap Mondo. I have just got my kit, but no assembly instructions. Did you get any that you could send onto me ? RepRap Central have gone all quiet after sending me on a web link - which seems pretty bare of detail. Any assistance would be great. Many thanks, Paul Hammond

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