Category Archives: RepRap

Announcing Plans for a RepRap Build Camp

Buoyed by the success of our appearance at Reading Geek Night and inspired by the success of the eMakershop Masterclass we thought it would be great to run a Build Camp in the Reading area, to encourage the spread of RepRaps.

Spend a fun weekend assembling your bot, guided by those who have already made the mistakes and so know how to avoid them and without the hassle of sourcing any of the parts yourself. It is possible and very tempting to buy an pre-assembled printer, but by putting it all together yourself you not only get the satisfaction of seeing your efforts coming to fruition but also learn valuable lessons about how to operate and maintain your brand new toy!

Here are the several ways in which we plan to ease the pain of building your own 3D printer:

  • avoid figuring out which machine to build and the various improvements to choose, or spending time calculating the bill of materials and sourcing them all – a kit will be provided for a set up that we¬† ourselves will have built and tested.
  • be guided through the assembly instructions by those who have already built their own machines, passing on their hard-learned lessons and helping you avoid the various “gotchas” along the way
  • access that extra pair of hands required at various points throughout the build that make it all so much easier, but you just don’t have if you’re building it on your own
  • learn how to maintain your machine through constructing it
  • receive advice on software chains and configuring and calibrating your machine and software
  • be taught how to source objects to print and how to go about printing them
  • get ongoing support in the form of a Thames Valley RepRap User Group, which we hope the build camp will be a springboard for.

So let us know if you’re interested, and we’ll put something together :)

UPDATE 13/08/2011: Sign up for the Thames Valley RepRap 3d Printer Build Party Planning Event at to register your interest and be kept up to date with our plans.

Mendel and Huxley Debut at #RDGGEEKNIGHT20

Photo credit: Karen Blakeman

Dad and I ventured along to our first Reading Geek Night a in April and decided there and then that we wanted to demonstrate our RepRaps and share our experiences, booking ourselves in at the first opportunity with great anticipation. That night was tonight and the response was amazing, there was a definite buzz in the room (not just from the printer).

Continue reading Mendel and Huxley Debut at #RDGGEEKNIGHT20

Gen 7 Up and Running

The trial run at making our own Gen 7 PCB was a success, so we ordered the components and went for the real thing. A few tricky obstacles required surmounting including out-of-date config files, a blown Pololu and invisible shorts, but finally we have life! Continue reading Gen 7 Up and Running

Quick and Dirty X Belt Tensioning

Mendel’s X belt tension needed increasing, but this is a beggar of a job to do with the original belt clamps (I have the injuries to prove it!). Turns out there is a simple solution, inspired by the Open X Carriage – cable ties!

While this is a preferred solution to the original, it is still difficult to tension the belt beyond a certain point. Also if you change your mind and decide it needs loosening by a notch or two, that can prove to be a challenge! Ideally I’d like a tensioning system like this Y Belt Tensioner by sliptonic on both X and Y axes, but the cable tie will do for now :).

Etching Generation 7 PCBs

The premise behind the Generation 7 RepRap electronics is replicability, so we decided to fabricate our own for our Huxley in progress. Originally we had hoped to set up our Mendel for milling with our Dremel, but with our sticky y axis problem being only improved but not completely solved by increasing the belt tension, we decided to play it safe and etch the PCB instead. Continue reading Etching Generation 7 PCBs

Spool Holder & Sticky Y Axis

We decided when taking our Mendel for a trip to the office that the first project had to be a spool holder – feeding the filament manually was getting tedious and meant Mendel couldn’t be left to print unsupervised. Enter Simple spool system for a Mendel (or other 3d printer) by brokentoaster on Thingiverse, a perfect solution.

Printing these parts has revealed that the Y axis is missing steps somehow, leading to slanted prints. Luckily the parts are still usable. Continue reading Spool Holder & Sticky Y Axis