Monday, June 13, 2011


Well, I guess extending the deadline for the build class registration was a success after all. The class is completely sold out. Unfortunately I had turned away some instructors due to the original outlook for the class sing up. I might be able to scrounge together a few of the local experts to lend a hand, but the crew I got so far is more than enough.

Those of you that registered for the class have been getting a flurry of emails from me these past couple of days, but in case you lost it, here it is again:

Alright folks,

The time is nearly upon us! Within a weeks time, you will be sitting
comfortably at your home desktop/laptop and be printing away with your
very own RepRap Prusa Mendel 3D printer.

So, let's run through all the fine details.

I would like each of you to try and install these various software
components yourself first. PLEASE READ THE readme files in each of the
following software packages, they are very helpful and well
documented! (it is OK if you do not know how to install the software,
we will help you come class time):

- Sprinter Firmware: this is the firmware that will be loaded onto
your RAMPS (the electronics that will be running your machine). You
can find the file here, For
Windows and Mac OSX, download the zip extension. Those of you on
Linux, the tar extension. Save it a convenient place. Feel free to
read any of the provided documentation. If you are curious enough to
try and fiddle with it before hand, just don't save any of your

- Repsnapper: this software allows you to interface with the RepRap
machine (to do such things as set temps, load gcode, manual movements,
etc.). You can find details on Repsnapper and instruction on how to
install here,

- Pronterface: this is as a secondary option for a way to interface
with your printer, it is very NEW, but has been received by the
community with much success. You can download and install with files
from here, It a nice clean and
simple GUI and has native SD card support for the SD add ons you can
purchase at the class if you wish too (the SD add on can be purchased
from me at a later time or at the class).

- Skeinforge 41: this is the piece of software that allows you to take
a 3D model/STL and slice it into gcode which you then feed to your
printer. The latest version can be found at the top of the list of
this link, (You want to 2011-04-27

Again, please remember to read the README files with each of the
packages. They are well documented and easy to follow. And again, if
you do not wish to try and install any of the packages in fear of
____________ (insert something tragic), that is fine as well. We will
help you come class time.

Tentative Work flow (nothing has really changed from my first email):

Friday (5PM - 10PM):
- Introduction to the Prusa Mendel : overview of the machine via
YouTube video courtesy of community member OhmEye
- Introduction of build instructors
- Overview of instruction manuals (find the PDF manual here,
- Building of the main body and frame assembly ( I aim to have the
majority of the printer assembled and squared off the first day, but
it is OK if we don't).

NOTE: we will progress as a group, we will only move one when everyone
is at the same point. If someone seems to be struggling and an
instructor is not present, feel free to step in if you can help them.
It's all about community folks!

Saturday (10AM - 10PM):
- Finish up body/frame construction
- Attaching X/Y-axis
- Catchup Time
- Extruder attachment
- Electronics Wiring/PCB
- Software downloading and uploading/Computer Prep
- Overview of SF and begin test printing

Sunday (10AM - 10PM):
- Printer Tweaking
- Catchup Time
- CELEBRATING your completion of your RepRap!
(Time allowing, a brief overview of design programs to create your 3D
designs and places where to get things to print!)

***Food breaks are present, pretty much will happen when everyone
starts getting grouchy/faint/onset of nausea, etc.***

TOOLS NEEDED (there have been some recent additions):

- at least 2 of 13mm wrenches, pretty much for your M8 nuts. At least
two if you are working in a group, if your solo, 2 will do.
- Calipers: digital would be nice, but any will do
- Pliers
- M3 and M4 hex keys
- Your own multimeter, we do have a few in the lab so if you don't
have one already, it's OK.
- A good attitude! I just added that to be cheesy.
- In reality, if you have a tool bag or an idea of a tool that I have
not mentioned, feel free to bring it along. The tools I listed should

Ok, sorry for the really long email. PLEASE read through it a million
times! And ask me LOTS of questions. There will be a test first thing
come class day. So study HARD ( I MEAN IT!)!

Until next time,
- Andy

1 comment:

  1. hi, im not sure how else to contact you, you had an UP for sale back in march... and i just saw the message now, please email and let me know if there is still an UP available.