Wednesday, 11 August 2010


So while I'm not making much progress I thought I would write a bit about the resources I have been using. The main one which helped a lot during the build phase was


There you can find information on what you need to build a reprap, how to build it and how to test it. You can also find links to most of the firmware needed for the electronics and the arduino software needed to edit the firmware and upload it.

The only thing that I found hard to find was the details of the particular type of electronics I had. I bought a complete set, the TechZone Remix which is a 3rd generation set. The two wiki links I have been using are:


Neither are particularly complete but they were very helpful when assembling/testing the electronics and in particular when flashing the firmware.

Other than that the arduino site ( was probably the only other place I turned to for information.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Still here

It's been a bit of a busy month but I am still here, working on the reprap when I have a few moments spare time. I managed to get some firmware onto the extruder which was nowhere near as simple as I expected, but I got there in the end with the aid of some helpful bloggers. The secret, hold the reset button on the board for 10seconds after you clicked the program button from the arduino software. Something to do with different types of atmega chips, I didn't read in to it too deeply as I was just rather happy it worked!

Apart from that I still need to finish the cable routing and order a replacement component for an optoswitch. The optoswitch I managed to break by connecting it the wrong way to power and ground, I'd like to say it wasn't my fault but it turned out I was using the wrong version of the motherboard schematics as a reference. Never mind I found a replacement on Farnel (optoswitch) so all is good.

I leave you with a picture of the wiring before I had a go at tidying it:

I'm happy to say that it looks a fair bit tidier now!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

More electronics fiddling

Some more progress, I've had a chance to test the rest of the electronics (yay). There seems to be some kinda problem with the extruder board, I cant program it as it keep complaining about sync issues. So I've left that for the moment. Instead I've been working on testing all the steppers/stepper drivers etc. Heres a quick video of each of the axis moving.

Once I had tested those, I moved on to the opto end-stops. I only had time to test the Y axis one, but that worked fine (video below). However I did blow up one of the end-stops in the process which will teach me not to trust circuit diagrams and just use a multimeter!

So tomorrow I will try and get the x end-stop in place then maybe try and repair the one I broke. Then I will have to sort out the extruder driver board, not sure where to start with it but hopefully it's fixable.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

First play with electronics

So I had time for a quick play today, I managed to upload the firmware to the motherboard and ran a test using the Reprap software to talk to it. It wasn't, however, a pain free experience. The instructions were poor at best, stable versions of bits of code weren't easily available and it didn't play nicely with windows 7 (didn't really expect it to though).

Anyway after fiddling around on my xp netbook I got it working... sort of. It seems that the motherboard firmware I uploaded, when asked for the the extruder temperature (M105), reported the extruder temp AND the heated bed temp. Well the Reprap software didn't like that, not one bit. There were NullPointerExceptions and IntegerExceptions everywhere as it clearly tried to parse "0 B:0" as an int. Luckily being open source, and having the source at hand, I removed the offending code from the firmware, reuploaded and - tada all was well. I was going to test more of the electronics but, that requires making up some cables to the right length, so that will be a job for monday.

The usb/serial adapter and motherboard with the happy yellow light of workingness.

Look it works, g-code commands being sent and replies being received, hurrah!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Electronics are here!

So finally the electronics are here! Everything seems to be intact, despite the box looking like it had been driven over. Time to resume work I on the reprap I think!

Obligatory pictures:

Thursday, 27 May 2010


So I could a nice note from Royal Mail today asking me to pay £30.95 worth of "Customs charge", while that in itself is rather annoying, what I'm hoping is that it's the electronics finally getting here! We shall see.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Still no electronics

So a month after I got the shipping information the USPS page still only says:

Detailed Results:
Acceptance, April 23, 2010, 2:06 pm, BLACKFOOT, ID 83221

Electronic Shipping Info Received, April 22, 2010

Which is... %$^$ing annoying, to say the least. I've been rather busy lately so I've not had a chance to phone USPS yet, that's a job for tomorrow, I'm curious to know whats going on.