I did the prep work of both the heating plate and the heating element last week. This week, I’ll do the initial assembly of the printer’s base. On the Rostock model, the base contains the power supply, the motors, a cooling fan and the power switch. It also houses the computer but this won’t be dealt with for a little while longer.
The base is made out of melamine boards that need to be removed from the cut out sheets. There’s quite a bit of satisfaction in seeing the thing take shape. Here’s what the base looks like once the boards are installed. Note that at this time, the construction is a little bit flimsy, as nothing is glued in and the top board is not installed yet.
The Rostock kit contains four stepper motors. Three of these are used to control the extruder (the last one is responsible for pushing the filament down… More on this in a future post). The three motors used here each require a casing and a gear to be glued on. The casing is constructed out of some other melamine components. Note that I initially installed that gear the wrong way… Thanfully, somebody made me realize this and the problem was easily corrected). Here’s a picture of the three motors.
After this step, it’s back to the base assembly where the power supply and the stepper motors now need to be screwed in. This brings some more robustness to the overall structure. Note that there is still quite a bit of space left in the base, which is going to be filled up when we finally put the electronics in there. Here is what the printer looks like after this part of the installation.
(Note that on this picture, the gears are still installed the wrong way).
The last step consists in closing off the base by putting the top melamine board. Now this sounds easy but it took a fair bit of work to correctly align everything. In the end though, here’s what the whole thing looks like:
Very happy with the result! It’s solid and the wiring is decent.