New Bowden Extruder

Now the 3D Stuff Maker printer transformation is complete. 3D Stuff Maker's extruder was a real piece of junk and continually clogged up during every print causing many problems. After getting the Bowden Extruder printed, I had to make a custom slider to mount on the rails, but now I have the new extruder in place and it is far greater than what 3D Stuff Maker offered.

PHP Updates on Arch Linux

If your personal webserver is running Arch Linux and you just recently updated, make sure that you check the files you are updating. the php package just recently updated to php-7.0.2-1. While this might sound good, what you are most likely going to forget is that you will need to update your httpd.conf

In /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf:

Find and replace...

LoadModule php5_module modules/libphp5.so  

with

LoadModule php7_module modules/libphp7.so  

and also in the Include section, find and replace...

Include conf/extra/php5_module.conf  

with

Include conf/extra/php7_module.conf  

Restart httpd and this should fix your 'lack of loading' issue.

My CNC Operations with Linux

It's a piecemeal of software tools to get this going, but it works. I refuse to work in Windows. There are too many things that can go wrong and with the amount of data transferring to the machine, I've seen the blue screen one too many times. Linux is a way more solid OS and it's stability is far superior!

Design:

  • For 2D and 3D design, SketchUp 8 through Wine. I have a few plugins, SVG Exporter and STL Exporter (there are plenty in the warehouse and on Google too).
  • For 2D design, Inkscape is a perfect tool as well.

CAD/CAM to GCode:

  • Web based tool called MakerCam (I have it hosted here)
  • Another good one is PyCam.

Machine GCode Processing:

  • The only one that works over USB and is worth anything is UGS. It's free, and it gets the job done.
  • Of course, the better option is LinuxCNC, but it still doesn't support USB, so you have to go over serial port.

I would love to say that there are many other options, but I have been searching for a while and the results are very disappointing. I know that Inventables has their own, in house, developed Easel, but sadly, the local installer is for Windows and Mac. So, you can use it to design (which, the design element is very similar to Microsoft Paint), but that is the extent.

The new CNC Table, X Carve 1000

And here is the newest addition to the garage. I finally got a new CNC table; and a large one at that. After a few (broken) days of assembly, she came together with motion and all. I've yet to test it cutting, but that is coming very soon! There are still a few things I need to figure out (like the support for open source, and which software suite to use... Grbl, LinuxCNC, switch to Windoze?!). So fr, Grbl seems to be the simple route, but I like the idea od LinuxCNC more. The problem is that; i don't know if LinuxCNC supports gcode over USB. I have a lot of testing and configuration to do and there are a ton of things that I want to make, so I really need to get started.

Greg Wade's Extruder

The newest addition to my collection is the Greg Wade's extruder. This pretty much completes the transformation of a crappy "3D Stuffmaker" printer into a custom job. The only original piece left on this printer is the motors and the frame. With the GW extruder, I won't have to worry about the cheaply made plastic pressure assembly (I'm currently using) thinning out again and stopping the flow of filament. And I won't have to use a boot strap to apply constant pressure, the spring assembly will do all of the work.

Model: Here

Crappy extruder:

New awesomeness!!!!

Close-up on the fishbone tooth gears.