All I have left is to wire up the power supply and attach the heated bed!
Progress on the RepRap has slowed to a crawl and it's really bumming me out. Building from kits is SO much easier than sourcing the parts yourself. I've probably gotten the final cost estimate into the $600-$700 range by now.
Anyway, I need your help. I just need to print out the new X-carriage, get some M3x25mm bolts, buy some MDF for the Y-stage, and get a hot end. However, I don't really know what to get. What are the recommended dimensions for the Y-stage (LM8UU bearings)? What's the best hot-end for 3mm PLA that I can get in the U.S. for a Wades extruder?
Feel free to comment with your suggestions!
A week ago, I bought three 3' lengths of 8mm smooth rod for my Prusa Mendel because I wanted to use LM8UU bearings. After receiving the rod and cutting it, I've fond that they make a huge difference in reducing play between the linear bearings and the rods. With 5/16" rod, you could feel the bearings wiggle. Now there is no wiggle at all! If you're building a "United States customary units" Prusa Mendel and are ordering online and might use LM8UU bearings now or in the future, get 8mm rods. They're only a $1 more each on McMaster-Carr, so it's not a huge expense.
tl;dr: Get 8mm smooth rods. They're the best.
Well, I finally pulled the metaphorical trigger and bought the hardware for my SAE Prusa Mendel. It's so exciting! I probably overpaid ($73.88 + shipping), but it was nice to get everything all at once from McMaster-Carr (I don't have a hardware store near me that sells the rods or belts). Once I get the hardware (sometime next week) I'll start building the frame.
Things are getting interesting...
This is the day you will always remember as the day I FINALLY PRINTED THE PRUSA X-CARRIAGE!
If you can't tell, I'm really excited. It turns out that the missing ingredient to my MakerBotting success was some isopropyl alcohol (70%, a.k.a. rubbing alcohol) to clean oils off of the build platform. Once I cleaned the platform, prints started sticking like they did when I first upgraded to the HBP. It's AWESOME.
Now that I've gotten the x-carriage printed, the rest of the parts should be easy by comparison. Once I get them printed, I'll start buying the hardware for the new machine.
I've decided to print as many parts as I can to make a Prusa Mendel. Hopefully I can make enough parts so I can just ask some people to make the parts my CupCake can't make. Currently, every object I make has too much perimeter material—parts designed to interlock don't fit. I've tried to fix this in Skeinforge, but right now I'm adjusting my belt tension to see if that helps. My CupCake fails on large prints, so I'll need help on those.
The goal of getting my MakerBot was to get it to make a full set of working RepRap parts, but it never has. This has made me a bit sad. So, to remedy this, I'm going to calibrate my bot to the best of my ability (and maybe get some help from others in the 3D Printer Village) and print as many parts as I can. Wish me luck!