Sunday, 13 September 2009

It moves! It lives!

Having mostly dealt with the problems from last post (Flimsy wiring? Get the right jacks. Overheating driver? attach driver directly to frame. Loose coupling? Tie down coupling with hose tightener (which required dremelling a hole for the screw to rotate through), I have been able to make both X and Y stages move! The whole setup also looks much tidier now.

The stages can move for a seemingly arbitrarily long time, but they still overheat if standing still for about 30 seconds. Have to find a solution for that. I don't know if thermal paste will change much when I've already bolted them tightly together.

Major problem: Both stages have a tendency to switch between running smoothly and getting stuck, depending on exactly how the rod is aligned. I'm guessing the guiding bolt is a little loose, and can change between perfectly aligned with the rod and not quite perfectly aligned.

After cutting off superfluous edges and cutting a notch on the Y stage for the tube tightener screws, I have about 11x16 cm of writeable area. Not a lot, but enough for tests and for a RepRap, should I go that way (requires a plastic extruder, though. First some 2D tests!)

Softwarily, I have refactored the little test program to where I have two functions: move(dir, axis, len) and pauseSeconds(seconds). The move() functions is almost calibrated to move in cm.

For playing around, I am tempted to hook up three three-way switches so each axis can be controlled independently. Or maybe get a mini joystick controller:)

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