3D Printer: Physical Assembly

Once the sub-assemblies had been put together, the next stage was to start attaching all the parts to the frame. The build instructions are very helpful in explaining what to do in what order. Here is a picture part-way through the assembly, with the Z rods, motors and lead screws in place.

The Mendel90 model is even detailed enough to model and provide printed parts for appropriately-sized (calculated using circle packing rules!) cable clips for the various cables which run along the frame.

The next stage was the insertion of the X bars and then the addition of the Y carriage, along with the drive belts.

You can see that the extruder platform, the central black piece, now has 3 cartesian axes of movement – it can slide along the X bars, the entire X carriage can go up and down the Z bars, and the Y carriage moves in and out. Coordinating these movements very carefully is necessary for accuracy and quality in the print.

The shiny thing on top of the Y carriage is a heat shield, made from low-tech cardboard and reflective high-temperature tape. This prevents the carriage heating up and warping, and throwing the bed out of true.

Now, blogging has caught up with reality – this is the condition of the project as I write :-) The next step is to modify a PC power supply to provide juice, attach it and the control electronics to the rear stays, and wire it all up.

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