Friday, October 10, 2014

Rigidbot arrived!

Last week my almost despaired of Rigidbot 3D printer kit arrived. Project was successfully funded in May 2013 and here it is October 2014. Incredible tale of what can go wrong when you're trying to start a startup. All the usual suspects: dodgy suppliers substituting cheaper, lower quality parts; huge blowout in shipping costs; China Post doing it's best to completely destroy itself by never actually shipping what they said they did.

Anyway here's my baby:
Here's some of my first experiments in extruding:
Here's why I have a lot to learn (that box corner is not meant to lift up):
And here's why the Rigidbot is an incredible kit. It can basically be assembled with one Allen key (supplied), but there's a couple of parts need smaller keys (also supplied). However, it also needs a mallet (not supplied) because some of the tubes/rods simply do not fit easily inside some of the plastic fittings.
Now I have to learn how to design parts from scratch as well as re-use existing designs. has a huge number of designs to start with. But I've also had to learn to use OpenSCAD to design the box. (I tried simply using a Gcode file offered here but the differences between Felix printers and Rigidbots are too great. And I also discovered there are no usable Gcode to STL converters any more. There might have been a couple of years ago but not maintained now.)

Then I had to learn about various slicers and dicers to generate Gcode from the design and upload the print task to the Rigidbot. Eventually settled on Repetier-Host for Mac for initial prototyping but also installed Octoprint on my RPi so I can offload print tasks to RPi while I continue with MacBook.

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