The Big Project

I haven't posted here much, because I've been quite busy. I've set up a new site at and am in the process of simultaneously getting a few key component kits ready for fellow GTers to build printers, and building one of the printers and writing the instructions for building.

Last night the electronics powered up and all the motors moved. Tonight I should get the extruder together and maybe even be able to print. The instructions are nearly complete. I hope to ship everything this weekend. There are already two more people wanting parts kits, but now that I have all the parts files ready to go it's just a matter of starting the printer on a new set of parts every few hours. I plan to have at least one full parts set sitting around at any given time, if for no other reason than that I would like to have parts in case my printer breaks.

It's taken me 5 weeks to get here which is longer than I expected, but it really only takes a day or two to build a printer. I've just done a lot of research on parts and materials, and it was an "interesting" time to do this since Josef Prusa just released the "iteration 2" design, and I had to decide what to borrow from that, and that resulted in some rework on things I'd already completed but in the end I think the printers are better for it.

I'm still undecided on whether to get electronics kits sitting around for people to pick up from me too - since it's so easy for people to order their own parts from Mouser. However, what I might do is just have the boards and solder on the surface mount chip (which is a bit tricky) and get the CPU chip and program the Arduino bootloader onto it, and sell just those for $30 or so (just the board and those 3 parts are $20, and it takes 15 minutes to solder the chip on and test it, and burn the bootloader into the CPU). But at that point I might be better off selling complete kits for $75 to $90.

The other issue is the GT2 belts that we're using now - there's only one US supplier that I've found and they charge a bunch for shipping - $18 or so shipping on $30 worth of parts for one printer. But $18 for $150 of parts for 5 printers too.

I also need to get the prototype blinkie for Duckon 2012 actually laid out and etched.