>April 10th: MakerGear Prusa Mendel Kit – Build Day #3

>I bounced around today, working on things as I figured out what parts went where. I’m sure it took much more time than it needed to, but it was fun anyway.

Today’s work was on 4 major subsystems:
1) RAMPS electronics
2) MakerGear Stepper Plastruder
3) EndStops
4) Heated Build Platform
Remaining work:
1) Servo wiring
2) Hot End build & wiring
3) Heated Print bed thermistor install
4) RAMPS mounting
5) Power supply setup & connections
6) Use the green high-temp wiring for the heated build platform. Oops.
7) Pull the $#*$ X-idler and put in the rear fine adjustment screw I missed.

Tons of pics below, with brain-dumps in the comments for now. I need to help improve the community documentation soon, these brain-dumps will help.
RAMPS – I started the RAMPS build a few weeks ago. Someone else was taking pics, so I don’t have the beginning shots…
This is where I’d stopped a few weeks ago…

Soldering the Pololu drivers – no, I wasn’t following the instructions here, I had other things to finish on the RAMPS board, but I figured this was some easy soldering to get out of the way…

Another Pololu…


Added the caps…

Adding the MOSFETs

Adding the fuse. I DID NOT install the optional diode.

Add caption

I pulled the jumpers & did lots of continuity testing looking for bad soldering…

Installed on the MEGA…

The MakerGear RAMPS kit (the 3 1k resistors are for the endstops, oops)

Fully populated RAMPS and a bare RAMPS board…

Adding the heatsinks provided by MakerGear

Yes, I did debate heatsink orientation with myself for a minute or two…

All heatsinks installed…
MakerGear Stepper Plastruder
My stepper extruder motor was backordered, thats why it isn’t shown here. Luckily someone VERY COOL loaned me one until mine gets here… 

Example of the print quality for some of the RP parts. Not great, but should be functional. Gives me something to print later…

I guessed on this part…

Hope this is right 🙂

Once I built it to this part, I had a MUCH better understanding of how it worked. I was so used to seeing WADE’S extruders, I couldn’t quite figure out what was happening in the pics…

Endstops – this was a bit of a puzzle figuring out what went where…by using the pics and pestering MG|Rick, I think i’ve got it…yesterday’s build pics show the locations of the RP parts on the printer, these are mostly closeups of the mounting / wiring…

I cutoff about 4″ from the endstop wires. Cutting off nicely crimped connectors pains me, but this seemed like the right thing to do. I then tinned & soldered the bare wire directly to the microswitches. I found the wiring notes here: 


I used shrink-tubing and the heat gun to clean up the connections…

I will use approx 2.3 million wireties before this thing is done. I tend to be obsessive with wire routing – too much time running wire with my buddy Lou who likes the wires nice & tidy 🙂

Heated Build Platform – this took some time. I REALLY should have traced the holes for the platform before I built the Y-Carriage. Oh well.

MG|Rick – “socket -> board -> spring -> nut -> space -> nut -> carriage -> nut”
My version – “socket -> board -> washer -> spring -> washer -> nut -> space -> nut -> carriage -> nut
Later, when I asked, the nice locking nylon nuts are in the kit for the build platform.

I’ll switch to the nylon locking nuts later…

Always good to make polarity OBVIOUS

Remove the tape covering over the solder pads

My FIRST surface-mount soldering!

Those LEDs were NOT easy to hold in place while soldering!

I went with the suggested plan of an LED that lights with either polarity. I think I’ll swap out the reverse polarity LED later with a RED one, but its good for now…

[Replace image once the high-temp green wire is used]

[Replace image once the high-temp green wire is used]

[Replace image once the high-temp green wire is used]

Shrink tubing is good. A little red electrical tape indicating the positive wire can’t hurt either 🙂
[Replace image once the high-temp green wire is used]

I used two sizes of shrink tubing to make a nice jacket for the connector.
[Replace image once the high-temp green wire is used]

[Replace image once the high-temp green wire is used]

A quick bench test – the heated print bed pulling approx 10A at 12v. It warmed up quickly. I didn’t get out the temp probe, I just let it get too hot to touch and unplugged it…

3 thoughts on “>April 10th: MakerGear Prusa Mendel Kit – Build Day #3

  1. Anonymous

    >Nice work so far! What is your impression of the quality of the printed parts from Makergear? I saw you had some sketchy pulleys…

  2. Ian Cole

    >I'm trying to not expect perfection, but yes, I was a little disappointed in some of the parts. In the end, I expect they are quite functional, and I can print new ones myself 🙂

  3. Pingback: Bibliography (in progress) – Searfino RepRap Project

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