After a long delay, the RepRap has finally been re-assembled and sprung into life to produce some first calibration parts!
Here are a few shots of the completed printer, including an additional protective glass plate over the heating PCB, which also makes cleaning of the printing surface easier.
The completed Reprap Prusa Mendel.
The curved plastic tubes on top of the printer are actually plastic water pipes with crocodile clips attached to them, which were a perfect fit onto the top threaded M8 rods. They make a great set of spare hands for holding various things in place, such as the plastic filament spool.
Next are some images of the first calibration prints. Up to this point the calibration process has been fairly painless, as it is using the calibration settings of its parent Prusa, however minor tweaks will be needed to improve the print quality.
The set of very test first calibration parts that were printed out.
A further set of calibration parts, trying a new plastic filament.
The print quality actually starts to degrade at the upper levels, which is very likely linked to the fact that the bolts which hold the PTFE barrier in place (see the mod that was done back at the start of the printer build), become very loose as the print progresses. As a result, the shaking of the extruder tip may be causing the loss of precision. Also, the x-axis idler has taken some damage, possibly due to the tension of the x-axis belt, which is causing misalignment, let alone the fear that it might break at any point!
Damage to the x-axis idler.
Until these issues have been solved, here is the first video of printing in action: