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# Wednesday, 19 May 2010
So, I've recently found that some people are growing (and growing well!) plants hydroponically using the waste water from fish to fertilize them. This water is then recirculated back into the fish tank, so its a very low waste system. I've been doing a lot of reading about it, but I don't have room to set up a proper system here (1000L for the fish alone is considered the practical minimum). So, as an interim solution, I'm making a micro system from some Ikea storage tubs. It may all go pear shaped, but logically, I don't think it should take more maintenance than my tropical aquarium. I'm not planning on growing edible fish in this one, but I have my fingers crossed for some edible plants.

I've got a few adapters to print out on the makerbot before I can start it up, but most of the bits are purchased now.  Details will follow when time permits.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010 13:08:56 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Well, the heated build platform is finally installed, wired up, and controlled by the extruder controller. I still need to calibrate the new firmware to the thermistors. I have a 1mm in the extruder and a 3mm in the HBP. In the end I've gone for a relay to drive the heater element, its a FRA2 from jaycar. The first data sheet I found for it was in German, but the diagram covers the pin outs.  I haven't included a diode for suppression of back current, as there is one in the mosfet driving the relay (so I've been informed by someone on the makerbot google group).  The other bits all assembled as expected. The heater element is mounted to the aluminum plate with 24mm wide kapton tape, and then backed by the ceramic wrap that was supplied with my makerbot kit. I used the makergear braided insulation on the print head.  I've raised the aluminum plate off the wooden build platform by putting a long M3 bolt through from underneath and spacing it out with spare M3 nuts.

I've run it up to an indicated 108C, which was enough to burn my self :), but I'll wait until I have a bit more confidence in the reading before I proceed.  I have a couple of LM35 temp sensors and an unused arduino board, which I'll used to confirm the thermistor readings.  I might get some sleep first though.

When I get printing again, I think the relay will need a nice mounting clip. :)

Photos will follow.

Note: the temp was still climbing at this point.
Wednesday, 19 May 2010 13:00:12 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [1] -
MakerBot | Mods
# Saturday, 08 May 2010
Well, its not the most exciting thing in the world. But my new catch that holds my gate open is making it a lot easier to get the pram in and out! As much as the blindingly cool opportunities that the makerbot offers to designers, hackers, and geeks, its things like this that bend my mind.  I needed to hold my gate back. So a quick measure with some calipers, 5 minutes of sketch up, print, screw to fence. No more tripping over the gate.

Saturday, 08 May 2010 10:58:24 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] -
MakerBot | Printing
# Sunday, 07 February 2010
I'm slowly delving into the skeinforge settings. The main objective is to get the Whistle to whistle. Currently it looks good but it doesn't make any noise as the sides are too porous and allow to much air to escape.

I'm bringing the "carve>extrusion width over thickness" down from 1.9 (default) to 1.5. We'll see what it does.

As promised yesterday, here is some pictures too. Sorry about the color balance on the second one.

Sunday, 07 February 2010 09:32:37 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] -
MakerBot | Printing
# Saturday, 06 February 2010
#458 is alive! Its happy and printing in Melbourne Australia. Its brilliant! I'm gobsmacked by the possibilities of these machines, but pictures will have to wait until after sleep.

I had a great time putting it together, thanks to the Makerbot team for a great kit and to the people on the forum for all the great help. 
I have a successful print of the Makerbot coin, and a new insulator retaining ring (just in case).  After destroying the first orange build platform with the hot extruder head, I'm printing on one of the foam core boards, with a layer of extra wide kapton on it, and the raft holds well during printing and releases well after.  I'm having a few issues getting the raft off the printed part, but nothing a file wont fix while i'm looking into it. :)

Next up, Skeinforge battle to figure out what all those settings do. And then onto the heated build platform!

Saturday, 06 February 2010 11:21:38 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] -
MakerBot | Printing
# Friday, 08 January 2010
I purchased a heated aluminum build platform kit from Jet at It was promptly shipped out to Oz and in my excited hands. I can't use it until the 'bot is assembled of course, but now when I get the 'bot assembled, I won't have to wait for parts! Any way, I thought a photo of the box contents was in order. Thanks Jet!

Friday, 08 January 2010 10:41:31 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] -
MakerBot | Printing | Mods
Hello world!
I've decided to take two plunges this year. I've bitten the bullet and purchased a CupCake CNC Deluxe kit, and I've set up this blog to document the adventures with it. Enough lurking, its time to join in!

Friday, 08 January 2010 10:26:04 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] -

# Wednesday, 06 January 2010

Wednesday, 06 January 2010 11:36:25 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] -

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