Friday, 26 June 2009

Back to Blog

Sorry I haven't posted here for a couple of months. A few people emailed me to see if I was OK, still alive, etc. No sinister reason for not blogging, I have just been on holiday, had a few weekends away, beer festivals, BBQ's, etc, and also visited the British F1 Grand Prix.

I have also been designing a new extruder controller for HydraRaptor with a stepper motor drive. I normally build electronics straight from brain to veroboard, no schematics or planning, I just pick up the parts and solder them in. That is very quick and efficient but does not leave any design record.

I decided I wanted a micro stepping bipolar drive and the only sensible way to do that is with an off the shelf chip. They are nearly all fine pitch surface mount these days so I needed to use a PCB. It is probably 10 years since I last designed a PCB and I have never used Kicad before so it took me quite a while to get it sorted. Now that I have sent the board away for manufacture I can catch up with the blogging.


  1. cor, it's annoying when real life gets in the way of reprapping and blogging...
    Welcome back

  2. Welcome back. I have been working on a stepper board as well. I am using an FTDI USB chip in combination with the StepGenie and some mosfets. Mounted some of the components yesterday and verified that the USB part works. I will be adding the rest and testing the stepper this weekend. Then on to machining the extruder hardware.

  3. Cool, looking forward to it.

    PS shouldn't the poster of Max depict him in a uniform of some kind and mention war criminality....


    If what the tabloids allege to be true really is and all that.



  4. All I know is they both need to go if we are to get sensible rules on sensible race circuits.

  5. Hmm.. Holiday, Beer festivals, and F1.. I see we only get photos relating to two of those activities.. ;-)

  6. Alexandre Araripe1 July 2009 at 14:49

    Hi Nophead. Where can I find your latest VB.NET source code of slice and infill software? I am studing a version from 15/03/2007 and I would like to know if there is a newest version. Thanks in advance and congratulation for your fantastic project. Araripe

  7. I think you are confusing me with Forrest Higgs> His blog is here

    I use Enrique Perez's Skeinforge slicer, which is written in Python. I have never used VB.NET.

  8. Great to see you blogging again!


  9. Thanks, I was hoping to follow up this post with something more interesting but my PC has died in the heatwave we are having here.

    Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible!

  10. A slightly offtopic-ish question: where did you buy that tapered reamer from the 21 Feb post, do they have a website and how much did it cost?

    My local tools supplier just told me something pretty much equivalent to "we don't have a slightest idea of when is this going to be available again from the factory" after my only suitably tapered end mill cracked, and they've never even heard of hand reamers like the one you have, so I'm left with trying to find a known source.


  11. Hi Enleth,
    I got in on eBay. Just search for "tapered reamer". The one I got was 3-12mm.

  12. I just hope this post famine ends soon with the post about printing your own perpetual motion machine..

  13. figure I might as well ask here rather than an older post: do you recommend using the resistor heater over a nichrome wire approach?

  14. Yes I prefer it for speed of assembly and easy replacement. I have not run one for more than a few hours yet, but I expect it to last well

    Bare nichrome and Cerastil works very well and can be made very compact, but Cerastil is not economic in small quantities and it takes 48 hours to cure two layers. It seems to last indefinitely. I have not had a failure.

    The method Zach uses, with insulated nichrome held in place with Kapton tape looks very easy. He reports it lasts but I haven't tried it. Insulated nichrome is not easy to obtain over here.