We finally have our new 3D printer up and running on a daily basis. From fun things like whistles and monogrammed soda can holders to useful parts such as encoder and motor mounts, we have been running it around the clock to keep up with the demand. Being especially useful for hex shaft parts, we can print just about anything within a couple of hours’ time.
The printer is an original Prusa Mendel with an Arduino and RAMPS board running the Merlin firmware that we purchased as a kit 3 years ago but never had the time to assemble. We use Sli3r and Pronterface to generate the G-code that gets sent to the Arduino which in turn controlls the stepper motors through the RAMPS board. The main issue is dealing with the part shrinkage, but after 1 test part we can usually get the tolerances within an acceptable range. My personal favorite part though is that it’s one of the few tools you don’t need to put away at night! Special thanks to Ray Mitchell, one of our mentors for helping us get this going.