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Upcoming NPR Interview and The Z Beam
January 5th, 2011

Today I was interviewed/videotaped (and my machine) for a program called Science Friday. A portion of it will air on the radio on NPR this Friday around 2:50pm EST and then the video will be on their website; sciencefriday.com. Be sure to check it out!

Upper Z Axis Endstop Flag

In the above image is the upper Z axis end stop flag which prevents the tool head from crashing into the build base. Each axis uses optical end stops, so when a flag breaks the beam on an end stop, the motor halts. The flag and right angle bracket (black) were printed on a commercial 3D printer. The translucent vertical piece is laser cut acrylic and serves as an adjustable mount for the flag. The length of this acrylic piece is necessary to accommodate the Z beam/Axis being mounted at different heights, so the flag can be set depedning on this height. For example, if the Z beam/Axis is set very low, say if we were  doing some milling, this Flag would be set very high on the Acrylic piece to keep the tool head from crashing into the build table.

Z Beam Offset

The above image is a side view close-up of the offset for the Z Beam. The Z beam can be bolted directly anywhere on that 80/20 frame cross strut to accommodate for any size and shape tool head. Currently it is offset so the brass nozzle of the Plastic Extruder Tool Head is directly in the center of the build plate to maximize the build area.

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One Comment:
  1. Rich Finucane
    January 7, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    Congratulations, this is very impressive nice work! Looking forward to the NPR broadcast and video. Keep the info and good work coming for us to enjoy and learn from!

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