Things I learned assembling my Automated Build Platform
This post could also be entitled “How to build an Automated Build Platform if you have no friends.” There are a lot of assembly steps that would be a lot easier if you have a second pair of hands or special clamps for holding things. If you’re like me you have neither.
- If you don’t have a set of special clamps for holding parts in place, you can wrap a rubber band around the handles of a pair of pliers. This will make it grip tight enough to hold small parts steady. (Pictured above)
- If you don’t have a second set of hands for holding little pieces down, you could just use a small piece of tape to keep them in place. This seemed to work out pretty well for me. (Pictured above)
- I have some really long heavy gauge twist-tie like wires. Sometimes I will twist them around parts in order to position them easily. With this project I found it easiest to wrap the motor wires around a roll of blue painter’s tape so that the ends stuck off about an inch or so. Doing this kept the wire weighted down and leads positioned so that I could easily tin them.
- It’s important that you gently press down on the small resistor and capacitor as you solder them down on the one side. If you don’t, the small parts will actually shift as the solder melts.1
- I used my utility knife in place of the exacto/razor knife for all steps requiring a knife. I’d suggest being super careful no matter what you use.
- When soldering the second lead of the thermistor, it would be better to cut the small piece of wire to just barely overlap with the lead for the thermistor. When you attach the lasercut top to the automated build platform, there’s a large cutout that will accommodate the bumps left from the soldered parts – so they won’t be squished flat against the lasercut top. If you trim the small piece of wire, there will be less of a bump between the circuit board and the lasercut top, allowing the platform to be slightly more level.
- If you are assembling the belt without a friend, it’s pretty easy to take a longer piece of kapton tape (say 30mm or so) and tape both ends to a table or other clean surface. Then you can easily lay the belt on it without getting anything tangled.
- A word of warning – I followed the directions pretty closely and ended up with a belt that looked exactly like the belt shown in the step that says, “Bend the creases to remove them. Your result should look like this.” However, in the next step it appears the belt is in a mirrored position. I doubt this makes a difference in its operation, so I forged ahead with the rest of the build.
- When assembling the rollers I found it easiest to put a piece of folded cardboard on the ground, brace the metal shaft against the cardboard, and force the rubber tube down onto it.
- When assembling the cables, it took me a few minutes to understand how the blade worked with the plastic housing. I thought I was supposed to press down with the blade as I yanked on the wire. In reality, it’s a lot easier. You just press down into the hole in the plastic housing. When you do, you’ll end up folding a small metal tab downwards. That metal tab is what keeps the wires from sliding out. So, once the tabs are pressed in, set down your blade, and the leads will just slide out easily.
- Before assembling any lasercut parts, I would wipe down all the wooden parts with a paper towel. They’re fresh out of a laser cutter, so there’s a small amount of ash on the edges. A quick wipe will mean your parts aren’t going to be all smudgy later.
- I didn’t see where in the assembly instructions sandpaper was required. It is useful to have around never the less.
However, I noticed one very odd thing while assembling my automated build platform. I’ve come to appreciate MakerBot designs for not wasting material, making the best use of space, and just being overall elegant and streamlined. When I was done assembling my automated build platform, I had four nuts and four bolts left over. I also noticed that even though the automated build platform was secured to the Y platform using five small magnets2 , the underside of the build platform has four T-slots that are completely unused!3
What’s that about?
|Tagged with||abp, automated build platform, building suggestions, building tips, suggestions, tips||5 comments|