Saturday, September 22, 2012

Autumn WOOF Events

Hello Fabbers!

The school year starts again on Monday and WOOF has a line-up of events for you all.

What: Dawg Days' Student Activities Fair
When: Tuesday Sept 25 & Wednesday Sept 26
Time: 10 am - 3 pm
Where: HUB Ballroom
We will have a booth (and a running printer) at the Student Activities Office's Student Activities Fair.  Stop on by and say "Hi" or to get a quick run down on what we have planned for this next year.  This is a great time to meet the officers of WOOF and hear more about what WOOF is all about.
More information about the Student Activities Fair can be found here:

What: General Club Meeting
When: Tuesday Oct 2
Time: 4:00 pm
Where: MEB 238
We will be holding our first general club meeting to inform members and wannabe members on our specific plans for this next year.  This is your main opportunity to become a club member for this next school year.  Membership dues are $20 for this year's membership and are due upon submission of our "application".

What: Open Workshop
When: Fridays
Time: Noon - 5pm
Where: Club Room  MEB 252
We are going to continue holding a general Open Workshop on Fridays for members who have started building their printers but haven't finished them yet and need a little help.  The Open Workshop is also a great time to come in and help work on our various large group projects like Big Red.

I hope to see you at these events!
Bethany - Director of Operations

Monday, September 17, 2012

Big Red's Z-axis is fixed!

You heard it here first, folks! We've got the z-axis of Big Red working as well as it ever will! We now have smooth, continuous motion that can be calculated to any distance. This is going to make printing with Big Red so much easier and faster.

We even have a video on the movement:

Click here for the video!

As for details on how we did it:
We discovered that our encoder pulses per inch (Stuff that scales the movement) was off 100,000 on the Z axis. The original scale was 1,310,000, and the new scale is 1,200,000. This new scale is calculated with DynaTorch's built in utility, and accounts for the gear ratio of 60 and the lead of .1. (Don't worry if you don't know what that means, this is mostly for reference. These values come from our lead screw and universal gearbox, and are unlikely to change)

This change allowed us to move the motor more than 2000 pulses with the SmartMotor Commands. The old M81 command was "D=2000 G TWAIT", copy and pasted many times. The new (now M80) command is "D=519480 G TWAIT". The M81 command had to be looped 18 times, causing a stuttery motion. The new command is smooth as silk. And just in time for the new school year!

See you all soon!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Club Plastic Order

Hey Fabbers,

Hope your break has been as awesome as mine. There has been some interest in making a group order of plastic. As this year's Chief Materials Officer it's my job to take orders from anyone who wants to join the group order, collect funds, and distribute supplies when they arrive. I am waiting to hear back from our supplier with specifics but this is roughly what it stands at right now:

  • 3 mm ABS.
  • Standard colors are available.
  • Cost including shipping should be about $12/lb ($10/lb for black and natural).
  • We must fulfill a 10 lb minimum of any color we order.
This how I envision it working:

Email me directly with how much plastic you want to purchase and your color preference(s). If you are die-hard on a particular color but nobody else wants that color then you'll have to purchase the whole 10 lb. If, however, you want to split a color with someone else (say two of you want yellow) then coordinate between yourselves and let me know that you and another person are splitting the color (again, the total between the two of you must be at least 10 lb). If you want less than 10 lb then I cannot promise a color, but will try to satisfy preferences. And if you really have no preference of color you should note that too. Currently I have heard of interest in black, purple, and green.

My email address is Please email me by Monday, Sept. 10 or earlier so I can check availability with the company. Put in the subject line "WOOF September 2012 ABS Order - your name" to make things easier to track. . Each email I receive will serve as the "official" order form so I should receive an email from each person who wants some plastic (even if all you're doing is splitting a color with someone else) and the quantities/colors should be clear. For group orders it is important that we keep thorough, clear records.

Bring your funds in to MEB 252 Next Friday, Sept. 14. I will place the order at 4pm.

In the future hopefully we will have enough club funds to maintain a club supply of plastic and we won't have to do it this way, but for now this is the only way I see it working. Don't forget to be awesome!

Yours in printing,
Mark Hanson