Disappointment

13 12 2011

All photos.

Today I did another test of the CRT based electron gun in the vacuum chamber.

Spoiler alert: I didn’t see an electron beam.

This time I put a grounded piece of phosphor right in front of the beam path:

 

Here is a closeup of the grounding wire:

I printed the phosphor holder with 1% infill so it’s basically hollow, then I drilled it with holes to allow gas to escape:

 

The vacuum reached 1.66 millitorr which is not amazing, but good enough for this run.

I tested the wiring with the unbroken CRT, and it looked good:

 

Then I wired the power supply to the vacuum chamber feedthrough:

The I fired it up, you can see the hot cathode working:

But no beam.

:(





Just Look at this Print

5 12 2011

All photos.

Previously I tested out the electron gun and I didn’t see a beam on the phosphor. I wanted to rule out the possibility that there WAS a beam, but it wasn’t hitting the phosphor screen. By moving the screen closer I can see the beam no matter where it is pointed.

So I designed and printed this sweet phosphor holder:

I have a small piece of broken phosphor glass from the CRT. I used the excellent OpenSCAD polygon editor to make a form fitting mount:

In real life:

That was easy!





Vacuum Chamber Armature

1 12 2011

All photos.

Today I used the MakerBot to print an armature mount for the vacuum chamber.

The ring is larger than the build platform, so I made four pieces that dovetail together.

I used Jag’s dovetail library.

The MakerBot makes it ok to fail. I went through five designs before I arrived at this one that works. But that’s ok!





MakerBot Thing-O-Matic Upgrades

29 11 2011

Not only can the Makerbot print its own upgrades. But these upgrades really improve the print quality. A virtuous cycle!

At this point my MakerBot TOM is finely tuned and making beautiful prints.

Here are all the upgrades I have installed:

Y-Axis Idler Support Bracket for Thing-O-Matic: This stabilizes the Y-axis idler.

Easy Install Thing-O-Matic Universal X & Y Axis Belt Tensioner: This is the single most important upgrade. The belt must be correctly tensioned for good prints!

HBP Quick Leveler Redux: Another essential upgrade to easily level the build platform.

Thing-O-Matic Electronics Side-Mount: At some point you will need to tweak the electronics. This mod makes it easier.

Thingomatic y-axis Endcaps: These endcaps make it easier to remove the Y-axis rods.

MakerBot Cable Clip: Nice clips for cable management.

Simple Tool Holder: Organize all the hex wrenches that come with your MakerBot.

I purchase two upgrades from MakerBot that are well worth it:

Aluminum Build Surface: This gives you nice flat and level prints. Seems like this should be included with the Thing-O-Matic!

MakerBot® Gen 4 Interface Board Kit v1.1: This allows you to run your MakerBot without a computer attached.

 

Here is an example print:





MakerBot Madness!

18 11 2011

All photos. More photos. More. And More.

So man this MakerBot TOM is fun!

I’ve been printing up a storm.

When you start using a MakerBot, you quickly realize you need a filament spooling solution. My starter filament became a tangled mess quickly.

I tried this filament spool but it had too much friction and would stop the extruder sometimes.

So I tried this frictionless design:

 

It works beautifully.

Next I printed this test lead organizer I really needed:

 

For fun I made this hyperboloid pencil holder:

 

I printed a lid from Polywell design I made a while back:

 

Then I realized MakerBot can print it’s own upgrades! So amazing.

I made these removable endcaps, this strain relief cable holder,  this Y-Axis Idler Support Bracket.

And last night I made this amazing diamond lattice model:

 

You can follow all my builds from my thingiverse profile.





MakerBot

13 11 2011

All photos.

The Makerbot is up and running. It was fun to put together.

I was able to do a few test prints:





MakerBot + OpenSCAD

8 11 2011

When I started this project 3 years ago, one of the first things I did was build a reprap. Sadly the state of the art  just wasn’t there yet. I assembled the reprap, but it never worked well enough to print.

Since then I’ve been following the impressive progress of the reprap and then MakerBot. All along I’ve been using 3D printing services like shapeways, with a 2 week turn around. That’s a painfully long time to wait only to discover your design doesn’t work.

So I have purchased the latest Makerbot Thing-O-Matic with MK7 extruder. It should arrive in 4 weeks. Can’t wait!

Along the way I discovered OpenSCAD, an open source solid modeling program for programmers. I like it. It’s easier than the ruby + BRL-CAD I’ve been using. Additionally there is broad community support.

I’m rebuilding my polywell models in OpenSCAD now. I’ve gotten this far:








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