In case you didn’t know Makergear’s version of an idler wheel is almost twice as thick as the Makerbot standard one, I honestly can’t imagine anything breaking it. If you need a replacement idler wheel, get their $2 4.5mm idler wheel before you invest in one of the metal ones.
I am in the process of trying to change up the Mini Mendel to make it cheaper, especially for us Americans that can’t get Metric Rod Locally.
The changes I am making:
-NEMA 17 motors, because they are easier to find, and cheaper to buy
-All 608 bearings (can be picked up at the local skate shop)
-All 1/4 inch smooth and structural rod
-M8 Z drive rod, so I can use 608 bearings.
-A bed raised on m3 nuts like a Makergear heated build plate, and a ceramic build plate from the start.
-Electronics mounted like the techzone alternate electroncis mount at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2174
I thought I was going to get away with reusing allot of the Mini Mendel parts… no such luck. The bearing and motor changes means almost every parts needs to be redesigned. Luckily some parts have already been moved to Openscad, so I can easily alter them to fit Imperial, such as Erik’s standing feet http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2200 , and Whosawhatsis’s y bar clamp http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3437 .
I looks like the most challenging part will be getting 360 bearing chases around a 6.35mm rod with 8mm bearings. It works, but I am having a hard time getting a printable knuckle that holds the bearings tightly.
Does anyone know an easier way to do this?
I also have a Bearing/Spring idler extruder for the gear motor I have been working on for a few weeks, but unfortunately my Heekscad was recently possessed by a demon. No matter how many times I reinstall, I can’t Undo without it crashing, I can’t go 15 minutes without it crashing.. Honestly if I look at it wrong it crashes, which really hurts when you get things lined up just right…
Another project I am working on is a printable rip off of the Maker Bot Filament box. It uses 5/16 rod 608 bearings, 2 wing nuts and a length of 1/4 plastic tubeing. Haven’t got to print it yet, but It looks like it will work.
I haven’t uploaded any of this to Thingiverse yet because they all have either not been printed, or were printed, but could be better if I do just a little more work on them (The extruder works, but the idler is off center a little).
Added after the fact:
I did make a printable Sorobansu Abacus, but my daughter ran off with my printed copy, once I reprint (or find where she hid it) I will upload to Thingiverse.
Anyway if you guys have any advice, want the design files before I upload them, or just want to berate me for my obviously undiagnosed Adult Attention Deficit Disorder, exasperated by access to a RepRap printer and free Cad programs, just comment :).