Fundementally changing Mini Mendel in HeeksCAD

After installing my Makerbot MK5 worm gear, and a Makergear idler wheel my Plastruder has printed almost 40 hours non stop without a single hiccup, which is unprecedented for me.

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

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 , and Whosawhatsis’s y bar clamp .

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 :).

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Google RepRap feed update

We are now up to 250 different feeds on the Google RepRap feed.

With this new update we now have:

Live updates of all RepRap, and Makerbot related items on Flikr, Photobucket, Picassa, Ebay, Sellsimply, & Etsey.

We are up to 7 languages covered, all automatically translated into the language you can understand best.

No repeats of older posts (something that Yahoo pipes does a lot, which I don’t understand).

The feed pushs out around 20 a day, all new content, and keeps you on top of the new items being sold all over the internet. This is one of the ways I am always finding new stuff to blog about.

If you want to subscribe, just go to the right side of my website and hit preview, or go directly to the preview page.

Again if you know of any blogs I have missed, or know of some service that the community might like to get auto updates on, just drop me an email at

Have fun!

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Good Deals, and a little bit of Vanity

My RP parts for Mendel over at finally have bidders, they are at $155 now. I will be sending the parts out Tuesday the 6th, no matter what they are going for.

The Winston Salem Journal came over and did an article on me. They interviewed Bre Petis Also! It was fun and 3-4 locals have contacted me about the printer, hoping this helps out the Hacker Space project.

Nop Head pointed out the benefits of PET tape for printing with ABS, well Deal Extreme has 24mm rolls of it with free shipping here for $4.99 Deal Extreme PET Tape.

Price war on ABS. has some REALLY cheap ABS ($30 a 5lb roll). They even carry HDPE for the old school among us for $30 also.

Digi Key has a $8 blower fan that I have fell in love with. 12V 2.28 Watt (190ma), and it pushes 8.5cfm at 41db. Not bad at all. It’s 75x75x25mm, but the air port is only 25×25.

That’s all the good deals for now. Putting together my Makergear High Output build plate, should have it done next week, will post a video… it looks awesome. Also I installed the Maker bot worm gear. Best $10 I have ever spent on my Makerbot.

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RP mendel parts $200? I hate Ebay

If your interested they are at Heck place bid on it, It’s not official till I accept it. I will send it any way you want, so if you want to pay for next day air you can have it on your desk on Tuesday 🙂

More views at

All the parts have been processed, you can see them go together here:

It’s nice to see Cyrozap has joined me over at Sell, a dollar is a dollar. (Better than $20+ at ebay) If these parts don’t sell by Wednsday I am going to just sell them on Ebay, likely get a lot more money doing it that way, but considering we don’t make minimal wage printing the parts, it’s not really about the money :).

All parts have been already assembled once. I didn’t bother printing an extruder for it because you can buy one off the shelf at:

or here

or here

$30 more than the laser cut parts from Botmill, for a quieter printer, that is easier to put together? Can’t go any lower than that :).

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