RAMPS Fan Expansion Board

One of the problems I’ve encountered in the past when using RAMPS electronics to control a dual-extruder printer is the lack of sufficient fan support. Dual extruder setups can require a few fans, usually one controlled fan (for cooling the print) and one or two always-on fans for cooling the hotends. Adding a second hotend takes up the 12V MOSFET usually used for running a controlled fan, leaving no option but to solder directly to the 12V lines on the board – which removes any control over these fans.

Don't look! Spoilers!
Don’t look! Spoilers!

If your printer has an always-on power supply (like a regular LED-style power supply as found on most printers) then these fans are going to be running 24-7 unless you manually switch off the power. I had to deal with this for a few days while testing the MK2 printer, and I decided to play around with the problem and see what solutions there are.

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Logging Sensor Data from the Oculus Rift DK2

Last year I purchased an Oculus Rift DK2 – I’d like to say I bought it as a developer, but really I just wanted to play around with virtual reality stuff. I mean, who doesn’t?

This year my final year project is centred around a “3D Viewing Platform”, or “tele-presence” system. What a perfect opportunity to put my DK2 to good use!

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Aus3D MK2 Printer Development (Part 1)

I’ve been selling Prusa Mendel i3 kits on Aus3D for a while now. The kits I’ve been selling so far (which I’ll refer to as MK1 kits from here onwards), are fairly decent kits. I didn’t design them, they were designed and manufactured in China – I’ve been buying them in and making a few improvements before shipping them as the Aus3D Prusa Mendel i3 kit. I ended up reverse-engineering CAD files for the frame so I could print / cut replacement parts locally, and I’ve had these files available on GitHub for a while now.

The MK1 Design. Certainly different from most i3s!
The MK1 Design. Certainly different from most i3s!

As a business strategy, this approach makes sense. China is good at making stuff, and these kits work pretty well – better than most other Chinese printer kits I’ve tried. As someone trying to run a business, I’ve been happy to attach my business’s name to them.

As an engineer, I know we can be shipping a much better kit.

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3D Printed Arc Reactor

Last year I designed and shared a 3D-printable Arc reactor prop, controlled by an Adafruit Gemma microcontroller and using a NeoPixel Ring for illumination.

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I originally intended to publish a diagram / assembly guide along with the files on Thingiverse,  but as with many projects that didn’t happen.

So, today (finally) I plan to explain the inner workings of my Arc reactor prop for those that wish to replicate it.

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OctoPi and the Printrbot Simple 1405 Kit (Mounting Raspberry Pi B+)

As I’ve mentioned previously, I recently put together a Printrbot Simple Makers Kit 1405 for a weekend project. In my earlier post, I discussed designing and printing feet to fit the 1405 in order to stabilise it, without interfering with a mounted Raspberry Pi running OctoPi.

Swapping to a Raspberry Pi B+ proved to be more challenging than I expected.

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Feet for the Printrbot Simple 1405

I recently put together a Printrbot Simple Makers Kit 1405 – what a great little printer! Assembly took less than two hours, and it was printing away soon after

By default, it’s a pretty stable printer. However, I had an issue where the wiring underneath was lifting the printer up a little bit, introducing some ‘wobble’ into the printer. I could have just shortened the wires, but I decided to print some feet instead to stabilise the Printrbot.

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