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Zenbot 2424 CNC router converted to reprap
My first post here is a home conversion of a Zenbot 2424 CNC router running Mach3, to a 3D printer running Repetier Host. After much tinkering and testing, swearing, late nights and a little cash...I have a decent setup that actually makes useful parts. I can see here that there are a few brave souls who want to convert their mills. After trying the Mach 3d printer plug-in thats around, I decided to go to an alternative controller and software for easy of conversion mostly. I eneded up using the Geeetech Printrboard clone from an Ebay supplier for 35.00 US, and a B3 hotend which comes with 2 extruder nozzle sizes. I use the 1.75mm filament and my extruder is same one used in Printrbot Simple, not a Bowden as this is only for smaller faster machines where the extra weight on the Z=axis would be detrimental to higher speed printing resolution. I can run at 100ips most jobs but if i want better res I usually slow it down to 40-50. If you plan to run production or even just want to be sure your prints will stick, you need a hotbed. Tape, hairspray, stick glue all work to some degree, but there is nothing that works better than a heated bed IMHO. The biggest drawback to the whole 3D printing process would be the software needed to really edit the STL files. I found that creating your own version of an existing part is easier that trying to edit, unless you are a CAD master and have some exotic software that usually cost big dollars. Try Sketchup, but SpaceClaim has a nice package if you decide to buy. You will find that the electronics are virtually the same in both systems, so wiring the new controller to the existing machine is as easy as connecting the correct wire from your steppers to the new controls. You will need to buy an extra stepper(smaller than NEMA 17) to drive the extruder. So pick out which extruder you will use and get the proper motor for it. For the hotbed I decided to use an external power supply rather than use the power from the control board due to unexpected results. You can use a Solid state relay to turn the external power on and off to the bed while still using the control signals from the controller. I just wired it up how I thought a switch should go and it did , but I do use some cooling to the back aluminum heatsink plate from the exhaust of the control case cooling fan (another must have feature for converting larger NEMA to work with new controller). I will post some pictures of items made elsewhere in the forum shortly, and I have made many different useful items not toys or art. If any want help I would try on a limited basis. If you are near Michigan and want hands-on training in complete 3D solutions or CAD then feel free to message me, I may be able to help you.
Thanks to the mods for putting a great place together, and I look forward to may posts detailing my foray into this technology.
Regards and cheers,
Good job Mark, thanks for the post
How do you get that to move at over one metre per second. It would have to be servos instead of steppers.
At that speed you would need a nuclear reactor to melt plastic fast enough.
That is crazy fast, could work using wax...
I was working nicely one day and when I started the next job it threw an error. Upon much testing, swearing, drinking etc... I finally realized the com port on my Geeetech Printrbord had the "magic smoke" let out. So now I am going to rig up all my old drivers and parallel port controller from the Mach3 dayz and get it working again. I have a 5 axis BOB and 5 drivers so I should be good except.... I need to control the extruder and bed temperature somehow. So I used a Arduino Nano and a relay shield, 2 thermistor and some resistors to make an auxiliary heater control unit. Its a lot more manual now , but i will work on the Mach3 setup for auto-homing and add some buttons and components to the Program Run screen, will just tough it out now for the sake of research. If anyone want the schematic or the Arduino code to play with, just message me through the forums here! Happy Holidays!
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