Friday, 30 September 2011

A major milestone: build phase complete!

Well, tonight I basically completed the physical assembly phase - all wiring has been installed (including the hot end and thermistor, the end stop switches etc), and I have tidied up all of the wiring by tying it to the frame with cable ties - making sure to leave sufficient slack for the machine to go through the full range of all its motions without stretching at any of the wires.
I have gone with simple mechanical micro-switches for the end stops - mainly because they are really simple to wire up and test, and I figure I can always upgrade to opto stitches later if I see any need. Here's the X-Axis End Stop:
and the Y-Axis End Stop:
and the Z-Axis End Stop:
The end stop micro switches are just held onto their brackets with cable tie at the moment, for two reasons: firstly, it will make it easier for me to re-adjust / re-mount them if I have to stat moving things around; and secondly because I couldn't find any 2.0 mm or 2.5 mm nuts and bolts which could fit in the holes in the bodies of the micro switches. I have quite a few spare 3 mm nuts and bolts, but they are too big to fit in the micro switch bodies without reaming the holes out a bit, and I didn't want to do that in case I damage the workings inside the micro switches.

I have fitted crimp-on headers onto all of the cables, and also put labels on the ends of the cables, so that I know which cable attaches where on the RAMPS board.

The headers have the right 0.1" (2.54 mm) spacing to fit over the header pins on the RAMPS board, but the header bodies look like they could be a tight fit on the board (especially the twin Z-Axis motors - I'm not sure how I will fit them all in the limited space available).

Anyway, next phase will be to attach the cables to the headers on the RAMPS board, and fire her up! Stay tuned ...