Today I reassembled Alpha-1. I’m thinking of an electronics redesign, where I use electronics some of the people I know are developing. I know of 3 different people developing new electronics. All three are in about the same stage of completion — all have electronics that sort of work, but for one use case only. I also have been thinking about extruder changes and using an aluminum print bed. This way, it can be heated easily, but more importantly, will survive shipping better. The 3mm wood bed tends to warp over time, making large prints hard. The other nice thing about Aluminum is that I can get a square foot pretty cheap — and I only have to drill in 4 holes to make it work as a bed, rather than mill an entire sheet. It’s a little more expensive, but it not by very much, and it needs less machining, so it makes each unit a little easier to manufacture.
I’ve got a few other changes in mind. I’m thinking of using a 4040 extrusion on the Z axis instead of a 2040. This would allow more usable Z height during milling. I’m also thinking of making the steel rods 16mm instead of 12. Both sizes work well, but those extra 4 mm allow a longer span. If I make the change to 16mm, I’ll also change to 500mm long rods. This change will make the default machine size a little larger( by about 4 inches ). Those extra 4 inches will make certain standard plywood sizes easier to fit on the machine.
However, I may not make any of those changes. It all depends on cost…
Thanks for reading,