Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New Design Completed

Our new design for the MakerBot was completed today. There are a few modifications that include a larger space for the base so there is more room and you can access the wires easier. The triangular part on the top is meant to hold the spool so the plastic can feed down to the extruder.

Code Merging Coming Soon

Today we fixed and added parts to our webpage which is on it's way to being completed and soon will be ready for Java code.Also our rough drafts for our final presentations were due today and some of the group members worked on completing that.

Continued Testing in SCC

Today we tested the tall simple part while overclocking the processor. Its results were a few degrees better than both the commercial part we are testing against and the earlier version of our simple part.
We also put together the PowerPoint for our final presentation on June 14.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

MakerBot Printing

Here is a quick video of the beginning of the whistle being printed on the MakerBot. We were not able to finish the print, but the extruder is running well and we will be able to print out more parts soon!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


The 3D printing group has been making huge strides in recent weeks. After much trouble shooting the Maker-Bot is finally printing in the classroom! While this is a huge milestone, there are still problems to be solved. The printer can produce small parts well, but when a larger part is printed it cannot fully print. We tried to print a whistle of about two inches by two inches but halfway through the whistle detached from build platform and was unable to continue printing. We think the problem is the massive heat of the build platform. It is necessary that it be heated so that the part can be removed after printing, but it is becoming so hot part way through printing that the bottom of the part is peeling off. To resolve this problem we are looking into changing the code so that the build platform does not heat until after the part has printed. Other accomplishments are the completion of the new frame. While we have not replaced the old frame, it is completed and connected. The buzzer to alert users the part is in the works as well, along with a new platform made with metal flashing instead of plastic to improve longevity.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tall Part, Part 2

Our tall part is more that twice as tall as the other simple part, and also made of aluminum; It is pictured above. After this new part is tested a few times, we will move on to other modifications to our design. In addition to testing the tall part, our group is looking into rotomolding as a potential way to produce our product after we determine what our final design will be.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Tall part is running

We acquired a new satisfactory spring to replace the mount spring we lost and are now testing a taller version of the simple part which we will be decreasing the height of to see the relationship between height and colling ability. Preliminarily it is performing as well as the simple part did before.


After multiple students missed class last thursday due to Advanced Placement testing, the few students that were here had to inform Liam and Jeff on what our friend Tom did to help our application. Remember that we are still looking for a name for our app and ideas are welcome from anyone.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Our First Printed Part in the Classroom!

We were able to print out our first piece on the MakerBot yesterday! Although it may not seem like much, being able to print this small and simple part proved to be a huge milestone for the 3D printer group. Our patience and hard work can be showcased with a usable 3D Printer now in the classroom.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Fighting Fire with Phones

Today Casey and Liam continued to finish the app so we can get it on the website and connect the app and the website. Jeff and Shane set up links for users to view their message board and contacts. Today i tried to solve our problem with the name of the application. Any Ideas?

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Home Stretch

Today we each wrote up some key thing we did this year to put into our final progress report, then we continued to work on the website and java code. We are on the Home stretch and time is running out. It's Time to buckle down for Fire fighter application which now has a new name known as "Fire Fighter Vision"

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Yesterday in class we were able to get the MakerBot to turn on and start moving with a school computer! This was a huge step considering we have not been able to use the MakerBot to it's full potential in class yet. Each axis moves appropriately however the extruder is not feeding the plastic through to actually make the 3D parts. Now we will have to take apart the extruder and see if there is an internal issue.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ding Ding!

We are making the final touches to our expanded bottom design, so while we're completing that, we decided to work on a third improvement. We are going to be programing a buzzer to go off when the MakerBot has completed printing and, if we have time, we are also going to work on have the buzzer go off if the plastic is running low. We should be able to do all of this using the arduino board that runs on the MakerBot and by adding to it's code.

New motherboard is live! And so is the mill

The new motherboard is put in and functional and we can now resume testing (as we did with the simple part with screens). The screens proved to make the part less successful so we will be removing them. Also simultaneously we are milling a new taller simple part to test with a greater range of filed heights, and in case the screens do not come off well.

Monday, May 7, 2012

FireFighter Vision

Since last class the Fire Fighter group has come up with a name. The app will be called "FireFighter Vision." Otherwise known as the FFVapp. With this new name we will be changing the website url and information. We have also made changes to the website. We have added a google map with the location of local fire departments.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cinco de Maker-bot

Below are pictures of our modified base parts. There are pictures of both the CAD drawings and the physical pieces. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Making MakerBot Body

Today we cut out our "new" MakerBot outer casing pieces on the laser cutter. The pieces are very similar to the the original frame to the MakerBot, a little bit to close. We scanned in the originals into the computers in the beginning of the year and traced them in Inventor. We used those part files and modified them to allow access to the internals. A problem I discovered after school today was that the wood we used was too thick. The wood used on the original bot was about 0.20 in. thick, our ply wood is about 0.25 in. thick. Everything lines up, but the 'slots' are too narrow. Therefore we need to retouch  the computer drawings to allow tolerence for the thicker wood.

Hard at Work

Today the Fire Fighter Application group is continuing work on their prospective assignments. I have been contacting Tom Hayes, Clarkson Student, and he is visiting our class next week to help us debug our code. As for the rest of our group, everyone is working hard to make sure their work is done by the symposium date.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

With time running out in our senior year our class is more enthusiastic than ever to get our work done and done well. When you step into our class you can see everyone working hard whether its with their specific groups, helping another group or working hard to raise money for our projects. I am very proud of all the work that has been done this year so far by all of the groups and everyone is very excited to show their progress in a little over month!

Plans for the post-graduation future

With the test computer finally being fixed, the computer cooling group will resume testing tomorrow. Since this task doesn't require an member's attention for more than 5 minutes, the group will begin researching patent protection, fund raising ideas, marketing and production possibilities, and final modifications. This plan will be the holding pattern of the group for a while, potentially to graduation and beyond.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Fire Fighter Update

Today the FFA (Fire Fighter Application) group is continuing to make progress on their individual assignments. Liam Casey, has made great progress in Java writing and has a proposed prototype completion date of May 16th. Also, two members of the team are coming up with a new name for our group due to confusion being caused by the "FFA" acronym. FFA is also the acronym for "Futures Farmers of America" therefor it cannot be used. Overall the group has made tremendous progress. We have added three underclassmen to the group who are interested in Java and have some background knowledge.