Liberty, Equality, & Justice for ALL
Tux-Lab Manufacturing Project
- A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one. -
Benjamin Franklin 1737

- Updates -
Taking the Plunge
Dec 01, 2009

Taking the plunge head first into a shallow pool is the result of not reading through the reprap documentations more carefully.

I finally have the electronics portion of the extruder controller V2.2 assembled. . . I thought the initial reflow soldering was passable until I took some desoldering wicks to the SMT chips and took out almost half of the visible solders. Yicks!

Anyway so I have an assembled extruder controller V2.2 only to realize that the Arduino based reprap controller I was so fixated on is old gen2 technology. I've been itching to try out my Arduino board ever since I took the practical electro-mechanical class at ThePublicSchool. Unfortunately, the new gen3 electronics no longer uses Arduino as the main controller and instead uses Sanguino. Gen3 electronics is also "cleaner" looking with integrated power circuit from the main controller board to the peripheral boards such as as the extruder and stepper motor drive via RJ45 connectors.

Arduino, Sanguino what's the difference right? They're both AVR based with Sanguino having more I/O pins and memory. . . probably some other useful stuff as well but I'm still in the AVRTiny phase so that's as deep as my eyes can read and brain can absorb.

Going back to taking the plunge part. So I have the extruder controller with no way to test it. To get around that problem I ordered as many parts as I can to complete the electronics portion of the Repstrap build. Once all the components arrive I will give a cost summary for the electronics portion and start working on the Sanguino based motherboard.

Extruder V2.0 Part 1
Nov 16, 2009
It took a couple weeks to gather the parts and tools to assemble the Extruder Controller V2.2. The Extruder kit was ordered from The Fisher Scientific isotemp hotplate was found on eBay and it has temperature graduation that seems accurate with an infrared thermometer. Reflow solder seems daunting at first, and I had a tendency to lay on too much soldering paste. I used the 22 gage 0.017" applicator tip and it still seems too big for the tine AVR ATMega168 TQFP chip. I worried about bridging with too much soldering past and ended up smearing the tiny pad with a q-tip in an attempt to clean up the soldering pad areas I also worried about the applying too much soldering paste for the two slight larger surface mount IC, however reflow soldering seems quite forgiving. There were a couple pins that bridged during the reflow process, but I was able to remove them using copper wicks. Visually, the result looks okay. Next are the through hole soldering. Images can be found in the image gallery.

TheCuriousPenguin - 2012
Free as in