One of our 3D printers at Robot Garden is a Rostock MAX v1 by SeeMeCNC. Details can be found on SeeMeCNC’s web site.
Why did we chose a Rostock MAX? Some of our desired requirements were:
Large Build volume: >250 x 250 x 250 mm (10 x 10 x 10 in)
Supported Build Materials: PLA, ABS, Taluman 618 Nylon, T-Glase
Reliable Hot End: E.g. E3D, J-Head (or similar design), fan cooled
Maintenance : Low cost to repair, preferably open-source
Price: < $1,000
Some of the highlights from the spec for the Rostock MAX are:
- Over 1300 cubic inches of build volume (11″ Diameter by over 14 1/2″ height)
- Positioning accuracy of .05mm
- Speed up to 300mm/s in all motion, not just X/Y move
- Supports PLA, ABS, Taulman Nylon
- SD Card reader (stand alone printing without a PC)
- Based on Open-Source electronics and software
- Fun to watch Delta Arm design
Our Rostock MAX kit seems to have been one of the last v1 kit that were shipped before SeeMeCNC switched over to the newer v2 kits. This seems to mean that our kits in reality is a mix of v1 and v2 designs and features. Initially, we used the v1 assembly manual since it was the only one available, however, once the v2 manual became available, we realized that our kits was to large extent based on the v2. Therefore, it is very useful to download and read both the version of the manuals in case of e.g. repairs and maintenance. The manuals describes in detail how both the hardware and software works.
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How to get started with the Rostock MAX at Robot Garden
The Rostock MAX is based on open-source hardware and software. It uses G-code to control the movement of the 3D print head. The easiest way to go from a 3D model to a printed part is to export the 3D model to a .STL file and then use a slicer, sometimes together with other software tools, to create G-code which can be sent directly to the 3D printer controller board.
Design flow and tool chain
Once you have your STL file, load it into a slicer program to generate your G-Code. At Robot Garden, we typically use Repetier-Host together with Slic3r, (slic3r comes as a part of the Repetier-Host installation) which is free to download and is available for MacOS X, Windows and Linux. However, in theory, one could use any G-code generator and send such as e.g. Cura or Skeinforge as long as they are configured and setup correctly. Repetier-Host with Slic3r is installed on the Windows PC at Robot Garden which is attached to the Rostock MAX 3D printer.
The trickiest part to get a good 3D printout is to setup and configure Slic3r correctly. On the Robot Garden PC, we have a few ‘standard’ configuration files that can be used as starting points. Please DO NOT modify these configuration files directly. Instead, please always make a copy and save with your own initials in the file name before you make any changes.
The SeeMeCNC manual has a section on how to correctly setup and configure Slic3r to work correctly with the Rostock MAX delta printer. There are also several tutorials available on e.g. YouTube and of course the Slic3r.com web site has an on-line manual. We strongly encourage you to read the Slic3r on-line manual since it is a quite high learning curve before you will understand and master the configuration parameters in the software.
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Sources of Information
A great source of information for 3D printing is RepRap.org which is the main web site for most of the open-source based 3D printer. It has a special section for the Rostock MAX printer and also detailed information and design files for e.g. the RAMBo controller board. RepRap.org have vast information about 3D printing in general.
Thinking about buying or building your own 3D printer? Here are a couple of web site that can be useful as starting points:
Guides and Other Info
Reprap Magazine http://reprapmagazine.com
RepRap community web page http://reprap.org/wiki/RepRap
3D Improvements http://www.tridimake.com/ Great Blog
3D Printing Limitations http://www.tridimake.com/2013/04/what-cannot-be-3d-printed.html
Need a prototype that is better than what a ‘hobby level’ 3D printer can provide, or need a prototype in a non-plastic material? These are a couple of companies that offer 3D printouts of uploaded designs: