Been awhile

It has been awhile since I’ve posted an update. I’ve been working on numerous projects, all at various stages. I figured I’d post an update across the board with no real conclusions.


Sources have been posted on:

svn co .

But now I have a Trac server installed at

This server allows people to post bugs, read design docs, and see changes live. Enjoy!

TextMate Microcontroller plugin

While working on the gcode interpreter, I discovered some issues with the plugin. I’m in the process of rewriting portions of the plugin. The plugin now uses AVR MacPack instead of the Arduino packaged compilers. This isolates the plugin from breaking changes by the Arduino developers. I’ll release new packages as new Arduino packages are released.

Fabr Hardware

I had completed the Axes, but noticed a nasty binding problem. After disassembling, I discovered part of the drive assembly wasn’t square, which caused a bind when spinning. A second problem that was bugging me was related to an early cut on the X axis not being square to the Y axis… Both are being corrected as I build the extruder mount.

The extruder is completely built, but untested. I leveraged the extruder head that was featured in a previous post, added a cooling pipe and an insulated feed pipe in order to prevent premature melting of the extrusion cord. I’m currently constructing a mounting plate which will allow me to swap print heads relatively quickly (as well as allow me to mount the current one).


I have 25lbs of bioplastic granules; not terribly useful for a printer. I had considered building a hopper on the printer and extruding the granules directly to the print job, but couldn’t make it practical. Instead, I’m going to have a separate unit which processes granulated plastic into a cord, and yet another unit for grinding plastic into granules (‘chipr’?)

Motor Controller

After the experience with the triple axis controller, I’m starting to design a single purpose motor controller; I find that I need 4 controllers – one for each axis and one for the extruder. Here’s a preview: .

I still plan on having an Arduino Shield to tie 3 or 4 axes together.