Tape drive case used to house Mendel controller and power supply.
3d Printer Construction: Ultimaker code and a cool housing

I built a Prusa Mendel from Makergear this summer.  It was a good quality kit and took the high road in many ways.  With that said, I still had to find and read many many things to understand how to build exactly what had been sent me, the instructions were more like general changes to other instructions which the link to stopped working half way through the build. Part of the problem is that the product changes faster than the instructions, albeit the changes are mostly for the good. I look forward to the days when these printers come with exact instructions for what was sent in the box.

I chose to house the power supply and control board in an old tape drive case which is sized for an ATX supply to begin with.  I complied for Ultimaker version of Marlin firmware  so that the display and optical encoder from Sparkfun. can be used in standalone mode and provide ready access to things like temperature as well as changing some run time parameters and loading designs from an SD flash memory. The main change I had to make was the encoder was a Tri-LED type so I could select blue to match the display. The encoder had a common anode connected to the switch sense line so I had to find the data direction register and the comparison value for reading the encoder as the default code was more meant to work with common cathode.

Unfortunateluy I am still mostly making a mess when I print, I have a PVA glue mixture I coat the glass with to help adhesion, (note that the borosilicate glass had to be purchased separately, I used McMasters) but something goes horrible wrong when I print things other than calibration cubes.  I print cubes just fine but try and bridge or anything and the glob monster gets me.





The encoder and internal beeper allow commands and operations to be selected from a menu driven system, courtesy of the Ultimaker code (select board type 13 or 14 in the Marlin code



I have an SD Card Reader/Extender for standalone mode and the infamous diode so that the internal supply powers the controller when USB isn't [resent.


I use high brightness white LEDs from an RC Helicopter supply house, they are Bright enough it hurts to stare into them (yet I do it any ways)


I wanted the unit to be disconnectable so I sacrificed two ATX power supply extender cables to connect the myriad of signals.  I made one female and one male to keep them from getting cross connected.



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