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That's awesome! - Nice looking feeder :-)Thanks for the pics
Perhaps that might help...The printer is all about the quality of parts - mostly the print head, and the parts used in the extruder. I bought the parts from various sources. The frame kit from one, and the electrics from another (Ebay). That way I got the features I wanted (like a RAMPS board, and LCD control for computerless printing)
Do it! make a Prusa i3 or similar. having a 3D printer if you like making things is truly amazing. Draw it in Sketchup, then a little while later you have it! Still blows my mind :-)The jams are the food getting trapped as the auger pushes the food into the tube and the odd kibble gets stuck between the edge of the auger fin and the edge of the tube where it goes from the feeding "T" section into the sealed round remainder of the tube, if you see what I mean. Having the servo do a partial reverse jiggle deals with this and lets the jammed bit drop.
I like the RFID reader idea :-) The motors all have different benefits: A servo motor is easy to wire, doesn't need a specific driver board, and had a massive amount of torque. The downside is servos are not designed to rotate more than 360 degrees unless modified (there ARE some specialist free spinning servos out there) and driving servos needs PWM pulses to tell them speed and direction, which can be a little erratic. Stepper motors dont have as much torque, but are very easy to control precisely with a simple stepper driver board (like an Easy Driver). You can be very precise with steppers - even saying, "turn this direction and go to specific point "x" I'm finding my version of the machine with a stepper motor is jamming (the auger) far more than the servo motor.
I run it both ways for the same reason.