Reprap Pro Huxley Build and Redesign

This is a short instructable for the RepRapPro Huxley 3D
printer. This instructable gives you useful tips and tricks for making your very own 3D printer and is meant to be used in conjunction with reprap’s official manual found on their website.

A short section at the end outlines how we redesigned the Huxley 3D printer, which includes the CAD files and drawings. So you can make your own.

Step 1: Frame Assembly
Followed the link as described except for the changes below:

Tools recommended:
Hand drill - bits range 3mm-10mm
Precision screwdriver & Allen keys set
Adjustable spanner
Small file set
Fines tweezers
300 mm rule
Digital vernier caliper
Engineer squares
Masking tape
Fine-tip soldering Kit (+flux)
Wire strippers
Spirit level
Small length (approx 600 mm) of cotton string
Blue tack
Digital multimeter
Heat gun

Starting tips:
Count out items for each stage before resuming.
Always work in a clear and clean environment.
Measure with extreme precision.

Step1: frame triangles

It is advised that one person carries out all original frame measurements to keep constancy. When constructing the frame together it is advised to use a clean, flat, leveled table.

Measure the distance between the inside and outside of the 3D printed corners using the laser cut measuring tool provided and double check using your own rule (High importance, every millimeter your frame is out of place will effect your printed models).

Have all team members check themselves that frame is equal in length.

When adding the washers, if you find one side is jagged, this is the side facing the pre-printed part to allow better grip.Every nut should have a washer.

Step 2: Cross bars

When filing the printed parts many may need a good sanding down, try stay consistent and keep a snug fit. Don't over file!

It is a good idea to sketch an image or label your X, Y and Z axis as this will be mentioned a lot.

The cotton string test is optional but advised.

Step 2: Y Axis Assembly
Followed the link as described except for the changes below:

Step 1: Sled assembly
Followed as described

Step 2: Y motor and idler brackets
In the received kit the MXL printed pulleys were replaced by strong metal pulleys by RepRap.

Step 3: Y axis belt
The ends of the belt were held together by some tape before clamping it into place to help with keeping the right tension. After the belt was mounted some friction occurred. There was some resistance from the motor but turns out not to be a problem.

Step 3: X Axis Assembly

Followed the link as described except for the changes below:

Step 1: The small plastic parts that hold the igus brushings on the
x end need to be sanded down. But take great care as these parts are very fragile and can easily brake. After a few hours of use these parts needed to be replaced, as they no longer held the igus brushings tightly.

Step 2: The x-plane holes on both the x ends need to be sanded, so the x-rods can be inserted. They should still be a tight fit so don’t sand too much and be aware that the holes go deep into the x motor end so make sure the rods go all the way in.

Step 3: When the x axis is assembled the igus brushings on each end that hold the z-rods should be exactly 260mm apart. This will make sure that the x axis assembly fits perfectly onto your frame, it will also indicate whether the x-rods have been fully inserted into the x ends.

Step 4: Z Axis Assembly

Followed the link as described except for the changes below:

Step 1: The 3D printed parts supplied within the kit will need to be sanded down to fit onto the threaded rods, but be careful as they are prone to breaking.

Step 2: A small change, the rod was slightly screwed onto the nut before applying the spring for ease of fitting.

Step 3: The 'Poly tubing 30mm' was replaced for a more stable option. The improvement was to machine 2 rods from mild steel to act as spacers. These are designed to increase the stability of print when the axis moves in the vertical direction as it prone to slip. The other reason is that it ensures that it is true.

Below are a list of steps to follow for the mild steel spacer drawing located in the image bar:

1. Cut mild steel to 45mm (15mm to go into the chuck of the lathe)
2. Face it off (Speed set to high using cutting tool at angle 90 degrees)
3. Turn to length (to clean it off)
4. M5 centre drill to make an entry for the hole (use coolant)
5. Drill 4.2mm all the way through (40mm for the 5mm thread on the other end)
6. Drill 4.7mm to half way through the material (20mm)
7. Clean it it with drill (take the speed down, applying cutting paste)
8. Check length again with vernier calipers, face off if necessary.
9. Leave the material in the lathe and thread my hand (M5 using cutting paste)
10. Repeat again for second spacer.

Step 5: Heatbed Assembly

Followed the link as described.

Heatsink grease is not necessary but advised.

Step 6: Extruder Drive Assembly

Followed the link as described except for the changes below:

The part pictured above, of the extruder assembly needed to be reprinted to a higher quality, as the filament kept slipping on the gear thus not extruding the filament properly.

To check whether your extruder assembly might slip: assemble the extruder drive and feed the filament into it. Once the filament is in the large internal gear should not be able to be pulled off. If it can then the extruder assembly could slip.

Step 7: Hot End Assembly

Followed the link as described except for the changes below:

Step 1: When heat shrinking the thermistor ensure that care is taken not to damage the component, do not overheat.

Step 2: When applying the aluminium cooling block be careful to ensure that you do not over tighten the fan otherwise the fan will not rotate. Also ensure that not yours finger do get caught in the fan whilst it is on, this may cause the blades to snap or break.

Step 3: When in the use the nozzle can get messy and this will effect print quality massively, try to keep it clean by wiping off the excess PLA or ABS with a bit of paper of tissue, this can be done when the nozzle has been brought up to temperature.

Step 4: When it comes to wiring the hot end up ensure that the digram you are using is well labelled and uses colour so that it is clear where each wire goes as there are a lot of connections to deal with.

Step 5: The installation is fiddly, but be sure to keep the hot end level and the nozzle square for the best print quality.

Step 8: Wiring

Followed the link as described except for the changes below:

It is in the instructions but very important: You will do serious damage to your RepRap electronics if the power is connected backwards, to short out high current devices like motors and heaters, and to connect high voltage devices like stepper drivers to signal inputs like temperature sensors. Not paying close attention to the instructions could result in blowing up the circuit board.

Generally speaking, soldering was found better for connecting wires/pins than crimping them whenever it was possible.

Wire routes:
Plan out where to run the cables in advance to ensure they stay out of the way of moving parts. Photographs on website are not that useful until the end.

Step 1: The PTFE tube shield
Followed description

Step 2: The controller
The PCB clips proved to be very fiddly and badly functioning. Yes, it does hold the PCB in place until you need to touch it, like connecting the wires etc.. It is advised to not bother with the clips until the wiring is completed.

Step 3: Power
The two power cables were slipt a bit further away from the power plug pins rather then connecting both the heatbed and the Melzi. This is for better cable management and to ensure solid connection as it is tricky to pull the heatshrink over the pin of the power plug.

Step 4: The stepper motors
Followed as described

Step 5: Endstops
Found no problem with the screws that were included.

Step 6: Hot end
Followed as described

Step 7: Heated bed signal wires
The four way connector turned out to be completely useless, it did not strip the wire and the connection was very unstable. Crimps and heatshrink were used to connect to the four pin at the bottom of the bed. You may consider removing the bed from mount as it was difficult to push the individual crimps onto the pins in such awkward angle. Leave enough cable for the bed to move freely.

Step 8: USB cable
Followed as described

Step 9: Double check
Cannot stress enough the importance of correct wiring.

Step 9: Commisioning

Followed the link as described.

Most computers can not recognise the Melzi instantly and a driver needs to be installed. You can find the downloads for Windows, Linux and Mac here:

Step 10: Printing

Very important as this could harm your PC.

When plugging the printer into the PC for the first time. Only plug the printer into the PC do not plug the printer into the 19V mains power supply. Turn the PSB boot on and make sure the fan does not run. If the fan runs this means the printer is drawing power from the PC which can be dangerous for the PC. If the fan does not run then it is safe to plug the printer into the 19V mains power supply.

Step 11: Body Redesign

The RepRapPro Huxly is limited by its build dimensions. The cables became very messy even being well trimmed. The frame assembly was complex and time consuming when perfecting the alignment. The redesigned body was developed with these 3 points including better visuals and practicality in mind.

This was accomplished by increasing both the lengths of the M6 smooth rod to 540 mm to create a spool holder and the M5 threaded rod to 330 mm to increase print height. A strong base with a rectangle (U styled) housing for all components were added for the rods, motors and cables.

The base and body was cut from a large laser cutter from misted white and transparent blue acrylic sheets. Any material can be used however the drawings and measurements are created for materials with 3 mm thickness.

All original components have been reused unless stated otherwise.

Insure all wiring is done correctly.

Advised to tape the body together and test the printer is running OK before continuing (All sorts of problems could arise by this point).

Before using a strong glue (acrylic cement) make sure every thing lines up straight and level, it's advised to leave both lid and two open face panels so that all cabling can be accessed.

The CAD files and drawing of the new body will be uploaded ASAP




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    4 years ago on Step 11

    Sorry for asking, but.... those promised CAD files?