Monday, March 8, 2010

It has been FAR too long

Pure insanity enveloped the past month of my life, hence my lack of posts for the last 3 weeks....(holy cow, time does fly)
Anyway, this post goes has information that dates back to the broken middle filament guide (which I happened to break), but I'll use this as a jumping point. Our weekly meeting, on Feb 17th, was moving along nicely, however when Alex and I nearly finished the construction of the Plasruder mk IV we realized that the screws attaching the insulator retainer we realized that the proper length bolts to attach it to the Plastruder body were nowhere to be found. Quickly inventorying our parts, we knew we had an excess of regular(longer) m3 bolts, so I decided to cut them to length and make our own bolts.
The first cut bolt worked perfectly, not to long, not too short; however, the second bolt was just a tad too long, and we tightened it just a tad too much, then the most gut wrenching sound...*POP*. I'd heard this sound before, making Lexan windows for a race car, and I knew what it meant even before I looked down. Yup, we had cracked the retaining plate and successfully dislodged the retaining nut. Looking at the situation, I knew we couldn't repair the piece, there wasn't enough material to glue back together, so the only thing we could do was wait and order a new one. Before we made the call out to Bre, we decided to take inventory and make sure we had everything. We quickly noticed that we were missing one more vital part, the retaining washer for the heater assembly. Well, in my mind this worked out perfectly because without either piece, we were stuck at the same place, and with one order of parts we should be back on our way. I reported to our group leader, Alex at the time, to email Bre and order the middle filament guide plate, and I also pointed to a picture of the retaining washer for the heating element to be ordered. There was a slight misunderstanding on the parts order though, clarified in Kate's Feb 24th post.
Anyway, we're jumping ahead to last week, March 3, since Kate's post for the week of Feb 24th is pretty much the definitive description of what happened. Darivanh, Alexis, and I were set to go to Makerbot madness at Metrix create:space on Saturday the 27th; however everyone managed to overbook themselves for the weekend, and no one was able to make it. I had already packed up Frank (short for Frankenbot) and had him the in back of my car ready to go. Since I was unsure about showing up to Makerbot madeness alone, with a partially assembled makerbot, I decided to fix the terrible mistake I had made 2 weeks prior. I took the two bolts we had made and trimmed them down a bit more and sanded them flat to make sure that they would not have any clearance problems. I then open the box that Bre had sent us and quickly realized that instead of receiving the washer, we got more Kapton tape! I then remembered what the picture I had pointed to looked
and facepalmed my communication error, regarding what part to order. Fast forward to Wednesday and to our group meeting, we try to figure out a quick solution to this missing part. It just so happens that my roommate works at a machine shop and he is willing to make me a custom washer, but I told everyone that this would be a last resort. Then the obvious solution jumped out, contact Metrix! They had 2 makerbots, so it'd be a pretty good guess that they might have extra parts, and might have our missing part. Luckily, Matt responded to our email quickly and the next day I was able to pickup the retaining washer for FREE!!! Thanks to Matt and Metrix create:space!

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