Thursday, February 26, 2009

Unknown huh?

I got these error messages from the Gcode_interpreter (one advantage of ReplicatorG over the Java Host is that it shows messages from the firmware):
Estimating build time...
Estimated build time is: 13 minutes
Running GCode...
Running warmup commands.
Unknown: E: 151
Running build.
Unknown: huh? G669
Unknown: E: 151
Unknown: huh? G669
Unknown: huh? G669

Checked the code to find that E: indicates a temperature error. Recompiled and ran the Gcode_interpreter in testmode to discover that my own adjustments for the extruder and motor settings conflicted with the EXTRUDER_0_TEMPERATURE_PIN. Now the temperature test reads plausible temperatures and the heater goes hot and cools down.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


And today downloaded the Eagle Lite (freeware) version to explore some of the electronics boards.


As an alternative to the Java Host, having this NullPointerException condition, installed ReplicatorG and, together with Skeinforge, managed to perform a testdrive of M3-nut.stl!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Blew the DC Motor drive

Hm, not clear what caused this but the DC Motor board testresult is a fried voltage regulator :-(
Replaced the lightweight with a 7805 to find out it took the driver chip with it.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

First contact

The cartesian framework, electronics, firmware and host are now fully connected.

My findings
GCode_interpreter, SVN version #2540
- despite the comments in parameters.h the optostops seem to be inverting so #define ENDSTOPS_INVERTING 1
- for reasons not yet clear the X direction was reversed, hence #define INVERT_X_DIR 1

Java Host, SVN #2539
- testdrive works (move, nudge and HOME positioning of X, Y and Z)
- demo print (the extruder is not yet connected) with m3.stl from RepRap parts results in the same Java Error as two weeks ago (with SVN #2452): Production exception: java.lang.NullPointerException. Printing to .gcode file results in Production exception: java.lang.ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException: -1

Analyzing this with the NetBeans IDE. Also see RR software forum entry.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Electronics Assembly

Mounted the driver boards and Sanguino. First testdrive...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

QCad 2.0.5 on Intel iMac OS X 10.4

Looking for a program to view and edit .dxf files on the Mac I stumbled upon QCad from Ribbonsoft. Now I can view and edit the BfB lasercut components .dxf files.

Compile QCad
Although the QCad source is under GPL, only demo versions are availabale as binary. So, compiled QCad from source. Follows the list and some links I used to get QCad compiled under OS X 10.4.11 with gcc-4.0 (and using a MacPorts QT3 installation, present from previous MacPort installed sw)

### install QT3 package with MacPorts. I assume you are familiar with MacPorts and have it installed
$ ssh -l yourAdminUser localhost ## I use this to logon as admin from within a ordinary user terminal session
$ sudo port selfupdate
$ sudo port install qt3
### compile QCad
$ cd /opt/local
$ sudo mkdir qcad
$ sudo cp /Users/yourUserId/Desktop/QCad/qcad- .
$ tar xfz qcad-
$ rm qcad-

### to prevent "qmacstyle_mac.h: No such file or directory" error, applied patch manually (as patch raised errors) by commenting out (with vi) in src/main.cpp:
//#ifdef __APPLE__
//#ifdef __APPLE__
// QApplication::setStyle(new QMacStyle());

$ export QTDIR=/opt/local/lib/qt3 ## location of MacPorts QT3 install
$ export QMAKESPEC=/opt/local/lib/qt3/mkspecs/macx-g++
$ cd scripts
$ ./ notrans

Running QCad
Start the App from X11 window:
$ open /opt/local/qcad/qcad-

Or run it from a terminal window:
$ export DISPLAY=':0.0'
$ cd /opt/local/qcad/qcad-
$ open

AppleScript to launch QCad
Or create an Applescript, saved as application, to start QCad in X11:
-- Start QCad
-- 2009-02-07 New script
tell application "Finder"
--Launch X11 and bring to front
activate application "X11"

--String that will be executed by the do shell script command
--First set the display
set cmd to {}
set end of cmd to "export DISPLAY=':0.0'; "
set end of cmd to "cd " & the quoted form of "/opt/local/qcad/qcad-" & "; "
set end of cmd to "open; "
set theCommand to cmd as text
--display dialog ("shell command: " & theCommand)
with timeout of 1000000 seconds
do shell script theCommand
end timeout
end tell

Friday, February 6, 2009

Java Host

Now the Z-belt is put into place it is Java Time :-)
Compiled the current SVN version (#2452) and tried to save .gcode from M3-Nut.stl as sample. Results in "Production exception: java.lang.ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException: -1". To be continued...
Before trying to debug this part I will start integrating the electronics with the hardware.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


The clamped Z-belt

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Belted cartesian

Mounted the X and Y belts. Now summoning up some courage for the Z-belt split and join operation...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Java Host on OS X 10.4

Decided to dive into some Java tools as I could not get the Java Host SW running on OS X Tiger (10.4.11)
Follows a short list of the steps to get the Host SW compiled and running. Not yet 100%. The Console and 3D window show up though.

Tools used
. Netbeans IDE 6.1
. SVNX - to access the source code from the SVN repository
. Textwrangler - texteditor, handy for editing source-code

Creating the Project in Netbeans
1. install Import Eclipse plugin (select Eclips Project Importer in Tools> Plugin)
2. Import the RepRap Host sw (File> Import project> Eclipse project... and select the SVN folder in which you checked in or exported the code to)
3. Right-click RepRap project, select Properties and:
3.1 Add source /lib subdir to Sources
3.2 Add all .jar files in /lib to Libraries
3.3 Hint from to get Netbeans create a manifest file:
First, right click on the project and go into properties. Go to the run selection and add the main class. Click ok.
Right click on the project again and add an empty file with the name "".
Next, open the window menu and open the files window. Expand nbproject and open Add "" to the file. Now, build your project and it should work!