Project Leonard – Bar Clamp Chaos

Well this week I had some time off and was finally able to devote some overdue attention to some of my many on-going projects. First in line was my 3D printer build Leonard. It's been a while since my last Leonard posting, what with work, Koothrappali and Project Wave (coming soon) poor old Leonard has just sat in a corner collecting dust and er.... breaking!!! To my surprise over the approximately 3 month period since I last did some development, nearly all of the printed bar clamp parts have failed and those that are still in one piece, are showing serious signs of fatigue. ...more

Project Leonard – Z Axis Issues

Well this evening I hit the first snag in the Leonard build. No matter how much I tightened the motor to 8mm bar couplers the bar would not grip. I even tried wrapping tape around the bar in order to increase diameter (yup a dirty hack) but alas to no avail (bad design and/or model implementation if you ask me). Eventually one of the couplers snapped due to purpose over tightening (not surprisingly) and this brought a halt to proceedings for most of today's build. The above image shows the snapped coupling. Despite this issue however, I decided to continue mocking up the axis so I could get a feel of how things go together ready for my next attempt. ...more

Project Leonard – Y Carriage Build

Well some more of the parts for the Project Leonard build arrived today, more specifically the RAMPS electronics. Inspired by this I decided to allocate an hour this evening to a little more of the build. I started by tightening and squaring off the frame. This step takes some time and would be nearly impossible without the aid of spacing jigs (fashioned out of some spare lengths of wood). With this achieved (maybe a little to tight in places) I then moved onto assembling the Y Carriage. This like all of the build so far was a fairly easy process that consisted of adding the two running bars and attaching the MDF base plate (via gluing to 4 slide on bushings). With this achieved and a little adjustment to ensure that the bed runs the length of the bars smoothly, I also decided to attach the Y stepper motor. ...more

Project Leonard – Frame Build

Time for a quick update on my RepRap build, Leonard. Some of my part orders arrived at the weekend (kudos to for great customer service) so today I finally started on assembling the frame and was pleasantly surprised at how fast everything went together. Utilising the Prusa build guide available at I managed to get the basic structure put together in around an hour. Everything now needs tightening and squaring up, but I'm more than happy with progress so far. ...more

Project Leonard – My Own RepRap

Today I have started a new robotics project, Project Leonard. Leonard is to be my first CNC style automaton based on a RepRap design. I hope that the machine will afford me capability for home 3D printing, engraving, light milling and more. My thinking is that once I have completed the main unit (3D Printer) I will be able to then use it to develop and implement as many interchangeable CNC based attachments that I can think of. For those of you not in the know: RepRap is an open-source desktop 3D printer capable of printing plastic objects. Since many parts of RepRap are made from plastic and RepRap can print those parts, RepRap is a self-replicating machine - one that anyone can build given time and materials. ...more