Author Archives: Richard

About Richard

I am a Materials Engineering working in the field of Magnetic Materials in Melbourne, Australia. This blog covers my personal interest in all things CNC.

Stepper motors or a BLDC servo motors? Which is better and when to use them.

Which is better, a stepper motor or a brushless DC (BLDC) servo motor like these from Teknic (Clearpath)? The short answer: It depends on your application. If you only need open-loop position control (no shaft position feedback), are on a … Continue reading

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Modifying Marlin Firmware to work with a TandemB

In previous posts I built a prototype ‘TandemB’  which can be thought of as a 2D Delta printer in terms of its x and y-axis movement. This prototype could be moved about under its own power but that had no compatible firmware … Continue reading

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Construction of a TandemB Prototype

In a previous post I proposed the idea using an unconventional kinematic system to translation movements in the x and y axis. This idea, which was dubbed ‘Tandem’, is similar to that of a delta robot with the key difference being that rather … Continue reading

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Working in Tandem – Unconventional XY-axis layouts for 3D printing, laser cutting, CNC milling, engraving or pick and place.

Below I outline three separate concepts for moving in the X and Y plane with a specific emphasis on minimising the moving mass, maintaining high mechanical stiffness, reducing backlash and allowing two stepper motors to work in tandem. It is my hope that these concepts, … Continue reading

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Bootstrapping a pen plotter to make a 3d printer

Back in 2010 I developed an intense interested in understanding and eventually building a 3D printer. This interest took me down the path of reading all the material available at the time and purchasing a RAMPS (V1.2) which I used to control … Continue reading

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The ideal shape for a multirotor ‘ducted-fan’ that can dramatically improve thrust and flight time.

2016 update: David has produced a great customizable OpenSCAD file based on the study referenced in this post. The file can be found over at thingiverse here (thing:1535549). ************************************************************************************ In a previous post I discussed how the addition of a well designed … Continue reading

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Breaking through the 2 hour barrier – Maximising efficiency to achieve the longest flight time of an electric multirotor (quadcopter)

The current record holders. Small electric RC helicopters and multirotors are known for their very short flight times. Even after considerable effort the current record holders (as of Jan 2015) for longest flight time that I can find for an electric helicopter is … Continue reading

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