RAMPS Ultra Pack and Upgrades

While shopping around for parts for my imaginary 3D Printer Build I came across a few nice upgrades for the RepRap Prusa. Namely an SD card reader and LCD display.

From there I discovered a company that appears to specialize in RepRap parts – Gadgets3D. They appear to be based in Hong Kong/China.

The quality of the parts look good judging from the photos. And the review they have received so far has been 100%. It may well be a case that they could be the supplier of choice for Electronic Parts and maybe the Extruder Hot End.

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What I particularly liked the look of was the LCD and SD shield they made for the RAMPS board. It bears striking resemblance to the UltiController interface for the Ultimaker. It allows greater freedom for 3D Printing as you will not constantly need to be connected via USB to a computer. Just load the file to the SD card, use the controller to choose the file and print! I love automation. It also supposedly comes with the benefit of being easier to calibrate your 3D printer with a few clicks – but I’m a little dubious.

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Another upgrade part I was looking at was the ‘Budaschnozzle’ Extruder Hot-End. Apparently the best hot end currently available for the RepRap Mendel and Prusa.

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While I particularly like the profiles and laser-cut plywood look of the original Budaschnozzle, Gadgets3D also do their own variant (above) which looks quite smart.

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As part of their ultimate ramps kit, they also introduced me to GT2 pulleys and belts. While the original RepRap specification specifies T2.5 timing belts, they have mentioned that they are not ideal for 3d Printing. The reason being that T2.5 timing belts are designed to synchronize pulleys in one direction, not to be used a linear belt. This means that T2.5 timing belts and pulleys could introduce ‘backlash’ and inaccuracies when changing directions. The GT2 however was specifically designed for linear motion, utilizing rounded teeth and grooves that prevent backlash when changing direction. These belts and pulleys are also available from Gadgets3D via their website or via their Ebay store under the user id of ‘fabster3d‘.

So there you are, another couple of hours wasted window shopping for good quality parts for my imaginary 3D Printer Build.

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