Playing with $7 2.4'' inch TFT with touchscreen shield for Arduino

Hi guys!

These days I am playing with a new toy for Arduino I founded on eBay. It is a 2.4'' inches TFT with touchscreen with a resolution of 320 x 240 for less than $7 you can find in this link.

Firstly it was a little hard to make it run, because image was x-mirrored using the libraries I founded on Canton-Electronics (check Document Download at right of the webpage) so I needed to search for more. Finally I succeded using the Adafruit libraries you can find them here.

This discovery it's an important milestone for my domotic project (I didn't write before but indeed I will) to make nodes to control temperature, blinds or lights. First I need is to create a menu to access to these different utilities. Following video will show you my advances.

 

 

Next work will be to connect it through bluetooth or any other radio interface to the central computer (raspberry, cubie or similar) to centralize the information and control it from mobile phone or tablet and add a temperature sensor to be able to monitorize the room temperature.

Finally I will design a case for it, ready to be printed on my 3D printer. Are you ready for it?? Just follow my website next days!

You can  download the code from here.

 

Prusa i3 3D printer. Building, calibration and printing

 Hi all!!

It has been a few months since I built my own 3D printer, a Prusa i3 box model. But so far I could not consider this is a real alternative to the comercial 3D printers, like Ultimaker, Makerbot or Witbox. After 1kg printing pieces (about 30€) and calibrating carefully, the printer now is able to print with the same quality as the printers of these companies.

So let me start from the beggining: building it.

First I did, of course, is to search on internet wikis and forums with information. Finally best of them were the RepRap one and Clone Wars (the spanish RepRap group). There are more than 10 models ready to be built, with different arquitectures and forms, but all based on the same principle: a CNC machine with 3 axis and a plastic extruder by tool. Each axis is managed by a stepper motor sliding extruder on smooth rods with bearings. Best of building one is that structure pieces are printed from another 3D printer, replicating themselves!!

    
From left to right. Original Mendel Prusa, Printrbot and Prusa i3 box models.

 

I will not copy all the information to build them with my own words to not replicate available information, so I will reference you the best tutorials to build it. Some of them will be in spanish language so if you have any doubt you can of course ask me.

As I told my printer is a Prusa i3 Box, and I build it mainly following this link and this document, but most I learned indeed was with all these videotutorials (thanks to my colleage Obijuan!!), based on Prusa i2 model, but most of concepts are applicable to any one.

I attach below this post a .txt file with all the links I used to buy my pieces (finally the printer will cost about 300€. You will hardly reduce this price so you will need to assume it). Special recommendations are to use GT2 pulleys, good quality smooth rods and unused Nema17 stepper motors (these three elements I recommend you to buy them at online 3D printing stores like RepRapBCN).

Sprinter firmware is shown on lot of tutorials, but don't use it, use Marlin one instead.
About the slicing software, I recommend you to use Cura (from Ultimaker). I use the 13.06.4 version because next versions don't have some interesting settings. These are my settings on Cura. They will help you indeed to configure your own one:

 

The speed to print can be changed depending on the quality you need. By default I commonly use 25 mm/s for printing and 30 mm/s on travels, but I print pieces successfully with 80 mm/s printing and 100 mm/s travelling. This is the main difference from bought printers, which you can print at 120 mm/s and travel with 160 mm/s easily.

In order to design your own pieces, I recommend you to use OpenSCAD, however AutoCAD or Inventor could be used too (only you need to do is to export the design to a .STL file).
Don't dude to upload your designs or download shared in Thingiverse.

About the filament and plastic, I recommend you to use PLA at first, because extruding temperature is lower than ABS and temperature shock is lower on it, avoiding plastic bending when printing. Both are about 25-30€ per kilogram and I ensure you that last more than you firstly expect.

 Here I show you some photos of my 3D printer and some printed pieces :D

 

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