Saturday, December 29, 2012

Completed Inkshield kit.

The goal here is to see if UV resin can be sprayed through an inkjet nozzle.  This may allow construction of an Objet-like printer.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Inkshield kit

I finally have all the pieces for my ink shield kit. My intent is to see if I can use to and shield kit for a UV printer. I'm going to have to experiment with the UV resin to see if I can use the ink cartridge to emit it.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Up and running.

My CNC machine appears to be working great! A few more tweaks and it'll be perfect.

An idea for a 3D Printer

Ok, an idea...
The idea here is to create a printer that uses an x/y stage like an FDM machine. On the Z-Axis, there will be a mechnism for depositing a UV-curable resin. This resin can be cured quicky by the placement of a UV light source pointed from the deposition head. The depositor can be comprised of one or more piezo print heads. These print heads can either be re-purposed from inkjet cartridges, or built independantly (Parameterized Printable Inkjet Head

Design Goals
One design goal is to have a very accurate and fast X/Y stage, while the Z-stage needs to have micron accuracy(hopefully). The real question is the emission rate of the UV resin from then depositor/emitter? The UV polymer liquid I have is very thick at room temperature, but becomes very viscous when heated. I need to investigate the frequency and amplitude of the driver circuitry to be able to vary the rate of deposition of the polymer. I also need an accurate measure of material consumed.
I may need a heater element to pre-heat the UV resin in the emitter
I may need a peristoltic pump to pump the resin into the emitter.
I'll need to either alter my makerbot, fix up my rep-rap and reprogram it, or hopefully build a new Type-A machine that I've been waiting to cut.

I will need a way to activate/set the rate of this emitter.
Can it be done through G-code commands.
For multiple emitters, can I specify a line's worth of data and an origin/vector with parameters such as dpi and have the firmware do the rest?

I will have to write my own slicer or modify an existing slicer program to support he new Gcode commands.

Color and format
If I go the route of using inkjet printer cartridges, I can support full-color printing with the addition of multiple print cartridges. It may be worthwhile to reverse-engineer a print head that supports multiple colors and multiple line emitters (8x 16x 24x) for each color.

If I can devise modifications and additional commands to G/M code, then I can specify commands to define a line of data in a format, the format of that data (Dots per inch, number of samples, color format of each sample, UV resin deposition can be treated like another color channel, deposition rate )

I could write my own firmware, or modify some other FW for Arduino-based devices.
Additionally, I can use my Raspberyy Pi computer at a front- panel compter. This RaspPi will control the Arduino or printer controller card that interprets the gcode.

This RaspPi could act as a print-server, controlling lights, camera, prividing a front-panel GUI on the composite LCD with a control button panel. The RaspPi cound be a network print server over TCP/IP

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Raspberry Pi

I'm in the process of setting up my RaspPi device with a composite lcd. My intent is to configure this to be the onboard computer for my next 3d printer.

Mill is fixed.

I fixed and attached the motor for the x axis. The Z Stage needed a motor swap as well. I think everything is 100% now. I'm going to find a good gcode file to made this machine run through its paces.

Zombie Cookie Cutter!

 Last week, I was chatting with my friend Andrea, and she asked me if I could make a zombie cookie-cutter. She does a lot of baking, and said that people would pay a lot of money for something like this. I went ahead and found an image of a zombie cookie cutter, traced it in Inkscape ( ), and turned it into a vector that I imported into OpenSCAD (

A half hour later, I had a new Zombie cookie cutter, ready for use.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Z-axis successfully rebuilt

Now I've gotta fix the x axis and it'll all be good.

New Z Axis

My CNC Mill

Well, I'm finally getting back to work on my CNC mill. The Z axis has been broken for sometime. I used my 3d printer to make a few new needed parts.