Mar 26, 2017

Using 3D printing pens for art

I'm not a huge fan of 3d printing pens (probably because I draw on pre-school level) but here are some people who use them to make some fine 3d pop art.

The apex of modern civilization: Pokemon figurines...




... and some useful things like this T-Rex skeleton:




Check their YT channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOvm1ePlttS6hWatuHThw_A

Their Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/3dpenschool/




MakerBot MinFill

Makerbot presented their new software innovation that enables you to minimize and optimize the infill to save time and material. It can reduce material and time for some 30%. You will lose some structural integrity, but it is aimed at prototyping applications.






































MinFill presentation video:




Makerbot news post with more detail:

https://www.makerbot.com/media-center/2017/03/20/introducing-makerbot-minfill


Here is the Minfill description:
Now you can bring your ideas to life faster for less with this major breakthrough in MakerBot Print. We’re proud to introduce MakerBot MinFill, a dynamic new Print Mode that is the first of its kind in 3D printing. Short for “Minimum Infill,” MinFill uses an intelligent algorithm to determine the absolute minimum amount of support needed for the inside of any 3D print.
As we’ve learned from professional users, not all prints need to be durable, dense, or heavy. When surface quality and print speed are more important, MinFill is a far more efficient option — especially for prints with a large internal volume.
Based on our testing, MinFill typically prints 30% faster using 30% less filament. With especially voluminous models, like spheres, we’ve seen MinFill print up to 80% faster. For professionals, that means faster early concept modeling, faster form studies, and more iterations in less time.
MinFill’s Benefits at a Glance
  • Professionals can accelerate early concept modeling, form studies, and iterations.
  • Educators can serve more students and classrooms while saving time and money.
  • Based on our testing, MinFill typically prints 30% faster using 30% less filament.*
  • The greater the internal volume of your print, the more time and money you save.
  • Compatible with MakerBot Replicator+, Replicator (5th Gen), and the Replicator Z18.

I'm still waiting to see some tests and reviews by independent sources. I also hope that this will be implemented on other platforms. Does anyone know of anything simillar?

Mar 22, 2017

Using Common 3D Printers for Hard Science

Here is a great example on how simple 3d printers are being used by scientists to make low cost specialist equipment in field of chemistry. 
Team of researchers form University of Helsinki used 3d printers to develop a chemical microreactor.

Gianmario Scotti, one of the researchers, published this video and the description:
In this video abstract we present a 3D printed polypropylene microreactor with an integrated stirring bar and nano-electrospray needle.

The nano-ESI needle is the ion source of our microreactor, and is used to couple it directly to a mass spectrometer. The microreactor is used to analyse chemical reactions with the mass spectrometer. The reaction is analysed as it happens.

We used polypropylene to 3D print the microreactor, because polypropylene is a very refractory polymer in the sense that it is neither affected by strong acids or alkaline solutions, nor by the great majority of solvents used in chemical synthesis.

This is the first 3D printed microreactor with an integrated ion source. It is also the first 3D printed microreactor with an integrated stir bar. These enable us to monitor the chemical reactions in real time.





Here are links to full research paper:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/315119578_A_miniaturised_3D_printed_polypropylene_reactor_for_online_reaction_analysis_by_mass_spectrometry

http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2017/re/c7re00015d#!divAbstract


Here is the printed reactor connected to a spectrometer and held with 3d printed jig

Mar 19, 2017

Proton and Neutron Open Source 3D Printers

Layer One, creators of Atom3D printer, have released two open source RepRap 3d printer. Proton and Neutron. They are open sourced under Creative Commons licence.

Proton has total volume of 38 cm x 28 cm x 37 cm, assembled weight of 4.25 kg and printing volume of 18 cm x 18 cm x 15 cm.































Proton assembly video:



Proton Thingiverse page:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2149685


Neutron is a delta configuration 3d printer. It has total volume of 32 cm x 33 cm x 54 cm, weight of 3.75 kg and printing volume of Ø14 cm x 20 cm.

Neutron video:




Neutron Thingiverse page:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2149660


You can also find both 3d printers on MyMiniFactory Atom3D page:

https://www.myminifactory.com/users/Atom%203D%20Printers


Full details on both printers can be found at company webpage:

http://www.atom3dp.com/zh/mini/

How to Convert Direct Feed System Into a Bowden Setup

Joe Mike Terranella published a video tutorial on how to change your direct feed extruder system into a Bowden 3D printer.  He used his Hictop Prusa clone to change it from direct feed to a Bowden setup but you can see many useful tips that can be used for other machines also.


Here is the full tutorial video:



Full parts list is on the video description but he used this Bowden conversion thing:

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1064150

Here is Joe's Twitter where you can follow him:

https://twitter.com/MoeJike



Mar 15, 2017

DIY rotational casting machine made from wood and 3d printed parts

If you want to expand your home manufacturing arsenal, here is a very useful machine that will enable you to make hollow objects from various types of resin.
This machine is easy and cheap to make from 3d printed parts and 15mm MDF sheets cut on a CNC machine. It was published on Instructables by Jorge Dorantes.
It is hand cranked, but it could probably be easy modified to run with a simple electrical motor.




























All the files and instructions can be found at:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Rotomoldeadora/?ALLSTEPS


If you are not sure how this machine works, here is a demonstration video of a different rotational casting machine by TGS Props where they use two piece silicone mold and Smoothcast 65D resin to make, well ... raptor / alien  eggs!


Mar 12, 2017

Thomas reviews 12 different bed leveling sensors

Herr Sanladerer performed a serious testing run with 12 automobiling sensors and made a video with the results.

Tested sensors were:

  • M8, 2mm inductive sensor (5V)
  • M12, 4mm inductive sensor 
  • M16, 8mm inductive sensor 
  • M16, adjustable distance capacitive sensor 
  • M16, 20mm capacitive sensor 
  • David Crocker's IR sensor 
  • SHARP analog sensor 
  • Microswiches 
  • BLTouch 


Here is the testing video:




The conclusions were:

  • If you have an aluminum bed, I'd go for the 2mm inductive type
  • For a glass-only bed, the BLTouch is a good option
  • With a PEI sheet or other stick-on bed surface, David Crocker's differential IR sensor is also a great alternative
  • The capacitive sensors are too sensitive to use seriously, and the SHARP type is not precise enough. 
  • Inductive sensors with larger trigger distances also work really well, but will need circuitry for adapting to 5V and are much larger than the 2mm type.
Detailed report with many interesting details can be found at:
















Lulzbot TAZ6 3D Printer Reviews Compilation

Lulzbot TAZ6 is a flagship machine and it comes at 2400 USD price point. Since I'm interested in it, I made a compilation of reviews so you can also check it out.

TAZ6 tech specs:
  • Print Surface: Heated borosilicate glass bed covered with PEI film
  • Print Area: 280mm x 280mm x 250mm (11.02in x 11.02in x 9.8in)
  • Top Print Speed: 200mm/sec (7.9in/sec)
  • Print Tolerance: 0.1mm (0.0039in) in X and Y axes. Z axis is dependent on layer thickness
  • Layer Thickness: 0.050mm – 0.50mm (0.002in – 0.02 in), Dependent on nozzle size
  • Capable Materials: ABS, PLA, HIPS, PVA, wood filled filaments, Polyester (Tritan), PETT, bronze and copper filled filaments, Polycarbonate, Nylon, PETG, conductive PLA and ABS, UV luminescent filaments, PCTPE, PC-ABS, and more every day
  • Usable Filament Sizes: standard 3mm (0.1in)
  • Prints best with MatterControl and MatterControl Touch for a truly standalone experience

Here is Joel's review:




Here is MatterHackers review:




Here is a review by Thomas Sanladerer:




Review by XRobots:



Here is the TAZ6 homepage:

http://www.matterhackers.com/store/printer-kits/lulzbot-taz-4-3d-printer





Mar 11, 2017

Angus 3D Prints Big And Rugged Robotic Rover

Angus from Maker's Muse YT channel 3d printed this big and rugged robotic rover for off-road driving. It looks really great and can run for over an hour on LiPo batteries which drive 4 cordless drill geared motors!




Sure, it is a sort of promotion for Polymaker PC-Max filament but still it is very well executed project.


Files for this robot can be found at:

https://gumroad.com/l/obZtP


3d printed flexible springs make it jump over some obstacles