3D Printing at home

3dprint

We’ve seen a lot of 3d printing lately, with the RepRap and Cupcake, both the fused deposition modeling type. We don’t often see the Inkjet method. This is a great example of one, built in someones home. Instead of laying down layers of molten plastic, he uses the inkjet system to deposit glue like substances into layers of plaster. This project is much higher resolution than the other two, as you can see in the video of it making an RC engine case below. He is currently rebuilding it to be even better and larger.

[thanks Luke]

Comments

  1. Edd says:

    I saw this guys video for this about a month ago and I’m currently looking at building my own out of the 3 spare printers that I have. It looks good, but I have to say, I’m still pending on membership to the yahoo group :(

  2. cshuff says:

    I’m wondering how strong these are compared to the molten plastic 3d printers. Glue and plaster don’t seem to be useful for anything other than visualizing your part, while plastic can actually be used in quite a few different applications.

  3. dstone says:

    We have a ZPrinter rapid prototyper at school, uses the same method and can even apply color to the dust it uses. The models are quite fragile until you seal them with a superglue-type liquid, which makes a drastic difference in strength. I’ve even seen a model dropped in the floor without damage (however it is still not as strong as the plastic printers). We have a new type of sealant that is supposed to allow for sanding and shaping of the printed piece that we have yet to try.

  4. George IV says:

    @cshuff
    1. The recipe can be altered. Different “glues” and different solids will produce different results. Water + sugar for example.
    2. Not only great for visualizing. You can make a mold using these models and cast them in any material you wish.

  5. Nightstar says:

    Very nice… ^_^

    Best use for a lexmart printer!

    If I read the stuff right… He using a form of a sugar or corn starch. Not sure.

    Interesting way to use a printer…

  6. Ryan says:

    He holds the part as if it is very delicate.

    I’m personally a fan of the commercial color 3d printers with high resolution that use plastic dust and prints with a solvent. I really think you need high resolution printing that can produce a nice finish before these printers become really useful but any progress just brings us closer to that goal.

  7. Hirudinea says:

    While glue and plaster could be weak for making objects, if you used somthing besides plaster this could be great for lost wax casting.

  8. Nightstar says:

    Hum….

    Could the lost wax casting technique be use to take the printer results create a mold and make a stronger copy? Just an idea… Probably would not work.

    Nice thing is with some effort, due to his nice clean designed can make your own!

  9. Hackius says:

    He uses superglue to infiltrate the parts and make them stronger.

  10. Nightstar says:

    Hirudinea

    Wasent there one using paper and glue a few months back?

  11. Nightstar says:

    A two part glue would lend itself to a “inkjet” 3d unit. One cart full of part A and the other full of part B. Just an idea…

  12. snow says:

    two part glue would probably not work because of the viscosity of the glue components. i think the liquid has to be pretty fluid to be able to get out of the printhead.

  13. lexiredlion says:

    Lexmark. The company is Lexmark, not Lexmart.

    Back in the early-to-mid-90s I worked in their engineering labs testing new print heads and water-proof inks. How long will a cartridge last? A heck of a lot longer than the minuscule amount of ink they put in ‘em. At least back then they did. We had 5 gallon cannisters of ink gravity feeding rows and rows of cartridges, fire ‘em up and let ‘em run 24/7. An alarm would sound when a single heater burned out. We’d log the data, analyse the failure, submit a report, then replace it with another cart that’d been randomly pulled from the assembly line.

    It’s been quite a while since then, but IIRC, they’d last somewhere around 56 hours before failing. The guy I worked with could tell you. That part of the testing was his forte. I did pattern printing analysis and volumetrics. He was an odd sort and took a lot of flack from pretty much everyone in the inkjet department (Lexmark also does laser printers and even keyboards back then). One evening, out of the clear blue, he said to me,

    “Now, if you ever get into a situation where you’re behind sand bags and you have a choice of a rifle or a bow & arrow, take the bow & arrow. Know why?”

    “Uhhh… Because an arrow will pass through a sand bag, but a bullet won’t?”

    “Right. Keep that in mind.”

    “Okie, dokie, Lon. If that situation ever comes to pass, I shall select the bow and arrow!”

    hahahah. Quirky, quirky guy. But also a good guy.

  14. Eme says:

    Oh come on! What about Fab@Home? =->

  15. Edd says:

    @eme – go search, it’s on here http://hackaday.com/?s=fab%40home

  16. Passer by says:

    wouldnt it be just as simple to modify a homebrew lazercutter to do this also using a simmler method of a heat reactive liquid?

    im sure it would cost a little more than this method but maybe less than the reprap and still have a very high quality and it be formed of a solid meterial?

    hell going all out and upping the power of a lazer light show to speed up the prosses, but then thats getting stupid with the price

  17. Luke says:

    I submitted this to hackaday while researching building something like this myself. In the process of trawling google for someone who’d already done it, I also found this article on different recipes for printing materials: http://www.ceramicartsdaily.org/magazines/Ceramics%20Monthly/2009febprintedpotfeature.aspx. Their recipes are for ‘printed pottery’, which they then fire in an oven for extra strength to produce usable ceramics.

    I also found this guy who’s doing something similar, but as yet doesn’t seem to have it going. But it helps to explain the dust/plaster reservoir system: http://www.indoor.flyer.co.uk/3dprint.htm

  18. justin says:

    Can’t wait to try
    Justin@WaState.net

  19. smilr says:

    IIRC the problem with heat reactive liquid + lasers is that any components that don’t “rest” on the platform you start building from will have to have a scaffold to hold them “up” and keep them from moving until they are sufficiently connected to the rest of the structure.

    With the printing onto a powder method, the individual disconnected sections of each slice can rest on the powder below.

  20. JoDivo says:

    Some of this discussion would be great to have on the DIY 3D Printing and Fabrication Yahoo! Groups. If you desire to join state your interest in 3DP and what you think you can contribute to the group in your writeup that you send to the moderator.

    Oh yeah, be active and contribute.

  21. JoDivo says:
  22. Luke says:

    @JoDivo, I signed up three days ago and am still awaiting membership approval, and a guy above says (Edd) says he’s pending approval too!

  23. Zoz says:

    As noted, this is a fairly decent method for creating models for 3-d visualization, but that is about it. None of the materials mentioned in this thread are particularly sturdy. For example, if you tried to actually use the engine casing shown (adding the metal pieces required) the question is what would happen first: whether it would blow up or just melt down. Presuming, of course, that it would work at all.

    The comment about some form of lost-wax is by far the most practical. You aren’t particularly worried about the strength of the object you are creating with your deposition process – it just has to be strong enough for that actual molding material to be put around it. Then melt (or whatever) your deposited model away and you can pour metal or whatever into your mold.

    One question I have is: how about the quality of physical dimensions? What I see being “built” is a cast of something that looks like an R/C model airplane engine. The cylinder [this being written by a guy who is 54 and who watched his Dad do R/C modeling nearly all his life] that the piston will run in has to be particularly precise and extremely smooth, generally speaking very round & definitely particularly straight, etc. I cannot imagine the hardware shown _here_ producing parts of sufficient quality — although I have no doubt that it is “a simple matter of engineering”.

    However, who would have even have imagined such a thing forty..fifty years ago (about when my Dad was doing hardship duty in Alaska and they’d use the exhaust of their cars to heat the engines of their models so as to be hot enough to get the puppies started)?

    Darned cool device, though. “Dad? Can I have one of those for Christmas?”

  24. digitalriver2104 says:

    hi

    try the canon color 3d printer which i have enjoyed available in the website.

  25. Edd says:

    Thanks for approving me JoDivo, Hackaday has certainly pushed your members up, at least it said 3 new members when I applied and now it says 24 new members :D

  26. medix says:

    I can’t believe that no one has mentioned this..

    but..

    replace the plaster or powdered plastic with sintered metal powder and use a binder of sorts to hold it together. kiln fire the part after ‘printing’ and viola! you’ve got a part that’s a good bit stronger than just the plastic..

    this guy’s got reprap and all the others beat in quality and usefulness. there are currently commercial processes available that already do this..

    very good post..

  27. ho0d0o says:

    I realize that most of us can’t help but add constructive criticism to things other people build, but come on! Let’s keep in mind that this guy thought up, programmed, and built a 3D PRINTER FFS! Constructive criticism is always awesome but friends give this guy some credit! Awesome post, I hope to see more homemade 3D Printers in the future!

  28. fyrebug says:

    this looks amazing!!!!!

    WAY better than reprap or cupcake. no offense to those guys, but seriosuly, this is the sort of stuff I think the community needs. half the parts can be gathered from a $20 printer. wow

    and plaster is perfect. it’s cheap as heck.

    for those saying plaster doesn’t sound good, get some silicon molding rubber, pour a box mold in 30minutes, and then cast in plastic/metal/wax, etc. where’s the issue?

    rapid prototypers ARE NOT for making a final product…

    submitted my request for membership, hope I can get in to have a look at this stuff. it’s amazing.

  29. jodivo says:

    Member afogassa really was the first to pull it off printing objects from his machine.

    My e-mail box is blowing up. Thanks to Hackaday bre pettis slums with us as well. ;-)

    Remember, If you desire to join state your interest in 3DP and what you think you can contribute to the group in your writeup that you send to the moderator.

    Print on!

  30. Tuttomenui says:

    I read a few of your responces and would like to respond to them.

    Lost wax type casting is how you would convert a object into metal or some medium that is not possible to use in this type setup. But you dont have to use a medium that melts or burns.. *Think outside the box*..

    I took jewelry in 9th grade so I have a little expirience with the lost wax casting and with a printer like this you could take your 3d object in cad put it in the center of another 3d sold in cad, preferably a cube, and subtract your desired oblect from the cube to get a negative object, then just add theflow paths for metal to be cast in and print a mold instead of the object.

    RE: TO LAZERS, I thought of this and I continue to work this idea over in my head. *Think back to Candy-Fab the heat gun and sugar, they were able to improve thier resolution a lot at http://www.evilmadscientist.com/article.php/candyfab but think if you were to use a lser instead of a heat gun, and use convectioners sugar instead of granulated, Or better yet plastic powder (Use a Blend tech blender and make this yourself.. :) )

    After seeing this prodjct I thought back to my Drafting days in 11th and 12th grade and my teacher had a Plotter that used paper that was 17″ x 28″ and I started searching ebay to get an idea how much 1 color one would go for, Once you perfect the home brew of this type, a plotter hack is a logical next step I would think. Start printing fenders for that car your building in your garage :).

    Keep up the great work, your work inspires a lot of thought, Its great.. Thanks.

  31. Fogassa says:

    A few notes,
    First, it’s not my intention to compete with raprap or cupcake nor fab@home.
    This project was develop at home with no support from any university with a limit budget to prove it can be done cheap.
    Without the help from Paulo that wrote the software to slice and print the cad file it would not be possible.
    I’ve chosen the printing on powder processes becouse it’s the cheapest way to build a 3d printer and there is no need to support the model as the build takes place.It can not make a usefull part,it’s mainly used to bring that exotic 3d model from the computer to the real world so one can check for looks and feel.It can be used to make a patern for the lost wax process using the right powder or can be used to make a silicon mold then fill the mold with poliurethane resin to make your part.
    I’ve found out that printers cartridge are very sesitive about what you put on it, so far the only thing that works for me is distilated water.
    Please don’t try to fill your cartridge with ANY kind of glue or you losse.
    The glue(binder) in my case is mixed with the plaster and I’m using only water on the cartridge.

    I would like to thank’s the support from all of you.

  32. 3d printing says:

    A few notes,
    First, it’s not my intention to compete with raprap or cupcake nor fab@home.
    This project was develop at home with no support from any university with a limit budget to prove it can be done cheap.
    Without the help from Paulo that wrote the software to slice and print the cad file it would not be possible.
    I’ve chosen the printing on powder processes becouse it’s the cheapest way to build a 3d printer and there is no need to support the model as the build takes place.It can not make a usefull part,it’s mainly used to bring that exotic 3d model from the computer to the real world so one can check for looks and feel.It can be used to make a patern for the lost wax process using the right powder or can be used to make a silicon mold then fill the mold with poliurethane resin to make your part.
    I’ve found out that printers cartridge are very sesitive about what you put on it, so far the only thing that works for me is distilated water.
    Please don’t try to fill your cartridge with ANY kind of glue or you losse.
    The glue(binder) in my case is mixed with the plaster and I’m using only water on the cartridge.

    I would like to thank’s the support from all of you.

  33. Van Wyk Oosthuysen RSA says:

    This is AMAZING.

    I’m an Architectual student in South Africa and me and a partner are looking into build a rapid prototyper for CAD models. Is it at all possible for your to publish your design of the 3d printer? It would be a great help just to know where to start. Part lists and so on. Thank you for the great work.

  34. peekr says:

    This is probably too late time-wise but:
    if all this does is produce a “armature”
    or base to further build upon ,it serves
    its purpose ( think sculpting,or the building of a persons appearance based on a skull).
    a laudatory effort!!!!

  35. Imacman says:

    I’m very interested in this… But in the video.. i did not see the machine move vertically? or the tray of powder move vertically?..i’m new to this 3D printing…but isn’t it suppose to work on 3 axis?.. i know I’m missing somthing but can’t figure out what? It seems that something shoud be moving UP as the glue is being layed down? can some one enlighten me? thanks

  36. Alvaro says:

    The tray(both,the feed and the build)moves up/down for each printed layer 0.1mm.

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