RepRap acrylic extrusion using hotbed

[Nophead] started the year off by successfully extruding acrylic using a RepRap machine. The problem when working with this material is that when the hot ooze hits the cold air the printed material tends to warp, badly. [Nophead] raised the ambient air temperature around the part being extruded by replacing the bed of the RepRap machine with a heated aluminum plate.

We took at look at his build details for the hotbed. The plate itself is aluminum that he had milled by a machinist friend of his. It looks like the heat is produced by a network of power resistors bolted and soldered to the bottom of the plate. The original idea was to produce a controllable SMT soldering platform. Unfortunately this heating method doesn’t have the power needed to raise the temp quickly but that failure turned out to be a RepRap success.

CupCake CNC kit

cupcake

The CupCake CNC Kit is the flagship product of MakerBot industries, a joint venture between [Bre Pettis] and [Zach Hoeken]. At $750, it comes with all the motors, belts, body pieces, bearings, belts, and other pieces to assemble it. You could be printing your own 3d objects in a matter of hours with this. 3D printers with only slightly larger capacities can run thousands of dollars. The only advantage to some of the commercial products might be resolution. They don’t give much as far as technical data as the unit isn’t available yet. They should start Shipping before April 15th, so they can’t be far off. This could possibly be a competitor for the RepRap. Since RepRap doesn’t offer a complete kit, we’ll have to speculate. We’ve seen estimates from $500 to $1000 to build one.

[via adafruit industries blog]

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