We’re all familiar with supply chain issues as they relate to chips and DIPs, but anyone who has requested an estimate for home improvements lately knows that the problems extend to things like plywood, and probably tile, marble, and Formica. Faced with adversity when it came to renovating the kitchen, [3DPC] decided to have a go at 3D printing custom countertops instead of buying tile.
Since grout isn’t required here but is ultimately expected, [3DPC] beveled the edges of the tiles in order to allow for decorative ‘grout’ filler pieces that provide a nice contrast. That high-gloss shine comes from a combination of printing onto glass, the direction of the layer lines, and the resin sealer that [3DPC] hired a professional to pour. Because of these factors, the tiles have an increased transparency that makes them look super cool. Be sure to check out the brief build video after the break.
To be fair, this is not [3DPC]’s first 3D-printed home-improvement rodeo — he has already saved tens of thousands of dollars by printing instead of purchasing. For this particular project, [3DPC] calculated a total cost under $400 — a fraction of what a professionally installed countertop would have cost. We wonder how much he’ll save on tiling the bathroom, which is already in progress. We can’t wait to see it!
Are you still without a printer? Might as well make one that can use trash. Or if you already have a printer, just make filament from recycled plastic. It’s all here among the 2022 Hackaday Prize Round 2 winners; just let your imagination wander.
[Jan Mrázek] is on a quest to make your resin 3D prints more accurate, more functional, and less failure prone. Let’s start off with his recent post on combating resin shrinkage.
When you want a part to have a 35 mm inner diameter, you probably have pretty good reasons, and when you draw a circle in your CAD software, you want a circle to come out in the real world. Resin shrinkage can put a kink in both of these plans. [Jan] identifies three culprits: resin squeezing, resin shrinkage, and exposure bleeding. And these three factors can add up in unexpected ways, so that you’ll get a small reference cube when you print it on its own, but large reference cubes when printed as a group. [Jan]’s article comes with a test piece that’ll help you diagnose what’s going on. Continue reading “Fighting All That Can Go Wrong With Resin”→
At this point, 3D printers are nearly everywhere. Schools, hackerspaces, home workshops, you name it. Most of these machines are of the extruded-filament variety, better known as FDM or Fused Deposition Modelling. Over the last few years, cheap LCD printers have brought resin printing to many shops as well. LCD printers, like their DLP and SLA counterparts, use ultraviolet light to cure liquid resin. These machines are often praised for the super-high detail they can achieve, but are realllly slow. And messy — liquid resin gets everywhere and sticks to everything.
It turns out you can. His extremely well-documented research is shown in the video below, and logs his design process, from initial idea to almost-kinda-working prototype. As you may expect, extruding a high-viscosity liquid at a controlled rate and laser-curing it is not an easy task, but [Jón] made a fantastic attempt. From designing and building his own peristaltic pump, to sending a UV laser through fiber-optic cables, he explored a ton of different approaches to making the printer work. While he may not have been 100% successful, the video is a great reminder that not all projects have to go the way we hope they will.
Filament-based 3D printers spent a long time at the developmental forefront for hobbyists, but resin-based printers have absolutely done a lot of catching up, and so have the resins they use. It used to be broadly true that resin prints looked great but were brittle, but that’s really not the case anymore.
A bigger variety of resins and properties are available to hobbyists than ever before, so if that’s what’s been keeping you away, it’s maybe time for another look. There are tough resins, there are stiff resins, there are heat-resistant resins, and more. Some make casting easy, and some are even flexible. If your part or application needs a particular property, there is probably a resin for it out there.
For anyone looking to buy a 3D printer at home, the first major decision that needs to be made is whether to get a resin printer or a filament printer. Resin has the benefits of finer detail, but filament printers are typically able to produce stronger prints. Within those two main camps are various different types and sizes to choose from, but thanks to some researchers at Switzerland’s École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) there’s a new type of resin printer on the horizon that can produce prints nearly instantaneously.
The method works similarly to existing resin printers by shining a specific light pattern on the resin in order to harden it. The main difference is that the resin is initially placed in a cylinder and spun at a high speed, and the light is shined on the resin at different angles with very precise intensities and timings in order to harden the resin in specific areas. This high-speed method allows the printer to produce prints in record-breaking time. The only current downside, besides the high price for the prototype printer, is that it’s currently limited to small prints.
With the ability to scale in the future and the trend of most new technologies to come down in price after they have been on the market for some amount of time, it would be groundbreaking to be able to produce prints with this type of speed if printers like these can be scalable. Especially if they end up matching the size and scale of homemade printers like this resin printer.
As the world becomes more and more digital, there are still a few holdouts from the analog world we’ve left behind. Vinyl records are making quite the comeback, and film photography is still hanging on as well. While records and a turntable have a low barrier for entry, photography is a little more involved, especially when developing the film. But with the right kind of equipment you can bridge the gap from digital to analog with a darkroom setup that takes digital photographs and converts them to analog prints.
The project’s creator, [Muth], has been working on this project since he found a 4K monochrome display. These displays are often used in resin 3D printers, but he thought he could put them to use developing photographs. This is much different from traditional darkroom methods, though. The monochrome display is put into contact with photo-sensitive paper, and then exposed to light. Black pixels will block the light while white pixels allow it through, creating a digital-to-analog negative of sorts. With some calibration done to know exactly how long to expose each “pixel” of the paper, the device can create black-and-white analog images from a digital photograph.
[Muth] notes that this method isn’t quite as good as professional print, but we wouldn’t expect it to be. It creates excellent black-and-white prints with a unique method that we think generates striking results. The 4K displays needed to reproduce this method aren’t too hard to find, either, so it’s fairly accessible to those willing to build a small darkroom to experiment. For those willing to go further, take a look at some other darkroom builds we’ve seen in the past.
At first glance, you might think the Omnibot v3 wasn’t anything more than a basic 3D printed robotics platform, but you’d be wrong on both counts. There’s actually no 3D printed parts on the build, and while you could describe the platform as simplistic, calling it basic certainly doesn’t do the clever design justice. In the video after the break, creator [Michal] takes us through the process of designing and building this high quality bot.
The build starts with huge amounts of time and effort in a CAD program designing the Omnibot v3 with its four wheel steering and ability to do fancy things like spin in place. With the CAD and 3D renders out of the way, the process of transforming the digital into the physical began with a CNC router.
Rather than routing the individual components out of a suitable material, [Michal] cut forms. Those forms were made only for the creation of silicone molds. Those silicon molds where then used to pour the actual parts with polyurethane resin. It is these resin parts that make up the actual Omnibot v3, which is manually demonstrated at the end of the video.
All in all, it’s a neat project with a neat process. If we were to stop here, things would be mostly complete and you’d click on to the next great Hackaday article. But there’s more to be had here. You see, [Michal] is also fellow behind the Guerrilla guide to CNC and resin casting. In his own words: “CNC machining and resin casting are an underappreciated method for producing engineering-grade parts, but the process is fast, predictable, and garage-friendly.” After seeing the results, we can’t help but to agree.
By the way, before anybody in the comments can yell “DUPE!”, we already know. You see, we featured the Guerrilla guide to CNC and resin casting once before, almost exactly 11.5 years ago! It’s been updated since then, and appears to be an absolute gold mine of information for anybody wanting to walk in [Michal]’s shoes.