Category Archives: 3d printer

Son of MegaMax Lives!

MegaMax was a great 3D printer, but it was time for some changes.  He was difficult to transport because the electronics were in a separate housing with many cables to disconnect and reconnect, barely fit through doorways, and required a positively gargantuan enclosure to keep the temperature up to control ABS delamination.  Though it hurt to do it, I tore him apart and did a complete redesign/build into a form that is more like what I would have done had I known anything at all about 3D printing when I started building MegaMax.

I reused what I could including a lot of the 8020 extrusions in the frame, the Z axis screw assemblies and drive belt, and the X and Z axis motors.

Changes include:

  • ball screw drive Y axis with high torque motor- precise but noisy
  • linear guides in X and Y axes instead of 1/2″ round guide rails and linear bearings
  • SmoothieBoard controller instead of Arduino/RAMPS
  • BullDog XL extruder and E3D v6 hot end
  • RepRapDiscount graphic LCD control panel
  • narrower frame design without giving up print volume- easier fit through doorways!
  • polycarbonate panels to enclose the print area yet provide a clear view of the print
  • electronics in a drawer for easy service and transport and neater appearance
  • DSP motor drivers and 32V power supplies for X and Y axes
  • Liberal use of screw terminals to make servicing easier
  • Modular X and Y axes that can be removed for service and replaced in minutes.

SoM will be making his public debut at the Milwaukee Makerspace very soon…

Son of MegaMax electronics drawer

Son of MegaMax Lives!

Side view of Son of MegaMax

 

Ultimaker Build Day

01/10/2015 10:00
01/10/2015 19:00
01/10/2015 10:00
01/10/2015 19:00
Event Type: 
Project

Thanks to folks at Ultimaker, we now have our own 3D printer. We will get together to assemble the kit, calibrate it, take lots of pictures and have fun!
No need to bring anything. But if we manage to finish at the end of the day and you have your laptop with you, we can install CURA and try some small 3D prints.

Instructors: 
tayken

The never-ending 3D printer project

MegaMax has been and continues to be my main project for the last 2+ years.  I am currently working on some upgrades that will make him more Mega and even more Max.  The Y axis is being converted from belt drive to screw drive and the round guide rails are being replaced with linear guides and bearing blocks.  The X-axis will also get converted to linear guide and bearing block and change from 5mm pitch belt to 2 mm pitch belt drive.  I feel confident saying that once these modifications are complete the flaws/errors in prints will be due primarily to the nature of liquid plastic squirting through a nozzle, not positioning system errors.

I recently updated my web site with a sort of historical look at the project, including all the mistakes I’ve made along the way and the often failed attempts at correcting them.  Here is the page that shows how it all started, how it has ended up, and where it is going.  http://mark.rehorst.com/MegaMax_3D_Printer/index.html

Don’t ask me why I do this-  I have no choice.

From this…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The never-ending 3D printer project

To this…

3D printed lock picks

Dano was messing around the shop the other day, and came up with a really interesting concept.  He took the end of a zip tie (the part that isn't serrated), and trimmed the profile to be the shape of a lock pick.



Sure enough, it worked, but not terribly well.  I could only get a few uses out of it before the zip tie became too floppy.  The shape is easy to make, yet difficult to reproduce exactly. 

I encounter the same challenge when making metal picks.  They're easy enough to form quickly by hand, but they're impossible to duplicate precisely. When the performance of the pick is so dependent on the exact shape of the pick, consistency is king.  Also, the TSA sometimes has difficulty with metal picks in my luggage, perhaps plastic picks can solve that. 

After a few days of simmering on those thoughts, something dawned on me.  "Hey, those fancy 3d printers, I bet those could produce some awesome lock picks!"

Creating the shape was no problem, due to a quick Google search and a really neat, obscure Autotrace tool in [redacted modeling software]. 


3D printed lock picks


Although Autotrace wasn't flawless, the resulting sketch was easy enough to modify to get any sharp, unusual edges out of the model.  After a quick extrusion and some geometry modification, here's the resulting 3D model

3D printed lock picks

Dimensioning the part is critical, and ironically, my fancy Dimension 3D printer simply wasn't up to the task.  Southord's picks are .023" thick, which is smack dab in between the layer thickness available for the Dimension printer (with layer thicknesses of .010 or .013 and dimensional accuracy of +/- .002", typically).  Two little filaments of extruded plastic didn't seem like it would be enough for producing a pick of any significant structure, which is why I chose to make these parts on the Objet 30 Pro, with a .001" layer thickness and 600 DPI resolution (!)

My package arrived in the mail Saturday afternoon, and with a singleminded focus, I dove straight into the play locks.  Within a few moments, the good ol' Defiant lock gave up the ghost, and my compounded excitement manifested in screaming "Got it!" at the top of my lungs.

3D printed lock picks


3D printed lock picks

Of course, these picks were far from perfect.  Scaling was a bit of a problem, as only about half of the picks were appropriately sized to fit the locks on hand.  One neat thing about designing these digitally, is that making scaled copies is a piece of cake.  I also successfully broke two picks within 15 minutes, far from ideal. 

3D printed lock picks


This exercise may seem reminiscent of trying to kill a mosquito with a cannon.  Why would I use such an expensive technology to produce a simple plastic shape?  Consider this, once I have the precise digital shape tuned, and I'm able to produce perfect copies time after time, then perfect lock picks are nearly trivial (after a little research, of course)

3D printed lock picks


The next step is to try a few iterations of these picks, perhaps including some new designs, to get a kit of a dozen or so nice picks of different sizes and shapes.  Once we have that, then making an injection mold shouldn't be much more difficult.  Then we should be able to produce many perfect copies at a trivial cost.



Stay tuned for part 2!

Nova Labs Members 3D Print Prosthetic Hands for Kids in Support of E-NABLE Initiative

Photo: Courtesy of E-nabling the Future

BALTIMORE — Over the course of several weeks, Nova Labs volunteers Jason Kohles, Keith McGerald, Paul Chase, Erica Kane, Jeff Balderson, and Thomas Johnston 3D printed hundreds of small parts that were assembled into 17 prosthetic hands for kids at last weekend’s E-NABLE Conference at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

In all, over 200 prosthetic hands were printed and assembled at the conference!

Nova Labs Members 3D Print Prosthetic Hands for Kids in Support of E-NABLE Initiative

The E-nabling the Future initiative aims to harness the potential of open source designs and distributed, low-cost manufacturing to make the frequent refitting of prosthetic hands during kids’ growth years cost effective for families.

Nova Labs Members 3D Print Prosthetic Hands for Kids in Support of E-NABLE Initiative

Photo: Iron Man Edition. Courtesy of E-nabling the Future

Support our efforts through a tax-deductible donation or get involved by signing up for our prosthetics group mailing list! To subscribe, register for a Nova Labs account, then visit your Nova Labs listserv management page to subscribe to the prosthetics listserv.

CNC Router dust collector and 3D printed dust shoe

The dust collection system is now set up with the CNC router table. The dust collector was moved near the router table to keep the hosing short. This location also makes it closer to the table saw.


 

On a CNC router table, a dust shoe is used to connect the vacuum hose near the spindle to collect most of the dust and chips during cutting. We have ordered a dust shoe that should arrive in a couple of weeks. In the mean time I thought it would be fun to design a dust shoe with Solidworks and then 3D print it. The dust shoe was printed on a MakerGear M2 in natural PLA.

CNC Router dust collector and 3D printed dust shoe
 
Most dust shoes have rigid bristles attached around the circumference but I found that it did a good job of catching the dust without them.
 
CNC Router dust collector and 3D printed dust shoe
 
The suction from the vacuum holds the bottom part of the shoe firmly in place.
 
CNC Router dust collector and 3D printed dust shoe
 
CNC Router dust collector and 3D printed dust shoe
 
The 3D printable files are available here if you want to print your own:
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:325805
 
Karl P. Williams

 

Helping Hackers Hack Better

Work put me on a detour for first thing on Monday up in Sacramento.  That means I got to spend a random weekend visiting Noisebridge in San Francisco. 

The last time I was here (which was also the first time), I felt a familiar sense of awe, not unlike the first time I set foot at 23b.  The vibe is indescribably unique, I like the way they hack, mostly.  The one thing that gets to me more than Hacker Stackers, or an overwhelming need for consensus, was that their machine shop was looking sad for lack of love and attention.  I decided I should change that. Since this is a "Do-ocracy", I guess the job is left up to me.

A pile of 3D printers in various states of entropy at Noisebridge
The CNC mill at Noisebridge is strikingly similar to the one we have at 23b.  Both are the MaxNC model.  However, this one seems to retain the original closed-loop control, which keeps track of the position of the stepper motor's rotation.  This is to accommodate for step loss which could occur while heavily loading the spindle.  Also, it seems like the hackers here have figured out how to interface LinuxCNC with the mill, sorting out the dreaded config file to twiddle the pins on a parallel port straight into the CNC control.  An impressive feat, except, they didn't get it quite right.


Helping Hackers Hack Better
Noisebridge.  See any disparity between backplot and actual cut?

Helping Hackers Hack Better
23b

Without knowing, I'd guess some VERY intelligent programmers figured out the interface between machine and computer.  I couldn't reverse-engineer the pinout on the magic "black box" on my own, so I ended up tearing it off completely and replacing with a set of Gecko Drives.  What Noisebridge missed was something very elementary to a machinist, but maybe not so much for a programmer - the X and Y axis were flipped.


Helping Hackers Hack Better
Hold your right hand out like this.  Your fingers point toward the + direction in each axis.  Z is usually parallel with the spindle

When I set up the machine, I expected the cutter to start nearest to the front left hand corner, which was set as my G54 origin.  But, when the mill began by traveling to the opposite side of the workpiece, I panicked and hit the emergency stop button.  "What the hell!?", I cuss as I try to sort out what's wrong.  The code checked out and backplotted fine.  Ah, I know, I've seen this before.  The world is reversed!  After a quick googling, flipping a signed digit in the config file made the control behave as expected.  CNC machines are only trustworthy when they go where you tell them to.  Otherwise, they may try to drill a hole in the table at 10,000 miles an hour.  Okay, hyperbole a little bit, but CNCs are fantastically dumb machines.  They'll happily destroy themselves, if you let them (or tell them to!)

Once all that axial confusion was straightened out, the machine happily repeated cuts for the rest of the day.  Still, the machine was VERY slow.  Since this is a tiny, bantamweight duty machine, we could never expect a whole lot in the way of high feed rates, but the 6 inches per minute that this machine was running at was excruciatingly slow.  Not entirely sure of the upper limit of the speed on this machine, I seem to remember reading somewhere that these controls barfed when they were pushed beyond 20 IPM.  Digging back in the config file, I found a MAX_VELOCITY variable that needed a  tweak.  Now set at 15 IPM (a 250% increase) max travel rate, I doubt this machine could get into a whole lot of trouble before it had a chance to prevent CNC seppuku.   


After a few confidence-inspiring test cuts, eventually the kinks got works out of the code and the machine.  Gibs were tightened, syntax was changed, and ways lubed.  The machine is now working more properly than it ever has .

Helping Hackers Hack Better
traced in Solidworks, plotted in CAMWorks

 
Helping Hackers Hack Better
inspired by a sticker on a nearby laptop

While this is all a bunch of fun (and also a big component of my day job), why would I spend my weekend at Noisebridge fussing around with an esoteric piece of equipment?  It's because I live for the love of hacking.  For the adventure, for the skills, for the lulz.  Also, after reading Ivan Illich's Deschooling Society recently, a point has stuck with me: I feel compelled to contribute back to the society which created me. 

Spending time at 23b and other spaces has given me a chance to shine among brilliant peers and mentors; I stand on the shoulders of giants and all the work they've done before me.  Most of these hackers, for some reason, rarely dabble in the physical realm, or if they do, it's not to the level of sophistication required to get these finicky CNC machines running under optimal conditions (does that explain the pile of non-functioning 3d printers?).  Not everyone has the technical background to get these disparate hardware, software, and artistic systems integrated well enough to do what is commanded of them, but once in a while, putting a few heads together yields impressive results.  Two half wits make a whole wit. 


You may think, "So what? G code is difficult to generate anyway!"  Yes and no.  While the method I was generating G code was from a fancy (read: expensive) software suite, it looks like LinuxCNC offers a few options to generate toolpath from a greyscale image, or from a DWG file, and a few other format types.  While there's a little bit of nuance in the code that's missing from this whole exposition, the thought is generally this: the softer the material, the easier it is to machine.  Wood machines fine under many sub-optimal conditions.  If I didn't have the spindle speed set just right, or the feed incorrect, in many materials that would break tools and scrap parts.  Here, all we wanted to do is make a silly engraving of Nyancat in wood.  There's nothing technical or tightly toleranced here where we'd have to invoke the CNC gods to get the tools to perform crazy magic.  Keep it simple, stupid.

While this little CNC isn't great for building your next AR lower receiver, it would be perfectly suited for milling circuit boards, or a custom license plate frame for grandma.  These machines are essentially useless without proper instruction, which could be a challenge at Noisebridge.  The high level required to operate the CNC keeps it more in the arcane knowledge realm.  But, now that some of the hardware and software bugs have been worked out, the machine is a little more accessible.  Baby Steps.

It's difficult to send a n00b to a CNC mill and say, "Okay, time to make good parts!".  If G-code is unintelligible to you as a programming language, then you better get help from someone before you go running a CNC.  It's not difficult at all to understand g code, especially for such a simple machine like the MaxNC.  It's simply 3d connect the dots (think LOGO, from Mr. Wizard, remember???), with about a dozen extra commands operating the spindle and other things.

In fact, 3d printers speak a dialect of G code that's not much different from CNC mills.  Perhaps the CNC mill was neglected for much of the same reasons that the 3d printers remain in disrepair - too many levels of nuanced information to synthesize in order to get the machine to cooperate using limited human resources. 


What CAN be done, though, is for me to provide more thorough documentation of setup and operation of this milling machine with my newfound knowledge, which is in the process of being updated on the Noisebridge wiki page.  That might help a few people become self-sustaining.  However, after a few successful machine shop classes at HeatSync Labs, as well as a few sessions at 23b Shop, I think it's safe to say the way to get the shop to a lower state of entropy is to bootstrap the community into activity.  Teach them just enough to be self-sufficient.  There's a few things about machining that cannot be replaced by anything except for sheer experience, but with focused training, it would be interesting to see the way the Noisebridge community could come together and solve their own problems, figure things out in their own way. 



That's a part of the hacker ethic, right? 


3Dプリンターをやらないか!? 勉強会#0(キックオフ)

04/19/2014 14:00
04/19/2014 16:00
04/19/2014 14:00
04/19/2014 16:00
Event Type: 
Meeting

3Dプリンターをやらないか!? 勉強会#0(キックオフ)
> When
開催日時:4月19日(土) 14:00~16:00
> Description
3Dプリンターについて知ろう!初心者でも経験者でも大歓迎です。

Instructors: 
Daniel
Pricing
Member Price: 
0
Non-Member Price: 
1000

もっと読む

Making Bad: Walter White Lives On in Nova Labs’ 3D Printing Challenge

photo

Four groups so far have constructed their own 3D Printers from kits with the help of the Nova Labs 3D Printer Group. Every Monday the group puts their printers to the test to see who can produce the best 3D print. It’s a good way to keep printers calibrated and finely tuned as well as to experiment with new methods for improving prints.

Here’s a roundup of the 3D Printing challenges to date.

3D Printing Challenge #1: ”Sliced Human Skull with Mandible and Teeth”

The source can be found on Thingiverse: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:43591
Results from Week 1 of the Nova Labs 3D Printing Challenge.

Results from Week 1 of the Nova Labs 3D Printing Challenge.

3D Printing Challenge #2: The 5 piece “Iris Door Box v3″

The source can be found on Thingiverse: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:140048

 At World Maker Faire NY 2013, there was a company that had produced hundreds of these “Iris Door Boxes”, and they actually sold out during the first day so this item is very popular.
Iris Door Box (v3) Week #2 3D Printing Challenge Results

Iris Door Box (v3) Week #2 3D Printing Challenge Results

To assemble the parts for the Iris Door Box, you need 5 pan head screws #4 x 1/4″.

3D Printing Challenge #3: A 2 piece print, the “Screwable Jewelry Box”

The source is found on Thingiverse: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:413

Don’t be fooled. This print challenged how well printers were calibrated. The idea is that the two printed parts can screw together perfectly to make a fully closed box.  There were 3 variants to try.

week3results

Eric Mitchell demonstrates how the box fits together:

3D Printing Challenge #4: A 4x normal scale Lego-style “Minifig”

The “Blank Minifig, Jumbo Snap-Together Version” is found on Thingiverse: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:170076

Competitors were asked to be creative with colors, accessories, and characters (Heisenberg/Rick Grimes characters were given preferential treatment).

Scott Harris contributed the Walter White entry (Shown as title photo). This entry is titled “Minifig Frozen in Carbonite.”
MinifigFrozenInCarbonite
To stay informed about Nova Labs 3D Printer Challenges, register for a Nova Labs account and subscribe to the “3D-Printer” listserv.