Hi All, the following is an update the Make Lehigh Valley Filament Extruder Project. This update is dedicated Matt Schwarz who recently passed away and who was a co-organizer of Make Lehigh Valley makerspace. Matt was an early proponent DIY 3D printing, filament extrusion and completed prior work at the space in the extrusion of filaments, building of the the space's first 3D printer and other initiatives. Matt's presence at the space will be missed by all.
Current activities in the filament extruder have focused on the refinement of the heating element and the motor. The oven element heater has been replaced by fiberglass covered nichrome wire powered by a repurposed inverter transformer. The output of the transformer is 6 vac which powers parallel strands of nichrome wire.
A 'slo-sync' 72 rpm motor has been installed to power the extruder. Testing has indicated that this is a little slow and work is underway to either speed up the motor via a variable frequency drive or replace the motor with another type.
Next steps including installation of thermocouples at several locations on the extruder body and building an Arduino circuit to read and display the temperatures. Additional testing will done to refine location of nichrome heating elements and assess whether multi-stage heating of the extruder assembly is warranted. The motor drive is also being redesigned to achieve higher extruder speeds.
Hi All, the following is an update the Make Lehigh Valley Filament Extruder Project. Thus far, the concept has been demonstrated successfully with production of several meters of ABS filament!!!
The emphasis on the project at this stage is determining fundamental parameters for operation of key sections of the design. Key sections of the project include; nozzle design (nozzle diameter, length, inlet & outlet shape), material heater body design (single stage vs. multistage heating, heater element design including material, voltage, current, insulation), extruder design (length of extruder, hopper geometry) and drive mechanism (gear reduction, clutch, drive motor options).
Safety is a key design consideration for the project. For example, low voltages are planned for powering of the heater element along with interlocks to protect against extruder or motor overload.
Next steps include; refinement of the heater element, incorporation of automatic heater control and testing of motor drive options. Once these items are tested satisfactorily, more sophisticated automation is planned. The automation is expected to include an integrated control scheme incorporating heater controls, clutch slippage detection, drive motor controls and hopper feed sensing and controls. Control platform and sensor options are still under review with the emphasis on safety, open source, simplicity, availability, cost and reliability.
Additional project details are provided in previous posts.
Comments and suggestions welcomed!
Besides the RepRap Mendel that the space is putting together, I'm putting together an ORD Bot Hadron, the larger brother of the ORD Bot Quantum. It took me a long time to decide between this and SeeMeCNC's RostockMax. The first beta tester, Jeremy, brought an ORD Bot Quantum to Make Lehigh Valley quite awhile and showed off its impressive qualities.
In many basic ways, this is a simplified version of the RepRap based on MakerSlide and without the interest in being able to print as much of the printer as possible. I'm interested in comparing the time of assembly and results with the RepRap. It seems generally agreed that both printers are capable of equal quality. The typical Mendel may require more regular maintenance than an Ord Bot and require more effort to get well calibrated. The rigidity of the MakerSlide makes for a more stable platform.
The Ord Bot design is strictly a mechanical platform. Most kits only include the mechanical platform and steppers to get it moving. The come in various stages of assembly. The kit I purchased was from Automation Technologies, Inc.
Once I had the platform I had to decide what electronics and extruder I wanted to use. I'm going with Panucatt's X3 and heated bed for the electronics. My extruder choice is the brand new SeeMeCNC EZstruder extruder. (I'm sure to regret going with the bleeding edge, but its just so flexible.) I still need to pick up a hot end. I'll probably go with the J-Head when they come back in stock. I understand they usually are stocked at hotends.com on Friday afternoons at noon and are gone over the weekend.
I'm rather partial to the aesthetics of the Ord Bot over the RepRap also. The nice blue anodized aluminum and sleek smooth lines are nice. The ability to hide the cables inside the MakerSlide is also a great plus and the ability to expand it rather simply with just bigger or smaller pieces of makerslide is another notable feature.
Matthew is working on a refurb job for the light on his wife's old coaster bicycle. The original light had two D-cell batteries that had corroded away years ago and lamps that may be hard to replace, but it has a great tactically pleasing switch and body that he hopes to preserve. We discussed options for putting LED lighting in the body of the light. He has a ton of space to work with so I've gone oven to Adafruit and tossed together a wish list of items to use to refurb this. Yeah, it's probably overkill, but it'd be an amazing light.
- USB/DC Lithium Polymer battery charger 5-12V - 3.7/4.2v cells
- Lithium Ion Polymer Battery - 3.7v 1300mAh
I'm not sure what to suggest for the best LEDs to fit the purpose. What do you guys think?