Monday, September 7, 2009

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Well I filled it with powder and took it for a test drive. The first thing I noticed was that I needed to add something to keep the powder from spilling over the sides of the bins as it was being rolled out. I'm still tinkering with the roller speed trying to get the smoothest layer possible. (I think the problem may be partly with my plaster formula) Anyway it was good enough to run some tests.

The print and recharge cycles run great. (Sorry for the really awful video) I am using Paulo Cesar's Project 1 (available at the Yahoo DIY 3D Printing and Fabrication group) to slice my stl files. Many thanks to Paulo for a slicer utility that is easy to use and doesn't require me to know how to script or program.

Oh Noooo!!!!! Somewhere around layer 170 one of the belts came loose! I'm going to have to come up with a more secure clamp. Once I get the belts fixed I'll be ready to try again. For now I'm trying to use up the ink in a new cartridge. I tried to refill an old one with the water/vodka mix but it was hopelessly clogged. I figure I'll have better luck with a new one. For now I'll keep working on getting the powder layer as smooth as possible. I also need to install a limit switch on the supply bin so it stops when it reaches the top.


  1. Damm... Nice speed there, what printer are you using? got to make mine to run faster now :) . I'm thinking,Where did I put those 10 hp servos?

  2. Im using a lexmark 5700 colorjet but I'm using a Kelling 260oz stepper to drive the gantry. It's way overkill. I could make it go much faster but I don't think it would spread the powder very nicely at that speed.

  3. Is that a A3 size or A4(letter size only).
    I'm using one those motors on my laser cutter, can get about 1000in/min.
    Too bad today is a holiday in my city, can't get the maltodextrin to get the first parts built.
    BTW:Nice work

  4. Thanks, It's letter size (or it was supposed to be) but my rails are about 2" too short so I'm limited to 8.5 X 9 until I get longer ones. As for the stepper, just for kicks I had it cranked it up to where the recharge took about 1 sec (it took longer to raise/lower the bins). Unfortunatly at that speed it didn't spread the powder very well and the stop at the "home" sensor was very abrupt. I was worried that it would eventualy dammage something.

    I'm looking forward to seeing some parts from your printer.