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PowderMaker1 3DP printer

Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:45 pm
by david
PowderMaker1 is a desktop 3DP printer I'm currently building.

The basic specification is as below,

- Build volume: 17cm x 20cm x 18cm(H);
- dual cylinder structure, no heater so far;
- roller diameter 35mm for a denser powder bed;
- printhead: piezo inkjet; (Epson, Xaar, Ricoh, etc)
- "ink": water base, eco-solvent, (UV is not considered for the current stage);
- powder: sand, sugar, pvc, pmma, ceramic, etc; (no metal, it's probably too heavy for the current implementation)
- controller: 500MHz ARM + FPGA;
- user interface: touch screen GUI;
- data interface: USB, WiFi, Ethernet, ...

Enclosed a draft picture, any comment is welcome. I'm not at liberty to talk about every details (commercial project), but I'll share what I can.
pm1.JPG (251.29 KiB) Viewed 6586 times
PS. the right most top tray is for six 500ml ink bottles.

Re: PowderMaker1 3DP printer

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:31 am
by dragonator
That is a nice looking draft David.

What material will this printer be made of? Will it be made of plastic or of some sort of metal?

Will you add another to surface to this design or are we looking at the working surface already. If so, how do you plan to keep powder withing the area of the pistons and not leaking over the sides when the spreader deposits a new layer. Also, do you have an overshoot in this design? I see an area past both pistons, but can't make out whether powder could fall there.

Re: PowderMaker1 3DP printer

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:09 pm
by david
it's going to be made from PMMA, aka acrylic, sheets. So it's probably not strong enough to hold metal powders. However, acrylic is easy to cut with laser and easy to be glued or screwed together, besides acrylic is one of the strong plastic normally available.

There will be no top surface sheet. There is a tray (not shown in the picture) beneath the pistons. The tray hopefully will catch most overflow powder. Currently I've got a tray of 45cm*31cm (the piston is about 17cm*20cm). During the powder loading, this tray will be put vertically (short side along the roller moving direction) under the storage piston to catch the powder dropped during the loading. While printing, the tray will be put horizontally (long side along the roller moving direction) beneath two pistons to for the overflow powder. At the final clean up stage, the tray will mostly be put vertically under the print piston. That's just the idea hope it will work.

PS. there is about 1cm over shoot at each end.

PPS. The long piston wall is 8mm acrylic the short wall is 6mm acrylic. There are also some aluminium parts. The mechanical structure is supposed to hold 0.2mm accuracy under designed load of 5kg to each piston.

Re: PowderMaker1 3DP printer

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:49 am
by dragonator
PMMA should be fine for most powders. If you have it clear you can see how much powder is left, which is something I have always missed on my machines.

I only have experience with the 3 printers I built, so I am not expert on this, but my experience is that powder has a habit of getting everywhere. Falling powder gives airborne powder which settles everywhere. If you are taking the part out of the powder it is nice to have a place to put excess powder. On Plan B this was incredibly messy. If that is not possible I think it would be a good idea to make the edge of you tray as high as possible to catch as much powder as possible (This is a solution that can also be implemented afterwards).

Re: PowderMaker1 3DP printer

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:54 am
by david
thanks for your suggestion. I've designed a top tray for the digging out stage.
pm1_2.JPG (213.14 KiB) Viewed 6546 times

Re: PowderMaker1 3DP printer

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:51 pm
by MAsic12345
How will you manage the print head?
or you still do not know how to manage?

Re: PowderMaker1 3DP printer

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:38 pm
by david
We know how to control a few Xaar and EPSON printheads. Although they are not fully tested, they should work to deliver the basic function. The TIJ head like HP45 still remains as an option for its lowest cost and simplicity.

Re: PowderMaker1 3DP printer

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:42 am
by david
Partially built prototype
p1.jpg (430.06 KiB) Viewed 6423 times

Re: PowderMaker1 3DP printer

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:43 am
by dragonator
That is looking really nice. It looks very solid. The thing on the printhead looks like an ink buffer. Is that correct or is that something else. What printhead are you planning on trying first?

Re: PowderMaker1 3DP printer

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:58 pm
by david
The problem with acrylic is: it deforms. So for next build I'll use laser cut aluminium and cnc machined aluminium.

This version will use epson printhead. The life time of the head can jet about 22 litter liquid, which hopefully will print more than 100 kg powder.