Monday, 12 November 2012

Polyamide Bushing

Ball bearings are great because of precision and durability, but problematic because of noise during operation. Solution for this problem can be polimer bushing. Below you can see first home made Polyamide Bushings. They will be tested next weeks.

Polyamide Bushings

Polyamide Bushings
All the photos we made so far are available at:


First hotbed we created from 5mm alloy plate, heated by 12 x 10W ceramic resistors. Resistors has been glued using fire resistant glue, it seems to be perfect. Bed is being used for nearly one year without any issues.

First hotbed prototype

New generation bed's are made from 4mm alloy, with working area 250 x 250mm. Power over 160W lets heat the bead in les than 10 minuts.

Latests Hotbed's

Hot bed is located on the solid base with thermal insulation in the middle.

Hotbed base with thermal resistant nuts.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Full blown test environment

All electronics components has been connected. We added unipolar stepper motor driver to target software. Additionally switchover from  ATMEGA644P to ATMEGA32 has been tested.

Firsts tests take place.

Mini unipolar stepper motor with gear box:

Middle unipolar stepper motor:

Bipolar nema17 stepper motor:

On / Off of Heatbed and Hotend:

So far no problems.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Electronics release 3

Electronics release 3 in production phase.
So far has been assembled:

3 x Mainboard
2 x Unipolar stepper motor drivers
4 x Bipolar stepper motor drivers
3 x USB adapters
1 x Extruder board
1 x Power Module

What next ?
Cabling, 2 x sets of Bipolar stepper motor drivers.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Lathe - first hotend

Lathe has been equipped with new powerfull DC motor (750W at 22v).



Make Dreams Come True

When all component has been completed, assembled and offline tested we started system tests and calibration. Ajusting all parameters takes about two weeks. Additionally we used PP instead of ABS or PLA, it makes overall process more complex. The hardest factors to handle were high melting temperature and contraction.

The number of attempts is ilustrated on photo belowe.
Result of calibration

Finally we were able to manage all the variables. You can see output of all the phases in hronological order from the right to the left.

Evolution, from the random pice of PP to the extruder gear.

I forgot to mention that all the attempts were on cold table.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

PCB arrived

Today first release of target PCB's arrived:
4 x motor drivers
1 x power distribution board
1 x Extruder board
1 x mainboard

they looks very nice:
New PCB v3

Bring-up of motor driver and power supply module:
Bring-up of motor driver and power supply module:

Saturday, 15 September 2012


After a few months of development we decided to put all the parts together, and check, how it works. Frame and X,Y were completetd. The following hardware components remains:

Power supply:

1. Really strong power supply from HP server: 32 Apms at 12v.

2. Electronics: Main board, motor drivers, extruder board all has to be connected together:
    Mainboard and extruder together with first motor driver prototype.


3. Z axis:

4. All mechanical components in place:

All hardware has been assembled, electronic installed, target and host software in place. What will be the next step ? A few weeks of  testing, tuning in order to print the first shape.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Offline Tests

As in software deveopment, offline tests lets you eliminate defects as ss early as it is possible, so we do this with PrinterZero too.

Stepper Motor


X, Y drive


The first step in 3D printing is the hardest one, because you are starting from the position zero. Lack of experience and tools make it really difficult.Almost all parts you have to made manually, it consume a lot of time. Take a look how it could looks like, take a look on the beginning of  PrinterZero.

Step 0
Body made of alloy M6 Screews, polyurethane resin and little bit of MDF plates.

Step 1
Extruder consist of polyurethane resin, springs, 608 bearings, and screws.
It takes a lot of time  to design it, build and run. GPS is very talented, so finally brings it up.

Step 2
Hotend  - PTFE rood, Alloy, Resistor, termistor, copper rood and again GPS skills

Step 3
Stepper motors 4 x  used Nema23 0,6 Nm

Step 4
Electronics - Home made Mainboard and Stepper motor drivers


Step 5
PrinterZero - Put all parts together, spent many hours on bring-up, fine tunning and finally ... you will see what happen in the next post.

Friday, 31 August 2012

3D Printintg History

Have you ever think when 3D printing technology has been developed ?
Nice story taken from below:

October 5, 2011 - Roland DG Corporation introduced the new iModela iM-01.
Sep, 2011 - Vienna University of Technology, a smaller, lighter and cheaper printing device has now been developed.
This smallest 3D printer weighs 1.5 kilograms, it costs around 1200 Euros.
Aug, 2011 - The world’s first 3D printed aircraft created by Engineers at the University of Southampton.
Jul, 2011 - Led by the University of Exeter, the University of Brunel and application developer Delcam, researchers in UK have presented the world's first 3D chocolate printer.
June 6. 2011 Shapeways and Continuum Fashion announced the first 3d printed bikini.
Jan, 2011 - Dutch 3D Printer manufacturer Ultimaker raised300 mm/second and the travel rate to 350 mm/second.
Jan, 2011 - Researchers at Cornell University began to build 3D food printer.
Dec. 8, 2010 - Organovo, Inc., a regenerative medicine company focused on bioprinting technology, announced the release of data on the first fully bioprinted blood vessels.
Nov, 2010 - Urbee is the first prototype car is presented. This is the first car ever to have its entire body printed out on a giant 3D printer. All exterior components - including the glass panel prototypes - were created using Dimension 3D Printers and Fortus 3D Production Systems at Stratasys' digital manufacturing service - RedEye on Demand.
2008 - Objet Geometries Ltd. announced that its revolutionary Connex500™ rapid prototyping system to be the first-ever system enabling the manufacture of 3-D parts using several different materials at the same time.
2008 - The first version of Reprap was released. It can manufacture about 50 percent of its own parts.
2006 - An open source project is initiated - Reprap - which was aimed at developing a self-replicating 3D printer. You can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public Licence.
2005 - Z Corp. launched Spectrum Z510. It was the first high definition color 3D Printer in the market.

1997 - EOS sold its stereolithography business to 3-D Systems but remains the largest European producer.
1996 - 3D Systems introduced "Actua 2100". The term "3D Printer" was first used to refer rapid prototyping machines.
1996 - Z Corporation introduced "Z402".
1996 - Stratasys introduced "Genisys".
1995 - Z Corporation obtained an exclusive license from MIT to use the technology and started developing 3D Printers based on 3DP technology.
1993 - Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) patented "3 Dimensional Printing techniques". It is similar to the inkjet technology used in 2D Printers.
1993 - Solidscape was founded to produces an inkjet-based machine that can build small parts with excellent surface finish at a relatively slow rate.
1992 - DTM sold its first selective laser sintering (SLS) system.
1992 - Stratasys sold its first FDM-based machine "3D Modeler".
1991 - Helisys sold its first laminated object manufacturing (LOM) system.
1989 - Scott Crump founded Stratasys.
1988 - Scott Crump invented Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM).
1988 - 3D Systems developed model SLA-250, which was the first version to the general public.
1986 - Charles Hull founded 3D Systems and developed the first commercial 3D Printing machine, it was called as Stereolithography Apparatus.
1986 - Charles Hull named the technique as Stereolithography and obtained a patent.
1984 - Charles Hull developed the technology for printing physical 3D objects from digital data.
**History of printing
1998 - Frescography 
1993 - Digital press
1986 - Stereolithography

1976 - Inkjet printing
1972 - Thermal printing
1969 - Laser printing
1964 - Dot matrix printer
1960 - Phototypesetting
1957 - Dye-sublimation
1923 - Spirit duplicator
1907 - Screen printing

3D Printing and Software Engineering

What 3D Printing and Software Engineering disciplines have in common ?

One of the latest revolutions in software engineering is Model Based Development. It simply means to use diagrams instead of code, create model and just generate code. Such approach decrease number of engineers involved, shorten communication path, in consequence reduce number of errors and total development cost.

3D Printing technology will bring the same change to the other industries with all the andventages mentioned above. Because it is just Model Based Development - you design, evaluate, test you work in the virtual 3D environment, and create it immediately from it by printing.

The change is ongoing...

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Hotend - lathe needed


On the way towards exploring 3d printing technology, lack of havy tools like lathe is problematic. In order to transform problem in to the challenge, mini lathe has been designed and build.

Basic parameters

  • Chunk max diameter 45mm
  • Spindle internal diameter 8mm
  • Lathe size 40x20cm
  • Motor 300W, 24v
  • Material - mostly Alloy PA6