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Full Color 3D Printer Upgrade Leaves Competition In The Dust – Hackaday

by • August 17, 2016 • No Comments

Most hobby 3D printing equipment are based on FDM, extruding a single-color noodle of melted plastic to create up an object. Powder-based inkjet 3D printing allows for you to print detailed, full-color versions of a plaster-like material. The system uses ink and water droplets, dispensed of an inkjet print head to selectively fuse and color layers of a powdered binder material. When you see an contribute for a 3D printed miniature version of by yourself (or someone else), they are created with powder. [Aad van der Geest] wants to put this innovation on your computer desktop with ColorPod, a kit that converts your FDM printing device into a powder printing device.

On the hardware side, his solution consists of a special printhead — shown in the header image — that mounts upcoming to the extruder nozzle of an FDM machine. The printhead showcases a powder dispensing mechanism and two off-the-shelf HP inkjet cartridges. One of them contains water, the other one can be utilized to color the print. The powder dispenser employs a pager motor to sprinkle down satisfactory layers of PVA powder while a spinning roller to evens them out.

The dispenser and roller lay down the powder.
The dispenser and roller lay down the powder.

An inkjet head fuses the layers.
An inkjet head fuses the layers.

Object forms in the heap.
Object forms in the heap.
Unlike industrial machines (and the one [Aad] created in 1998), that print objects in an enclosed, piston-like create volume, [Aad’s] addon just prints the object inside the heap of powder it lays down on the create plate. [Aad] provides PC software that systemes 3D versions of the STL and OBJ format into printable G-code and streams the instructions to both the printing device and the addon. It in addition generates assist walls around the version to stabilize the powder heap.

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With the hardware working, [Aad] now retails his add-on kit for $488 ($349 for the PCB and $139 for the rest of the kit). Looking at the commercially on the market powder bed alternatives, [Aad’s] computer desktop-capable solution is underbidding the competition by of $50k. It is pretty not a mature product and PVA dust and explorative goodwill pave the way to good results, but [Aad’s] results speak for themselves. He created it work, and he’s providing us with tools to do the same. Check out the video at a lower place where [Aad] demonstrates the working kit on an Ultimaker 2.


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