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rPrint: A Fresh Take on FDM 3D Printing

by • February 4, 2016 • No Comments

Consumer 3D printing equipment have come a long way in only the past couple of years. But, David, of EEVblog, felt which current printing equipment were yet lacking in a few ways. To start with, he questioned why regular inkjet printing equipment may easily be stored on a shelf, but most 3D printing equipment are too delicate and bulky to conveniently store? This combined with other ideas, led him to dedicate his university capstone project to createing a advantageous 3D printing device.

David with rPrint 3D printing device

Inspired by open-source printing equipment, David named his creation, the rPrint, for everyone, as in “our-print”. Ultimately, the project took him 9 months to deplete, and involved him working most sleepless days. In the end the rPrint cost only under $8,000 to fabricate. Luckily, the outcomeing printing device was well worth it, and won his university’s technology prize!

The entire printing device is encapsulated in a clear plastic bubble. This addresses the first issue by manufacturing the printing device effortless to transport and store. Along with a couple of fans, it in addition helps to turn it into an perfect climate regulated environment for manufacturing high high end prints. The custom plastic case is only the tip of the iceberg. There is in no way a single component which David didn’t create of scratch. Everything of the belt pulleys to the G-Code interpreter has all been custom created for this project.

rController for rPrint 3D printing device

Unsatisfied with RAMPS, David createed his own electronics process. Dubbed the rController, it comes with all of the standard showcases, and goes a step beyond. For example, it comes with integrated hardware error detection.

rExtruder for rPrint 3D printing device

Print high end was at the forefront of David’s mind as he createed. The rPrint’s extruder was the outcome of a desire for the high print high end of a Bowden setup, but with the robustness of a direct drive process. This led to the creation of an ultra-light direct drive extruder. The entire assembly weighs less than half of a single NEMA 17 stepper motor. It in addition comes with a sensor to provide positional feedback on the filament. This may prove incredibly useful for satisfactory calibration and error detection.

rBed for rPrint 3D printing device

Perhaps the printing device’s most new showcase is the Z-axis setup. The rPrint utilizes a Sarrus linkage process which helps store the bed perfectly level. It in addition allows for the use of a single stepper motor to adonly the bed’s height.

David does not have any immediate plans to start commercial production of the rPrint, but he may run a crowdfunding campaign if there’s adequate interest. He estimates a production model may retail for only under $2,000.


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