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The State Of 3D Printing At MRRF – Hackaday

by • April 4, 2016 • No Comments

Only a few days ago, a worthwhile proportion of the Hackaday crew was leaving Goshen, Indiana after the fourth yearly Midwest RepRap Festival. We go to a lot of in factts each year, and in fact when you include DEF CON, security conferences, ham swap meets, and Maker Faires, MRRF is yet one of the most. The in factt itself is an odd mix of individuals rallying under a banner of open source hardware and dorks dorking around with 3D printing device. It is really casual, but you are guaranteed to learn a thing of the hundreds of attendees.
Hundreds of individuals created the trek out to Goshen this year, and a lot of them brought a 3D printing device. Most of these printing devices aren’t the kind you can buy at a Home Depot or of Amazon. These are customized machines which hustle the envelope of what consumer 3D printing innovation. If you want to understand what 3D printing can be like in two or three years, you only require to come to MRRF. It is an incubator of excellent thoughts, and a peek at what the next of 3D printing holds.

Resin PrintingThe outcome of mixing resin in an STL printing device. The print was started with red resin, and changed over to black during the print.The outcome of mixing resin in an STL printing device. The print was started with red resin, and changed over to black during the print.Resin printing has been only over the horizon for sat any timeal years now. Is it eager for prime time? You may ponder so, with Autodesk’s release of the Ember and the materials, hardware, toolchains, and machines rapidly coming together into a thing which’s in fact usable in a home, lab, or hackerspace. So, how well were resin printing devices represented at MRRF? Eh, not really well.
That’s not to say resin printing devices didn’t manufacture an appearance. LittleRP was there revealing off their printing device and the really high high end prints it creates. There was a SeeMeCNC droplit, but it wasn’t in action. The Form 1+ was. This year, at very least, resin printing devices were a curiosity. The prints coming out of these printing devices are excellent, but it does not appear like it’s eager for prime time really yet.
Similar to fusion power, it appears desktop resin printing is perpetually a few years away. Two or three years of now, we will all have them on our desks. It is the one prediction you can nat any time go wrong with.

These chess pieces were less than an inch high and showed the really high high end possible with a resin printing device.
These chess pieces were less than an inch high and showed the really high high end possible with a resin printing device.

The Droplit printing device, inoperative. There can be an improved adaptation of the Droplit released this year.
The Droplit printing device, inoperative. There can be an improved adaptation of the Droplit released this year.

aeiffeltower
Lineup of LittleSLA/LittleRP printing devices and a Form 1.
Lineup of LittleSLA/LittleRP printing devices and a Form 1.

alittleslarp
In Becoming A Swap Meet
Get adequate hobbyists in one place, and you will in facttually have a swap meet. That’s been the general thought behind hamfests, vintage desktop conventions, and other miscellaneous conventions. MRRF is no various than any of these other festivals, and the pictures bear this out:

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Filament color swatches of 3DXtech
Filament color swatches of 3DXtech

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Filament samples of Atomic Filament
Filament samples of Atomic Filament
The Current State of 3D Printing
The Hype Cycle is a completely unscientific and only correct in retrospect observation on new technologies. It starts off with a trigger, and rapidly accelerates to the peak of inflated expectations. For 3D printing, the peak of inflated expectations happened sometime around 2013 or 2014. 3D printed cars were the next, 3D printed apartment blocks existed, and soon we may have 3D printing devices on each desktop.
[Prusa] brought over an i3. The i3 v2 was not on display.[Prusa] brought over an i3. The i3 v2 was not on display.The hype of 3D printing is rapidly falling down into the Trough of Disillusionment. At each Maker Faire, there are complaints which CNC hot glue guns are bringing over. If you’ve seen one low poly Pokemon, you’ve seen them all. Whilst the hype is failing, 3D printing is not. The companies presenting at MRRF are seeing consistent growth each year, and 3D printing is additional talked of than at any time.
Technology improves, as well. [johnny r] of Ultimachine is working on an ARM-based adaptation of the RAMBo, promising advantageous prints and additional capable hardware. There is word of an improved Prusa i3. A few years ago, you may count the number of filament developers in the US on one hand. Currently, there are a dozen.
What is the say of 3D printing? Improvement. Ereallything is improving, of slicers and software, to hardware and materials. MakerOS, soft-launched during last year’s MRRF and was out in full force demonstrating their new software for 3D printing device businesses. Red Hat is actively contributing to the software stack. Lulzbot is iterating on the TAZ (and can be the biggest developer of very own 3D printing devices right now), and E3D is createing a excellent case for dual extrusion printing and dissolvable materials. The next of 3D printing does not exist yet, but at MRRF you can easily see where it is going – it’s only going to get bigger and advantageous.
The PartDaddyA six foot tall angel printed on the PartDaddy with 4mm layer height. Click to embiggen.A six foot tall angel printed on the PartDaddy with 4mm layer height. Click to embiggen.Since Goshen, Indiana is the home of SeeMeCNC, delta robots, especially SeeMeCNC’s Rostock Max, are especially well represented. Whilst the Rostock Max is really big for a desktop 3D printing device, SeeMeCNC does manufacture an in fact larger printing device – the PartDaddy. It is a 16-foot-tall delta robot with a four foot diameter create plate. It is massive, and SeeMeCNC can create you one for $90,000. It is the excellentest trade show demo you’ve at any time seen.
The PartDaddy does not use filament. Instead, the extruder was created out of the parts of an injection molding press. To extrude plastic through its 4mm nozzle, a small shop vac sucks effortless PLA pellets and 2-3% masterbatch, or small colored beads, into a hopper. This is fed into the hot end via a screw, and is in facttually extruded out of a nozzle which is highly evocative of the old RepRap acorn nut nozzles of 2010.
For this year’s MRRF, the PartDaddy printed the standard octopus, [whosawhatsis]’ gear bearing, and [mechg]’s “Single-Perimeter Rocket for Seamless Spiral Printing.” The rocket was obviously the star of the show, bringing fifteen hours to print, starting late Saturday night and ending Sunday afternoon. The entire print was livestreamed, and thanks to the magic of a Dropcam, we have a time lapse of the rocket being printed and the last day of the festival. The accomplished print was scaled 15x in the x and y axes, 19x in the z axis, createing it of nine feet tall.

The gear bearing
The gear bearing

The standard octopus
The standard octopus

PartDaddy printed egg chair, showcasing Hackaday's own [Kristina]
PartDaddy printed egg chair, showcasing Hackaday’s own [Kristina]

Not a weeping angel
Not a weeping angel


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