Dec 17, 2014

E3D Volcano super high flow nozzle upgrade will speed up your 3d printing

E3D just released their Volcano super high flow nozzle upgrade that will speed up your 3d printing by pushing more filament trough the hot end.
Putting on a larger diameter nozzle and extruding more molten filament also improves strength since the more mass and more heat improve adhesion between the layers.

Volcano product home page:

Here is a video demonstration and presentation of Volcano:

Here is a picture of Volcano heater block and various diameter larger nozzles:

DIY Stirling heat difference engine with 3d printed parts

Doug Conner developed a 3d printable homemade Stirling engine, a type of motor that creates mechanical motion from temperature differential of a medium which is air in this case. The engine is made in ABS on a Stratasys FDM printer.

This engine has some metal (brass, aluminum) parts, couple of metal screws and some rubber O-rings, but that is unavoidable due to the nature of the technology and ABS material limitations.

It takes some 50 deg F (or 28 deg C) of heat differential to move at stable speed at about 300 rpm without additional weight or load.
Project homepage:

All the 3d files and plans to make this Stirling engine can be found at:

Here is video demonstration of the engine in action:

Doug's DIY 3d printed Stirling engine from the project homepage

Upgraded Marlin firmware by Scott Lahteine

Scott Lahteine made his Marlin fork with some new and improved features.
Features of his Marlin fork include:
  • Cleaner Z display
  • SD Listing Sorted Alphabetically
  • SD List buffer for fast, reliable SD navigation
  • LCD Progress Bar
  • Wait Messages (M0 Click me)
  • Long filename display
  • Print abort message
  • "Wait for user" click stays on Info Screen
Those features will probably be coming to Marlin in near future.

If you are brave and/ or like experimenting with Marlin you can get this version now at:

Here is the video overview of the features in action:

LCD display and information show is much better 

RamanPi DIY 3d printable Raman Spectrometer

RamanPi is open source project of Raman Spectrometer that can be made with many 3d printable parts. It is a low cost way to get a spectroscope for your laboratory or school and learn / teach about fundamental physics, chemistry and material sciences. It is powered by Raspberry Pi and most non-printable parts can be sourced off-the-shelf. The entire system is housed in standard PC ITX case.

Goals of the RamanPi project:
  • Make it Open.. Everything.. All of it.. 
  • Make it 3D Printable. 
  • Make it modular and easy to upgrade. 
  • Make it as easy to build as possible. 
  • Make it easy to customize and open to improvement. 
  • Use only commonly available off the shelf components whenever possible. 
  • Have a remote interface that will allow it to be controlled and viewed from anywhere. 
  • Compare the spectra to the online internet spectral databases. 
  • Provide the capability to log data to remote databases, share with friends and colleagues.. 
  • Not be just another open source spectrometer.. 
  • Make it easy to use and intuitive. 
  • Make it attractive with an elegant design.. 
  • Make it useful and just cool to have!

Detailed construction guide and technical details can be found at:

RamanPi GitHub:

There are more DIY 3d printed spectrometer  projects:

Videos from the RamanPi project:

Dec 13, 2014

Vinci DIY compound bow with 3d printed parts

Vinci is a DIY compound bow that you can make with 3d printed parts and some fiberglass limbs. This bow has some 30 pounds of draw weight in its current version, but it is a third version and the improvements are visible in each new build.
Many of the available parts could be used in other DIY archery projects.

Here is a video of bow in action:

DIY drop away arrow rest:

All the 3d printing files needed and construction instructions can be found at:

Vinci bow is in the third iteration, here is the previous version, the Vinci Mark 2 with much lower draw weight:

3d printing is used in many other hobby and DIY archery projects like: DIY bow quiver,  3d printed sight mount and stabilizer for hig power compound bow, DIY archery sight pin and target pins, DIY arrow fletcher and other DIY archery accessories like knocks and other useful things.

Here you can see a DIY bow made from some old skis and 3d printed parts:

Looks like a home / workshop 3d printer is must-have tool for all archery hackers!

Dimafix adhesive spray for heated beds

Dimafix is a new adhesive spray solution to improve bounding of printed objects to print surface and avoid warping.
This adhesive spray formula is activated when the temperature of the print surface reaches around 50C and up to maximum at 80C. The objects can be removed when the temperature drops below 40C.
It is priced at 9,48 euro per 1 unit DIMAFIX (400 ml / 10 oz). The spray is non-toxic, has low odor and it can be washed away from the surface with water.

Dimafix homepage:

Here is video review and test of Dimafix in realistic conditions but it is in Spanish:

First product of this kind for adhesion improving was 3DLac which is produced near the Dimafix origin town.

FirePick Delta open source DIY pick and place machine that can be made for 300$

Home electronics manufacturing is one step closer with FirePick project which gives you fully functional pick-and-place machine that can also serve as a 3d printer. The entire design is open sourced and can be made for some 300 USD in "hacker" version. of the machine in action is under the text ...

Project description form the project webpage:
FirePick Delta is an open-source electronics manufacturing system, inspired by RepRap and powered by OpenPnP and FirePick's own Computer Vision software. We are taking the beginning steps towards a smart appliance that can manufacture electronic circuit boards in a home or office environment. Our machine is able to assemble open-source hardware boards like Arduino and Raspberry Pi accessories, and also has the capability to 3D print. It features an auto-tool changer that allows multiple plastic extruders, and/or multiple SMT vacuum nozzles. Other tools and applications will be available as our product matures.
FirePick Delta is an affordable, open-source electronics manufacturing system that sits on your desktop. It's capable of building complex electronic circuit assemblies, like Arduino and Raspberry Pi accessories. It is also able to 3D print plastic parts, just like a standard 3D printer. It assembles circuit boards just like a conventional pick-and-place machine, by using a vacuum nozzle and camera with computer vision to pick up surface-mount parts from component feeders, and precisely place them down on the circuit board. Our machine has an auto-tool changer, and we're working on designing other tools besides the SMT vacuum tip and the 3D print hotend. The system is capable of holding up to four tools and interchanging between them automatically. This also makes it one of the most versatile 3D printers out there, because it can print in four colors of plastic (or in four separate types of plastic, which would allow a single model to have a mixture of PLA, ABS, nylon, and NinjaFlex, for example).
Pick and place machines are used around the world to assemble electronic circuit assemblies, however they usually sell for $50,000 to $500,000. Our machine has a price point of $300 to $5000, depending on modules installed. We should be able to hit that price point by leveraging the open-source technology of the RepRap 3D printer movement. The FirePick Delta is designed to almost completely self-replicate. It is capable of 3d printing its own parts out of PLA or ESD-sensitive ABS plastic. It will also be capable of assembling its own electronic circuit boards. We plan to be the first successful, commercially available RepRap 3d printer to have the power of electronics self-replication. We envision a future where anyone can design (or download existing) electronic projects, and manufacture them in their own home, rather than outsourcing to a traditional factory. This approach saves time and money, and is a much more sustainable solution. FirePick Delta will enable a new wave of small businesses and entrepreneurs to provide unique, bespoke, niche items to the general public, that would be unprofitable for a large conglomerate corporation to manufacture. If you've ever had an electronic project that involved soldering surface-mount electronics, this machine is an incredibly cheap and fun way to do it. If you've ever wanted to sell an electronic board that you've created, and need a way to make lots of them, this machine is for you.

  • Prototyping and small runs of PCB's (under 100 per run). Not intended to be used for mass production.
  • Hobbyists, Makerspaces, high school and college students, entrepreneurs, small businesses.
  • Great for those with poor eyesight, shaky hands, or those that just don't have the skills to solder on small SMT parts. We occasionally remind those that scoff at our project to check their privileges and remember that not everyone has guru SMT soldering skills or access to a full lab with hot air rework. 
We would eventually like to cover three basic demographics:
  • Hacker and Developer Version: Open framework to go crazy with. Purchased with retail parts from US or foreign distributors. Est. Cost: ~$400-$500.
  • Maker / Student Version: Base machine in kit form for ~$300-400 is desired. That would not include any tools or feeders, or RasPi or camera. These things are modular and could be purchased at the time of sale or later on. Requires assembly, and support woudl be via internet forum / IRC / mailing list, etc.. The $300 figure is likely more of a BOM cost than final sale price with packaging, shipping, etc.
  • Professional version: For the tech startups, businesses, etc. Machine would likely retail for $5,000 to $10,000 for a fully assembled machine, with tech support and warranty, and all the other things that a business would look for, before buying a
  • Note that the Hackaday project is built around the Hacker / Developer version as a prototype, and we hope to offer the second (maker / student version) after the prototypes are built, and crowdfunding is secured. Version 3 ($5000-$10000) will be much later on, possibly 1-2 years from now.
  • Overall dimensions: 600mm H x 460mm W x 460mm D
  • Frame dimensions: 520mm H x 300mm W x 300mm D
  • Max PCB size / 3D print volume: 80mm H x 214mm W x 214mm D
  • Camera: Raspberry Pi 5MP. 3.6mm focal length with f/2.9 aperture. Full control of shutter time, hardware flash, ISO, etc via custom FirePiCam software
  • Downward looking vision: Currently supported.
  • Upward looking vision: Planned feature. Will be implemented in the coming weeks. Our software chain fully supports it, it's just a matter of making the 3d printed fixtures and trying it out.
  • Flying vision: Not yet, but it would be super cool. No timeline to speak of. Forget I even mentioned it.
  • Computer Vision Software: FireSight (high-level abstraction layer on top of OpenCV), via FireFUSE and FireREST
  • CV Operations implemented: absdiff, backgroundSubtractor, blur, calcHist, calcOffset, Canny, cvtColor, dft (Discrete Fourier Transform), dftSpectrum, drawKeypoints, drawRects, FireSight, HoleRecognizer, HoughCircles, imread, imwrite, matchTemplate, minAreaRect, MSER, morph, normalize, Points2Resolution, PSNR Compare, putText, QRDecode, resize, SimpleBlobDetector, stageImage, threshold, transparent, warpAffine, warpPerspective, warpRing
  • OpenPnP - Is a project to create the plans, prototype and software for a completely Open Source SMT pick and place machine that anyone can afford. This is the GUI, and the program that handles all of the feeder, camera, and general machien setup, and also the job creation and processing.
  • FireSight - A high-level computer vision framework designed for Pick and Place machines, powered by OpenCV. No programming experience required - A pipeline of image operations is specified with a JSON structure. The results of the operations are returned as a JSON structure.
  • FireFUSE - FireFuse is the FUSE driver for all FirePick machines. FireFuse maps all hardware input/output functions for FirePick to individual files in the /dev/firefuse virtual file system. For example, the current camera view of the FirePick camera is presented as /dev/firefuse/cam.jpg. Presenting the camera output this way simplifies and generalizes access to the camera, since "it's just a file."
  • FireBOM - Similar to ThingDoc, FireBOM will auto-generate BOMs, documentation, real-time pricing and distributerer info, and keeps track of approved vendors and SMT part footprints.
  • FireMOTE - A web-based frontend for OpenPnP.
  • FireREST - FireREST is an open-source REST protocol for automated manufacturing. With FireREST, you can connect smart camera nodes, CNC application nodes, CNC machines and browser GUIs in a flexible, extensible manufacturing network. For the non-web gurus, this basically allows us to use raw http as a protocol between various systems in a robotics manufacturing network.
  • Arduino - Needs no introduction :) We will be designing an Arduino-compatible motion controller with modified RepRap Marlin firmware.
  • Raspberry Pi - Not 100% open-source, but their heart is in the right place. We plan on using the new Raspberry PI Compute Module, and the Raspberry Pi camera, to run OpenPnP and the other bits of software.
  • OpenCV - is a library of programming functions mainly aimed at real-time computer vision. Written in optimized C/C++. Thankfully, a lot of work has been done to get it working on the Raspberry Pi.
  • Linux - Too many crappy Pick and Place machines, only running on Teh Windows :-(
  • RepRap - An initiative to develop a self-replicating 3D printer.
  • Marlin firmware - The RepRap firmware is a mashup between Sprinter,grbl and many original parts. It runs on an Arduino and handles the very timing-sensitive job of sending STEP and DIRECTION signals to the stepper motor drivers, controls temperature and extrusion. We'll be modifying it to double as a Pick and Place motion controller.
  • Greg's Wade Reloaded Extruder - Bulletproof extruder design
  • RAMPS v1.4 - Our custom board will be roughly based off the Ramps, but with the added stuff necessary for pick and place.
  • StepStick - Allegro A4988 16x microstepping motor driver
  • Slic3r - The world's best slicing program for 3d printing
  • Printrun - Pure Python 3d printing host software
(Note many of these are not practical to place, until we get our feeders and vision 100% working)
  • Passives down to 0402
  • Diodes: SMC, SMB, SMA, SOD128, SOD80, SOD323, MicroMELF
  • SOT-23
  • QFN, DFN, QFP, SOIC, TSOP, BGA to ~0.4mm pitch
  • SOT23-3, SOT23-5, SOT23-6, SOT223, SOT89, SC70, DPAK, D2PAK
  • IC's and large/wide components to ~50mm wide
  • Aluminum capacitors and tall components <= 15mm H
  • Holds up to four (4) tools in the machine at the same time
  • System will recognize tools upon insertion. EEPROM in each tool keeps track of SMT nozzle size, and 3D printing parameters like thermistor tables, etc.
  • Tools are hot swappable
  • Average cost of materials per modular tool: $10 - $500, depending on tool.
  • Current tools offered: SMT vacuum nozzle, solder paste dispense, 3D Print hotend.
  • Future tools offered: Professional shot-meter style fluid dispense system for scientific laboratory or solder paste / glue dispense.Pen plotter, laser sensitizer (not big enough to cut stuff with), pogo-pin based flying-probe (for voltage testing, etc), Atmel AVR flying-probe programer. Hot air rework station for minor rework. Note that we intend for other members of the open-source community to help us bring these tools into existence, as the need arises.
  • ESD-safe via conductive ABS plastic 3D printing filament.
  • Average cost of materials per feeder: $5-10
  • Auto-recognized by OpenPnP via QR code labels affixed to feeders
  • Tape feeders: 8mm, 12mm, 16mm, 24mm, 32mm, 44mm. Drag-feed with (and without) cover-tape winding, and full-auto advancing version for 8mm
  • Tray feeders: Non-JEDEC. Holds a few small loose parts. Supports pause/reload prompts.
  • Tube feeders: NOTE: We've not started these yet, but see them as minimum risk. We started the tape parts first, since they're more desirable. Will have a vibratory source (DC motor w/counterweight). Will be easy to customize and print custom tube feeders for weird non-standard chokes and coils, etc.

Here is a video of FirePick in action and the main components:

FirePick homepage:

Project homepage on

FirePick GitHub repository:

IcePick Delta 3d printer made with no linear rods or bearings

IcePick Delta 3d printer is a design without linear rods or bearings and with sturdy wooden frame. This approach lowers the total price and makes the machine parts more locally sourcable.
The project is developed by TTN and Matt Kimball and is still in intensive development stage.

From project description:
Icepick Delta is a open source 3d printer that was inspired by the Firepick Delta. The project aim is to build a 3d printer with no linear rods or linear bearings. I wanted a delta 3d printer, but was put off by linear rail and rod prices.

When the project started, the Firepick Delta files had not been released yet (they're on github now). The icepick is based on the Firepick Delta, but designed from the ground up.

The repapiness of this design is very high, leading to a smaller number of parts required, in turn lowering cost.

The build height looks to be about 160mm at the moment at a diameter of 200mm. Currently, printing speeds and acceleration have to stay low to avoid backlash. Another option to be explored is braided fishing line.

At the moment, the firmware is functional, but when going outside a certain radius (reachable points), it will decide to home that particular arm. Upper arm homing angle firmware needs some work.
The target printable area will be at least the standard 200mm cube.

More information and filess related to this project are at:

FirePick project:

Dec 12, 2014

Funbot i1 RepRap 3d printer is new, cheap and simple machine from Sweden

Here is a new RepRap 3d printer project: the Funbot i1 developed by Cliff Mellangård from Reprap österlen in Sweden.
Funbot is still in development phase, but it looks like nice working machine. The project goal is to make simple, cheap and easy to make DIY 3d printer.
Funbot print volume is x = 155mm y = 170mm z = 120mm.

All the details, files for making your version and detailed video construction guide can be found at:

Here is video of Funbot i1 in action showing the print quality: