Nov 22, 2014

ATOM DIY low cost simple extruder made from plywood

Atom is a very simple and low cost extruder developed in Egypt. It has few parts and it is cut from 3mm plywood. For heating block it uses scrap aluminum plate cut to 20mm x 20mm x 10mm and M6 brass bolt for nozzle.

Here are detailed instructions, files for cutting the plywood and BOM:

Parts of the extruder (usual elements such as NEMA 17 motor, fan, thermistor etc....):

This extruder is a part of broader ATOM 3d printer project to bring low cost 3d printing to Egypt and Arab world.

Details can be found at:

Nov 20, 2014

Free webinar on 3d printed car parts and car mods

Here is new free webinar from GoEngineer focusing on 3d printed car parts, car accessories and car modifications.

If you are interested in cars, car hacking, car repair, hypermiling, modding, car tuning and have access to any type of 3d printer this video will give you lots of useful tips, information and practical examples. You could theoretically make any plastic part needed for your car and customize it to fit your needs.

Webinar is presented by Tyler Reid, it is focused on Stratasys technology but the knowledge and is applicable to other 3d printers.

3d printed car parts presented here are:

  • gauge bezel
  • firewall feedtrough
  • wire tee box
  • throttle body spacer
  • battery charging box
Here is video webinar, one hour well spent ;-):

Here is a picture of installed wire tee box:

Great tutorial, thank you for the content Tyler and GoEngineer team!

There are many more similar high quality tutorials, like:

3d printed jigs and fixtures:

or 3d printed end user parts:

Here you can see another example of home 3d printers being used to make small replacement parts like AC button and cargo cover holder:

German RepRap 3DPrintBox 3d print server

German RepRap just released their stand-alone 3d print server control unit. It can be used from web interface from any computer or smartphone, it connects to the internet via WiFi or LAN cable and with three USB ports to the controlled 3d printer. Web camera monitoring is also available via USB ports.

It is priced at 149 euro.

Is it too much? Maybe ... you can make something similar with Raspberry Pi and other similar devices from less money. I would like to see more test to see if there are any advantages like in stability, processing or reliability.

Product homepage:

Cre8tor Industries Inventor's Positioning Axis

Here is a new movement module in form of a Cre8tor Industries 13" or 21" linear rail guided positioning axis with only 2.5 microns backlash. It could be used in machine development and very likely in functional digital fabrication unit (CNC or 3d printer).

Technical specifications:
  • 13” or 21” travel
  • 2.5”x3”x22” outer dimension (as is, without motor)
  • ¼-20 threaded holes on a 1.5”x2” hole pattern, which matches three mounting locations along the axis
  • Can be used with Nema 17 or Nema 23 motor
  • Complementary hole pattern in three spots along the rail that can bolt to the puck
  • Inspected to be within 10 micron accuracy and 5 micron backlash
  • Compatible with Mach 3, Grbl, Sprinter, Marlin, and most all 3D printing software. (Anything exporting step and direction signals).
  • Price: current pricing options on Kickstarter range from $150 for the 13” and $205 for the 21” version

It is on Kickstarter now:

Company homepage (they are based in Portland, Oregon):

This powered linear rail axis can be used in all dimensional configurations:

Schematics of the Inventor's Axis:

Nov 19, 2014

Josef Prusa gives interesting interview to Hackaday, in the meantime we are still waiting for Prusa i4

He is more then just a common man, he is a 3d printer also. Josef Prusa. The Guru.

Interview covers following topics (and more):
  • How did you get involved in 3D printing?
  • How's your business going?
  • What's the best recent advancement in 3D printing?
  • What's the worst?
  • What is the state of the RepRap project
  • What's up with the i4?
  • Thoughts on different printing technologies
  • Predict the future just came to my mind that Josef could pull a joke on us and go strait to Prusa i5 ... just sayin' ...

... and he also has a cool open hardware tattoo ...

Hackaday source article:

DIY astronomy projects made with a 3d printer

Here are a few DIY projects for all you astronomy enthusiast out there which can be done with acces to 3d printer.

Ultrascope smartphone telescope

Ultrascope is a 3d printed telescope which uses Nokia Lumia 1020 smartphone with high resolution camera to get pictures and light curves from space objects. Project is developed by James Parr from Open Space Agency.

All the information about function and construction of the Ultrascope are available at:

PiKon, the 3d printed telescope attachment for Raspberry Pi camera

PiKon is a low cost project where a 3d printed mount is used to attach Raspberry Pi camera to Newtonian reflector telescope to get 5MP resolution astrophotogaphs. Project was developed by University of Sheffield in cooperation with Alternative Photonics.

PiKon photo of Moon surface

Learn more at:

Printonian, the 3D printed DIY Dobsonian telescope

From Printonian project description:
This thing is a 3D printed Dobsonian telescope designed for an 8" primary mirror with a focal length of 48". The optical tube assembly consists of aluminum extrusions attached with 3D printed ribs designed for standard hardware and covered with cardboard tubing. The optical tube was mounted onto a base that was made from 3/4" baltic birch plywood cut on a CNC router. The bottom base plates are separated with plastic bearings to allow for control.
All the files, parts list and instructions can be found at:

There are many more DIY astronomy and telescope related projects that can be found on Thingiverse:

Nov 18, 2014

DIY 3d printed resin lens made on Form 1+

3d printing optical lenses is usually in domain of high tech companies, but Craig Broady developed and tested a method that enables you to print functional lenses on Form 1 + with clear resin. 

The process is well documented in a form of a guide on Formlabs forums and it involves a post-processing by polishing the surface with sand paper and scratch removal fluid.
The lens is 1.75mm at its thinnest and 4.32mm at its thickest, printed with a 50 micron layer thickness.

Working lens printed as a monocle on Formlabs 1+ with clear resin

3d lens during design phase, you can see supports and holding structure

Lens after printing with partial removal of support material

Lens mounted on a hand power drill to smoothen and polish the surface

More detailed guide can be found here together with lens files:

Hopefully we will see more functional objects developed like small binoculars, telescopes and others ... Great job Craig!

Functionalize F-Electric conductive filament is one big step towards 3d printed electronics

Functionalize F-Electric conductive filament is new type of filament with much improved conductivity properties. It claims to be world' most conductive filament with “one thousand times more conductive than filament available today", and "enables anyone to print circuits, wires, sensors, power connectors, and other electrical components inside projects printed from popular PLA-capable 3D printers.”

With conductivity lower then the 1 ohm/cm which they demonstrate in measurements on video ,it looks like it is “the world’s most electrically conductive 3D printing (plastic) filament that enables electronic or electromechanical capabilities to be designed right into the structure of printed parts.” Conductive 3d printing filaments available on the market mostly measure in the 1,000 – 10,000 ohms/cm range.

Possessing that kind of electrical properties, it can be used to build all sorts of interesting objects like this 3d printed levitator device:

Volume resistivity of F-Electric conductive filament explained:

Functionalize homepage:

They are on Kickstarter:

3d printed electric circuit for the levitator

Nov 13, 2014

GMASS tungsten and bismuth filled high density ABS filament

GMASS is a new filament with high density ABS as main component with added tungsten or bismuth metal particles.
Only limited information is available without any tests or detailed review. There are almost no pictures of it.

GMASS is priced at 95 USD range for 0,5 kg spool.

From GMASS product page:
GMASS™ is a patent pending specially-formulated high-density ABS-based filament for 3D printing applications. It offers the ability to rapidly prototype high-density components. Using a variety of metallic fillers, it has a density approaching traditional metals, while offering the design flexibility of ABS plastic. Now your plastic parts can have the weight and feel of metal castings! Colored filament is available in limited configurations to allow further design enhancements.
The non-toxic fillers in GMASS™ make it an excellent choice for radiation shielding without the environmental impact of lead. While designed for rapid prototyping, GMASS™ also makes an excellent material for low-quantity additive manufacturing. 
Possible applications:
  • Consumer – Sporting goods, add weight, balancing
  • Healthcare – Medical x-ray shielding, nuclear medicine components, laboratory equipment
  • Industrial – X-ray shielding, reactor shielding, vibration dampening, inertial weighting

  • Filament diameter: 1.75 +/- 0.10 mm
  • Base material: ABS Plastic
  • Filler material: Proprietary compounds of bismuth and tungsten Density Range: 2.7 +/- 0.1 g/cc for bismuth, 4.0 +/- 0.2 g/cc for tungsten
  • Note that stated densities are for the filled filament material. Printed part densities may vary due to printer processing parameters, and should be confirmed by the user prior to use.

  • Recommended printing temperature: 230C
  • Recommended printing speed: 40 – 90 mm/s
  • We recommend using a heated bed: 100 – 110C
  • Advised nozzle size: 0.5 - 0.6 mm
  • Note: The filament will have a higher likelihood of clogging smaller nozzles such as 0.4mm and smaller because of the tungsten particles. Therefore a larger size nozzle is recommended.

  • A heated bed should be used to prevent warping
  • The tungsten in the filament will wear down the brass nozzle after several hours of printing. Check nozzle before each print and replaced if worn.
  • To ensure proper adhesion to print bed, a small amount of ABS slurry can be applied to the bed before starting to print.
  • To achieve maximum density, you may need to increase the flow rate about 5 – 10%. We have also found that using a larger nozzle but using a 0.4mm size nozzle in the software settings will give you better density.
  • Note: Print at 100% in-fill to achieve full density on your printed parts.