Jul 30, 2014

Video tutorial on how to use Marlin EEPROM functions

You can store Marlin setting directly in EEPROM memory. On each boot, Marlin will automatically load these settings from EEPROM, independent of what your compiled Configuration.h says.

The Marlin EEPROM settings include the following:
  • Steps per mm
  • Maximum feedrates [mm/s]
  • Maximum Acceleration [mm/s2]
  • Acceleration
  • Retract Acceleration
  • PID settings
  • Homing Offset
  • Minimum feedrate [mm/s]
  • Minimum travel feedrate [mm/s]
  • Minimum segement time [ms]
  • Maximum X-Y jerk [mm/s]
  • Maximum Z jerk [mm/s]
Another excellent tutorial by ZennmasterM! He is producing some high quality video tutorials in field of 3d printing.

Here is also an additional post from Solidoodle wiki about Marlin EEPROM functions: 

3D printable low cost foldable Bluetooth head mounted display

Tony created this very cheap piece of DIY wearable eyespace technology. It is foldable wearable display that connects via Bluetooth with your Android or computer.

Everything displayed on this head mounted display is controlled by either an Android phone or a Bluetooth connection to a desktop. Using relatively simple display and simple Arduino means it is limited to text and very simple graphics, but this is more than enough for some useful applications like reading SMS messages and checking email.

From project description:
The OLED display is a small .96" display controlled by an arduino nano board. The display receives text and commands from a HC-05 serial Bluetooth module connected to the arduino. There is also a small speaker and RGB LED connected to the board. The OLED display, RGB LED, and speaker are all controllable over Bluetooth. 
The device is powered by an Adafruit powerboost module connected to a small 0.7Wh lipo battery. The optics are a small mirrored right angle prism and a magnifying lense. The frame and casing is all 3D printed with ABS using a Solidoodle 2 pro printer. 
The Arduino communicates with the OLED display using i2c (inter-integrated circuit). The RGB LED and the speaker use the arduino's digital output pins. The display is controlled over blue tooth using a application running on an Android phone or Linux terminal. The glasses are very portable and foldable.

Total cost ~$60.

Kudos Tony!

Jul 29, 2014

How to 3d print a brushless DC motor

Patrick Eells designed and printed fully functional brushless DC motor. You can use any FDM DIY 3d printer, but you will need magnets and wind some copper wire coils.
The motor was designed as a 3-phase, 4-pole brushless DC motor with 4 - N52 neodymium magnets on the rotor, and 3 wire wrapped solenoids connected to the stator. The motor is controlled by Arduino. The total cost to build this motor without the Arduino micro controller and the batteries was 27,71 USD.

Excellent project!

Very detailed guide can be found here:


All the files and guide in PDF format can be downloaded here: http://pitt.edu/~pfe3/3DPrintedMotor.zip

There was a stepper motor printed in the past, but it was printed on commercial grade printer:


DropLit sub $600 DLP 3d printer kit made by SeeMeCNC

Description with technical specifications from the DropLit page:
Meet DropLit™. Our next generation of 3D printers for makers/hackers/tinkerers. With our world famous laser-cut frames and stainless steel hardware this kit has all the quality people have come to know and trust with our other SeeMeCNC™ desktop 3D printers. Our aim in offering the DropLit™ is to provide a solid foundation for the rapid advancement of the next technological leap in desktop 3D printing. We have one of the most amazing and active communities out there when it comes to delta based 3D printers and look forward to contributing the knowledge that we've all gained and applying it to desktop resin printing.
Droplit™ is an open-source desktop resin based 3D printer *kit* that includes the mechanical parts needed to build and run the z stage. It does not include the projector, you will need to purchase and likely modify a projector separately. We do not provide the projector or any specific models to use, however you can visit our Forum for topics involving which models people have used and what modifications they have done.

Specs (Subject to change):
  • Build Diameter: appx. 3"
  • Max Build Height: appx 6"
  • Layer Height: User defined (avg. .050mm - .1 mm)
  • Power Supply: ATX PC style PSU (included)
  • Electronics: Ardunio UNO + GRBLShiled
  • Firmware: GRBL
  • The Z axis stage is driven by an M5-.8 screw and uses our own design of an anti-backlash nut and spring assembly to hold less than 5 micron accuracy. The nut design can be downloaded and printed here or found on our GitHub page for the DropLit™
We have tested the DropLit™ with a projector with the following specs:
  • 1024x768 or better native resolution
  • 17,000:1 contrast ratio
  • 3,000 Lumens output
  • DLP only, LCD will not work
  • Uses Osram 190w P-VIP lamp (removal of the UV filter required)

DropLit homepage:


SeeMeCNC PartDaddy 4,5 meter tall pellet fed Delta 3d printer

SeeMeCNC is presenting their 15 feet (4,5 meter) tall Delta 3d printer  named "PartDaddy" at MakerFaire Detroit. It will have a changeable  6,35mm or 7,25mm printing nozzle which will be fed by pellets. They have planed for it to bepropane powered but they gave it up for safety reasons.
It will be interesting to if such big FDM printers will find a market niche.

Details about PartDaddy are on SeeMeCNC forum:




They are just a little taller then the Japanese Genkei Delta:


Customuse Sunrise 3d printed electric guitar

Electric guitar you can customize ... looks like a company who wants to bring cool 3d printed guitars to the world ...



Jul 28, 2014

3DPrintTech is a free CAD plugin for model splitting and nesting for efficient batch printing

3DPrintTech is a free software from India that will enable you to print objects larger than your printvolume by splitting them into smaller modules.

From the homepage:
3DPrintTech is CAD plugin for model splitting and nesting for efficient batch printing. It helps the user to print objects larger than build volume of a 3D printer. App splits the large model in small components as per your printer settings. It also creates the connectors to help you glue the components to make your original large model. User can define various parameters of splitting.
User has an option to scale the model. Also to get separated view of split parts can use Explode.
3DPrintTech has unique feature 3D Nesting. 3D Nesting helps you combine many small components in one single printing process by 3D packing with clearance. This helps you to save time, energy and money.

3DPrintTech also provides the option of Export to save the split parts or nested parts as stl files which can be directly use for printing.
Also user can do all these processes for his/her own customized printer too by adding it to the existing list of printers.
As 3DPrintTech is developed by using Confluence Framework, it supports:
  • AutoCAD 2014
  • Inventor 2014
  • Solidworks 2013
In future versions of 3DPrintTech using Confluence Framework, it will support more CAD softwares like Revit, Rhino, Creo, NX etc.
From the press release:
Pune, India - July 25, 2014 – Centre for Computational Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (CCTech), a CAD and CAM product development company, announced today launch of new application 3DPrintTech for maker community. 3DPrintTech helps maker to build object larger than build volume of any 3D printer. App also provides the functionality to pack small objects in given build volume which help to save time and money to user. 3DPrintTech is currently available for FREE of cost and works as CAD plugin with Autodesk Inventor 2014, AutoCAD 2014 and SolidWorks 2013.
3DPrintTech is designed for maker community who faces challenge to print larger objects on small 3D printer quickly. Processes of converting your design into small parts are time consuming and require good CAD modelling expertise. We realized there has to be a better way for this particular problem. Our R&D team came up with an application that can divide design of large object into small connectable components within few minutes. App also provides user option to control the cylindrical connectors as per his requirement. User can define the connector in terms of radius, length and taper angle. User also control the distance between the connectors, distance between connector and object surface.
Next problem of maker community is packing of multiple components in one print batch. One option for maker is to manually pack as many possible objects within build volume. He has to make sure that packed objects does not intersect or touch each other. To solve this problem, we provide a feature called 3D Packing. It creates the batch of 3DPrintings from collection of many small components. In our benchmarking, we found that for many cases our 3D Packing helped to reduce the 3D Printing batches from 10 to 1. This is definitely going to help makers to print more objects in less time and less money.
3D printing is continuously evolving technology. Therefore app has provided an interface to add your custom printer. App provides many utility functions such as Exporting processed objects to 3D printable STL file, Explode objects for quick inspection, scaling the object for unit conversion or fitting into printer. As 3DPrintTech works within a CAD system so you can do multiple design iterations without leaving the CAD application. All the 3DPrintTech operations are nondestructive and hence keep your design intact.
Sandip Jadhav, (Co-Founder & CEO, CCTech) says “3DPrintTech should help maker to improve productivity by great degree. It will also help maker to push envelope by making new large 3d objects. 3DPrintTech 1.0 was released on Autodesk App exchange in Autodesk University 2013. 3DPrintTech app received the great response and feedback. Out development team incorporated these user suggestions in our final product. App’s ability to create objects larger than the print volume using our automated splitting technique and packing of small components by efficiently nesting is key strength. 3DPrintTech is developed using CAD application development framework known as Confluence Framework. Therefore it works for multiple CAD systems seamlessly. In future we would provide more choices of connectors, packing types and more CAD platforms".
You can download 3DPrintTech software from http://labs.cctech.co.in/3dprinttech. To know more about the 3DPrintTech software & capabilities kindly contact labs@cctech.co.in.


Jul 27, 2014

NVBots presents NVPrinter designed for schools with simplicity and automation as main features

New Valence Robotics presents new 3d printer aimed ad education institutions that features fully automatic 3d printing and part ejection with storage. The company wants to lease this NVPrinter they describe as "the first of its kind, fully automated, cloud-connected 3D printer," to schools for between $3,000 and $5,000 a year.

NVPrinter features:

This new machine is certainly evolutionary step forward from the first one they presented:


There are no independent tests or detailed technical specifications. I'm always skeptical with printers that claim high level of automation. There is not even a video of machine printing. We will see ...

They are crowd-funding at: http://www.fundable.com/nvbots

Company page: http://nvbots.com/

Automatic part removal is nothing new, but it was usually done in DIY fashion with many custom variations mostly by people who use their printers as small business machines to produce many parts:



Jul 26, 2014

US military will 3d print warheads and missiles for combat

Two weeks ago I posted about BEA Systems drones with internal 3d printing. In that post I wrote:
I also have slight suspicion that someone will want to 3d print bombs on-board of military aircraft. Still, all limitations remain. Why send something very expensive and heavy when you have proven delivery methods? Maybe some tactician is thinking of highly customized munition for very demanding missions with uncertain parameters for high-value targets.

Today I found put in article by Vice that this technology is actually in practical development:

“3D printing of warheads will allow us to have better design control and utilize geometries and patterns that previously could not be produced or manufactured,” James Zunino, a researcher at the Armament Research, Engineering and Design Center (ARDEC) in Picatinny, New Jersey, told Motherboard in an email.
The ability to print parts previously unimaginable using traditional manufacturing methods could radically open up the possibilities when it comes to what a warhead can do. For example, warheads using 3D-printed components could be designed to be more compact in order to pack in additional payloads, sensors, and safety mechanisms. Planning for printed parts in the design process will also allow the army to precisely engineer the blast radius of warheads for maximum effect.
“Warheads could be designed to meet specific mission requirements whether it is to improve safety to meet an Insensitive Munitions requirement, or it could have tailorable effects, better control, and be scalable to achieve desired lethality,” Zunino wrote.
As an organization with a shrinking budget—except when it comes to drones—the army weighs the cost of human life against that of building the instruments of its eventual liquidation. One cross-industry advantage of 3D printing is its cost-effectiveness since it enables the printing of complex structures in one go, instead of the many individual parts that go into it. Missiles are no different.
“3D printing also allows for integrating components together to add capabilities at reduced total life cycle costs,” Zunino explained. “It is expected that 3D printing will reduce life-cycle costs of certain items and make munitions more affordable in the long run through implementation of design for manufacturability, and capitalizing on the add capabilities that 3D printing and additive manufacturing can bring to munitions and warheads.”
The army doesn’t plan on stopping at merely printing warhead components, either. Eventually, they want to print the whole damn thing in one go. “Maybe someday an entire warhead or rocket could be produced as the technology further matures,” Zunino wrote.

BEA Systems wanted this type of technology by 2040, but it looks like there will be 3d printed warheads much sooner.

I searched around and found an DIY project where someone 3d printed plastic sabot round on a  Makerbot to be fired from homemade combustion cannon. The future will be very interesting.

Source: http://www.itclips.net/2013/02/20/touring-the-labs-at-make-hq-3-2/

In reality, the actual 3d printed warhead will probably look something like this:

Rytheon STM, source: http://weapons.technology.youngester.com/2011/04/new-warhead-small-tactical-munition.html

It is Rytheon's Small Tactical Munition, a new weapon specifically designed to be employed from unmanned aircraft systems. STM is a 13 pound guided munition that is approximately 2 feet long, making it the smallest air-launched weapon in the Raytheon portfolio. It has a 5 pound warhead. It is small, light and lethal and enables drones to fly longer, further and attack more targets.

So, it is possible that there will be small 3d printing factories in forward military air bases that will create munition similar to this, cutting the cost, reducing the need for supply lines and making custom munition for any purpose like anti personnel with more fragmentation, material penetration with more mass, anti-armor with shaped charges. For those small drone bombs plastic materials could be used or even locally sourced materials. Only non-printable parts are currently guidance unit, explosives and fuse. 
Those digital fabrication production cells could also make replacement parts for the drones themselves.  

War is hell people, we need more food and less bombs.