Jan 31, 2014

MendelMax 2.0 review and impressions by ZennmasterM

Great review video of MendelMax 2.0 by ZennmasterM.

MendelMax 2.0 description from RepRap wiki:
The new MendelMax 2 is a complete reinvention of the MendelMax. It makes the MendelMax faster to build, easier to source and even better looking than before.
The MendelMax 2 includes a completely redesigned frame, made from aluminum extrusions and primarily flat plates. These plates can be cut from aluminum, printed, laser cut from plastic, or hand cut with a scroll saw or a coping saw (making this arguably the most accessible DIY reprap ever). A hand cut MendelMax 2 will virtually function identically to a custom machined one. There is no longer a reason to see your hand built machine as merely a means to an end.
Triangles are a smart choice for the gantry, both functionally and aesthetically. From a design standpoint, I wanted the MendelMax to still be visibly a Mendel descendent, while not letting the shape get in the way of improvements. By switching to a right-triangle design, the MendelMax 2.0 gains ~50mm more z-axis movement (the exact amount will depend on your extruder choice). The new design results in a very open, unobstructed print area.
  • Print Area Dimensions: 230 mm x 310 mm x 225 mm
  • Print Area: 16042.5 cm3
  • Printer Dimensions: 450 mm x 340 mm x 460 mm
  • Usable Maximum Print Speed: 150mm/sec or more depending on the part, print material, and extruder
  • Usable Maximum Movement Speed: 500+ mm/sec
  • Layer Height: .1-.4mm, user selectable. Lower layer heights are also possible.
  • X & Y Axis Resolution: .0125mm
  • Frame: All aluminum
  • Movement: linear rail (X and Y axis), precision shafting and bushing (Z axis)
  • Price: $1595 for complete kit

Jan 30, 2014

Ultimaker 2 detailed review by Barnacules

Another great review by Barnacules of Ultimaker 2. He goes trough unboxing, setup, calibration, leveling and first printing. His machine came delivered with on extruder fan broken. The leveling process seems easy with adjustment screws on the bottom of the print bed.

From video description:
The Ultimaker 2
To operate the Ultimaker 2 you don't need any specific technical knowledge. Every part has been redesigned to create one of the highest performing 3D printer available on the market, but also a very reliable one.

Ultimaker 2 specifications
Easy to use and reliable
Designed for non-expert and expert
Larger build envelope
Heated bed
Low cost material
Open source
Just like the Original the Ultimaker 2 will remain open source. We dare to share our knowledge because we believe we can achieve even more when working together.
Easy to use and reliable
To operate the Ultimaker 2 you don't need any specific technological knowledge. With its 49 decibel it's a quiet machine. Because the electronics are bundled the Ultimaker 2 is stable and reliable. With its nice design the Ultimaker 2 is suitable in any working or living interior.
Designed for non-expert and expert
We've made the Ultimaker 2 to be as easy as possible. You don't need to have a huge technological background to understand our printer. At the same time we've developed the printer in a way that it's still interesting for experts to work and create with.
Larger build ratio
We've managed to get an even better print-to-size ratio. This means the printer size has remained the same, and the print envelope became bigger.
Low cost material
Beside the fact that the Ultimaker doesn't use a lot of power, the material you use to print is also low cost. This makes the use of an Ultimaker very affordable.
Layer resolution: up to 20 micron
Build volume: 23 x 22.5 x 20.5 cm
Position precision X Y Z: 12.5 / 12.5 / 5 micron
Print speed: 30 mm/s - 300 mm/s
Travel speed: 30 mm/s - 350 mm/s
Recommended filament diameter: 2.85 mm
Nozzle diameter: 0.4 mm
Stand-alone SD-card printing
WiFi printing ready (future upgradeable)
Software: Cura - Official Ultimaker
Print technology: Fused filament fabrication (FFF)
Frame dimension X Y Z: 35.7 / 34.2 / 38.8 cm (no filament)
Frame dimension X Y Z: 49.2 / 34.2 / 55.8 cm (with filament)
Operation nozzle temperature: 180° - 260° C
Operation heated bed temperature: 50° - 100° C
Ambient operation temperature: 15° - 32° C
Storage temperature: 0° - 32° C
AC input: 100 - 240 V / ~4 AMPS / 50 - 60 HZ / 221 watt max.
Power requirements: 24 V DC @ 9.2 AMPS
Usage cost: ~ €0.05 / cm3 (material and power)

Jan 29, 2014

3D printed organic chair is bound together using a mixture of plaster and sugar with sake

There is no detailed information HOW he did it, but Daniel Widrig managed to 3d print a chair by using a mixture of plaster and sugar with sake. It was commissioned as part of an art exhibition.

Daniel Widrig project homepage with some other cool designs:


Jan 28, 2014

BYQ 3d printer and extruder made from plywood by Pawel Dobrowolski

Pawel Dobrowolski is working on extruder made from plywood. He made first progress by making plywood gears.
Pawel later commented on this post that this extruder is based on yruds/yegah design which is popular in Poland  and it is a part of bigger open source project called BYQ 3d printer made fully in plywood .

Here is video of the extruder made fully from 8mm plywood in action:

BYQ plywood 3d printer has no 3d printed parts:

Here is the GitHub for the BYQ with all the files to cut plywood parts:

BYQ page in Polish where you can buy pre-cut kits:

Improving physical therapy with 3d printing

Developed by Dr. Kee Moon and Jeremiah Cox, the device seeks to better conform to the way the body moved before an accident or injury occurred. Rather than rigidly control the movements of the leg, their device nudges - or kicks - the leg to begin natural physical motion. In the future, the bionic leg will further tie in with the brain to better adapt to former muscle memory, allowing the patient to better achieve their previous and unique way of walking or moving.

Mark One first carbon fiber 3d printer

Carbon fiber 3d printing was the technology many people were waiting for. We could finaly get very durable and strong printed objects.

Technical specifications of Mark One:
  • Printing Technology: Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) / Composite Filament Fabrication (CFF)
  • Build Size: 305mm x 160mm x 160mm (12″ x 6.25″ x 6.25″, 486ci)
  • Material Compatibility: Carbon Fiber, Fiberglass, Nylon, PLA
  • Highest Layer Resolution: FFF Printing: 100 Microns / CFF Printing: 200 Microns
  • Extruders: Dual Quick Change
  • Filament Sizes: FFF: 1.75mm, CFF: MF4
  • Pause / Resume Prints: Yes
  • Software: Cloud Enabled
  • Supported OS: Mac OS 10.7 Lion +, Win XP+, Linux*
  • Supported Browser: Chrome 30+, Firefox 10+, Safari 6+*
  • Supported Files: STL, .OBJ
  • Connectivity: WiFi, USB, SD Card
  • Price: at 5000 USD range

Mark One website has a following description of their machine:

Brilliant ideas need brilliant materials.
Designed to overcome the strength limitations of other 3D printed materials, the MarkForged Mark One 3D printer is the world’s first 3D printer designed to print composite materials. Now you can print parts, tooling, and fixtures with a higher strength-to-weight ratio than 6061-T6 Aluminum.

Gregory Mark, the President of MarkFoged, also co-owns Aeromation, another carbon high technology company responsible for manufacturing computer controlled race car wings. The wings are typically made out of carbon fiber because of it’s high durability, strength and low weight. They discovered that it is quite a challenging task to manufacture parts out of carbon fiber, because of the time needed and high expense in laying the fiber down piece by piece in the production process. That’s what motivated the development of 3D printer which could simply print the carbon material.

We are waiting for more details and print results!

Mark One is produced by Mark Forged:

Now, after the initial hype, we can say that there are many uncertainties about the technology behind this printer.

  • carbon filament and various carbon fiber technologies have been used in 3d printers before, but as far as I know, no machine has been designed specially for the carbon technology and this would be the first desktop / prosumer printer
  • it is unknown how exactly Mark One prints with carbon fiber: is it a new "special" filament where carbon is mixed in thermoplastics or is it some other technology 
  • carbon fiber (and kevlar) wrapping 3d printed objects to reinforce them was tried before with good results, but it was done by hand:

Update (18.2.2014.):

here is new, more detailed, video about Mark One: 

Screenshot of Mark One webpage showing that the carbon fiber material is 20 times stiffer then ABS and 5 times stronger

Mark One is multimaterial machine that can print objects with two materials with different combinations of core, shell and structural honeycomb 


DIY carbon fiber and fiberglass projects are emerging:

Fuel3d high resolution 3d camera scanner

Technology of 3d scanners is exploding together with the developments in 3d printing machines. Fuel3d is one of more high-end scanner that is much expected to reach the market.

They released the final design of production unit:

Here is the video presentation of Fuel3d and usage cases:

Here is what company claims are main advantages of Fuel3d against competitor technologies:
  • Turntable: The most basic and lowest cost 3D scanning systems use laser point or line projection onto an object positioned and rotated on a turntable. Prices range from a few hundred dollars up to low thousands. As a handheld solution, Fuel3D holds a significant flexibility advantage over these systems, as they are fixed position and the object being scanned is limited by turntable size.
  • Sweeping laser line: To enable scanning of larger objects, scanners are available that project a laser line, which sweeps across a stationary subject. With a few exceptions, prices for these technologies are typically in the $20,000 – $50,000 range. Fuel3D has a very strong price advantage over all these systems, with the added benefit of handheld flexibility and color capture.
  • Hand-held: 3D scanning systems have been developed to enable maximum scan flexibility for working around objects of almost any shape and size. Prices of hand-held solutions are now as low as $15,000 – $30,000. In addition to Fuel3D being much less expensive, we are not aware of any of these handheld systems that collect color data in addition to 3D geometry.
  • Microsoft Kinect: Some low-cost handheld scanning solutions are being developed using the Microsoft Kinect platform. These systems are typically quite low-resolution resolution, so while they are good for capturing environments, they do not have the data precision or resolution for detailed object capture like Fuel3D.

Claiming things for marketing is usual, but, as always, more real-life thir party testing is needed.

The Fuel3D scanner is priced from 1,250 USD without shipping costs or taxes. Estimated shipping start is in September of 2014.
Company page:

Fuel3d pdf technical whitepaper:

Fuel3d successful Kickstarter:

Here is the first post on Fel3d and MashUp partnershp:

Adobe is getting in 3d printing with Photoshop CC 14.2 update

Adobe is joining the ranks of corporations that got into 3d printing field. Photoshop cc update 14.2 bringe many features for 3d model print preparation and support for several 3d printers.
Support for directly printing from Photoshop CC to 3D Systems Cube, MakerBot Replicator 2, MakerBot Replicator 2x and Zcorp Full Color is built in, as is the ability to export an STL file.
It can work with several 3d print object properties, such as:
  • Printer Volume – This will show the measurement that the model is shown in (the numbers marked in Blue are shown in the chosen measurement).
  • Detail Level – Minimum size of features that can be printed.
  • Show Printer Volume Overlay – This is the cage around the model, the cage is generated and shows the maximum capacity of the print chamber in the 3D printer
  • Printer Volume – The size of the print chamber in the measurements that have been specified above.
  • Scene Volume – This is the size of the physical cage around the model inside Photoshop CC, this can be modified using the numbers, or a fast way to scale the model to the cage is it click the button marked “Scale to print volume”.
  • Surface Details – Photoshop CC will use the Bumps, normal maps and opacity to enhance the final detail.
  • Support Structures – Photoshop CC will generate the supports and raft for the output preview.
For Photoshop CC to be able to print the model, it will automate the following tasks for you, i.e :-
  • Wall Thickness – The model is hollow, the walls will need to be adjusted to make sure the minimum wall thickness is achieved, in accordance to the selected printer specification.
  • Repair the model – The Model may not be, what’s know as “Water tight”, which means it may have holes in it, or normals that are the wrong way around (there are other elements here as well), that will cause the print to not properly.
  • Create scaffolding – The elements that we explained earlier that are ‘floating’ need to be supported during the print.

Short introduction video:

More detailed video with demonstration of new 3d printing features:

Opinions on this move differ from person to person. Some say that Adobe should focus more on their core business and Photoshop CC is just not the most suitable choice for this role and can not replace specialized 3d printing CAD / CAM tools with long development. The future will show how Adobe and Photoshop will fit into the high-end industry where they want to be and how the hobbyist and DIYers will use it.

Detailed blog post on Adobe official blogs:

Here is another video review od Psdtuts+:

Update (8.8.2014):

Adobe released new 3d printing functions for Photoshop CC, they include:
  • Support for the MakerBot Replicator 5th Generation desktop printer and (Japan) 3D print service
  • Support for additional 3D file formats including VRML, U3D, PLY, and IGES
  • Streamlined 3D painting experience
  • Ability to easily combine multiple print jobs into a single print bed
  • 3D printing workflow improvements

Jan 27, 2014

Using Open SCAD with external advanced text editors Sublime Text, Notepad ++, Textmate and other

If you are using OpenSCAD and you are limited by its simple code editor, you can use it with advanced text editors like Sublime Text or Textmate to code in. They offer many advanced options like syntax coloring, automation of many manual operations etc.

You can use OpenSCAD with almost any external text editor, here is the short explanation:
OpenScad is able to check for changes of files and automatically recompile if a file change occurs. To use this feature enable "Design->Automatic Reload and Compile"
Once the feature is activated, just load the scad file within OpenSCAD as usual ("File->Open..").
After that, open the scad file in your favorite editor too. Edit and work on the scad file within the external editor. Whenever the file is saved to disk (from within the external editor), OpenSCAD will recognize the file change and automatically recompiles accordingly.
The internal editor can be hidden by minimizing the frame with the mouse or by selecting "View->Hide editor".
Open SCAD is programmatic CAD that is used most often, but there are many others. Some of them have syntax coloring, and probably some more could be used with external text editors.  

Textmate (Mac OS only) OpenSCAD add-on:

Textmate webpage:

Notepad++ language file:

Notepad++ text editor download:

Sublime Text 2 OpenSCAD add-on:

Sublime Text multiplatfrom text editor:

Here are some information how to use OpenSCAD with


and Kate: here is the Kate syntax file


CD-R King 3D Printer from Philippines

It looks like some sort of K8200 clone or re-brandedimported machine from Philippines. It is sold for 100 000 Philippine Peso which is almost 2200 USD. I have a filing that any Philippino interested in buying it could build a better printer for less money. On other hand, maybe it's hard to import parts into Philippines.

Technical specifications:
  • Linear ball bearings: 8 and 10 mm
  • Technology: FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) for PLA and ABS
  • Power supply: 15 V / 6.5 A max.
  • Standard USB 2.0 to Mini 5pin
  • Dimensions of printable area: 200 x 200 x 200mm
  • Typical printing speed: 100 mm/s
  • Maximum print speed: 150 to 300 mm/s (depending on the object to be printed)
  • Extrusion nozzle: 0.5 mm
  • Extrusion thermistor: NTC 100K
  • Extruded aluminum profiles: 20 mm wide
  • Movement: 4 Wantai Stepper Motor
  • Printer Dimension: 600mm x 430mm x 580mm (L x W x H)
  • Packaging Dimension: 650mm x 515mm x 640mm (L x W x H)
  • Nominal mechanical resolution: 
  • X and Y: 0.015 mm (smallest step the printing plate can move in the X and Y direction) 
  • Z: 0.781 µm (smallest step the printing plate can move in the Z direction)
  • Nominal printing resolution: 
  • Wall thickness (X,Y): 0.5 mm 
  • Layer thickness (Z): 0.20 - 0.25 mm
  • Software: Repetier version 0.84 and up
  • included: 5m PLA filament black sample
  • Tested in: Windows 7 and Windows XP

How to mount cooling fan on your 3d printers Arduino to prevent overheating by Barnacules

Barnacules has another nice video tutorial about how he mounted active cooling fan on his Robo 3D printer Arduino controller board to prevent overheating. He used 3d printed mounting brackets.

From video description:
You can print these brackets on your Robo3D with heated bed off to prevent a crash and have your printer fix itself! You don't really need a 2nd 3D printer :P
Get Fan Bracket @ 
Today while printing on my Robo 3D I ran into a problem where after 30 minutes it would just shut down and stop printing, after this happened 3 - 4 times in a row I flipped the printer over and felt the ramp board and it was on fire! I checked the forums and talked to some friends and they said that the ramps heat up really bad and can shut down if you run the heated bed at high temps while printing for prolonged time (known issue). The solution is to add some active cooling in the form of a fan to the Arduino board that drives the Robo 3D.

I used my Ultimaker 3D printer to print out a few brackets from to mount an 80mm fan to the bottom since I had clearance with the new feet I printed that raised the printer up for the Smart LCD Controller I recently installed (check that video out). The results were epic and in this video I will show you the entire process end to end to fix this problem once and for all.
The brackets were printed w/ following CURA settings on Ultimaker v1
White PLA material
0.2mm layer height
0.4mm nozzle
70c Bed
210c Hot End
Cooling fan 100%
Total printing time approx 50 minutes...

Video demonstration of color changing heat sensitive 3d printing filament

Video demonstration of color changing heat sensitive 3d printing filament!

Video by:

Jan 26, 2014

Update on RepRap Wally - video of big objects printing

Nicholas posted new Wally video:

From video description:
It is about time to provide proof of Wally printing a large object. If you look closely you can see the bed going up and down to adjust for the bed level. It took about 7 hours to print the vase. It is 100mm x 100mm x 145mm. I used a .4mm nozzle and did .2mm tall layers. I used default slic3r speeds. I have gone as much as 4 time faster while I was watching but for an unattended print like this I wasn't as adventurous. I suspect that I can go about 2 times as fast before surface quality suffers.

Jan 25, 2014

Travel CNC and 3d printer project by Marcus Wolschon

Marcus decided to make his personal "Travel CNC" which has CNC mill, 4th axis, 3d printer, vector knife, resin casting and work table in single, mobile, quiet, clean machine.

Here is the link to his continuously updated blog post about the project progress:

He is also developing his own 4+5 axis CAM software, so go and help him:

I hope his project will be successful and well documented!

Unboxing and 3d printing with Ultimaker 2

Video by: The Vormittag

Here is a detailed test and review video by

2BEIGH3 DIY hybrid CNC machine and 3D printer with detailed build instructions

Many people are building machines they designed from scratch. Here is combination of CNC machine and 3d printer which is well documented with complete build guide. It has some interesting features like printing with many materials.

Here is 2BEIGH3 as CNC cutter slicing trough acrylic plate:

Here is 2BEIGH3 3d printing with Nylon (btw: printing Nylon emits toxic fumes, it should be done in controlled environment):

2BEIGH3 technical specifications:

  • Build volume for CNCing: 14” x 14” x 6”,  355mm x 355mm x 160mm  
  • Build volume for 3d printing: 14” x 14” x 12”, 355mm x 355mm x 355mm
  • Material Aluminium 3mm or 0.125" ABS and PLA Plastic Rod or Line
  • Plastics 2-3mm(or 0.125") Nylon, Nylon Polymers, Nylon 6 and 6/6 - 6' Rod
  • Foam 3mm or 0.125" PET (Plastic from water bottles)
  • (Steel with the addition of cooling) 
  • Resolution: X-Y Resolution +/- 0.005 ~ +/- 0.012, Z Resolution +/- 0.005 +/- 0.005
  • Cut/Print Speed 350mm/min 24mm/s
  • Cutting Foam ABS
  • Tools/Tips 0.125” – 0.250” .32mm - .62mm
  • Any CAD that makes “.dxf” and exports “.stl”
  • MACH3
  • LazyCam slic3r rev 6
  • PC Win XP

This hybrid can print with various materials like ABS, PLA, different nylon polymers, acrylic and It can also print with reclaimed PET from the regular PET bottles. Here are the images of printed objects in different materials:

Here is a video of it printing in clear acrylic:

Hot end is also custom designed from simple parts:

All the details need for construction of 2BEIGH3 can be found here:

Thingiverse just released Android app on Google Play

Thingiverse finally released their mobile application for Android platform! It is available on Google play:

Matsuura Lumex Avance 25 hybrid metal laser sintering and high precision milling machine

This is not your Prusa Mendel. This is the Godzilla of advanced industrial 3d printers, a hybrid metal laser sintering and high precision milling machine.
It can produce highly precise medical and dental implants and high end custom aerospace industry parts. The structures can have intricate internal structure that can decrease weight, improve cooling or add advanced structural properties.
Lumex Avance can also print complex molds and casts with integrated cooling for high cycle injection molding.
Typically, milling produces debris, or chips, of removed material that vary in size. However, the LUMEX machine utilizes dry cutting, meaning no coolant is used. For this reason, the cutters are very small and the machining metal removal is a fine powder. Thus, the porosity is theoretically equal to the particle size of the powder and gets incorporated into the powder mix. Usually, no removal of milling chips is needed.

Machines like this are the future of manufacturing which is already here, just not evenly distributed.

Technical specifications:

Matsuura will go to north American market with their  hybrid 3d printer. They plan to sell ten machines in 2014 which cost 800,000 - 1,000,000 USD per piece. This reminds me of the time in early history of computing when IBM executives claimed that the world needs only 8 computers.

Matsuura press release in PDF:

Matsura Lumex page:

For even more powerful laser metal printer and 5 axis CNC mill check out this DMG Mori Lasertec 65:

Lightforge DLP 3d printer

Lightforge is new DLP printer. Not much information is available, but it is under development and to be released in 2014.

Wicked MAD 3d printed organic collars and bracelets by MadLab

I REALLY love this designs by MadLab. It is like something from a SF movie. Kudos to the designers!

Here is the video about design process and technology:

Reverberating Across the Divide reconnects digital and physical contexts through a custom chronomorphologic modeling environment. The modeling interface uses a three phase workflow (3D scanning, 3D modeling, and 3D printing) to enable a designer to craft intricate digital geometries around pre-existing physical contexts.
Chronomorphology –– like its nineteenth-century counterpart chronophotography –– is a composite recording of an object’s movement. Instead of a photograph, however, the recording medium here is a full three-dimensional model of the object — a virtual creature simulated within a digital environment. This virtual creature exists as a 3D printable module; it is constructed as a closed mesh, with a spring skeleton that prevents self-intersections. The composite, chronomorphologic model (of the virtual creature over time) retains these printable properties at each time-step. Therefore, no matter how intricate or complex, the digital geometry will always be exported as a valid, 3D printable mesh.

The chronomorphologic modeling environment facilitates the rapid generation of baroque and expressive spatial forms that both respond and expand on existing physical contexts. By mediating 3D scanning and 3D printing through the modeling environment, the designer has a streamlined workflow for oscillating between virtual and analog environments. This ease between digital design and physical production provides a framework for rapidly exploring how subtle changes in the virtual environment, physical environment, or designer’s gestures can create dynamic variation in the formal, material, and spatial qualities of a generated design.

This project was supported in part by funding from the Carnegie Mellon University Frank-Ratchye Fund For Art @ the Frontier (
Music: "Portofino" by Teengirl Fantasy (

here is the homepage with more photos:

For other cool looking 3d printed fashion pieces look here:

Speed up Skeinforge slicing with PyPy

PyPy is alternative to standard Python distribution and it can speed up execution of all python code, like used for slicing.

Here is video showing differences in performance when slicing in ReplicatorG with PyPy is much faster and clear winner.

Here is the link to PyPY:

if you run in into any problems with PyPY installations there are support forums, just google for it ;-)

Jan 24, 2014

3D printing rubber inflatable complex structures (the flower blossom was probably not the first)

At Victoria University of Wellington's School of Design, Richard Clarkson 3D printed these complex flower shaped objects from a soft rubber multimaterials that are inflatable and adapt to air pressure.

Recent advances in 3D printing now allow the simultaneous deposition of different build materials in a single print. In a similar way to nature, materials can be distributed seamlessly within objects for structural and functional advantage. “Blossom” explores the blending of two materials with varying physical properties transitioning from flexible to rigid. The variation offers an opportunity to generate complex forms and dynamic structures that are impossible to make by any other means. The research into applications of these Digital Materials™ has resulted in what is believed to be the world’s first inflatable 3D print. Forcing air into the cavities of the print causes it to ‘bloom’ and thereby reveal the complexity of its physical structure.
INDN 441 Supervisor: Tim Miller – Creative Digital Manufacturing. School of Design, Victoria University of Wellington.
Designer: Richard Clarkson.
Supervisor: Tim Miller.
Video: Szliárd Ozorák.

If you ask me, it looks somewhat creepy when its magnified and moving ...

I wanted to check the claim that it was the worlds first air inflatable 3d printed rubber object. On youtube I found this video published in September of 2013 that shows something that looks like layer 3d printed rubber inflatable object that has a system of chambers to manipulate the shape and vibration pattern by applying pressure.

What software should I use when starting 3d design and modelling for desktop manufacturing?

There are many options and variables when choosing the 3d design software that suits your needs when you get into 3d printing.
Here is a useful decision tree chart that will simplify the decision based on price, platform and your personal preferences:

Click on the chart for bigger size version:

Here is the page dedicated to 3d printing related software and links to it:


MTM Multifab multitool desktop manufacturing machine

MTM Multifab is truly multifunctional desktop manufacturing machine that was very innovative and ground breaking in the field of  DIY 3d printing when it was developed. Ultimaker, very well known and powerful 3d printer,  is based on this machine.
Multifab has several replaceable tool head options:

  • MACHINING SPINDLE, A high-speed (20K RPM) spindle supports light subtractive machining. The spindle can be constructed entirely from off-the-shelf compoents.
  • VINYL CUTTER, A razor blade tool which allows 2D cutting of sheet material. Some applications are flexible circuit boards, stickers, silkscreen masks, and more.
  • REPEATING PIPETTER, This fluid dispensing toolhead was created in collaboration with MIT's Innovations in International Health program, and has uses in automated biology research and disease diagnostics fabrication.
  • PLOTTER HEAD, A pen attached to the multifab can allow easy labeling of objects, caligraphy, etc...
  • 5 AXIS TRUNNION, This attachment permits 5-axis machining of components on the Multifab. Potential applications include variabl-helix screws, impellers, and 5-sided machining operations.
  • PLASTIC EXTRUDER, Based on the Rep-Rap project, this extrusion head will enable additive manufacturing in plastics such as ABS.

MTM Multifab 3d printing

Here are some videos of Multifab in action writing and pipettering:

Demonstration of the MTM Multifab fitted with an auto-pipetting toolhead. The toolhead was designed with Amber Houghstow and Jose Gomez-Marquez of the MIT Innovations in International Health program, with the goal of automating production of XoutTB diagnostic assays. Perhaps it can also find a use in the DIY Bio community.
The MTM Multifab is part of the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms Machines That Make project.

Here is overview of Multifabs components, tools and development status:

The instructions, plans and BOMs should be available for anyone who wants to build it, but all the files and documents links I tried on the site were broken. I hope it will be repaired soon, the public could benefit greatly with this machine.


The Multifab is core machine of FAB in a Box framework system that should provide full digital fabrication environment that user could make at their home from simple parts. It contains:

Infrastructure. All of the key services which allow Fab-in-a-Box to be a cohesive toolset. These include the network, the box itself, power distribution, etc. It consist of the:

  1. VIRTUAL MACHINE ENVIRONMENT, The flexible Fab-in-a-Box machine control and interface environment.  
  2. THE NETWORK: FABNET, An RS485-based network is the nervous system of the toolset, which connects the "brain" - a laptop running control software - to the tools and sensors comprising Fab-in-a-Box. 
  3. THE SUITCASE, The suitcase is the heart of the matter. It is what contains the entire fab in a box project.

Multifab. A computer-controlled multipurpose fabrication tool. Work includes integration into the box, the xyz motion stage, and multiple toolheads to perform various fabrication tasks. Multifab has many subsystems, components and parts:

  1. XYZ GANTRY, The key component of the multifab tool is a high-speed and rigid xyz gantry capable of accomodating a wide range of fabrication processes.  
  2. 3-AXIS MOTION CONTROL, The multifab gantry is controlled by a networked controller board capable of controlling three stepper motor drivers simultaneously.  
  3. H-BRIDGE, This module is able to control the average voltage across a load, such as the spindle's DC motor, using a technique called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM).  
  4. RC SERVO CONTROLLER, RC servos, typically found in radio controlled airplane models, use feedback to control the position of their output shaft. This controller can set the position of up to 8 servos, and is used in the auto-pipetter toolhead.  
  5. MACHINING SPINDLE, A high-speed (20K RPM) spindle supports light subtractive machining. The spindle can be constructed entirely from off-the-shelf compoents.  
  6. VINYL CUTTER, A razorblade tool which allows 2D cutting of sheet material. Some applications are flexible circuit boards, stickers, silkscreen masks, and more.  
  7. REPEATING PIPETTER, This fluid dispensing toolhead was created in collaboration with MIT's Innovations in International Health program, and has uses in automated biology research and disease diagnostics fabrication.
  8. PLOTTER HEAD, A pen attached to the multifab can allow easy labeling of objects, caligraphy, etc... 
  9. 5 AXIS TRUNNION, This attachment permits 5-axis machining of components on the Multifab. Potential applications include variabl-helix screws, impellers, and 5-sided machining operations. 
  10. 1-AXIS MOTION CONTROL, Additional axes can easily be simultaneously controlled by adding them onto the network. The disadvantage as compared to a multiple-axis controller is increased network load.
  11. PLASTIC EXTRUDER, Based on the Rep-Rap project, this extrusion head will enable additive manufacturing in plastics such as ABS.
  12. JOG DIAL, The multifab can be positioned by hand using a networked jog dial. This interface can also provide more complex control of parameters typically adjusted on the computer such as feed rate.

Other Fab. All other tools needed to make something. Examples are the soldering iron, hand tools, and programming interfaces.

  1. SOLDERING IRON, A soldering iron with temperature adjustment over the network.
  2. AUTO BINS, Parts bins which light up to indicate where a needed component is located. This could be part of a computer-assisted-stuffing project.
  3. FUME EXTRACTOR, A fume extractor with a ring of LED lights around its intake.
  4. IN-CIRCUIT PROGRAMMER, A network-attached microprocessor programmer.
  5. NETWORK BOOTLOADER, A bootloader which fetches programs over Fabnet.

Measurement. Networked instrumentation such as a multimeter and oscilloscope. This is one area which will hopefully expand greatly on the road.

  1. MULTIMETER, A multimeter which displays and records its readings on the Fab-in-a-Box laptop.
  2. OSCILLOSCOPE, An oscilloscope which displays and records its readings on the Fab-in-a-Box laptop.

Autodoc. Everything related to making it possible to document a project "without thought".

  1. EYE-FI CAMERA, A camera which wirelessly tranfers its time-stamped images to the Fab-in-a-Box auto-documentation software.
  2. RFID READER, Keeping track of which hand tools were used, and when, is made easy with an RFID reader.

Some of the components were never developed, and most of the building related file links can not be opened. Probably all the files are somewhere on the internet, it would be terrible if they get lost forever. I REALLY hope someone publishes them as open source soon.

Here is the Fab-in-a-Box website:

PDF presentation:

Jan 22, 2014

3d printed rivets for friction welding plastic with Dremel tool

You can friction weld plastic together with a help of Dremel tool as described and shown here:

There are also 3d printable "rivets" that you can insert and do a sort of "blind" or Pop riveting.

You can download files for printing them here:

Jan 21, 2014

How to friction weld plastic with filament and Dremel

Electronhacks made this video to show production process of the 3d printed fan duct. However it is also excellent demonstration of friction welding plastic with filament inserted into Dremel. The friction produced makes a strong welded bond.

Video by ElectronHacks

Here are 3d printable rivets that you can use:

Here is another post about DIY ultrasonic and soldering iron plastic welding:


here is a video with same friction welding technique with PLA plastic.

Update 2:

axCut DIY laser cutter

Damian Axford is developing new open source DIY laser cutter. axCut is influenced by nopheads Mendel90, BuildLog 2.x and Lasersaur. It is still under development but it looks very promising. I'll follow the project since I'm getting more and more interested in laser cutters.

axCut project requirements:
  • 40W CO2 laser (with space to upgrade to at least 80W - i.e accommodate a 1000mm tube with water cooling)
  • Bed size to accommodate A1 stock - design files use 850mm x 600mm with 30mm margin all round
  • Fully enclosed
  • Allow for pass-through (i.e. very long items)
  • Allow for high/tall items and "autofocus" via motorised bed (150+mm travel)
  • Have unobscured front access for loading/unloading parts
  • Bench-top design (may integrate a bench at a later date)
  • Side connections for extraction and cabling (i.e. power, usb)
  • Investigate using reprap s/w stack vs Mach3 - I'd really like to leverage as much as possible from the reprap community (e.g. modified sprinter firmware)
  • Budget target of £1500 (max £2000)

axCut GitHub repository with all the files:

You can learn more about Lasersaur cutter that inspired axCut here:

Pictures of axCut:

Jan 19, 2014

Paperduino - Arduino printed on paper with conductive ink

It is not 3d printing but it is a sort of DIY additive manufacturing. Arduino Pro Mini board was made by using a pen plotter and the Electroninks Circuit Scribe roller-ball pen with highly conductive ink to draw a circuit on a sheet of paper. Electronic components are then mounted on it with glue or sticky tape. And it works!

This method for conductive ink printed circuits could be easily adapted for 3d printers. There are also several methods to produce DIY conductive ink with various material mixtures.
Also you shoudl keep in mind that this is made from paper, so if you put too much voltage in, it could catch fire. Stay safe.

Detailed instructions and all the files can be found here:

Conductive ink on paper sheet electronic circuit production is technology that is finding more and more practical applications, you can see interesting sensor here:

Here is one of the many methods to produce homemade conductive ink. This one is easy and cheap, maybe not the most suitable for this type of project. It is made from copper particles suspended in gum arabic water solution.

Chocolate Choc Creator V1 3d printer

Well, you can see it in the name. It is a chocolate 3d printer.  Omnomnomnom ...
This printer is aimed at small chocolate business. It is priced at £2888.00 (exl. VAT).

From the product page:
Choc Creator is a simple, versatile precision desktop 3D Chocolate Printer, developed as a cost-effective solution for individuals, chocolatiers, entrepreneurs and small businesses to make innovative chocolate products; the possibilities are endless!
  • Compact three dimensional motion platform allows for convenient desktop use anywhere.
  • Easy-to-use printing head and quick-install syringe mean that the printer can be refilled within a matter of minutes.
  • Simple USB connection means that designs can be rapidly sent to the printer for creation.
  • Designed to print accurate chocolate line tracks from 0.5 mm to 1.5 mm - much finer and more precise than any current manual piping technique.
  • Every step is computerized to offer repeatability without errors, and at the same time flexibility to manipulate printing parameters for meeting different speed and accuracy requirements.
  • Print onto various substrates such as on other chocolates, cakes, biscuits, dishes, paper for chocolate decoration as well as complete products.
  • Commonly used chocolates can be used and various chocolates (brown, dark, white, red, blue, etc.) can be conveniently filled into the printing head to print fantastic and artistic colourful chocolate decorations and products.
  • Print chocolate into 2D cross-section patterns like an ink printer or, due to the Choc Creators unparalleled level of precision, sequentially deposit chocolate onto consolidated patterns layer-by-layer to form 3D objects.
In the Box:
  • 1 Choc Creator V1 3D Printer
  • 2 Syringes
  • 6 Printing Tips
Technical Specifications:
  • Build Envelope: 175(X)mm x 175(Y)mm x 70(Z)mm
  • Maximum Linear Speed: 2000mm/min
  • Printing Head: The deposition process is precisely controlled using a stepper motor to extrude chocolate out of a 10ml syringe. High Precision printing nozzle is used for fine printing (approx. 0.5mm to 1.5mm track depending on print setting). Two sets of printing head consumables (2 syringes and 2 nozzles) will be supplied.
  • File Format: Accepts STL files (standard 3d printing file) and G-code (standard SNC machining language). File is uploaded to the printer via a standard USB connection.
  • This hobby printer is controlled using simple open source software. User has full access to the print settting parameters and instructions are provided.
  • Quality, Service And Warranty: Choc Printer comes with CE marking to assure the quality, safety and acceptability for chocolate processing. Choc Edge team is dedicated to provide cutting edge chocolate printing solutions and essential technical supports for users. One-year product warranty is provided to replace non-working components.
  • Product Delivery And Assembling: Choc creator printer can be delivered worldwide and delivery typically takes 1-2 weeks for UK, 3-4 weeks for EU and 4-5 weeks for international buyers. The printer is fully assembled and tested before the delivery.

Choc Creator v1 PDF brochure:


here is a method you can print chocolate shapes on your home DIY 3d printer: