Aug 31, 2015

3D Printing Complex Data Sets of DNA, DEM and Sound

Here is a compilation of few detailed guides on how to design 3d printable objects from complex data like DNA, topological maps and sound.

How to get 3d printable objects from 23andme raw DNA data set

With this tutorial you will be able to take raw DNA data from 23andme DNA analysis and model a 3d printable object in OpenSCAD with a custom plugin.

Detailed guide and software: 3dna code for OpenSCAD

How to 3d print geographical maps, topology, landscape and other geographical data

3DPrintingNinja developed an Instructables tutorial on how to convert DEM (digital elevation model) data into 3d printable objects.

Detailed instructions:

Sonic Sculptures

With this free app you can get 3d models from visualized sound waves.

Download the software and get the instructions here:

Aug 30, 2015

ToyRAP 28BYJ-48 Motor Based RepRap

ToyRAP is a new project which is based on 28BYJ-48 stepper motor making it extremely cheap, it can be built for some 75 euro. It is aimed at education and demonstration purposes.

Project description and technical specifications:
ToyREP is a tiny and inexpensive FFD 3D printer designed mostly as a technology demonstrator or child's toy.
The print volume is 100x100x100mm (125x125x100mm with some upgrades) with a cold bed made of polyacrylate.
Hot end is a E3D clone for 1.75 PLA or ABS filament with 0.4mm noozle.
Using very cheap 28BYJ-48 stepper motors (with Bi-polar hack) in all axis and geared extruder, Arduino Mega 2560 with Ramps 1.4, DRV8825 and modular RepRap construction based on Mendel, Printerbot, Cherry, Prusa i3 and CARP Box ideas.
It is designed to use 12V 40W PSU for LED lights that should fit under bed. Power consumption is currently ca 40W when heating hotend and 15W-20W when printing (Eventually 40W 100x100mm heat bed would rise PSU requirements up to 80W.)

There are many future upgrades planned:
  • LED PSU mount and cover with switch for size 111x78x36mm and 129x99x38mm
  • Frog for print area 125x125mm - uploaded to ToyREP.
  • Bowden extruder mount - uploaded to ToyREP.
  • ZMAX without 608ZZ bearings (to prevent wobbling) - uploaded to ToyREP.
  • Coolers for stepper motors and different motor mount 
  • 40 teeth T2.5 pulleys (require also major changes in frog, carriage, X1 and X2) to achieve higher print speeds (around 25mm/s)
  • Make X1, X2 compatible also with M8 threaded rod or belt driven Z axis instead of threaded rod to speed up Z movement.
  • Adjustable legs
  • 40W 100x100mm PCB heatbed
  • Direct drive extruder
  • Cooler and lights around noozle
  • Fan mount to cool stepper drivers
  • Mount compatible with Prusa Mendel vertical carriage

ToyRep video:

All the files and instructions can be found at:

How to Use Wax to Make Your Parts Waterproof

Instructables user Jubal117 developed this finishing method where he uses wax dipping to make a 3d printed part waterproof. It will make it float or usable as liquid container. Molten wax fills the cracks between layers and makes it into full envelope.

Using a scalpel blade to remove excess wax

Full tutorial can be found at:

DIY Savonius Wind Generator USB Charger

Here is an interesting simple wind power project of a small handheld wind powered Savonius turbine that charges your devices via USB port.

It has 3d printed housing and wind turbine with few electronic pieces and a small DC motor for a generator. The motor could be salvaged form old broken electronic devices.

It could probably be used outdoors in natural wind and indoors as a harvester on a AC unit. There are not many tests on it but it could be improved even if the original design doesn't work.

All the files and instructions:

Aug 22, 2015

OctaWorm Octahedron Robot

OctaWorm is a deformable octahedron burrowing robot that is currently powered by air pressure. It is developed by Juan Cristobal Zagal and has many 3d printed parts. The design enables it to move in very confined spaces.

Here is a video showing its abilities and a development path of OctaWorm from early hydraulically powered prototypes:

Here you can see it moving trough a pipe:

Project homepage:

Extensive paper on the project:

Hopefully Juan will open source the designs :-) Great work Juan!

Printrbot Printrapp

Brook Drumm presents Printrbot Printrapp, a new control software with web interface. Looks good and simple.

Aug 16, 2015

Functional 3D Printed Stepper Motor

Proto G published his detailed guide on how to build a 3d printed stepper motor. It is probably not as good as standard ones but it looks very usable for simpler projects.

You will need an Arduino, copper wire, magnets and other non-printable parts but you probably guessed that part.

Here is a video introduction:

Detailed build guide and all the files needed:

Great work Proto G!

Pentarod 5 Axis 3D Printer

√ėyvind Kallevik Grutle developed his own 5 axis 3d printer based on RepRap Ormerod where he added additional A and C axis.
Our community is stuck for too long in standard 3 axis design and we need new multiaxial machines to move forward.

Here is what he writes about his project:
This is the result of my master thesis at the University of Oslo, at department for robotics.
The printer is a modified RepRap Ormerod, with two added axis (A and C).
This master thesis have been a proof of concept, but since it was working I decided to try two hypotheses, is it possible to print without support (what you see in this video) and is it possible to make a smooth finish on a surface which are in another plane than the xy-plane (what you see in the two other videos).
All the g-code for these parts are basically hand written (with the help of java). I have been using spherical coordinate system to compute the paths and therefore all the parts are round.
With the exception of the 5-axis system that moves along the y-axis almost all the parts are from the RepRap Pro Ormerod 1.
The videos are at 40X speed.
Hopefully he will open source the build plans soon.

Pentarod in action:

For a more professional five axis machine see:

Source and more information:

Aug 15, 2015

Design your own 3d printer from recycled parts with this FreeCAD add-on and web services

If you want to make a 3d printer from electronic waste and recycled parts from junk 2d printer, you will find this software tools very useful. They generate model of a 3d printer with FreeCAD plugin based on the parts you have. It should help you enormously to design your own custom 3d printer from available parts.

Example of the generated 3d printer:

The projects are still in development and I don't have enough knowledge to test it out but it looks very promising. There seems to be a link between those two projects but I'm not sure what it is.

You can try the web applications where you can input all of the parts and their specifications and get the output FreeCAD design:


source code is available at:


Here is the part of the web app menu with ton of options for various parts: page (currently not working):

Source with comments discussion:

Let me know if you have any experiences with it!

Disney finds a way to control object elasticity with internal microstructures

Disney research found a technique control and model elasticity of 3d printed objects with different internal structures. I only hope this research and software will not remain trapped inside corporate structure forever. We need those abilities also in our models :-)

Project homepage with much more information:

Detailed paper in PDF format:

Eva 3D Printed Robotic Arm by Automata

Eva robotic arm by Automata has 80% 3d printed parts and it is planned to be low cost robotic platform for any purpose. Soon you will have a robotic helper in your workshop ...

Eva moving:

Eva technical specifications:
  • Degrees Of Freedom / Axis: 6
  • Weight: less then 2,5 kg
  • Range: 600mm Full Span Radius, 360°. Extendable with Gantry (coming soon).
  • Payload: 0.75kg (max)
  • Repeatability: 1 mm (subject to testing)
  • Max Speed: 100°/sec (1000mm/sec at full outstretch)
  • Mounting: Table/Wall/Ceiling/Inclined
  • Connectivity: USB 2.0, Wireless (TBC)
  • Power Requirement: DC 12V 10A
  • Auxiliary Ports: TBC

Automata Technologies homepage:

... the company claims that it will not open source it. Hey guys, sharing is caring!

If you are looking for more DIY and open soulutions for your own robotic arm here is a perfect project for you:


Eva is learning how to help build replicas of herself. The robotic arm is starting to operate a 3d printer:

Fathom Underwater Drone

3d printing is used here for prototyping of a small underwater submersible drone or R.O.V. Is the revolution in submersible DIY robots here? Quadcopters are everywhere, we need more submarines!

Company homepage:

More information:

If you are interested in submersible DIY vehicles OpenROV is a must-see project:

3D Printable Tetrahedral Box Kites: Triforce and OpenKite

Triforce Kite

Sergej Bekauv designed and printed this DIY tetrahedral kite named the "Triforce Kite". 

It is a fully functional flying folding kite with 3d printed structures (27 trusses) and lift surfaces made from Mylar (spaceblanket or emergency blanket type of material). 

The design and build process is well photo-documented at:

Here are some videos of it:

... here it transforms:

All the files for it and instructions can be found at:

This type of kite was invented by Alexander Graham Bell (yes, the telephone guy) and hi did some amazing work with them making enormous versions:

Open Kite

Open Kite is an open source tetrahedral kite project developed by Sehun Oh. Here is his description of the project:
The project brief was about designing a product for play. While I was trying to explore the world of play, I was fascinated by Little Shining Man (Heather & Ivan Morrison, 2011), a huge cubic kite which consists of hundreds of tetrahedral cells, and I decided to explore this intriguing architectural structure.
During the process, I designed 3D printable components for easier and faster kite building and I also found out a way to make the structure collapsible, so that it can be flatten when not in use. Little Shining Man is basically a flying sculpture, so it can be transported on a truck and displayed or stored at a gallery.
Whereas when people build large kites with open kite components, it is collapsible for easier transport and storage. Consequently, this tetrahedral kite becomes a more accessible 'product'. I am also planing to publicise the kite component data for 3d printing as an open source project so that people freely download and make their own tetrahedral structures.

OpenKite video:

Full build instructions and files can be found at:

Aug 14, 2015

Mobile DIY 3D Printer for Concrete Furniture

Group of students developed a DIY 3d printer that extrudes concrete - cement paste to make concrete street furniture like benches or chairs. The technology looks simple but the results are still rough.

Working 3D Printable Brushless Pulse Motor

Nathan Matthews developed a 3d printable DIY brushless pulse electric motor.

Technical details:
  • Running on a 3.7v lipo battery - will run on 1V although very slowly
  • 5 x 2 magnets all facing north (out)
  • 10 coils in alternating North / South arrangement - alternate "pushing" and "pulling" coils
  • Small diode dropping the voltage .7 to prevent feedback

Motor in action:

DreBot Low Cost Belgian RepRap

Andreas Desmedt, a 15 year old student from Belgium developed a new RepRap 3d printer: the DreBot (or Dbot). It can be made for some 300 USD.
Dbot description and technical details:
The base of the printer is a 3030 aluminium extrusion, everything is mounted on this extrusion, wich means everything is tight and compact, making it easy to carry or put away.
The Z axis is made out off 2 12mm rods with a carriage attached to it using 4 LM12UU bearings. In this carriage, there are 2 8mm rods mounted, wich are for the X axis.
The carriage for the X axis is mounted using 3 LM8UU bearings, two on the bottom and one on the top. For the Y axis, I also use 2 8mm rods. The wooden plate for the heatbed is attached to the rods using 3 LM8UU bearings. Both X and Y axis are driven by NEMA17 motors using GT2 belts.
The Z axis is driven by a M8 threaded rod. The Dbot is controlled by a Ramps 1.4 motherboard, and powered by a 360W LED PSU, wich are both also mounted onto the 3030 aluminium extrusion.
The extruder is a fully self designed extruder, wich is also printable. This is done to keep the costs low. Both the extruder motor and the motor that powers the X axis are located on the opposite site and used as a counterweight for the X axis rods and carriage. The ramps board is located in a casing with a fan, for proper cooling.
The bed itself is a MK3 heatbed. The printers volume is 200(X)x190(Y)x185(Z), wich is almost the whole heatbed capacity. I invented my own heatbed nut mounts, so you only have to turn the screw to level the bed and don't think about the nuts.

Dbot in action:

RepRapForum project thread:,544217

Andreas will release all the files soon. Here is his blog:

How to Use Low Cost Piezo Discs for Automatic Print Surface Leveling

Njal Brekke developed a high accuracy and very low cost automatic bed leveling solution with piezo discs. You can easily build it yourself for around 20 USD.

He describes his project as:
Auto Bed Leveling using piezo electric discs for very high sensitivity.
Mounted between the bed springs and the z-stage, any force down on the bed can be registered and used as a probe signal. Hence one can measure when the hot-end touches the bed surface. No modification to the hot-end or carriage is therefore needed, and the probe is insensitive to temperature.
This is still a work in progress, so although it is working for me in it's current form, it needs constant tuning as the circuit is not yet perfected, and the mechanical mounts have some known issues. A new circuit and new mounts have been designed but not yet tested.
So far, I've tried to only use parts available from sparkfun. I'm guessing a total cost for all parts of less than $20 USD.

Video of the setup in action:

You can find full description and how to guide at:

Project forum:

Aug 4, 2015

Kamaq 3d printer controller software for embedded Linux systems

Kamaq is a control software that is completely unfamiliar to me. Does anyone have any experiences with it? There are no reviews to be found ...

Kamaq features:
  • Web interface with real-time monitoring and feedback via websockets.
  • Temperature plots for heaters
  • Direct motor control panel
  • Nifty print-speed scale slider to adjust printing speed in real-time
  • Real-time plot of current layer movements in 2D
  • Linux-based RepRap firmware written in Python, with a web-interface in HTML5/JavaScript and websockets. It controls up to 4 stepper motors (axes) via standard USB audio device, end-switches and heaters via GPIO and hw-mon.
Project description:
Kamaq is a 3D-printer (FDM) controller software running on an embedded Linux system. It is capable of controlling a RepRap-style 3D printer, but with different electronics. Stepper motor control is done using a 8-channel (7.1) USB audio device and some class-D audio amplifiers. Endstop switches are monitored via GPIO inputs (interrupt-capable) and temperature control for extruder and heated bed via standard hwmon-compatible ADC's and GPIO-outputs for heater control. The software has a web interface for machine control and monitoring.

RepRap wiki:

Kamaq GitHub repository:

How to make a DIY injection molding machine from a drill press

If you want to make mass produced parts you will reach a limits of your 3d printed very quickly both technical and economical ones. For any serious mass production of plastic parts you must use injection molding which can be expensive in the beginning since the initial mold is costly but the parts are cheap afterwards.

Is there a middle ground? A device you can build yourself?
There is a possibility to make a DIY home workshop injection molding machine from a hacked press drill with Gingery attachment and a CNC milled metal mold.
You can use various types of thermoplastics like: PETE, HDPE, PVC, LDPE, PP, PS and ABS.

Scorch from Scorchworks documented his experience with it.

Here is a construction video of Gingery injection molding tool for a simple drill press:

Here is a demonstration of injection molding plastic parts into CNC milled molds:

For more info on his project see:

For a simple DIY drill press injection molding apparatus you can check out this PDF guide:

The setup:

Injection molded objects and the mold: