I tried putting it in this weekend, but I guess there isn't much 2020 left. I was forced to quote. So I got less 2020 and more 1515. I am assuming that their deal is to get me hooked, and I expect it will.
I know what my first 2 projects will be.
I am going to make a CNC platform for sewing embroidery using my el-cheapo black friday sewing machine. I should be able to do this quite easily with my smoothieboard. The only tough part I think will be software, generating the gcode. My sewing machine is very basic (I intentionally got a pure mechanical when I got it) so I should be able to swap out the built in motor with a stepper motor and each stitch is a nice even value in gcode, probably 100 indicating 100%.
The other project is I want a CNC feed for my drill press. I want to make a bunch of openstructures compatible wooden beams. That would mean drilling a LOT of holes, so I think that the drill press shall be automated to do that for me. I can code up something to kick out the gcode for that in a big hurry, very simple.
Does somebody want to borrow a couple of really cute kids for a few hours so I can concentrate on making robots that can make stuff? I can't yet incorporate them into the process.
I recently attended the Midwest RepRap Fest (MRRF 2014). In talking to a few of the other attendees, I noticed a couple of themes. A lot of us do demonstrations of our printers and those who flew to the event didn’t have their printers along.
This tells me that there is a need that has yet to be fulfilled. The hobby needs a small, portable printer.
OK, that would be a REALLY small printer, that can take a bit of abuse, being banged around inside a carry on bag.
So, on the way home, I put some thought to the problem.
We need a printer that is:
Able to be held in one hand for demonstrations
Able to fit in carry on luggage for travel
Able to run while ‘unplugged’ if just for a short period of time
Visually interesting and has all the parts exposed so it’s easy to explain how it works
I picked up a SmoothieBoard at the show, so I want to run it off of this new-to-me board. It seems to be one of the larger boards, so other boards could be dropped in if desired. It has a built in microSD slot, so it can print without a controller. It also has lots of extra horsepower so it can do some crazy cool stuff.
Looking around, at MRRF, I saw the Tantalus. A nice, small, box printer, but not small enough. I also saw the Wally.
Then it hit me, what if I was to put a Wally inside a Tantalus. Shrunk down. The magic is that the Wally can extend outside of it’s containing ‘box’ while in use, but ‘park’ within the confines for safe traveling.
BOOM! I can print a larger print in a smaller space.
I think Wally is a slick printer. It’s built with plastic parts, common bolts, and not much else.
A few minor tweaks and I think a Wally can be crammed into a small box. The Z can come out of the front view port while printing and the XY arms can extend out the sides while printing.
The Z arms need to be longer, poke through the back, and bolt on with the mounts towards the inside so we can get the max width print bed on the inside of the printer.
Everything needs to scale down a bit. From my reading, there needs to be a 7-10 ratio between the pulley on the motor to the big pulleys. There is also some ratio for the arm length to the big pulley size, but I don’t understand that yet.
All the motors should hang off the back I think, just so there is more viewing room inside the box.
I am thinking a 150mm square box would give me enough room to route wires cleanly off of a smoothieboard.
A small battery can sit under the print bed. I am thinking the power supply should be a generic laptop power supply. This keeps the printer smaller and lighter, not having to mount a power supply in it. This would also allow us to unplug the printer for short periods of time to walk around with it.
Mulling the idea around a little bit before I create a fork of Wally and start wrenching on the parts hard.
I think a lot of people will complain that it will be TOO small to be useful. It’s not intended on being an only printer, it’s a functional demonstration piece. Long (large) prints aren’t useful for demonstrations, it seems like they are only half-done when you want to pack up and leave. You want to be able to spit out a part in less than half an hour and have people hold it.
I was asked to go by a friend last year, but couldn't afford a hotel at the time.
Work found out (I have a big mouth) and offered to be a sponsor! A big bonus to this, I got to bring one of our very expensive ROMER arms with a laser scanner.
The show was a blast! I am still recuperating.
Considering I own nearly half of the 3d printers I'd seen running in person, the show was EPIC. So many machines! So many people. The people there listed like my version of a hollywood blockbuster movie! Prusa, Tonokip, Logxen, Seward, Os1r1s, and more!
I brought my 2 printers. Each has something a bit unique. One has a water cooled hot end, which is rare. The other uses both belts and fishing line on the save drive line, which I have not seen done before.
I didn't even get a chance to take many photos. Disappointing, but an excuse to go again next year.
There was a local who had lost his hands to bacterial meningitis a few years ago. A last minute project was to have the people who brought printers there print out a pair of robot hands for him. I had the scanner, so I scanned in his arms. By the time the show was over, there was half of one arm printed. It was just SO crazy busy that we just couldn't get it done at the show. The project is getting finished after the show.