I made a huge custom high temperature 3D printer

  • https://imgur.com/na1yBgx
    Motivation: I wanted a Fortus 450mc but they cost around $250,000 just for the printer. Materials for stratasys printers can be around $300 per kg of ABS. Since I couldn’t afford a 450mc I built one! A big part of why I wanted a 450mc was the heated build chamber and large build area. A heated build area allows for warp free printing of ABS and PC. In addition it also allows you to print PEEK, PEI, PPSU, and other high temp exotic filaments.

    Link to whole Imgur photo album of printer build: https://imgur.com/a/guFPFbn
    Some addition video of my printer in action: https://youtu.be/yPAY0QT0az8

    Tools used to build the printer: Solidworks, manual mill, plasma CNC table, angle grinder, bandsaw, drill press, and basic hand tools.

    Specs: CoreXY with 21.5x12x18in build volume, heated bed, heated chamber, flexible thermal barriers, E3D Titan Aqua, E3D super volcano, E3D .6mm copper plated super volcano nozzle, PT100 temp sensor, Duet Wifi, Nema 23s, Ball screw for Z, removable spring steel build plate held on by high temp magnets (Samarium Cobalt -SmCo), PEI build surface.

    Link to a very early draft of my design document (link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QNHoIpd1QWBDZGYRaK_gxPx1XXUlXQM__-ho9reaCfc/edit?usp=sharing ) PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A DRAFT so excuse any grammar/ spelling errors. In addition I have made several design changes to the physical hardware, electrical design, and overall operation of the printer. My hope is that by sharing this early documentation that others can draw some inspiration from it on their own builds. I am still working on an updated project documentation, but between school, work, side projects, and my recent Kickstarter I don’t have a ton of time. I am also working on V2 and a smaller version as well.

    Print quality has been hit or miss, I am still working on getting my cura profiles dialed in. Some prints have turned out gorgeous while others have had lots of stringing issues. I have also been working with PEEK filament which has not been the easiest to print. If anyone has tips on getting the super volcano dialed in I am all ears.

    About me: My name is Grayson, I have been working with 3D printers and 3D printing materials since 2014. I have been contributing to the open source filament extrusion community since 2015. I am currently studying electrical engineering at California State University Long Beach. My main interests in STEM fields are robotics, industrial automation, electrical vehicles, materials science, and additive manufacturing.

    As always, if you have any questions please ask me!

  • Wow, amazing printer! The roller bellows is a great idea. Interested in seeing it print PEEK and PEI!

  • Really cool!
    It is good to see more high temp printers popping up.
    What fabric did you use for the thermal barrier?
    Looks like silicone covered Aramid? Of sorts?
    Do you have a link?
    Here is my high temp printer:

  • Fantastic project Grayson and given the hands on nature, as distinct from a paper study in sure you are learning a great deal. There's a Masters degree thesis in some of the issues you are touching on as you no doubt are aware.
    I'd suggest you use auto coolant in your water cooling system to prevent galvanic corrosion and consider using integral flexures to relieve differential thermal expansion issues without having to add parts.
    Be scrupulous about avoiding features also found in Stratasys machines in anything you are considering selling. They are adept at managing their intellectual property and they are not your friends!
    We look forward to a refined prototype and to your first PC or Ultem print!

  • I know metric can be difficult but .. you may want to revise the perks?
    typo fixed 👍

  • @bearer Fixed, thank you!

  • @NitroFreak I have been a huge fan of your work for several months now. I have been meaning to reach out and swap stories/ problem solving methods. I used glass fiber silicone fabric. Printed on it was "welding fabric" Link to where I got it: https://www.tarpsnow.com/index.php/silicone-fiberglass-fabric-by-the-yard-roll.html?gclid=CjwKCAjwu5veBRBBEiwAFTqDwdYSBPqoeXbokl0bSiwG44zAfgKuLMHZc7IsjyRM4GwG0aRzkbjeXBoCoGUQAvD_BwE

  • @Tony-Owens

    Doing my masters on additive manufacturing would be super cool. Defintely something to think about

    I actually I am using coolant used in cars for the cooling loop. I recently replaced an engine so I have a bunch of automotive fluids left over.

    can you expand on what you mean by integral flexures?

    While Stratasys has been a source of some design inspiration, much of the way they do buisnes is not. I actually applied to intern there last year and they weren't interested. I appreciate the heads up

    Still working on getting things tunned, but I will post about it soon

  • @mwolter

    Thanks! I kept thinking about how much of a pain it would be to sew bellows like Stratasys does and ended up finding an easier way to do it. I actually have a new design that iterates on this one that is slated to be included on the V2.

  • @ggalisky Re flexures look here:

    DEK_Inspector_XY_stage.jpg image url)

    This is a non-integrally-formed flexure. Its a large XY table from years ago in my past when I designed a solder paste inspection machine. The Y axis gantry runs top left to top right. The LHS of it is attached to the X-axis. The RHS of it is simply propped, using a thin black stainless steel plate. The lower end of the plate is borne by a linear rail hidden in the black sheetmetal folded section, which in turn is bolted to machined pads welded to the white frame, which is heavy duty box section mild steel. The point of the flexure is to allow the gantry to be a propped cantilever without the front and rear X axis linear ways fighting with each other due to inherent non-parallelism and coplanarity. Vertical and and X-axis stiffness is provided but all other DOF's are unconstrained.

    The king of flexures, including integrally-machined ones, is Alexander Slocum, who teaches at MIT. Heres an extract from him: https://mech.utah.edu/~me7960/lectures/Topic12-Flexures.pdf
    Another king among inventive engineers with a taste for flexures is Dan Gelbard. His (video) reflections on how to make and use them is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaypcVFPs48

    Have fun!

    Tony Owens

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